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Niacinamide 101: What To Know About This Popular Skincare ingredient

When it comes to choosing effective skincare ingredients, most of us immediately think of exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs, antioxidants such as vitamin C, or Hyaluronic acid. But there’s another ingredient making the rounds, and it stands apart from the competition thanks to its versatile use and gentle nature: Niacinamide (Vitamin B3).

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is an ingredient that stands up to just about every type of skin concern. A water-soluble vitamin, niacinamide increases the production of keratin and ceramides, two essential components of youthful, firm, and glowing skin. In doing so, niacinamide also helps protect and maintain a healthy skin barrier, our skin’s natural defense system against the outside world that's essential to maintaining proper skin health.

A healthy skin barrier is essential, as this is what helps our skin retain moisture and regulate oil production, preventing our sebaceous glands from going into overdrive and wreaking all sorts of havoc. While you may think this only applies if you have overly dry or extremely oily skin, niacinamide's ability to maintain a healthy skin barrier is beneficial for all skin types. From those with sensitive skin who suffer from eczema to mature skin types fighting fine lines and wrinkles, nearly everyone will find improvement from incorporating niacinamide into their skincare routine.

Anti-oxidant

First up in niacinamide’s long lineup of benefits is its antioxidant benefits. Niacinamide works as an antioxidant to help protect against damage from environmental stressors such as UV exposure, pollution, and other toxins while simultaneously rebuilding the healthy skin cells that these stressors destroy. It also protects against oxidative stress that breaks down collagen fibers, leading to chronic inflammation responsible for acne, eczema, and rosacea.

Hyperpigmentation

Niacinamide also is known for their powerful ability to fight hyperpigmentation. With consistent use, niacinamide can alleviate existing skin discoloration resulting from dark spots, sun spots, and an overall uneven skin tone. But that’s not all—niacinamide helps protect the skin from future hyperpigmentation, too, by warding off the environmental stressors contributing to it in the first place.

Acne/Breakouts

For those who are prone to acne, niacinamide can fight and alleviate breakouts as it has soothing anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the redness and blotchiness resulting from the inflammation caused by acne. Niacinamide can fight inflammation from rosacea and eczema, too. As a vitamin, it is it safe for sensitive skin types, unlike most other ingredients that only serve to exacerbate these skin concerns.

Synergistic enhancer

Last but not least, niacinamide plays well with others and can even boost the effects of other ingredients. One example is products containing niacinamide and a retinoid such as retinol or tretinoin that offer anti-aging benefits when formulated alongside each other. Studies have even shown that combining a retinoid with niacinamide offers significant improvement in signs of aging thanks to niacinamide’s ability to hydrate and protect the skin, helping to offset the dryness and irritation that is common from using retinoids by themselves.

In Conclusion

Niacinamide can help alleviate several skin concerns including acne, signs of aging, rosacea, eczema, and hyperpigmentation. It can even be formulated with other ingredients to make the product itself more effective. And lastly—niacinamide is safe for all skin types. The next time you’re in the market for a new skincare product, look for one containing niacinamide. After all, it offers too many benefits not to be used. 

We at Hale have included Niacinamide into several of our products, including SB-7: Skin Brightener and our new Multi-Vitamin Eye Cream!


References

Fu, J J J et al. “A randomized, controlled comparative study of the wrinkle reduction benefits of a cosmetic niacinamide/peptide/retinyl propionate product regimen vs. a prescription 0.02% tretinoin product regimen.” The British journal of dermatology vol. 162,3 (2010): 647-54. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09436.x

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