Beauty products

What does niacinamide do in skin care products

Welcome to Beauty Basics, a column dedicated to ending the ubiquitous beauty myths (such as whether or not the pores open and close and if oils even moisturize!) once for all. In this edition, we break down all the talk around one of the hottest skincare ingredients of the year, niacinamide.


When a cream or serum promises that it is packed with skin loving vitamins and minerals, one of them is probably vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide or nicotinamide. While the active ingredient has been around for years, it’s gaining popularity in part due to, well, you—The internet skincare obsessive. Unlike its active ingredient counterparts, retinol and vitamin C, the benefits of niacinamide cannot be easily summed up as a collagen booster or skin lightener – there is confusion around the benefits for the skin. niacinamide. because he has so many. So we asked three expert dermatologists to tell us everything you need to know about it, including how to add B3 to your routine and their favorite creams and serums that contain the helpful vitamin.

What is niacinamide?

“Niacinamide is a water soluble vitamin that is incorporated into many topical skin care formulations,” says Dr. Hope Mitchell, a board certified dermatologist in Ohio. “It works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimize large pores, regulate sebum production, tighten sagging pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, decrease dullness and strengthen a surface. weakened.

What does it do for the skin?

Depends on how you apply it. “When applied topically, niacinamide helps replenish hydration in your skin barrier by decreasing transepidermal water loss,” says Dr. Shereene Idriss, a certified dermatologist in New York City. “Additionally, it also helps slowly stimulate collagen production, which helps even out the appearance of fine lines, pores, and wrinkles.” Dr. Idriss adds, “Its ability to control sebum production along with its inherent anti-inflammatory properties help minimize the severity of acne breakouts. Finally, it helps minimize any hyperpigmentation by blocking the transfer of pigment to your skin’s surface.

When taken orally, it can treat B3 deficiency. “It is sometimes used for acne and may help prevent skin cancer or pre-cancer in people with a history of these conditions,” says Dr. Victoria Barbosa, Certified General Medical Dermatologist and Program Director. hair loss at the University of Chicago. But as long as you eat a balanced diet, you don’t need to take a niacinamide supplement. “Vitamin B3 is commonly found as niacinamide in animal products, such as meat and poultry, and as nicotinic acid in plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, and vegetables. greens, ”notes Dr. Mitchell. “Many refined grain products, including grains, are also fortified with niacinamide. Your body can also make vitamin B3 from tryptophan, an amino acid found in most protein foods.”

Dr. Idriss warns that more is not better with skin care products containing niacinamide. “Limit the concentration of niacinamide to around 4-5%, because anything higher can be counterproductively irritating,” she says. Barbosa notes that this may also be true for supplements: “People should be on the lookout for side effects, including gastrointestinal upset or rashes.”

How to add vitamin B3 to your routine?

    According to Dr. Barbosa, niacinamide is “a wonderful anti-aging ingredient” because it works well with oily and dry skin as well as with other active ingredients. “Niacinamide is only compatible with all products in your skin care routine, including those that contain retinol, peptides, hyaluronic acid, AHAs, BHA, vitamin C and all types. antioxidants, ”adds Dr. Mitchell. “If you have dry skin, topical application of niacinamide has been shown to increase the hydration capacity of moisturizers so that the skin surface can better resist moisture loss which leads to dry, tight skin. and recurrent scaly. Niacinamide works wonderfully with common moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, unscented vegetable oils, cholesterol, sodium PCA, and sodium hyaluronate. “

    The vitamin is also well tolerated by sensitive skin prone to rosacea thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. But like any new product, do a patch test on your arm before smearing it all over your face (just to be sure). To incorporate the ingredient into your skin care routine, shop below for some of the favorite products containing niacinamide from Dr Idriss, Dr Mitchell, and Dr Barbosa.

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