I hope I don't sound like a broken record when I continuously talk about how essential skincare ingredients are for skin health. But there are just so many good ones that I think should be in all of your routines!
So far, I've emphasized the importance of Hyaluronic Acid as a moisture barrier and Vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant. But, in all seriousness, the active ingredient I talk about today might be my favorite active skincare ingredient of all time. I know this is a big statement to make, but Niacinamide is my favorite because it works on almost every skin type and has HUGE benefits for various skin problems.
Niacinamide (nahy-uh-sin-uh-mahyd)... I know she's a tongue twister, but you're going to want to remember this one.
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a type of Vitamin B3 that is not synthesized in the human body. Like Vitamin C, we need to consume it to receive the benefits, or in our skin's case, we have to apply it topically.
Niacinamide does a lot of amazing things. It heals, it prevents, and it soothes. So, think of Niacinamide as being restorative.
Let's go into a bit more detail…
The Seven Benefits of Niacinamide:
1. Strengthens skin barrier:
Niacinamide increases the skin's natural production of ceramides (a type of molecule that forms skin barrier and protects against moisture loss). Without these ceramides, the skin becomes vulnerable and prone to severe dryness. Niacinamide also increases collagen and elastin production in the dermis and protects the collagen structure from breaking down.
2. Improves Skin Texture:
A healthier skin barrier promotes better skin texture and specifically improves the look of fine lines.
3. Improves Brightness of Skin:
Niacinamide can help fade hyperpigmentation on the skin by inhibiting the production of melanin (skin pigment).
4. Acts as an antioxidant and repairs damaged DNA
In the skin, Niacinamide converts into NAD, a protein that binds with an enzyme that can fight free radical damage. It protects our DNA from free radical damage caused by UV rays and pollution. Remember, free radicals are unstable electrons that cause direct damage to our skin's DNA.
5. Calms skin redness:
Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin redness and irritation.
6. Can treat mild acne:
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (kills bacteria) properties, Niacinamide can treat acne. It is also less harsh than acids, retinoids, and benzoyl peroxide, so it is an excellent choice for sensitive skin.
7. Pore and oil Regulation:
Niacinamide reduces the production of skin oil. We know that our skin pores trap skin oil and dead skin cells, so the more skin oil there is, the more the pore is stretched, giving larger-looking pores. As Niacinamide reduces sebum, the less "gunk" trapped in our pores and our pores appear less stretched and smoother.
The reason why Niacinamide is the best:
Niacinamide is exceptionally stable (has a neutral pH), so it's nonacidic and non-irritating for all skin types. Unlike vitamin c, which is very unstable and harsh on certain skin types, Niacinamide provides skin benefits that can be enjoyed by all skin types with little to no side effects.
If you have dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, or all of the above, Niacinamide will work for you!
A Few Helpful Skin Tips:
Niacinamide is best used in combination with other ingredients. Look at your skin products to see if they combine Niacinamide with any other great ingredients. For example, if you struggle with hyperpigmentation, try looking for products that combine Niacinamide with hydroquinone, kojic acid, arbutin, and soy!
Niacinamide can be found in many skincare products (serums, moisturizers, and even sunscreen).
Look for a Niacinamide concentration of 5% or higher in your products (remember: the higher the concentration, the more irritating potential).
You can use Niacinamide in the morning or at night.
A Few Niacinamide Recommendations: