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Niacinamide in skincare

Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3. Although this can hydrate the skin as well, most of its reputation is built on its anti-inflammatory effects. Read more...
 

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niacinamide

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What Are Niacinamides and are they beneficial in a skincare routine?


Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3. Although this can hydrate the skin as well, most of its reputation is built on its anti-inflammatory effects. It’s been used as an add-on for acne treatments for years to reduce the redness and inflammation associated with breakouts. For dry skin, most people will start with what appears to be ashy and dry skin. If this lingers too long without being addressed, those dry cracked areas of the skin can become inflamed and exquisitely sensitive (think of those times when you apply hand sanitizer and your skin just feels like it’s on fire!) With this concept I always go back to the analogy of giving my patients- think of your skin as not smooth like a wall, it’s more like a cobblestone street. When your skin dries out it’s as though the mortar that holds the bricks (your skin cells) together is breaking down. This leaves it open to any insult from the environment which will inflame and irritate your skin. Think of niacinamide as a key anti-inflammatory that will help bring down this inflammation while also hydrating your skin!



niacinamide

How do you use niacinamides in skincare? 


Niacinamides are often found on their own in serums or as an ingredient in moisturizers and creams.  It can also be found as an oral supplement Nicotinamide.  These are the same.


Ideally, to really know you are gaining a benefit in skincare products, seeking a product that lists the percentage of niacinamide is ideal.  Unfortunately “fairy dusting” in skincare can allow companies to include the ingredient in the label even if in concentrations that would not give much of a clinical effect.


Nicotinamide as an oral supplement has been found in studies to reduce the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer and actinic keratoses (precancerous lesions).



How long does niacinamide take to work?


Most studies evaluating the effectiveness of niacinamide that I came across seemed to use 12 weeks of use to evaluate benefits.  In practice, I find that within the first week of use, patients often see a discernible improvement in the quality and texture of their skin.

 What Ingredients Work Well With Niacinamides? 


Studies have reviewed niacinamide with several other additives to help reduce irritation or potentiate effects.  Examples include benzoyl peroxide, hydroquinone, retinol, hexylresorcinol, resveratrol, and zinc.  



niacinamide

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