This beginner’s guide to niacinamide — a form of vitamin B3 — can help you make the most of its soothing, moisturizing properties.
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Niacinamide isn't the newest kid on the skin care block. But while it's lacking some of the buzz surrounding other, newer active ingredients, it may be worth adding to your skin care routine. That's because niacinamide offers many benefits for skin - and, even better, it may provide these largely without the irritation that can be associated with other competing treatments.
You can incorporate niacinamide into your routine in a lot of ways since it can be found in a wide range of product types - many available over the counter. Here, dermatologists share useful tips about this versatile assistant to your skin.
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, also known as niacin. Niacin is an essential nutrient that the body relies on to turn food into energy, playing a key role in keeping the digestive and nervous systems healthy, along with the skin. It's found in foods such as meat, fish, dairy products and green veggies, as well as in oral supplements, says Geeta Yadav, MD, a dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology in Toronto, Ontario.
How niacinamide may benefit your skin
Helps reduce inflammation
Niacinamide is an exemplary multitasker. One of its most notable benefits is the ability to reduce inflammation, making it an excellent pick for those with conditions such as acne or rosacea, says Dr. Yadav.
Helps protect skin health
It's also a potent antioxidant: "It can help protect against free radical damage - most commonly the result of UV exposure - that can affect skin health," Dr. Yadav adds. (Free radicals are unstable molecules generated by external factors, such as sunlight and pollution, that actively damage the skin.)
Helps smooth skin and enhance collagen production
Another potential benefit of niacinamide is its ability to help balance oil production, reducing the visibility of pores. It may also smooth fine lines and make skin appear firmer and more supple, says Dr. Yadav. Magic? No. Credit the fact that it helps stimulate the production of collagen, the fibers in skin that keep it firm and smooth.
Ayuda a que la piel se mantenga humectada
But wait, there's more! By improving skin barrier function, niacinamide helps the skin retain moisture, says Jeremy Fenton, MD, a dermatologist and medical director at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, who adds that it can also reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation (dark patches or areas of the skin).
How to use niacinamide on your skin
Few products offer the same well-rounded efficacy of niacinamide without the potential for irksome side effects. "Niacinamide can be used by all skin types," says Dr. Yadav. "It's an effective, nonirritating alternative to ingredients that offer similar benefits but can sensitize the skin." In fact, since it's an anti-inflammatory, it's not only well tolerated by those with sensitive skin or conditions such as acne, eczema and rosacea, but it's actually beneficial for these conditions, Dr. Fenton says.
When to use niacinamide in your skin care routine
Since niacinamide plays well with other ingredients, you can find it in a variety of formulations throughout your skin care routine, like in a niacinamide cleanser or niacinamide serum. It's so gentle, too, that you can use several niacinamide skin care products throughout your routine.
Best niacinamide products for your skin
According to Dr. Fenton, niacinamide works well combined with many other skin care ingredients. One caveat: The combination of vitamin C and niacinamide can potentially be irritating for those prone to sensitivity. "They both can help reduce hyperpigmentation individually but may cause irritation when used together on sensitive skin," notes Dr. Yadav. If you want to play it safe, apply the vitamin C first, wait a few minutes and then use the niacinamide product.
Dr. Yadav advises looking for niacinamide in a serum form, since it will provide the most concentrated amount of the ingredient. One to try: Vichy LiftActiv B3 Dark Spot Corrector.
If you're prone to breakouts, seek out niacinamide in a skin-clearing product. El CeraVe Face Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser combines niacinamide and salicylic acid to help tamp down excess oil, calm redness and reduce the appearance of pores.
You can use niacinamide twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. Consider the La Roche Posay-Toleriane Double Repair Matte Face Moisturizer, a lightweight, oil-free formula that works for all skin types.
*Este contenido es solo para fines informativos y no constituye un asesoramiento médico. Consulte con su proveedor de cuidado de la salud antes de tomar alguna vitamina o suplemento y antes de comenzar o cambiar alguna práctica relacionada con el cuidado de su salud.