Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B. When taking it as a nutrient from supplements or from food sources like meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables and cereal, it helps maintain healthy cells and plays a role in converting food into energy. When the body takes in too much niacin, it's converted to niacinamide.
While many people use niacinamide to prevent or treat a vitamin B3 deficiency in the body (a condition known as pellagra, which can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys and brain), it's also a common ingredient in skin care products. If you're wondering what the benefits of using niacinamide as a topical agent are, here are some of them:
- Regulating oil. Topical niacinamide can help regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce and prevent them from overproducing oil.
- Minimizing pore appearance. Niacinamide can help minimize the appearance of pores in the skin.
- Maintaining a lipid barrier. Using niacinamide on the skin can help grow the protective outer layer of the skin, or the lipid barrier, which helps retain its moisture.
- Protecting against sun damage. Niacinamide encourages cells to regenerate and also helps protect those cells from damage caused by ultraviolet rays. It's not a substitute for sunscreen, however.
- Treating acne. Niacinamide can help reduce acne's appearance over time.
- Minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. Niacinamide solutions can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.
- Lightening skin's dark spots. Some studies show that topical niacinamide can reduce hyperpigmentation - those dark spots that can appear as skin ages. This may be due to its encouragement of collagen production.
- Protecting from environmental stress. Niacinamide can help generate new skin cells while protecting them from environmental stresses like sunlight, toxins and pollution.
- Minimizing blotchiness and redness. Since niacinamide is an anti-inflammatory agent, it can reduce redness and blotchiness from eczema, acne and other inflammatory conditions.
- Building keratin. Niacinamide can help build keratin, a protein found in the hair, skin and nails that is a strong, protective protein.
How to Use Niacinamide on Your Skin
Look for niacinamide or niacin on product labels, and remember that it can take several weeks to see the effects of niacinamide. Be patient with results.
Keep in mind that niacinamide may cause skin irritation in some people. Especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies, you may want to test out a small patch of skin on your forearm and wait 24 hours to observe any negative effects before you apply the serum or solution to your entire face.
Some studies show that niacinamide works well when used along with zinc, folic acid and copper to treat acne. Hyaluronic acid is another common ingredient used in combination with niacinamide, as hyaluronic acid is said to increase product absorption.
Vitabath® uses niacinamide in many of its products, including some hand soaps, bubble baths, bath fizzies, foot scrubs and body oils. Shop Vitabath for all your bath and body care needs. We offer free shipping on orders of $65 or more. Feel free to contact us with any questions.