Niacinamide: What is it and why is it so important?
Author: Danielle Cauchi Date Posted: 25 January 2023
If you dabble in the beauty and skincare space online, you may have come across this fancy word that sounds like a chemical you experimented with back in your school’s science class.
This ingredient known as Niacinamide actually offers a multitude of health-care and skin-care benefits which is why the online communities have been gushing over it.
So, what exactly is Niacinamide? What does it do? Should you be using it? How?
Read on to find out more about this game-changing skincare ingredient.
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is one form of Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B3, as you might already know, is an essential nutrient that assists with cell development, function and repair. It can be found in animal-based products such as meat and poultry, fish, milk, green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grain products like cereals.
Some people choose to take Niacinamide (nicotinamide) in the form of oral supplements for its health benefits, and others use topical skincare products containing the ingredients for its protective, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging capabilities.
What does Niacinamide do for the skin?
The list of Niacinamide benefits goes on and on and its list of skincare-specific benefits is no different.
Niacinamide is most commonly found in anti-aging products as it is really good for those with mature skin. It can promote collagen production which can smooth wrinkles and fine lines that have resulted from sun damage and lighten the appearance of dark spots and discolourations. It can also help the skin build keratin, a type of protein that helps to keep the skin firm, plump and healthy. Niacinamide is also good for anti-aging as it can defend the skin against further damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays as well as other environmental aggressors such as pollution and toxins.
Niacinamide can also be helpful for those with dry skin as it works to lock in moisture and this keeps the skin feeling and looking smooth and may help reduce enlarged pores.
Oily skin types should not overlook Niacinamide completely, however, as it may help regulate oil production due to its ability to retain moisture and thus your sebaceous glands might not work so hard to compensate for dryness. Oily skin types and particularly those with acne-prone skin can also potentially benefit from Niacinamide as it may soothe redness, blotchiness and inflammation from conditions such as acne and eczema.
How to add Niacinamide to your skincare routine
Niacinamide serum, such as Balance Active Niacinamide Blemish Recovery Serum are excellent for targeting specific skin concerns due to their concentrated formula and they should be used after toning, but prior to moisturising.
Can you use Niacinamide with Retinol?
Just make sure you use it as directed and always conduct a patch test before using any new skincare product.
In fact, Niacinamide is often used in conjunction with Retinol simply for the fact that is may reduce the potential irritation Retinol can cause on its own. This is because Niacinamide can help stabilise the skin’s barrier and therefore limit how much water is lost.
Using Niacinamide and Retinol in combination can be more effective at reducing pigmentation, acne, large pores, skin tone unevenness and the visible signs of aging such as wrinkles. Niacinamide may also boost Retinols effectiveness as it can accelerate skin cell turnover.
Niacinamide also works well with copper, folic acid, salicylic acid, zinc and hyaluronic acid. It is commonly paired with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) as their exfoliation action allows the Niacinamide to penetrate the skin better.