If you’re like most people, you probably think of niacinamide as a vitamin supplement. But what does niacinamide do for the skin? Turns out, it’s an effective treatment for several skin conditions.
Keep reading to learn more about niacinamide and how it can help improve your skin health.
What is niacinamide and what does it do for the skin?
Niacinamide (nicotinamide) is a form of vitamin B3 (niacin). It is a water-soluble vitamin and an amide of niacin. Niacinamide is found in food and is also made in the body. It is used to treat and prevent B-3 deficiency.
Niacinamide is different from nicotinic acid. Nicotinic acid is the form of niacin that causes “niacin flush,” or the sensation of warmth and redness on the skin. Niacinamide does not cause this flush.
Niacinamide has several benefits for the skin. It is an antioxidant, meaning it helps protect the skin from damage from environmental stressors such as UV light and pollution. Niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can help reduce redness and swelling. Additionally, niacinamide can help to increase collagen production, resulting in firmer, plumper skin.
Niacinamide is an effective treatment for several skin conditions.
It can be found in over-the-counter products and is often used in conjunction with other ingredients, such as retinoids, to treat acne and other skin conditions.
The benefits of using niacinamide to treat skin conditions
Niacinamide has a variety of benefits for the skin, including acne, eczema, rosacea, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sensitive skin dry skin, and poor skin health.
Niacinamide may help to treat acne by reducing inflammation and preventing the buildup of sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores and prevent the formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads).
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found that a 5% niacinamide gel was effective in reducing acne lesions.
However, it’s also been shown that from 2% up to 10% of niacinamide has been effective in reducing acne, with 4% to 5% being the optimal range.
Niacinamide cream or ointment may help to treat eczema.
A study published in Clinical Pediatric Dermatology indicates that creams containing niacinamide is effective in reducing mild-to-moderate symptoms of eczema, such as itching, dryness, thickness, and inflammation.
Niacinamide may help to treat rosacea by reducing inflammation.
A study published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology found that a 4% niacinamide gel was effective in reducing the redness and inflammation associated with rosacea.
Niacinamide may help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating collagen production and inhibiting the breakdown of collagen and stimulating its production.
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that a 5% niacinamide was effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles after 8 weeks.
Niacinamide can help improve skin tone by reducing the appearance of dark spots and discoloration. It also helps to reduce pigmentation irregularities and uneven skin tone.
It can help inhibit the overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. As a result of this effect, niacinamide improves skin tone over time.
A Study Published in the Journal of cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery found that a 2% niacinamide was effective in lightening hyperpigmented areas of the skin after 4 weeks of treatment.
Niacinamide may help to reduce the redness and inflammation associated with sensitive skin conditions.
Niacinamide may help to treat dry skin by reducing water loss and increasing the production of ceramides, which are lipids that help to keep the skin hydrated.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that a 5% niacinamide gel was effective in increasing hydration and improving the barrier function of the skin.
Niacinamide can help prevent a deficiency of B-3 (niacin) in the body, which can cause several skin problems.
Niacin is important for many bodily functions, including proper circulation, digestion, and nervous system function.
Enhancing skin health:
Niacinamide helps to keep the skin healthy by maintaining its moisture level and preventing dryness and flaking.
Niacinamide is also an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from environmental insults, such as pollution and UV rays. This helps to protect the skin from damage and keep it looking young and radiant.
Niacinamide can also help to improve the overall texture of the skin, making it softer and smoother.
If you are considering using niacinamide to treat a skin condition, it is important to speak to your doctor or board-certified dermatologist first. They will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your specific situation.
The side effects of using niacinamide and how to avoid them
Niacinamide is generally safe and well-tolerated.
However, it is worth mentioning that on rare occasions certain side effects may occur as follows;
1) The most common side effects are mild and include redness, itching, and irritation of the skin.
- If these symptoms occur, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider. It is important to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.
2) Niacinamide can also cause liver damage if taken in high doses or in conjunction with any medication that can harm the liver.
- It is important to consult with a doctor before taking this supplement.
How to use niacinamide to treat acne and other skin problems
Niacinamide can be found in a variety of over-the-counter skincare products, including serums, creams, and moisturizers.
1) Start with a low concentration for specific skin conditions
- For acne
When using niacinamide to treat acne, it is important to start with a low concentration and increase as tolerated. Niacinamide products with a concentration of 2-5% are generally well-tolerated and effective.
- For wrinkles and hyperpigmentation
To use niacinamide to treat other skin conditions, such as wrinkles or hyperpigmentation, it is important to start with a concentration of 5%.
- For rosacea and senstive skin
If you have sensitive skin or are prone to rosacea, it is best to start with a niacinamide product that has a lower concentration of 2%.
2) Apply to clean, dry skin once or twice daily:
It is important to apply niacinamide-based products to clean, dry skin. Apply the product to the entire face or affected area and massage it into the skin until absorbed. Niacinamide products can be used once or twice daily, as tolerated.
3) Follow the instruction on the label for the best result:
If you are using niacinamide to treat a specific skin condition, follow the instructions on the product label. You may need to use the product twice a day for several weeks before you see results.
Other ingredients may be added for specific skin conditions
Niacinamide is safe to pair with other active ingredients, such as retinoids, kojic acid, vitamin C, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and exfoliants.
For acne, niacinamide can be paired with retinoids, kojic acid, salicylic acid, and physical exfoliants. This combination can help to unclog pores, reduce sebum production, and improve skin texture.
For wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, niacinamide can be paired with retinoids, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid. This combination helps to brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It can also help to improve skin tone and texture.
For rosacea and sensitive skin, niacinamide can be paired with hyaluronic acid and exfoliants such as BHA. This combination helps to exfoliate the skin and reduce inflammation.
For dry skin; If you have dry skin, look for niacinamide products that also contain hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which are both ingredients that help to hydrate the skin.
Note: When using niacinamide to treat skin conditions, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider first. They will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment for your specific situation.
What to expect when you start using niacinamide on your skin
When you start using niacinamide, you may notice that your skin is a bit red and irritated. This is normal and should go away within a few days. If you notice that your skin is getting worse, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.
You may also notice that your skin looks brighter and more radiant. This is because niacinamide helps to improve skin tone and texture.
With regular use, you should notice a reduction in the appearance of acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
When to start seeing results from niacinamide
You should start seeing results from niacinamide within a few weeks of regular use. However, it can take up to 8-12 weeks to see the full effects. If you do not see any improvement after 12 weeks, consult your healthcare provider.
For best results, use a product with a concentration of 2-5% depending on your skin condition.
What is the optimal and safe concentration of niacinamide?
The optimal and safe concentration of niacinamide is still being studied, but it is generally agreed that concentrations up to 5% are safe and effective. Some studies have found that concentrations up to 10% may be safe and effective, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Conclusion: Final thoughts
Niacinamide is a potent and safe ingredient that can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
It is important to start with a concentration of 5% and follow the instructions on the product label for the best results.
Niacinamide can be combined with other active ingredients, such as retinoids, kojic acid, vitamin C, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and exfoliants.
With regular use, you should start seeing results within a few weeks. However, it can take up to 8-12 weeks to see the full effects.
If you do not see any improvement after 12 weeks, consult your healthcare provider.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions or would like to share your experience with niacinamide.