You’d be forgiven for feeling confused when it comes to choosing your skincare. After all, everyone has a point of view, and every brand wants you to believe they have the secret to skincare utopia.
Many brands will offer a plethora of miracle ingredients for you to wade through, but you probably won’t do that. Why would you? Mostly, you’ll take the word of the consultant giving you advice. Right?
But in truth, we can narrow down the ingredients supporting your skin, not to hundreds of ingredients but a handful that will provide a significant improvement to your skin.
One such ingredient is Niacinamide.
Niacinamide also referred to as vitamin B3 is an essential nutrient that keeps your body functioning. Your digestive system, nervous system and brain function are all dependent on Niacin (Vitamin B3).
Mostly you’ll get your daily supply from red meat, chicken, turkey and fish like salmon and tuna as well as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and asparagus and like it or not, many packaged foods are fortified with Niacin, so most of us are not likely to be deficient.
But how does Niacinamide help your skin?
As essential as it is for your body, it may be time to view topical Niacinamide as a permanent ‘must-have’ in your beauty routine, and I’ve got eight excellent reasons why you should.
8 reasons why niacinamide for the skin is a smart choice when putting together a skincare routine.
#1 Boosting the immunity of your skin.
There are cells in your skin, known as Langerhans cells. They are responsible for the protection and repair mechanisms of your skin. They are shy little guys, and when you expose your skin to the sun, especially when you burn your skin, they temporarily retreat leaving the skin without its natural immunity against invading microbes or the safeguards against the activity of precancerous lesions.
#2 Niacinamide improves epidermal barrier performance.
Everything about your skin is better when the epidermal lipid barrier is functioning at its peak. Your lipid barrier helps retain moisture, keeps it hydrated for longer and will protect your skin from the harshness of the environment. Niacinamide for the skin increases the production of ceramides (an essential component of your lipid barrier), keeping the skin strong and preventing Trans Epidermal Water Loss (dehydration).
#3 Improves redness and blotchiness in the skin.
With an improved epidermal lipid barrier, the skin’s natural ability to protect itself from external aggressors becomes vastly improved. Over time and with a daily application of a Niacinamide formulation, improvements in skin structure will increase. Redness, blotchiness and sensitivity brought about by exposure to the environment due to a poorly functioning barrier will diminish.
#4 Regulates facial oil flow.
When your skin retains its natural moisture with a well-functioning lipid barrier, the skin’s natural oil flow becomes controlled. If you have oily skin, rather than trying to wash it scrupulously away and exacerbate the problem, consider topically applied Niacinamide for the skin as an essential factor in getting any excessive oil flow under control.
#5 Niacinamide protects your skin from infrared light.
Niacinamide protects the skin from the heat of the sun. Along with the damaging effects of UV exposure, the sun’s heat activates free radicals stimulating an overproduction of pigmented cells. If your pigmentation is hormonal, then heat is a big problem. Niacinamide protects the skin from the heat response.
#6 Helps to prevent Hyper-pigmentation.
The transfer of pigment (melanosomes) from your melanocytes to the surrounding skin of your epidermis is known as a tan. However, over time, this activity becomes dysfunctional, and many of us end up with uneven, blotchy pigmentation rather than the golden tan of our youth. If your skin has become susceptible to hyperpigmentation, then Niacinamide will reduce uneven pigmentation by slowing down the transfer of melanin to your skin’s epidermis. Including this smart ingredient into any hyper-pigmentation treatment plan is a must-do!
#7 Minimises lines and wrinkles.
Niacinamide boosts collagen production. Along with improving the skin’s lipid barrier comes an increase in cell differentiation which contributes to better synthesis and formation of collagen and elastin. Music to my ears!!
#8 Improves dull and sallow skin lacking luminosity.
While many antioxidants prevent damage caused byoxidative stress and AGE’s. As time goes by and with the constant exposure to free radicals and glycation, the skin can appear dull and sallow with a sad loss of radiance. You don’t want that! Niacinamide goes one step further and reverses the visible signs. Niacinamide reduces the negative impact of oxidative stress and improves the skin’s ability to fight back. You want that!
So next time you go looking for the holy grail of skincare or when a well meaning beauty consultant extolls the virtues of their best-selling and most fabulous serum for smoothing away lines and wrinkles. Just ask them. Does it contain Niacinamide?
Five brands with a healthy dose of Niacinamide.
An Australian brand with a solid range of skincare to suit most skin types. There B Super Complex is an absolute favourite in their brand repertoire. A fast-acting, a multi-functional serum that increases skin hydration, calms and visibly reduces redness. A high concentration of Niacinamide targets pigmentation, while Red Clover helps reduce the appearance of pores and Licorice brightens skin.
ASAP skin products, consider themselves Australia’s #1 cosmeceutical skincare range, which is true, as they were one of the first Australian skincare brands to venture into skincare with active ingredients. ASAP pride themselves providing the high quality yet simple and effective skincare at an affordable price. They’ve been going for 2 decades now, so they’re doing something right. Retail: $105
This powerhouse serum delivers a serious dose of B vitamins alongside complementary ingredients such as Copper Tripeptides and Hyaluronic Acid to help bring a more radiant appearance to even the most devitalised skins.
Considered a global leader in corrective and preventative skincare, Alpha-H creates revolutionary cosmeceutical formulations, which help bridge the gap between the beauty counter and invasive treatments. Retail: $70
An essential serum for all skin types. Containing 13% of the active ingredient, Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), this formula is designed to rejuvenate the skin, enhancing skin clarity and luminosity.
Designed to strengthen skin against a broad range of skin conditions such as dryness, pigmentation and excess sebum. Vitamin B is thought of as the great multi-tasking cosmeceutical. Retail: $115
Environ, created by Dr Des Fernandes, a pioneer in cosmeceutical skincare, created his range of highly effective skincare nearly 30 years ago. In all my years in the industry, I have to admit it’s my favourite brand and is featured on my website. If you’d like to know more about this brand, you can get in touch or book a consult with me here.
The Mela-Prep Lotion provides a good dose of Niacinamide and other botanical ingredients and can be used as a preventative product to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun, but is primarily recommended for skin suffering from sun damage, hyper-pigmentation and premature ageing. Retail: $90
My very first foray into Niacinamide was from Rationale. A cult amongst many, another Australian success story, was created by the cosmetic chemist, Mr Richard Parker.
Rationale’s Serum #1 was created to offer skin protection and support the immunity of the skin. Providing skin with clarity and calmness by boosting skin immune responses as well as targeting problems with pigmentation. Retail: $174
Niacinamide is not just for lightening and brightening the skin.
Many brands recommend the inclusion of Niacinamide for the prevention and treatment of hyperpigmentation, which it does, but it’s so much more than that. It’s essential for anti-ageing and skin health. Everyone, no matter how old or what skin condition troubles them will benefit from the long-term use of this scientifically proven ingredient.
How much Niacinamide is enough?
The best formulations will contain at least 10% Niacinamide. Some brands will be forthcoming with this information while others prefer to keep it under wraps. A good indication of how much is in your serum is how far up the list of ingredients Niacinamide appears on the label. It should be close to the top of the list.
When is the best time to apply your Niacinamide Serum to your skin?
Because of the protective nature of Niacinamide, I favour use once a day underneath my moisturiser and sunscreen. However, if your evening serum or cream contains Niacinamide well then, all the better.
And now you?
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See you next time,