Niacinamide – AKA Vitamin B3
There are a handful of skin care ingredients that you want in your arsenal – hydroxy acids, retinols, Vitamin C… you’ve probably hear about them from your esthetician or from your fave beauty gurus online. Add niacinamide to that list.
Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin works with your skin and with other ingredients to make some pretty impressive changes in the skin.
A few noteworthy effects of niacinamide include:
- skin barrier repair
- minimization of enlarged pores
- softening of fine lines and wrinkles
- prevention of moisture loss and dehydration
- improvement of uneven skin tone
Skin Barrier Repair
Your skin barrier is your skin’s first line of defense. Comprised of your acid mantle and outermost layer of the epidermis, much of your body’s protection comes from the skin barrier. Your skin’s health and appearance is also directly impacted by the health of the skin barrier.
A healthy skin barrier can help defend against environmental factors like pollution, sun exposure, bacteria and viruses. A healthy skin barrier also helps skin retain moisture and hydration.
Maintaining a healthy skin barrier is critical for healthy skin, inside and out. With a healthy barrier, your skin will stay more hydrated and plump, and will be better protected from factors like pollution and sun exposure that can cause skin to look older, dull, uneven or feel tight or dry.
Let’s dispel a myth super fast – pores do not open or close, and they can’t really shrink. Wait, don’t click away! Pores can appear enlarged due to buildup of oils, skin cells, and other cellular debris.
Niacinamide really shines in helping to minimize pores that have been stretched out due to buildup within the pore. In normalizing the pore by minimizing how much debris can build up, niacinamide does visibly minimize the appearance of large pores. This property also tightens up pores that have gradually stretched over time – I find this is common where I end up getting blackheads over and over again; eventually the pores just relax. Niacinamide counteracts this.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Because of the barrier-repairing and -restoring properties of niacinamide, fine lines and wrinkles tend to become softened. With a strong, robust barrier, the skin repairs itself better. The antioxidant properties of niacinamide also prevent additional aging damage from free radicals.
Moisture Loss and Dehydration
One of my favorite effects of niacinamide is how it prevents moisture loss and dehydration. Niacinamide encourages the skin to create its own ceramides which both moisturize and protect the skin. With a healthy barrier function, moisture loss is lessened, and the skin retains its plump, healthy moisture and hydration levels.
Uneven Skin Tone
Since niacinamide is an antioxidant vitamin, it repairs past damage to skin cells. For those of us with uneven skin tone (thanks, acne scars and sun damage) this means repairing hyperpigmentation.
Niacinamide not only repairs past damage, but it also prevents future damage from occurring. This prevention allows your skin to focus its healing energy towards repairing and restoring existing damage, without having to focus as much on defending against new damage
Products with niacinamide
So you’re convinced that you need this heavy-hitting bad boy in your arsenal. Excellent! Let’s real quick save you some money so you don’t waste your hard earned cash on gimmick-y products.
Leave-on products with niacinamide are going to be the best for your skin. This means serums primarily, but can also mean toners or moisturizers. You can even give your skin a boost with a mask that includes niacinamide.