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6 Benefits of Using Niacinamide for Your Skin

woman using Niacinamide

Do you ever wish you could just have one product that did the work of five?

If this is you, chances are your bathroom sink real estate is taken up by oodles of half-used skincare bottles. All of these products promise to ease different skin issues, but it’s a hassle trying to fit them all into your routine.

Luckily, Niacinamide is a skincare ingredient that single-handedly helps keep your skin smooth, bright and even-looking. With one ingredient, you can rock your radiance all day long.

How does this work? Our even tone experts are here to break it down and give you some tips on how to start using Niacinamide in your daily routine. 

What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that can help strengthen your skin and lock in moisture. Niacinamide also goes by the name Nicotinamide, which may be confusing — when you see either of these ingredients on a skincare product label, just know that they’re talking about the same thing.

When you eat foods that contain Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), your body uses it to convert food into energy. All forms of Vitamin B3 are non-negotiable elements in every skincare routine — your body needs Vitamin B to keep your skin healthy.

Niacinamide is water-soluble and is an essential nutrient, so you have to constantly replenish your supply by adjusting your diet or taking supplements. The human body does not make Vitamin B3 on its own, which means topical products containing this ingredient are important to support your skin, too.

Despite the two ingredients having similar names, Niacinamide is not the same as Niacin (which is also known as Nicotinic Acid). Niacin is another form of B vitamin, and it has its own distinct benefits.

However, your body can convert Niacin into Niacinamide if there’s too much Niacin in your system. How cool is that? 

6 Benefits of Niacinamide for Your Skin

What does Niacinamide actually do? Put simply, it keeps your skin smooth and bright so that you can rock the makeup-free look (but only if you want to).

Read on to learn about how Niacinamide works its skincare sorcery. 

Supports Immune System

Topical Niacinamide may help your skin cells maintain healthy levels of keratin. Keratin is what helps keep your top layer of skin strong.

When your skin has enough keratin, it can adequately protect you from bacteria and germs, as well as weather and the elements. In fact, the top layer of skin (called the epidermis) is a bonafide part of your body’s immune system.

While not a replacement for immune-strengthening medicines, Niacinamide has been shown to offer secondary support to your body’s immune system by protecting your skin. It really is a win-win. 

Keeps Your Skin Hydrated

Niacinamide can help support your skin’s natural barrier. Specifically, it can support your skin’s lipid barrier, which helps your skin retain fluid. This lipid barrier is made of Ceramides, which strengthen the skin barrier.

Having a strong lipid barrier means that your skin will naturally retain more hydration, which helps combat dry skin.

You may experience skin dryness due to stress, environmental changes, certain skin conditions and ill-fitting skincare products. Dry skin is usually red and itchy and you may even see flakes of skin where your skin has dried up.

The lipid barrier in dry skin is compromised, which means the skin has difficulty retaining moisture. Niacinamide can help moisturize dry skin by supporting that barrier and restoring moisture to your skin. 

Evens Skin Tone

If you have dark spots, hyperpigmentation, scarring or other skin discolorations, then Niacinamide is for you. Niacinamide can also help calm the look of irritated skin, which tends to be red and swollen.

Hyperpigmentation can include dark spots, age spots, freckles and even redness. It’s often caused by hormonal changes, sun damage, stress and harsh skincare formulations.

Quite a few people choose to own their hyperpigmentation and include it as part of their personal brand. We love to see it because everyone should be confident in their skin.

However, not everyone wants to flaunt their dark spots. We completely understand — your skin is your choice. Niacinamide helps break down dark spots and reduce the appearance of other discoloration to make your skin tone look more even.

If this is you, you may want to start incorporating Niacinamide products into your skincare routine.

We recommend starting with a cleanser that uses Niacinamide, like our Even Tone Cleansing Bar. This bestselling bar cleanser includes a textured sponge for exfoliating and uses Niacinamide to help you get (and keep!) an even-toned glow. 

Protects Skin

Niacinamide also helps protect your skin against sun damage. This ingredient seeks out damaged skin cells and helps build them back to full health, all while protecting your skin against damage from UV rays.

There are two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays cause sunburn, the most visible form of sun damage. Meanwhile, UVB rays cause other forms of skin damage, such as dry skin, dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines and can even contribute to long-term illness.

Niacinamide also rounds up and neutralizes free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms in the environment that can cause damage. In fact, sun damage is due in part to unchecked free radicals.

Antioxidants such as Niacinamide work by corralling stray free radicals and neutralizing them to reduce the risk of damage to your skin. The fewer free radicals attacking your skin, the more your clear skin can shine through.

It’s incredibly important to protect your skin against UV rays. Your morning routine should always include a sunscreen with at least SPF 30, which you should reapply every two hours. Niacinamide doesn’t replace sunscreen, but it can add another layer of protection. 

Tackles Blemishes

Many people think that blemishes mainly affect oily skin.

Although those with oily skin are at a greater risk of developing blemishes, even dry skin types can produce blemishes when provoked.

Overactive sebaceous glands are the most common cause of blemishes. When your skin’s sebum production flies off the rails, the extra oil has nowhere to go except into your pores – which is partly what causes those pesky blemishes.

Luckily, Niacinamide may help calm irritation, which means it can tame even those red and angry blemishes.

Because Niacinamide is known to help reduce the appearance of dark spots, it can even help slowly fade the appearance of blemish-related scars. This ingredient can tackle your blemishes from start to finish.

If you’d like to use Niacinamide to reduce the appearance of blemishes, we recommend our Retinol Resurfacing Treatment Pads. These serum-soaked pads include potent ingredients like Retinol, Niacinamide and Lactic Acid (one of the gentler chemical exfoliators) to even out skin texture and clarify skin. 

Delivers Smooth Skin

Niacinamide can also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These signs of aging are commonly caused by sun damage and other environmental factors.

One of the best ways to smooth uneven skin texture is to increase the amount of collagen your skin produces. Your whole body uses collagen, but this protein is especially important in your skin.

Increased collagen production helps to revive and plump-up dry skin. With firmer skin, your skin stretches to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving you with smooth, even-looking skin.

If you’d like to smooth your fine lines and wrinkles, we recommend a Niacinamide serum like our HydraFirm + Brightening Serum. This power-packed serum uses Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid to infuse your skin with moisture for a brighter and firmer appearance. 

How Can I Use Niacinamide?

Do you want to use Niacinamide, but you’re not quite sure where to start? Don’t worry; our Licensed Aestheticians are here to help.

Niacinamide can come in concentrations of up to 5% and can be prescribed by a dermatologist to address many skin concerns. If prescribed by a dermatologist, you will likely receive a Niacinamide cream, gel or oral solution.

Regardless of whether you’re using a prescription-strength product or an over-the-counter product, you can take a few steps to make sure you get the most out of your skin’s new moisture-retaining powers. Using a good moisturizer or lotion will help keep your skin soft and supple.

If you’re using a Niacinamide serum, you should apply your serum after your cleanser and toner but before your moisturizer.

You should also exfoliate before using your product so that it can penetrate your skin effectively. We recommend using a gentle exfoliator with Lactic Acid or Salicylic Acid to get the job done. 

Are There any Side Effects?

There are no known side effects of Niacinamide. However, Niacinamide may cause an allergic reaction for those with particularly sensitive skin. If you have a history of allergic reactions or even if you’re just concerned, it doesn’t hurt to perform a patch test.

To perform a patch test, place a small amount of the product on a defined area of your skin and wait a few minutes. If you experience excessive irritation, you should call your local dermatology expert to discuss alternative products.

You can experience some irritation as your skin gets used to the new product. To minimize this, start by using the product every other day and slowly work up to nightly use. We know it’s hard to wait, but you’ll thank yourself for it. 

In Conclusion

Niacinamide packs a lot of punch for such a small ingredient! Niacinamide works hard to support a healthy skin barrier, provide skin protection, hydrate the skin and even work to reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots.

Niacinamide is a derivative of Vitamin B3 and can support smooth, supple and healthy skin.

If you’re thinking about incorporating Niacinamide into your daily routine, we understand why! To get started, take our skin quiz and schedule a virtual consultation with one of our Licensed Aestheticians to get set up with the product that’s best for you.

By: Ivey Rogers Aesthetician Educator & Community
Engagement Manager

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