Updated: Apr 6, 2022
Niacinamide sounds like a long and confusing term, but what is it exactly?
This is a type of Vitamin B3, an essential body nutrient that is responsible for maintaining the function of our kidneys, skin and brain.
It is a vitamin that dissolves easily in water and is absorbed into the body’s tissues for instant use. Niacinamide works together with the natural compounds in your body to:
● Reduce the appearance of enlarged pores clearly
● Tighten loose or stretched pores
● Reduce skin dullness
● Boost an uneven skin tone
What Are the Benefits of Niacinamide?
So, what does niacinamide do for your skin?
Apart from the possibility of treating some types of dermatological conditions like acne, rosacea and even eczema, it is also raved for its plethora of skin benefits.
Some of these advantages include:
- Evens out skin tone and pigmentation due to sun damage
- Reduces the look of enlarged pores
- Boosts the look of slightly puckered, “orange peel” skin
- Returns the skin’s ability to combat moisture loss and dehydration
It also lowers the impact of environmental damage to your skin with its function of boosting the skin’s first line of defence, its natural barrier.
What Does Niacinamide Do for the Skin?
Now, let’s dive deeper into the different things niacinamide can do for your troubled skin.
- Reduces Widened Pores
The most notable benefit of niacinamide is its ability to reduce the look of pores that have expanded. Even though there is insufficient research to determine how it works this way, it is theorised that the substance is able to prevent oil and debris from being accumulated.
This helps to reduce clogged, bumpy and rough skin.
When pores become clogged, they stretch out the skin to make up for it and become widened as a result. Sun damage can also result in enlarged pores.
When you use niacinamide on a regular basis, it can tighten pores visibly.
- Improves Moisturisers’ Ability to Hydrate
Niacinamide works well with moisturisers that contain ingredients like glycerin, sodium hyaluronate and plant oil that contains no fragrances.
On a similar note, it also helps to rejuvenate and restore the skin’s surface to fight against dryness, dehydration and moisture loss.
- Keeps Your Skin Healthy and Firm
Niacinamide helps to create keratin. Keratin is a protein that can help your skin, hair and nails stay firm and healthy. Like niacinamide, keratin has intense moisturising properties and boosts your skin’s elasticity.
- Reduces the Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles
As we age, it’s normal for fine lines and wrinkles to develop, which are usually associated with the ageing phenomenon.
- Treats Uneven Skin Tone
When you use niacinamide with 5% concentrations and more, it can help to improve uneven skin tone and discolouration. It is suggested to help dark spots to even out your skin tone after four weeks of usage, but not beyond two months of use.
Is Vitamin C or Niacinamide Better?
Both types of ingredients are highly useful depending on the type of problem you’re using them for.
While niacinamide is touted for its amazing benefits, Vitamin C is an equally important ingredient that’s said to be on par with retinol.
Here is a quick table comparison of the two:
- Used for a variety of skin conditions like acne and rosacea
- For brightening dull skin
- Treats wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation
Basis of Use
- Benefits come from the two key molecules in niacinamide: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+/NADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+)
- These molecules are key to the chemical reactions that happen in your cells - These chemical reactions include skin cell repair and spreading the signals that make sure your cells operate normally
- It has the ability to revive skin cells and prevent the production of melanin
- May not be suitable for everyone
- May irritate the skin due to its acidic nature and potency
Should you use these powerful ingredients together in tandem?
At the moment, there’s no definite conclusion nor answer to this question. Proponents believe that they should not because they may cause a reduction in effectiveness and lead to irritation.
Advocates think that advanced skincare formulas lead to a strong potential of combining the two to develop an effective and potent solution.
Niacinamide for Acne
Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent acne-busting solution, particularly for pustules and papules.
How to Use Niacinamide
Niacinamide is easily available in various skincare products.
It is highly compatible with other popular skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants.
We recommend using it in this lineup:
- Stack the remaining of your skincare products, even those with niacinamide, accordingly from the ones with the thinnest to the thickest texture
- In the daytime, complete your routine with a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30
The Bottom Line
Niacinamide is a powerful ingredient that you can use on a daily basis to treat a wide range of common skin conditions.
You may consider using it with other well-known, beneficial ingredients like hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C to improve the results.
If you are unsure where to start, contact a skincare professional for suitable advice that may help.