By Womaness Editors 3-Minute Read
Niacinamide—AKA vitamin B3—is one of the most underrated ingredients in skincare. In fact, it’s so effective and multidimensional that it could probably replace many of the bottles in your skincare collection right now.
One of the reasons niacinamide is so effective is because it can easily penetrate your skin and get the job done even with low concentrations. And unlike other effective, well-studied ingredients like retinoids, niacinamide is gentle even on the most sensitive skin.
So what all can it do for you and your skin? Here are seven ways niacinamide can help keep your skin looking its best.
"To prevent dehydration and keep your skin feeling hydrated and soft, niacinamide is your skin’s best friend."
1. It strengthens your skin’s natural barrier
Multiple studies show that applying niacinamide increases your skin’s ceramides. Why is that important? Ceramides are like your body’s natural moisturizer, making up 50% of your skin’s moisture barrier. So to prevent dehydration and keep your skin feeling hydrated and soft, niacinamide is your skin’s best friend.
2. It brightens dark spots and hyperpigmentation
Like vitamin C and other antioxidants, niacinamide can help protect your skin from environmental damage and lighten dark marks. But anyone who nerds out on skincare knows that vitamin C, while very effective, can be testy, overpriced, or less shelf stable. Niacinimide is a smart alternative.
While niacinamide isn’t technically an antioxidant, it has antioxidant properties because it helps your body kickstart its own antioxidant production upon application. Which means you get skin brightening, environmental protection, and protection against signs of aging. And it's much more stable than the antioxidants the market, even able to survive storage for over 6 weeks at over 100 degrees (not that we recommend that). Pretty cool.
"Niacinamide can help protect your skin from environmental damage and lighten dark marks."
3. It boosts collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is responsible for holding our joints and skin together. Still, your body's natural production starts declining after your thirties. The result is less plump skin and fine lines. Niacinamide has been shown to visibly improve skin's firmness and elasticity by stimulating collagen and ceramide synthesis, giving it wrinkle-smoothing properties.
4. It improves skin’s texture
If you're sensitive to acids like AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) or you're often in the sun, you might want to try niacinamide to help smooth out your skin. Glycolic acid and others work to soften rough skin by exfoliating—breaking up dead skin cells so your body can get rid of them quickly.
And while acids are effective for soft, smooth skin, they can sometimes irritate. Niacinamide is only about half as effective as glycolic acid, but trials have shown up to a 15% reduction in roughness using niacinamide at a concentration of 3.5%.
"Niacinamide has been shown to visibly improve skin's firmness and elasticity."
5. It can tame acne
Is niacinamide just as effective as an antibiotic for acne? Studies say yes. The topical antibiotic Clindamycin is often prescribed for acne, but niacinamide gets the job done just as well for many people—specifically if you have oily skin. There's also no concern about antibiotic resistance, of course, since niacinamide isn't an antibiotic.
6. It reduces inflammation
Remember how we said niacinamide was gentle on sensitive skin? Well, it goes even further than that. Niacinamide has soothing and calming anti-inflammatory effects, so while it's doing all these other amazing things for you, it's settling down your skin, too. Some of the benefits researchers have noticed include improved wound healing and a decrease in redness. We'll take it!
7. It plays well with others
You don't have to worry about mixing and matching niacinamide with other skincare products. In general, you can combine it with the other ingredients in your skincare routine. But, as always, you'll want to check the labels of those other products before making any major decisions.
"You don't have to worry about mixing and matching niacinamide with other skincare products."
Ready to slather up head to toe?
Feeling like you might be a niacinamide superfan now? We know we were when we first learned about it.
That's why we took our passion further than most other wellness companies by including niacinamide—generally reserved for facial serums—into our revolutionary body cream, The Works. Because why should your face have all the fun?
But of course, with Womaness, your face can have fun, too. Brighten up dark spots anywhere they appear, courtesy of Out D@mn Spot.
More on Menopausal Skin
Why Your Menopausal Skin Will Love Vitamin C
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Ingredient Spotlight: Retinol vs. Bakuchiol