When To Use Niacinamide in Your Skincare Routine
If you’ve spent some time learning about skincare, you’ve probably noticed that skincare ingredients can be tricky. Some ingredients can combine for better results, while others can cause skin irritation when combined.
Additionally, some skincare ingredients work best at different stages in your skincare routine. With all these variables, it can be intimidating to organize your skincare ingredients in a way that will provide the best results.
One of the most popular skincare ingredients for blemish-prone skin is Niacinamide. Read on for some tips from our licensed aestheticians on placing Niacinamide in your skincare routine for the best results.
What Is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is derived from Vitamin B3, and it sometimes goes by the name Nicotinamide. While these two terms refer to the same ingredient, we’ve decided to stick with Niacinamide since that name is more well-known in the skincare community.
Vitamin B3 is important for general wellness, but there’s a catch — your body doesn’t naturally make Vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 is also water-soluble, which means it dissolves in water. Because of this, your body naturally flushes any unused Vitamin B3 at the end of each day.
To ensure your body has enough Vitamin B3, you have to get it from outside sources such as food and topical products. You can get Vitamin B3 from fruits, vegetables and meats, but there’s no way to make sure this dietary Vitamin B3 will get into your skin.
The most effective way to ensure that Vitamin B3 is directed into your skin is to apply topical Niacinamide. Niacinamide can help your skin look healthy and young as well as smooth and soft.
Niacinamide products can vary between concentrations of .0001% and 3%, which is quite a wide range. Lower concentrations can be found in over-the-counter (OTC) skincare products, while a dermatologist can prescribe higher concentrations.
4 Benefits of Niacinamide
In order to properly place Niacinamide in your skincare routine, we must first understand how it affects your skin. Here are the top four ways that Niacinamide can improve the appearance of your skin.
1. Keeps Skin Hydrated
Although Niacinamide is typically aimed at those with oily skin, it can also benefit combination skin. Niacinamide does this by strengthening your skin’s barrier, which can help your skin look more radiant.
Your outermost layer of skin is encapsulated by a lipid barrier made of Ceramides. This lipid barrier is responsible for retaining moisture and keeping your skin hydrated.
Your natural lipid barrier can be damaged by stress, your environment and even ill-fitting skincare products. Using an ingredient like Niacinamide that supports your lipid barrier can help protect your skin from drying out.
2. Even-Toned Glow
Dark spots, age spots, freckles and red discoloration are all part of your skin’s natural response to stress and environmental damage — especially sun damage.
These markings are generally the result of damaged or stressed skin. As part of its stress response, your skin may overproduce melanin in a certain area. Niacinamide can help break up these patches of excess melanin and improve the appearance of dark spots.
Scars can also get in the way of an even skin tone. Niacinamide can help reduce the appearance of shallow scars, especially those related to past blemishes.
3. Tackles Blemishes
The most common cause of blemishes is overactive sebaceous or oil glands. If you have oily skin, you probably know this all too well.
Sebum is a part of your skin’s natural hydration mechanism, but it can easily turn against you. If your oil glands produce too much oil, the oil often has nowhere to go except into your pores.
As this oil builds up, your pores may start to develop plugs of oil, bacteria, dirt and dead skin cells. This is what causes the visible skin irritation that we call pimples.
Pimples are easily recognized for their red and irritated appearance. One of the ways that Niacinamide helps reduce the appearance of blemishes is by calming the look of this red irritation.
Niacinamide can also help your skin maintain healthy levels of oil production. If your skin is only producing enough oil to keep itself hydrated, you’re less likely to experience pimples.
4. Smooth-Feeling Skin
Often, the main obstacles between you and baby-smooth skin are fine lines and wrinkles. While they are a natural part of aging, not everyone wants their fine lines and wrinkles to stick around. That’s where Niacinamide comes into play.
Fine lines and wrinkles are most commonly the results of sun damage, which occurs when free radicals cause damage to the skin cells. Niacinamide can help support the health of your skin cells, thus minimizing your chances of photoaging.
If you already have fine lines and wrinkles, that’s okay! Niacinamide is still a great product to consider.
One of the best ways to reduce the appearance of visible signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles, is to support elasticity. Niacinamide helps support and maintain youthful-looking skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Can Niacinamide React With Other Ingredients?
One of the most important things to consider when building a skincare routine is whether or not certain ingredients will interact with each other. While this is a valid concern, we have some good news: Niacinamide is a relatively mellow ingredient and can be combined with just about everything.
In fact, some ingredient combinations can do more for your skin.
One of our favorite ingredients to combine with Niacinamide is Retinol. Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and is used primarily to reduce visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
Retinol is a very powerful ingredient that can sometimes cause irritation for those with sensitive skin. However, Niacinamide’s irritation-reducing properties can help ease these effects.
Another one of our favorite combinations is Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is known for its ability to hydrate dry skin and encourage your skin’s natural hydration processes.
If you combine these two ingredients, you can customize your Niacinamide experience. These two ingredients together can help infuse your skin with deep hydration to keep it radiant and gorgeous.
When Should I Use Niacinamide in My Skincare Routine?
Now we know which ingredients work really well with Niacinamide, and it’s time to move on to the actual skincare routine. Where is the best place to put Niacinamide? The answer is, almost anywhere!
Since Niacinamide helps support healthy and regular oil production, it works incredibly well when used in a cleanser. Using a cleanser that helps maintain proper oil production means that your skin can absorb other healthy ingredients better.
Our Resurfacing Vitamin C Cleansing Bar is specially formulated with 2.5% Niacinamide for moisture, Lactic Acid for exfoliation and L-Ascorbic Acid (AKA Vitamin C) for brightening.
Toners are a negotiable part of any skincare routine. Toners typically come after cleansers, and their main purpose is to clear away any oil or dirt that the cleanser may have left behind. If you have very oily skin, then we recommend using toner.
Toners also serve to brighten skin, and they typically include skin-brightening and irritation-soothing ingredients to help them achieve this effect.
We recommend our Witch Hazel Brightening & pH Balancing Toner. This toner combines soothing Witch Hazel, 2% Niacinamide, Glycolic Acid and Licorice Root to help even and brighten the appearance of your complexion.
Finally, everyone loves a good serum. Serums are a surefire way to make sure your skin soaks up as many vitamins and healthy ingredients as possible.
Serums come after cleansing or toning, and they typically come in liquid form. This helps ensure that the ingredients quickly absorb into your skin.
One of our favorite serums is our Retinol Rapid Repair & Dark Spot Treatment. The powerhouse combination of Retinol and Niacinamide helps brighten your skin, even its appearance and tone down the look of any dark spots.
If you have oily or blemish-prone skin, you might want to consider adding Niacinamide to your skincare routine. This hero skincare ingredient can not only address blemishes, but it can also help reduce visible signs of aging.
To get the most out of your Niacinamide, we recommend combining it with other helpful ingredients and looking for it in your cleanser, toner or serum. To find out if Niacinamide is right for you, take our skin quiz or schedule a virtual consultation with one of our licensed aestheticians.