Niacinamide is an effective skincare ingredient that just keeps giving. A component of vitamin B3, it has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, stimulate microcirculation in the dermis, fight acne, and lighten skin discolorations. It is a potent cell-communicating ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin.
A form of niacin, known as nicotinic acid (related to niacinamide), was first found in the NIA24 skincare line. Unlike niacinamide and nicotinamide, nicotinic acid stimulates the release of the hormone leptin, a natural repair hormone, which aids healing within the skin cells and helps in the reduction of hyperpigmentation. For example, NIA24 Eye Repair Complex ($65) reduces the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles underneath the eyes with a niacin complex that works to improve collagen and elastin production. In addition, caffeine gives skin a boost, while vitamin E soothes delicate tissue.
Niacinamide is available in Olay’s Total Effects, Definity, and Regenerist (my personal favorite of the three) lines. In Regenerist Night Recovery Cream ($22.99), niacinamide is combined with amino acids for a nighttime treatment that has a time-released effect. It moisturizes, hydrates, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while you sleep.
For the body, niacinamide is available in one of my favorite hydrating lotions, Olay Quench Plus Firming Body Lotion ($7.99). Relatively high concentrations of niacinamide will help improve your skin’s moisture levels, texture, and pigmentation, and may improve the effects of aging as well.
It’s almost second nature now to know that anytime you go out, you should have SPF 15+ applied. So assuming skin is being protected from sun exposure, niacinamide can also improve your skin’s elasticity and barrier function, help erase discoloration, and revive skin’s healthy tone and texture. Get both sun protection and your dose of niacinamide with the new CeraVe Sun Care line, developed with dermatologists, and slated to launch this month. The line will include eight products for the face and body with various applications (cream, lotion, sprays,etc.) and will feature broad spectrum SPF 30 and 50.
Topically, niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis. The vitamin is also an intensive spot treatment that corrects and restores the skin. IS Clinical Super Serum Advance+ ($82) is designed to hydrate, regenerate, and repair your skin while the serum delivers essential vitamins and bio-nutrients to the cells. Niacinamide moisturizes to banish dull skin for glowing, radiant complexions. The serum also is formulated with antioxidants to fight free radical damage, vitamin B5 to encourage enzyme formation (which increases cellular metabolism), and 40% hyaluronic acid, which binds moisture to the skin.
Some anti-aging products call on niacinamide to fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. SK-II Wrinkle Specialist Moisturizing Serum ($175) combines Pitera WS Complex and niacinamide to clinically reduce the appearance of the length and depth of wrinkles in two weeks. This ingredient combo softens skin by plumping it with moisture, creating a smooth, younger looking complexion. The serum also contains three different peptides and retinyl propionate to reduce wrinkles.
A multi-tasker, niacinamide also can help firm and smooth skin. An anti-aging, overnight, quick-absorbing gel that boosts cell turnover and delivers continuous moisture, Dr. Jart+ Premium Firming Sleeping Mask ($48) uses niacinamide and kava to boost skin’s elasticity and firmness. Korean medicinal herbs help expel toxins and stimulate cell turnover. Hyaluronic acid replenishes your skin’s nighttime water supply to keep your skin hydrated overnight.
DDF Amplifying Elixir ($70) works in conjunction with other skincare products, boosting their effectiveness. Formulated to improve skin’s hydration, the elixir also fights the signs of aging. Clinical studies shows that the product strengthens skin’s moisture barrier by 50% thanks to the niacinamide.
Niacinamide also has a growing reputation for being able to lighten skin discoloration. An intensive spot treatment that features triple strength actives to tackle stubborn brown spots on the face, body, and hands, Osmotics Lighten FX 3x Dark Spot Remover ($46) is safe, natural, and contains clinically-proven ingredients. Niacinamide brightens and smoothes skin while moisturizing; alpha arbutin, a natural lightening ingredient derived from mulberry extract, targets melanin production while preventing future discoloration; and other brightening ingredients give skin a radiant boost.
A skin brightener, vitamin B3 also is used for acne prone skin and the red marks it leaves behind (known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It is an excellent ingredient for those struggling with wrinkles and breakouts. Make your sleep work for you with Arcona Night Breeze ($52), applied to the face and neck before going to sleep. The protective serum fights acne while providing anti-aging rejuvenating agents. Niacnimide works with pure botanical oxygen to suppress P-bacteria, the leading cause of acne as well as the antioxidant fumaric acid to help healthy cell formation and turnover.
To repair, resurface, regenerate, and renew skin from the first application, look no further than Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Resurfacer ($75). The serum contains naturally-derived tree extract from the Amazon as well as niacinamide to undo damage due to aging, the sun, and environmental factors for laser-like results. In a 4-week consumer study on 20 women, 80% saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while 92% saw an improvement in the appearance of skin redness and felt that their skin was smoother, softer, and clearer.
Vitamin B3 has long been appreciated for its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. From sleeping masks to lotions and from serums to elixirs, niacinamide can be found in products that will make your skin clearer, softer, and more youthful looking.