So many products include “miracle” ingredients that are supposed to somehow unlock the secret skin lying beneath whatever skin you have now. Honestly, those messages get exhausting because ultimately you’re let down, a little more broke and your skin is no better off. Then you stumble upon an ingredient that just blows you away. You can eat, slather, bathe in it -- all the things. No matter how you use it the benefits just seem to go on and on, and that’s how we felt about niacinamide. It does a little something for everyone, but we’re still left wondering: How does it work for me?
Live Your Best Life
Niacinamide is the answer to life, and maybe also the universe. To really understand this question you need to go deep into biochemistry and cell structure. To answer in a way for all of us that aren’t chemists, Niacinamide assists in a process that’s essential to life. It helps convert energy containing nutrients into a form that your body’s cells can actually use, which makes it essential to life. It also re-energizes your skin cells, clears your psoriasis and handles hyperpigmentation.
What is it?
Niacinamide, also known as Nicotinamide, but more commonly known as Vitamin B3, is really important. And that’s nothing new. It has the photoprotective properties of sunscreen. In part, nicotinamide helps to restore energy to skin cells that may be irradiated(in this case, kind of like being tired out) by the sun.
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The Health Food Store Ingredient with Real Results
Niacinamide is found naturally in a lot of the foods we eat everyday: fish, meat, nuts, mushrooms, and to a lesser extent vegetables. Chances are you’re getting enough of it on your own, but it’s also found in a much higher doses in daily multivitamins or stand alone vitamin B3 pills (can be found at your local bougie bodega or CVS). Many pre-workout and energy supplements will be loaded with niacin (a few thousand MGs vs 20-30mg you would find in a multivitamin). When you take it at such concentrated levels there’s risk of experiencing a “niacin flush” where your skin will temporarily feel itchy or tingly-- so watch out.
While there are many benefits to including niacinamide in your diet like improving your cholesterol levels or supporting proper brain function, it can also help with serious skin concerns. For instance psoriasis patients have seen clearing effects of their symptoms when adding niacinamide to their routines. Some studies have even shown that used in combination with other topical agents, niacinamide can also improve hyperpigmentation.
Niacinamide has been shown to have many anti-aging benefits. It reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, fills in fine lines, evens out skin tone, and improves dullness. A 2008 study in the Journal of Dermatology showed that in just 8 weeks of using a 4% niacinamide cream you can achieve a real reduction in eye wrinkles.
When used on the skin, niacinamide, has many anti-inflammatory properties. That makes it great to use if you have acne or rosacea. It bonds with your skin and helps hydrate while locking out harmful bacteria, and locking in the good stuff.
You Can Have It All (-ish)
With all these benefits, why wouldn’t you want to add niacinamide to your skin routine? We suggest finding a product that has 10% niacinamide in it to have the best effect. Saving the best benefit for last, niacinamide doesn’t have an adverse interaction with many common skin care ingredients, so you’ll likely be able to add it right into your routine. If you really like what you already use though, you can buy niacinamide on it’s own and mix it right into your favorite products.