Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Sritama Dutta (Medical Science)  on 30th Nov 2020

Here are the Top 3 Benefits Of Using Niacinamide Backed by Science That Make It Popular! 

Benefits Of Using Niacinamide

Our skin faces hundreds of adversities each day as we wake up and step out of the house: dirt and pollution, heat and cold. Unfiltered UV-Rays and hundreds of microbes around us have a drastic impact on the health of our skin. Regular encounters with these factors give rise to various skin problems such as dullness, red and bumpy skin, or premature aging. All these demand our immediate attention, but we often fail to provide our skin with the care it needs.

Ever wanted a skincare product that will take care of all your skin's needs? We know the answer is YES! When we hardly get time to tend to our skin in this busy life, who wouldn't want an all-in-one versatile, skincare ingredient? But the real question is, have you found such magical elements yet? If not. We are here with an answer for you.

Niacinamide is one such incredible ingredient that is effective in combating almost all your skincare needs. Amazed? Get ready for more! We think the following top uses of niacinamide for skincare will leave you bewildered. Let's not waste any more time and begin! 

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is an active form of Vitamin B-3 (Niacin). Though you will often see niacinamide as niacin or nicotinamide, these are not precisely the same. Niacin, niacinamide, and nicotinamide are all different vitamin B-3, but they have additional body functionality.

Vitamin B-3 is an essential nutrient required by our body for its proper functioning. It is an integral part of our daily diet and is found in various foods such as eggs, cereals, green vegetables, beans, fishes, and milk. Deficiency in vitamin B-3 can lead to disorders of the skin, kidney, and even brain.

Vitamin B-3 cannot, however, be produced or synthesized by our bodies. We can only acquire Vitamin B-3 through diet and consuming niacin-rich foods. When you grow older, you might face a drop in your B-3 levels. That's when you would need supplements of vitamin B-3, and nothing can be better than niacinamide serum to compensate for the requirement of Vitamin B-3 by the skin. 

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How is Niacinamide Beneficial For Your Skin? 

As said above, niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that has many beneficial effects on the skin. Niacinamide, a mild, organic ingredient with a smaller molecular size, can penetrate the dermal layers and impart its benefits to the deepest layers of skin. Niacinamide helps in making the skin more healthy and radiant. Also, vitamin B3 supplements (nicotinamide) reduce the risk of skin cancer

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Include Niacinamide in Your Skincare Regime. 

Niacinamide Can Strengthen the Natural Immunity of Skin 

  • Niacinamide helps in protecting the integrity of the acid mantle on our skin. The acid mantle is a thin film that forms over the skin by mixing the secretion of our sweat glands and sebaceous glands.

    The acid mantle acts as a shield that protects the skin from external attacks such as bacteria, viruses, pollutants, etc. Niacinamide has a pH(5.0-7.0) that matches ideally with the acid mantle's natural pH(5.5) on the skin and blends to strengthen its integrity.  
  • Niacinamide serum also helps in building the lipid barrier or the ceramide barrier of the skin. This ceramide layer on the skin helps retain the skin's natural moisture and helps keep the skin hydrated. This, in turn, improves the immune power of the skin.  
  • Niacinamide is an essential element that is required by the skin cells to build keratin. The protein makes up the skin's surface layer and helps keep the skin healthy and firm. With increasing age, as the synthesis of niacinamide decreases, the keratin production is also hampered. Supplementary niacinamide serum can boost the skin's keratin synthesis, which makes the flaccid skin cells firm again. 

Niacinamide Can Give You Flawless, Radiant Skin

  • Niacinamide, when applied topically, can also help in brightening your skin tone. According to evidence collected by scientific research, it has been found 5% concentration of pure niacinamide can be useful in treating hyperpigmentation and also helps in lightening dark spots and blemishes.  
  • Niacinamide also has a potent antimicrobial property that helps in combating acne-causing bacteria. Regular use of niacinamide reduces mild inflammatory acne and severe acne such as acne vulgaris. Not only that, but niacinamide also helps in minimizing enlarged pores, regulates sebum production of the skin, and prevents overdrive of sebaceous glands.  
  • Unfiltered sunrays containing UV rays can also cause damage to the skin. Niacinamide reduces the signs of photo-damage and builds healthy skin cells to compensate against the damages caused by the UV rays.  
  • Niacinamide is also an anti-inflammatory agent. It helps in reducing redness and blotchiness of the skin and calms down signs of inflammation. What more? Niacinamide also helps in treating skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. Thus, niacinamide can undoubtedly be your go-to solution for the flawless, glowing skin you always desired. 

Niacinamide Can Act as an Anti-aging Formula 

Why does our skin show signs of aging? With advancing age, the water content in our skin cells gradually depletes. So does the collagen in our skin. Lesser collagen makes the skin look limp and lifeless. A decrease in the water content of the skin cells gives rise to fine lines and wrinkles.

Niacinamide helps boost the collagen synthesis in the skin, making the skin firm and resilient and bringing back the skin's youthful appearance. It even helps retain moisture in the dermal layers, which erases fine lines and wrinkles and makes the skin appear plumper and younger.

Niacinamide is also a potent antioxidant. It effectively destroys the free radicals in the dermal layers and reduces the signs of oxidative stress that show up when we age. This property of niacinamide also protects the skin from environmental stresses such as sunlight, pollutants, and various other toxins.  

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How should You Use Niacinamide Serum?

Niacinamide is a lightweight, water-soluble ingredient which gradually gets soaked in your skin when topically applied and loses its efficacy over time. Thus, to get the best out of it, you should ideally use it twice daily; once in the morning and the evening.

It is recommended that niacinamide must be applied after cleansing the face and hydrating with hyaluronic acid.

After applying niacinamide serum, it should be allowed to rest for 1-2 minutes before layering with other products so that it gets ample time to penetrate the dermal layers.

When mixed with eye cream, niacinamide can help eliminate the dark circles and crow's feet. It can also help in firming the flaccid under-eye skin. 

Can You Combine Niacinamide Serum with Other Ingredients? 

Niacinamide is an active ingredient and seldom shows any adverse reaction when combined with other active or inactive ingredients. If you think about whether it is safe to layer niacinamide with other serums, you have nothing to worry about.

Niacinamide is often available as a combination with a booster ingredient, which improves its efficacy, such as zinc and hyaluronic acid.  

  • Incorporating zinc salts with 10% pure niacinamide helps regulate sebum production and is a boon for individuals with oily skin. This also helps in unclogging the congested pores, which facilitate sebum drainage from the skin cells, which, in turn, reduces acne and blemishes.
  • Niacinamide is also available in combination with folic acid. This mixture of ingredients helps in the better and quicker treatment of skin disorders like dermatitis, skin irritation, redness, and swelling.  
  • When 5% niacinamide is combined with hyaluronic acid, it hydrates the skin and makes the skin look fresh, plump, and youthful. If you have dry skin, this combination is a match made in heaven for you. Adding hyaluronic acid can also boost the absorption of niacinamide in the dermal layers.

It has been clinically tested that niacinamide is compatible with the majority of the skincare ingredients. Its action is so mild on the skin that you can use it as a leave-on product without anticipating any adverse reactions. Its consistency makes it ideal for layering it with both water-soluble as well as oil-soluble ingredients.

For instance, layering niacinamide with retinol can do wonders on your skin. According to a study, it has been seen that the irritation and tingling caused by retinol can be reduced by using niacinamide.

Another study advocated that the combination of niacinamide, hexylresorcinol, and resveratrol, along with retinol cream, can significantly reduce the signs of aging and improve skin tone.

However, there have been some serious concerns raised about layering vitamin C with niacinamide. While some cases showed that niacinamide could stabilize Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid, one study showed that Vitamin C could convert niacinamide into niacin, causing flushing. A niacin flush is nothing serious, but it could be a rare side effect that causes itching or burning. A mild flush of red appears on the skin.  

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Are There Any Potential Side Effects of Using Niacinamide Serum?

Niacinamide is generally not harmful to the skin, and you can use it without any risk of adverse effects. Research has shown that regular use of 10% niacinamide effectively produces all its desirable skin results. Though manufacturers have made niacinamide serum with 100% concentration, it has not been found to have any extra benefit to the skin.

Some reports have demonstrated that specific individuals might show allergic reactions to niacinamide. Thus, you must do a patch test at least 24 hours before you begin using niacinamide serum.

Niacinamide does not usually cause purging. However, if the product you are using contains a certain percentage of acid, there remains a risk of purging. If purging occurs, regular use of niacinamide will reduce the bumps and redness within a month, and it will be back to normal. 

The Bottom Line 

Healthy skin mirrors your overall wellness, and niacinamide is the magic wand that can give you the long-desired flawless, radiant skin. Not only that, by leaving your skin spotless and glowing, niacinamide will also boost your confidence every time you step out into the outer world.

Considering the incredible effects that niacinamide brings to your skin, it is undoubtedly a must-have in your skincare kit. So, if you still haven't begun to use it, it's time to include this magic potion in your skincare regime now