What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a type of vitamin B3 (niacin) found in supplements, skin care products, and food. "Vitamin B3 is an antioxidant that is important for cell repair. Vitamin B3 can be found in various foods, including poultry, legumes, and eggs.
How does niacinamide benefit your skin?
If niacinamide is involved in the majority of important cell functions, shouldn't it be able to cure anything? No, if we could perfect every cellular process in our bodies with vitamin supplements, we wouldn't need antibiotics or radiation therapy. However, both oral and topical niacinamide may have some actual skin health benefits:
If you ask a dermatologist what niacinamide does best, the first thing they'll probably say is "skin cancer prevention." Researchers gave 386 patients 500 mg of oral niacinamide or a placebo twice daily for a year in a 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. All participants had at least two non-melanoma skin cancers in the previous five years, putting them at a high risk of developing another. During the study, there were 23% fewer new cases of skin cancer in the niacinamide group (336 cancers) compared to the placebo group (336 cancers) (463 cancers).
Inflammatory skin conditions:
Niacinamide's anti-inflammatory properties make it an appealing treatment for inflammatory skin conditions such as acne. Topical niacinamide could be used as part of a multi-step acne regimen. Of course, an effective acne regimen is unique to each person, so it's probably best to see a board-certified dermatologist if you cannot figure out what works best for you. A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology discovered that a 4% niacinamide topical preparation applied twice daily for eight weeks significantly improved moderate acne.
Pigmentation & aging.
Because there have been few clinical studies on the effects of niacinamide on fine lines and wrinkles, the evidence for anti-aging as a niacinamide benefit is limited. However, there have been a few studies. For example, in one study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2004, researchers had 50 white women (aged 40 to 60) apply a moisturizer containing 5% niacinamide to one half of their face and a placebo moisturizer to the other half for 12 weeks. Compared to the control side, the halves of their faces that received niacinamide showed significant improvements in hyperpigmentation spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
How do you use niacinamide in skin care?
Including topical niacinamide in your skin-care regimen is simple and risk-free: Purchase a product containing it, such as a hydrating face mask, serum, or moisturizer. Some people may experience mild irritation, which will most likely subside with continued use. If it doesn't, or if you have any questions about the side effects you're experiencing, see your dermatologist immediately to avoid developing something more serious.