Growing up, your parents probably had to beg and cajole you to eat non-kid friendly foods like leafy greens, salmon, and beans. Their reasoning? For the vitamins, of course! And they were right, because every bite you took delivered a host of beneficial goodies to your body. Among the crowd, there was a mighty little vitamin called niacinamide.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, an essential nutrient that not only works wonders inside the body but outside as well. While it seems like it's been popping up everywhere these days, niacinamide has been a mainstay in skincare products for years.
Read on to find out more about what niacinamide is and where it comes from, how it can enhance your beauty routine, the benefits of using skincare products that contain it, who it's best for, and FAQs about this not so new "it" ingredient.
What Is Niacinamide? Where Is It From?
Niacinamide, which also goes by nicotinamide when it's feeling fancy, is one of two forms of vitamin B3. The other is niacin, and while the two sound similar, they are chemically different.
Niacinamide can be found in many foods, including meat, fish, milk, green veggies, avocados and cereal grains. It's also packed into many vitamin B complex supplements alongside its good friends biotin and folic acid. Our bodies can use dietary niacin to create niacinamide inside us, too.
When it comes to skincare products, niacinamide pops up in everything from sunscreen and lotions to facial serums. That's thanks to its ability to perform amazing feats like even texture, brighten and strengthen skin, and diminish dullness. It's basically a skincare saint!
Of course, we're big fans of vitamin B3 for skin over here, which is why you'll find niacinamide in our Eyes Eyes Baby eye cream! And don't stress, vegans, because niacinamide is commonly derived from cereals or brewer’s yeast, not animals.
10 Niacinamide Benefits For Skin
So we know what niacinamide is, but how does it help our skin? Below are a few benefits you'll want to know all about.
1. Niacinamide helps restore and strengthen skin.
Niacinamide works overtime to give skin a jumpstart that allows it to build resilience for a healthy glow you can see.
2. It gives an assist to moisturizers.
Niacinamide lends a helping hand to the stratum corneum, AKA the outermost layer of the epidermis. It supports this vital buffer so it can retain moisture, which makes lotions all the more effective.
3. It balances the skin's natural oils.
While it's busy preserving hydration, niacinamide also does double-duty by helping to control your natural oils. This diminishes shine, too!
4. It offers natural protection against environmental stressors.
As an antioxidant, one of niacinamide's top jobs is to act as a buffer between our skin and the environment.
5. Niacinamide helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
All that antioxidant activity and reduced moisture loss have a welcome side effect: a softened look and a diminished appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
6. It creates a smoother-looking appearance.
Since niacinamide stops outside stressors from wreaking havoc on your complexion, it supports a brighter, smoother appearance.
7. It has a calming effect.
Niacinamide deflects irritants from your skin, allowing your complexion a chance to rejuvenate itself and take a much-needed breather.
8. It minimizes the appearance of pores.
Smooth, moisturized skin free of irritants means unclogged pores, which tend to be less visible.
9. Niacinamide alleviates temporary blotchiness.
The calming effect of niacinamide eases discomfort and lessens temporary redness, paving the way for renewed, beautiful skin.
10. It's great for those who spend tons of time outside.
In higher concentrations, niacinamide provides potent antioxidant power that clarifies and balances skin, making it perfect for sun lovers.
How to Use Niacinamide for Skin
Using niacinamide for your skin is easy — simply choose products that contain it! You'll find it in toners, moisturizers, serums, masks, under-eye creams, leave-on treatments, and boosters. Concentration levels can vary, though you can expect most formulations to contain 5 percent or less. Here are a few more tips for using niacinamide to make the most out of your beauty routine.
- Before you do anything, clean that beautiful face with a natural cleanser!
- Apply your favorite toner and allow time to dry. It's up to you if you want to choose one that already has niacinamide in it! If you're more partial to witch hazel or rose water toners, you can always get your vitamin B3 fix with a serum or moisturizer that contains it.
- It's serum time. You can opt for a niacinamide-boosted serum now, wait to introduce it at the moisturizing stage, or both. Apply it evenly across your face and neck and allow time to absorb.
- Hydrate, baby! Apply moisturizer to your face and neck and give it plenty of time to sink in. Because niacinamide gives lotions such a kick, a facial cream that includes it, like our Crème de la Cream, is a smart choice.
- As always, be generous with the sunscreen to allow all the powerhouse ingredients in your skincare products to keep you looking radiant.
What Types of Skin Should Use Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is one of those ingredients that tends to pair well with almost any skin type. Here are a few that can benefit from a B3 boost.
Anyone dealing with a complexion that looks tired or dull can benefit from products with niacinamide. Its penchant for protecting, rejuvenating, and evening skin results in a noticeable glow.
As we age, we need all the help we can get to keep dirt, irritants, and the elements at bay. That means the more antioxidants, the better! When your skin is nurtured with protectors like niacinamide, it promotes an ageless look.
Those who deal with dryness know that keeping your skin hydrated can feel like an uphill battle. Since niacinamide bolsters the skin barrier, prevents moisture loss, and blocks dryness-inducing irritants, parched skin gets a break.
Combination and oily complexions have a habit of overproducing an oily, waxy substance called sebum, which results in clogged pores and buildup. Niacinamide helps put the kibosh on extra oil, evening out texture in the process.
Skin in its 20s and 30s
As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Much of what niacinamide does for the skin is what makes it a great preventative against the effects of aging and the environment. That makes it a no-brainer when it comes to those in their 20s and 30s.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) in a Nutshell
Niacinamide is a powerhouse that has a significant domino effect when used consistently on the skin. This workhorse vitamin enhances tons of products, protects and strengthens the skin, and gives complexions a bright glow. Always take your vitamins!
Frequently Asked Questions About Niacinamide and Skin Care
What are the benefits of niacinamide?
Niacinamide nurtures the skin in tons of ways and is a particularly excellent brightener. It supports the skin barrier, balances the skin's natural oils and helps it retain moisture, and is a powerful antioxidant. It also minimizes the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and fine lines. The real question is, what doesn't it do?
Is niacinamide safe to use every day?
It sure is! When applied topically, most people find they can reap vitamin B3 skin benefits by using niacinamide daily. It's always smart to do a patch test just in case and check labels for instructions and irritating ingredients like parabens and synthetics.
How long does it take for niacinamide to start working on the skin?
Like with any new ingredient you use on the skin, patience is key. Most people start seeing noticeable improvements in skin tone and hydration levels after about a month. Everybody is different, so stay consistent and give it time to work its magic!
Does niacinamide exfoliate skin?
Kind of. Niacinamide's activity can kick off gentle exfoliating effects, but it's best used in conjunction with tried and true exfoliators like salicylic acid.
Is niacinamide the same as niacin?
Nope! Although we get why you'd be confused. Niacinamide and niacin are both forms of vitamin B3, but they differ in chemical structure. Each form is good for specific applications, like niacin for dietary health and niacinamide for encouraging gorgeous skin! Pro tip: Niacin can cause the skin to flush, so be sure that you're buying a product with the right ingredient.
How often should I use niacinamide?
Those who tolerate it well can use products with niacinamide daily, both morning and night. The key to seeing its brightening and other benefits is consistency, so stay on a schedule.
Is it okay to use niacinamide and vitamin C together?
You'd think putting these two skincare superheroes together would be a given, but tons of conflicting advice has surfaced over the years. Thanks to updated research, the consensus is that you can! And you should. Together, they'll make your skin sing.
What else can I pair it with?
Niacinamide tends to play nice with every ingredient on the playground. It does particularly well with encouraging the absorption of hyaluronic acid. It also enhances green tea, salicylic acid, AHAs, retinol, and more.
Are there any adverse reactions?
Similar to vitamin C, niacinamide can cause redness or irritation in high concentrations. If you have sensitive skin, try scaling back on using products containing it to every other day or weekly.