“For basically every skin care benefit under the sun, try this multi-tasking ingredient.”
If you’re not yet familiar with niacinamide, it’s high time you got to know this skin care superstar. While it may not always get the heroic praise of say, retinol or vitamin C, this unsung hero deserves some serious skin care credit. Also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, it’s an A plus ingredient, not only for its multitude of various benefits (we’ll get to those in a minute), but also for its ability to play nicely in many different types of product formulations. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that it also works safely and effectively for essentially all skin types. Here’s everything you need to know about niacinamide.
What does niacinamide do for skin?
In a word, everything. First and foremost, the water-soluble vitamin is a powerful antioxidant, offering an extra line of defense from the skin-damaging free radicals caused by exposure to UV rays, pollution, even stress. But it doesn’t stop there. “Not only does it defendyour skin by acting as an antioxidant, it also supports your skin’s production of its own natural moisturizing factors,” explains Myriam Fessi, Assistant Technical Manager for Skinsei. More natural moisturizing factors mean a stronger, healthier skin barrier (the outer layer of the skin, responsible for keeping the good stuff in and the bad stuff out). And a stronger, healthier skin barrier is also going to help your skin be more resilient to all of those potentially detrimental environmental factors such as sun and pollution, Fessi adds. Oh, and when your skin’s moisture levels are more balanced, you’re less likely to end up with excessive oil production, too - yet another benefit. So, basically, it helps keep your skin in that sweet spot—neither too dry, nor too greasy, but right in the middle. Goldilocks would approve.
Next up: Its anti-inflammatory properties. Niacinamide is an excellent soothing ingredient, a top pick for people with sensitive skin that struggle with irritation, redness and blotchiness (the fact that it strengthens the skin barrier helps as well, since a stronger skin barrier allows less of those external irritants to get in and trigger irritation in the first place.) Want smoother skin with fewer fine lines ? Niacinamide can do that too by helping to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, the protein responsible for firm, strong, skin. And finally, vitamin B3 is a popular feature in skin care products, excellent for fading unwanted dark marks: unlike some other skin-lightening ingredients (hydroquinone being the big one), niacinamide is safe and well-tolerated, and can even be used during pregnancy. See spots run.
So, who is niacinamide a good option for?
In a word, everyone. Anyone and everyone can benefit from that powerful dose of antioxidant protection, regardless of your skin type or any other particular issues. (Having a skin care routine that features antioxidants is equivalent to having a good pair of jeans in your wardrobe. Everyone needs one, it works for everyone, and it’s a tried-and-true staple.) Niacinamide’s ability to up your skin’s natural moisturization makes it a great option for dry skin, while the oil-controlling abilities are tops for, you guessed it, oily skin. But it also is often used in products geared for sensitive skin; those anti-inflammatory abilities make it perfect for soothing irritated skin, or for people with conditions such as eczema or rosacea. It’s even good if you have acne, since not only will it help tamp down oil and inflammation, but its spot-fading properties are also great at helping eliminate any dark marks leftover post pimple (technical term: post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Essentially, this is one ingredient pretty much everyone can—and should—be using.
What kind of niacinamide skin care should I be using?
At the end of the day, you once again really can’t go wrong. Within the Skinsei line, almost all of the products have it, so you’re covered there. “Niacinamide is a magic ingredient. We use it in different concentrations to deliver different benefits,” says Fessei. The moisturizers all contain it, so no matter whether you’re using the Cool on Cue Hydro Gel (lightweight and cooling, it’s great for oily skin), the Opening Act Lotion (slightly thicker, it delivers instant hydration), or the YAS Cream (even thicker, it’s ideal for soothing and plumping), you’re getting a niacinamide moisturizer. Still, it’s in the serums where it’s really the star of the show. “The serums contain the highest concentration of niacinamide, and pack incredible benefits,” says Fessi. The Dew Your Thing Hydrating Serums address key triggers of lines and wrinkles, and act as a second skin to trap in moisture. The Brightening Lucid Beaming Serums calm skin and leave it glowing, while the In the Zone Clarifying Serums reduce shine and help prevent flare-ups in acne prone skin.
Head starting to spin a little? Don’t worry, we got you. Take the unique Skinsei holistic diagnostic, which takes into account not only your skin type and skin care goals, but all of the other lifestyle factors that can play a role in how your skin looks and feels. The result? A totally personalized regimen of products—including all of the goodness of niacinamide—picked specifically for you.