Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B-3; while there are other forms of Vitamin B-3, the topical application is the one we will be focusing on, and is what can be found in many products to improve the health of your skin. According to dermatologists Jacquelyn Levin and Saira B. Modo, niacinamide, when applied topically, can show the following benefits:
- Decreased fine lines and wrinkles
- Decreased hyperpigmentation
- Increased barrier function
- Decreased yellowing of the skin
- Improved texture of the skin
Vitamin B can easily penetrate the skin, which means it is an extremely effective ingredient. When used consistently every day, your skin can experience drastic improvements!
Thankfully, there are a lot of studies out there that have tested this ingredient, and because of that, we can be provided with the peace of mind that Niacinamide is a generally safe and effective antioxidant. In one study, a very low percentage of participants experienced mild negative side effects, or just did not experience drastic improvement with their skin. The side effects mentioned were mild burning sensations or itchiness. For the majority of folks, this ingredient should be safe and effective. For me, it’s one of my Holy Grail ingredients that I check for in every product! It’s not a requirement, but I am definitely more inclined to reach for the product that contains this lovely antioxidant :) Let's take a deeper look at what Niacinamide can do for us.
Strengthen the skin barrier-
There are many studies that prove niacinamide can build the lipid barrier, which will seal moisture into the skin more effectively. This means your skin will be able to protect itself against external aggressors and maintain its healthy state much more easily.
Balances oil and moisture on the skin-
In a study regarding topical application, it was found that niacinamide directly affected the production and balance of sebum production. With its ability to balance oil production on the skin, this will in turn prevent blemishes, breakouts, and acne from occurring.
Repairs and heals damaged skin-
In this study here, it is proven that niacinamide aids in actually repairing DNA! This means skin cells that have suffered UV damage can potentially be repaired and protected with consistent use of this antioxidant. Because of its protective and healing properties, it is believed that niacinamide can also aid in the prevention of skin cancer, as it prevents the gathering of pigmentation.
**However, it must be noted that this is not a replacement for sun protection!**
Anti-inflammatory and soothing-
Topical niacinamide can have calming effects on the skin, and can soothe any redness potentially caused by blemishes, eczema flare-ups, or other skin irritations.
Aids in hyperpigmentation treatment-In a study taken place at the University of San Luis Potosí, it was proven that niacinamide is a safe and effective treatment for those who experience Melasma, a disorder where dark spots appear on the skin consistently. Because of research like this, niacinamide is used in many products that target hyperpigmentation spots and scarring.
Aids in anti-aging and anti-wrinkle treatment-
Topical vitamin B3 has anti-aging properties that can help to fill out fine lines and wrinkles. As mentioned earlier, it can repair and heal damaged DNA, which means that your skin health and texture will improve with a healthier and more youthful appearance.
Studies have shown that products with as little as 2% of niacinamide can show results on our skin, and generally products with up to 10% are what will be offered on the market. In my personal observation, I have found it harder to find the percentage of certain ingredients in Korean skincare products. Because of this, I check for how far up Niacinamide is listed in the ingredient list, and I trust the function of the formula which the brand intends to focus on.
(PRO TIP: Read fanserviced-b’s post about ingredient order-listing to better understand your K-beauty formulas! Ingredient order-listing slightly differs from US regulations.)
In general, academic research that I have read supports the use of combining niacinamide with vitamin C, retinol, and hyaluronic acid. This may vary from person to person, so be sure to test your product combinations before fully indulging onto your skin! It has been proven however that niacinamide both enhances retinol’s functions, as well as countering any inflammatory properties by providing calming and soothing effects. I especially love products that are already formulated with both niacinamide and vitamin C, as I have experienced wonderful results with these formulas.
Don’t be disheartened if you’re trying a product, but not quite happy with the results- Niacinamide will take time for it to work its magic! Taking care of your skin and working through long-term goals like sunspots, wrinkles, acne scars, etc., will take a dedicated commitment to see improvement. There may be a good amount of trial and error involved, so be patient, and don’t forget that no matter what the state of your skin is, it is beautiful!
Scroll to see some of our highlighted products that feature the wonderful benefits of niacinamide!