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The Game-changing Skincare Ingredient: Niacinamide

Find out why you need to add Niacinamide products into your skincare routine.

Author: Lim Li Yen

Reading time: 5 minutes

If you are a skincare enthusiast, you must have heard about the ever beneficial ingredient niacinamide. This ingredient is one of the most well known ingredients in the skincare industry, and almost all skin brightening products contain niacinamide. It is an all rounder ingredient because it has multiple benefits. Not only does it have antioxidant properties, it is a great depigmenting agent and improves overall epidermal barrier function.

Niacinamide is a well researched ingredient that has been utilised by various skincare companies. Today, we will provide you an in depth review with all you need to know about this powerhouse ingredient and niacinamide benefits.

Niacinamide

What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is also called nicotinamide. Regardless of its name, it is essentially the same thing. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3 and is an essential nutrient. This increasingly popular skincare product is a powerful antioxidant that is important for cell repair and to reduce oxidative stress. The reason why Niacinamide has garnered mainstream popularity in skincare product formulations is because it is a multi-purpose ingredient. It packs a punch and niacinamide skin benefits cover a range of skin concerns such as its anti-inflammatory, depigmenting, antioxidant, and general skin health boosting properties.

What Are Niacinamide Benefits for Skin?

Niacinamide benefits include acting as an antioxidant, improving overall epidermal barrier function, decreasing skin hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improving skin elasticity.

How Does Niacinamide Work?

Niacinamide is a precursor for NADP, a co-enzyme that plays a role in cellular electron transfer reactions. When a free radicle is produced, NADP is able to reduce this species so it is unable to catalyse further free radicle substitution, successfully reducing oxidative stress. Hence, niacinamide gets its antioxidant properties by increasing the amounts of reduced NADP (NADPH).

Niacinamide benefits for skin also include how it supports epidermal barrier function. A niacinamide serum may improve the skin barrier function by upregulating the synthesis of ceramides that will retain skin moisture and prevent transepidermal water loss. Niacinamide also stimulates keratinocyte differentiation, which will result in a thicker skin barrier making the skin less prone to trauma.

Is Niacinamide Good for Acne?

The major culprit that causes skin issues such as hyperpigmentation and trouble spots is UV light exposure. This leads to premature photoaging. UV rays exacerbate underlying skin issues, causing them to flare up and manifest physically through skin issues such as acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation etc.

The reason why UV rays are so generating is because it catalyses the free radicle substitution chain reaction. All this means is that UV rays generate reactive oxidative species, otherwise known as ROS that will cause free radicle damage to the skin. This process is termed oxidative stress. The longer your skin is subjected to oxidative stress, the more irreversible the effects are.

This is why including ingredients such as niacinamide in your skincare routine is crucial. This is because it offsets the negative effects of free radicle damage because of its antioxidative properties. Since niacinamide is also a good depigmenting agent, it inhibits melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes to prevent hyperpigmentation. Hence, it is no doubt that niacinamide skin benefits are sure to upgrade your skincare game.

Niacinamide

Which Skincare Products Contain Niacinamide?

There are an array of niacinamide products out there on the market and you can often find it in accompaniment of, but not limited to zinc, ceramides and vitamin C.

We recommend getting niacinamide in a form of serum for noticeable niacinamide benefits. A niacinamide serum would be most potent as compared to a moisturiser or face wash.

The award-winning brand Noble Panacea offers niacinamide as a key ingredient in their Brilliant Prime Radiance Serum. The serum is designed to strengthen the skin by protecting it against free radicals, pollution and environmental aggressors. If you would prefer a less potent niacinamide product, we would recommend a gentle, lightweight moisturiser that contains niacinamide.

It is worth noting that a higher concentration of niacinamide does not equate to higher performance. Anything between 2 to 10% is an effective product. We would recommend you start from low concentrations and work up to higher concentrations to prevent any irritation from starting with such a high concentration niacinamide. This is to prevent getting the niacinamide nasties, which we will discuss below.

Can Niacinamide Heal Acne Scars?

To boost niacinamide benefits, it can often be seen formulated with other ingredients. For example, if you are looking for a serum to improve overall skin radiance and acne, you can find a serum containing niacinamide and vitamin C. Niacinamide acts as a depigmenting agent, preventing melanin transfer to other keratinocytes. Hence, it is definitely a good ingredient to incorporate to heal hyperpigmentation left by acne.

Niacinamide Nasties: Why Niacinamide May Not Be Woking For You

Sometimes niacinamide may cause purging to some people. Purging is a process where the skin becomes irritated and breaks out with pimples in response to a new product. Niacinamide is an amide of nicotinic acid, and the latter is often present as a residual impurity during the purification of niacinamide. High concentrations of nicotinic acid are associated with various possible skin effects such as redness, irritations and acne exacerbation instead of any niacinamide benefits.

Hence, it is important to a get a high purity grade niacinamide which will have negligible quantities of nicotinic acid to help you achieve the desired niacinamide benefits. If you are experiencing the niacinamide nasties, you may also want to consider switching to a product with reduced concentrations. Sometimes, more does not equal better, especially when it comes to skincare formulations. A product with too high of a concentration of niacinamide may just have the opposite effect than what you are intending for. In order to reap niacinamide skin benefits, you should first start with low concentrations and be aware of overlapping multiple products with niacinamide.

Niacinamide As a Skincare Ingredient

Overall, niacinamide benefits for skin can be reaped by using the correct product and at a concentration your skin can tolerate. It is an ingredient that delivers an array of benefits that you should definitely try implementing into your skincare routine.

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