So many ingredients so little time.
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. But, in truth, we can narrow it down to, not hundreds of ingredients but a handful that truly work. One such ingredient is Niacinamide.
Niacinamide also referred to as vitamin B3 is an essential nutrient that keeps your body functioning as it should. 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 regimen, and I’ve got eight excellent reasons to share with you.
8 Reasons why your skin needs Niacinamide.
#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 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 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 Regulated oil flow.
When your skin retains its natural moisture with a well-functioning lipid barrier, the natural oil flow of the skin becomes controlled. So, if you have oily skin, rather than trying to wash it scrupulously away and exacerbate the problem, consider topically applied Niacinamide as an essential factor in getting any excessive oil flow under control.
#5 Protects skin from infrared light.
Niacinamide protects the skin from the heat of the sun. Along with the damaging effects of UV exposure, the heat of the sun activates free radicals and stimulates an overproduction of pigmented cells, and if your pigmentation is hormonal, then heat is a big problem. Niacinamide protects the skin from heat.
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 assist in the reduction of 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 Minimise lines and wrinkles.
Niacinamide boosts collagen production. Along with the improvement of 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 Dull and sallow skin lacking luminosity.
While many antioxidants prevent damage caused by oxidative 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!
Next time you venture out for something to improve the appearance of your skin, 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.
From left to right: ASAP – B SUPER COMPLEX | Alpha H Liquid Gold – INTENSE NIGHT REPAIR SERUM | Synergie Skin – VITAMIN B | Verso – Day Cream with Retinol 8 | Rationale – IMMUNOLOGIST Niacinamide Serum
Niacinamide is not just for lightening and brightening.
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 will benefit from the long-term use of this scientifically proven ingredient.
How much 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. It should be close to the top of the list.
When is the best time to apply your Niacinamide Serum?
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,