Niacinamide, also famously known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3. It's found in many foods like meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereals. Niacinamide is required for the efficient functioning of fats and sugars in the body and to maintain healthy cells.
The niacin is converted to niacinamide when it is taken in amounts greater than what is needed by the body. Unlike niacin, niacinamide doesn't help in treating high cholesterol. People often use niacinamide to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions such as pellagra. It is also used for acne, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, ageing skin, skin discolouration, and many other conditions.
Benefits of Niacinamide
Overall, niacinamide assists in building proteins in the skin and locks the moisture to prevent damage caused by the environment.
Some of the benefits of niacinamide are:
Niacinamide helps in building keratin, which is a type of protein that is meant to keep the skin firm and healthy.
2. Lipid barrier
Niacinamide can help the skin in growing a ceramide, also known as a lipid barrier. This can, in turn, help in retaining moisture. This is beneficial for all skin types, especially if a person has eczema or mature skin.
3. Minimizes redness or blotchiness
Niacinamide is known to reduce inflammation which could help in easing redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
4. Reduces the appearance of pores
Keeping skin smooth and moisturised could naturally help in the reduction of pore size over a period of time.
5. Regulates oil
The benefits of moisture retention aren’t just for those with dry skin types. Niacinamide can also help regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce and prevent the glands from going into overdrive or excess production.
6. Protects against sun damage
Apart from concurrently rebuilding healthy skin cells, niacinamide also protects them from damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
7. Cures hyperpigmentation
It has been found that 5 percent niacinamide concentrations can be useful in lightening dark spots. Benefits are supposed to be seen after four weeks, but not beyond two months. This benefit is due to increased collagen production.
8. Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Studies have concluded that the same concentration was helpful in reducing some signs of sun damage that accompany ageing. This includes fine lines and wrinkles.
9. Treats acne
Niacinamide may be useful to treat several acne, especially inflammatory ones like pustules and papules. Over time, there will be lesions and an improved skin texture.
10. Protects against oxidative stress
Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins.
Risks & Side Effects of Niacinamide
Topical niacinamide is generally considered safe to use. People who have a history of preexisting allergies may be more likely to experience an allergic reaction. This is because niacinamide can cause the body to release histamine. widespread allergic reactions and product sensitivities can be avoided by doing a patch test:
- Apply a dime-sized amount of product on your forearm.
- Wait 24 hours.
- If you begin to experience redness, itching, or swelling, wash the area and discontinue use.
- If you don’t experience any side effects, it should be safe to apply elsewhere.
When used topically every day, niacinamide may have a positive impact on your overall skin health. The ingredient can help reduce inflammation and hyperpigmentation, smooth your overall skin texture, and brighten your skin.
It can take several weeks to see noticeable improvement, so it’s important to be patient and stick with your routine. You should not take niacinamide supplements unless your doctor or other healthcare provider prescribes them to treat a B-3 deficiency or other underlying condition.