niacinamide | the science behind the trending ingredient
What is Niacinamide? The Science Behind the Trending Ingredient
Have you ever endlessly scrolled the internet, viewing hundreds of product pages or stood in front of a skincare aisle and thought, I want someone to just tell me which products to buy? We understand how frustrating it can be to filter though all the information online so we are here to help you….
There is no doubt that you have heard of this ever-popular ingredient.
One of the hottest and most-talked about skincare ingredients is Niacinamide. It has taken the world by storm, showing off a plethora of skin benefits – but what is it and what can it actually offer you and your skin? Our Skin Specialists are here to help you understand this powerful ingredient and the truth behind its claimed benefits.
Curious if the superstar ingredient has a place in your skincare regimen? Read on to find out everything you need to know!
What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 and is utilised as a topical treatment in skincare. In general terms, it is an essential nutrient, which, aside form its incredible skincare qualities, helps lower the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer. It is a water-soluble vitamin, so our bodies do not produce it entirely on their own. This means that we primarily need to consume Vitamin B3 through foods or supplements. Or, in the case of our skincare, we can use it as a topical treatment to deliver the benefits of Niacinamide right where we want them.
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The Top 8 Benefits of Niacinamide
Repairs the skin barrier
Quick biology lesson! Niacinamide works to increase the production of ceramides; ceramides are fatty molecules that work to strengthen your skin barrier, maintaining it plump, smooth and hydrated. They are lipids constituting over 50% of the skin. In simple terms, they are moisture building blocks of your skin, improving the skin’s ability to retain moisture and helps to prevent epidermal water loss.
Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
We have mentioned ceramides slightly in the first point but we will dwell on this a little more here. Like collagen, ceramides in our skin decrease in number with age. This is often the reason why mature skin can sometimes be dry, flaky and can have increased sensitivity. Niacinamde boosts the skin’s ability to retain moisture, thus the skin sags a little less. This in turn, prevents signs of early ageing.
Over time, more and more debris, dust and residual makeup or skincare products tend to accumulate in your pores making them increasingly visible. Niacinamide works by combatting this, thereby allowing pores to return to their usual size.
Balances oil production
One of the most prominent myths surrounding oily skin is that those with oilier skin types do not require a coat of additional moisture everyday, but that is far from the truth. All skin needs hydration, regardless of whether it is oily or acne-prone. If you skip the hydration step of your skincare routine, what often happens is that the pores work in overdrive to compensate for the lack of moisture. Niacinamide’s function of enhancing the skin’s ability to retain moisture enables it to control this over-production and it balances the skin.
Brightens skin and evens pigmentation
Niacinamide is known as an antioxidant powerhouse. Antioxidants reign supreme as they protect against aggressors such as UV and air pollution that damage the skin and affect its ability to keep our skin cells healthy. Amazingly, Niacinamide is a great inhibitor of melanin production that causes dark spots, sun spots and hyperpigmentation. Over time, it aids in helping these to fade and with regular use, it can act as a preventative treatment, inhibiting the, from forming in the first place.
Dr Ioannis Liakas, part of our expert team at VieDerma, has further commented on the importance of incorporating antioxidants in your skincare regime on Glamour Magazine: click here to read the full article!
Are you sold yet? Because we definitely are!
Protects against sun damage and oxidative stress
A study in 2015, of more than 300 people, found that a high dose of Niacinamide supplementation resulted in a 23% decrease in the development of new non-melanoma skin cancers compared to a placebo. Further research from 2021 found that topical Niacinamide can help increase collagen synthesis, including in photo damaged skin, which helps to reduce signs of premature ageing from sun damage and speed up wound healing. This ultimately means that this star ingredient can help rebuild healthy skin cells while also protecting them from damage caused by UV rays.
An ingredient that is gentle enough for sensitive skin, yet strong enough to treat acne? Yes, you read that correctly! It is interesting to note that Niacinamide has inflammatory properties. Since acne is an inflammatory condition, that inflammation often leads to breakouts with delayed healing and acne scarring. Even more interestingly, according to a 2018 study, topical Niacinamide may be able to reduce the number of acne spots on your skin by 40-60% so umm… please sign us up! By combining the inflammatory properties of Niacinamide with its ability to reduce sebum production, you can rock your no-makeup days with confidence and breakout-free skin!
Who is it for?
In the same way as Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide is one of those ingredients that works extremely well for all skin types. Naturally, due to its function of reducing oil production and decongesting pores, it is a popular choice for people with oilier skin however, this does not mean that sensitive skin and dry skin types cannot benefit from this powerful ingredient in their skincare regime.
In fact, it is fair to say that Niacinmaide is considered to be a rather non-irritating ingredient and it is known to work well with active ingredients such as Retinol and Vitamin C.
That being said, you can never be too careful as all skin types are different and unique, At VieDerma, we understand that everyone has individual goals and desires so book a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Skin Specialists to learn how you can integrate Niacinamide in your skincare.