Once a hidden gem in the skincare and beauty industry, Niacinamide has become a staple in beauty routines. This super ingredient is a natural multitasker widely available in moisturizers and cleansers!
“Niacinamide is one of those ingredients found in many skin care products to brighten skin, prevent signs of aging, and treat conditions like eczema or acne. Niacinamide may be the ‘it’ product of the moment, but it’s been around for years and has staying power given its positive impacts on many skin conditions,” shares dermatologist Alok Vij, Director of the Dermatology Residency Program at Cleveland Clinic.
But do you know what makes Niacinamide the multitasker it is? Or how can you include it in your routine? If not, don’t worry! Here, we cover everything you need to know, from what this ingredient is to how to include it in your skincare routine.
What Is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide, or nicotinamide, is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3. And by that, we mean that it cannot be stored in your body. Thus making it important for you to replenish it. You get Niacinamides orally through the food you eat or tropically through your skincare products.
So, what makes it a skincare favorite? It’s suitability. Niacinamide is pretty much suited for all skin types, and you don’t need to be a skincare expert to reap its benefits. And the icing on the cake? It does not cause skin flushing! But that’s not all. This super ingredient has a lot more in store for you. Let’s explore!
What are the Benefits of Niacinamide For Skin?
Niacinamide has so many benefits for your skin that the list can go on and on. Here are some of the most important benefits that make it popular among dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts:
1. Improving Skin Barrier Function
The skin barrier is the outermost layer of your skin. Think of it as a ‘brick wall’ that protects the underlying layers of your skin. Without it, many environmental stressors, pollutants, and dirt could penetrate deeper into your skin. Additionally, your body’s water content would quickly evaporate, leaving you feeling dehydrated.
Ceramides are fats. They are essential in maintaining your skin barrier by retaining moisture and keeping irritants out. Niacinamide strengthens your skin’s barrier by stimulating the production of ceramides. As a result, it makes your skin more hydrated and less sensitive.
2. Reducing Inflammation and Redness
Niacinamide is also anti-inflammatory. It calms down skin inflammation. As a result, it also reduces redness arising from acne, rosacea, and eczema.
3. Minimizing Pore Size
Your skin can get oilier when it’s not getting enough hydration. As a result, your blemishes can get worse, and your pores can appear more prominent. Since Niacinamide helps to retain moisture by strengthening your skin’s outer barrier, its long-term use may minimize the appearance of your pores by reducing their size.
4. Controlling Oil Production
Niacinamide is not just a magical ingredient for dry skin, but it’s equally beneficial for oily skin, too. Research suggests that tropical 2% Niacinamide can reduce the sebum (oil) secretion rate.
Thus, it effectively regulates the oil glands, preventing your glands from secreting excessive oil without drying your skin. This reduction in oil secretion further reduces the chances of clogged pores and acne.
5. Lightening Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation
Studies show that Niacinamide moisturizer effectively reduces hyperpigmentation and lightens dark spots. It does not directly influence melanin synthesis. Instead, it takes an indirect approach. Niacinamide reduces the transfer of melanosomes (which contain melanin) to keratinocytes (primary cells in the skin’s outermost layer).
6. Enhancing Skin Hydration
Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) is the process by which your skin loses water due to evaporation. As a result, it leaves your skin dry. Niacinamide, with its action on your skin’s barrier, helps reduce TEWL and effectively prevents excessive water loss.
This contributes to maintaining skin hydration and preventing dryness, especially in challenging environmental conditions.
7. Boosting Collagen Production
Collagen is synthesized by fibroblasts, specialized cells in the skin's connective tissue. Studies show that Niacinamide may help cells make more collagen. This stimulation is very important for keeping the skin's structure healthy, which helps it look smoother and younger.
The role of Niacinamide is not just limited to collagen production. It also extends to the preservation of collagen. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, Niacinamide helps to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. This protective action contributes to collagen preservation and supports overall skin health.
Suitable Skin Types for Niacinamide
Niacinamide extends its benefits to a wide range of skin types. This versatile ingredient caters to diverse skincare needs, from dry to oily and everything in between. Explicitly talking about dry skin, Niacinamide helps retain moisture and hydrate your skin. Similarly, it regulates oil production for oily skin.
How to Incorporate Niacinamide into Your Skincare Routine
1. Choosing the Right Products
Your skincare routine is as effective as the match between your skin type and products. A mismatch between the two can quickly aggravate your presenting skin issues or bring up new problems altogether.
It’s advisable to consider the following aspects before you choose Niacinamide-infused products, like toners, light moisturizers, and serums:
- Formulation and ingredient mix
- Concentration of ingredients
- Consistency of the product (whether it's lightweight or thick)
Other aspects such as pore-clogging and skin-irritating tendencies.
Our Light Moisturizer infused with Niacinamide is like a cool relief for thirsty skin. The benefits of Niacinamide in the formula are well complemented by the anti-aging properties of Sea Holly Plant Stem Cells, making it a refreshing and hydrating experience for your delicate skin.
Not only does this light moisturizer increase your skin’s water content, but it also tightens your pores and firms your skin. And the best part? It protects your skin against environmental stressors, too!
Besides a Niacinamide moisturizer, you can include a Niacinamide cream or a serum to enjoy all its benefits for supple, soft skin!
2. Patch Testing
Before fully committing to a Niacinamide cream, moisturizer, serum, or any other product, it's essential to conduct patch testing. A patch test ensures the product is suitable for your skin and does not irritate or have adverse effects. Think of it as a preventive measure to avoid any blow-ups.
For this, you could first try a small amount of the product in the following spots:
- Behind your ear
- Inner arm
- Side of your neck
Once you apply the product, look for any signs of irritation, burning, reddening, itching, or swelling. In some cases, the reaction may only appear after some time. Thus, it is advisable to observe for 48 hours.
3. Gradual introduction
Finally, don’t jump right into including the product in your skincare routine. Introduce it gradually. For instance, you may first want to include a Niacinamide-infused toner and see how it works. Once your skin feels comfortable, you may introduce a Niacinamide light moisturizer or a serum.
For your ease, here’s a sample skincare routine with ILEM JAPAN products:
- Start with a Gentle cleanser
- Follow up with a Balancing Toner
- Go in with a Brightening Serum
- Finally, lock all the goodness with a Light Moisturizer
Niacinamide: The Miracle Ingredient For Skincare
Niacinamide is an absolute all-rounder. From hydrating to oil control and strengthening your skin barrier, it ticks all the boxes at first go. But what makes it so special is its compatibility and versatility.
It is highly compatible with other essential skincare ingredients like Salicylic acid and Retinol. Moreover, it is a versatile ingredient found in almost all types of skincare products, be it a cleanser, serum, booster, or moisturizer!
Trust us; this beautiful gem is here to change how your skin looks and feels. So why not give it a chance?