The skin is constantly exposed to various external factors
such as pollution, ultraviolet rays, and different weather conditions, all of
which can harm it dramatically. As such, it is essential to establish a
consistent skincare regime. Doing so protects your skin from these elements
while reducing the appearance of acne, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.
A good skincare regimen must include effective products that
can cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and protect your skin from stresses and
external factors. Among many active ingredients in skincare products,
niacinamide is one that you should incorporate into your skincare routine. This
skincare ingredient can improve the skin's barrier function, reduce the
appearance of dark spots, and enhance skin elasticity.
If you plan to establish or change your current skincare
routine, this blog will help you learn about niacinamide, its benefits, and its
effects on different skin types. But first, what is niacinamide?
What is Niacinamide?
is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3 you can commonly find in skincare
products such as serums, moisturizers, toners, sunscreens, and face masks. You
can also find this naturally occurring substance in many foods, including meat,
fish, eggs, dairy products, and whole grains.
Some products call niacinamide as â€œniacin.â€ While they are
similar in name, they are actually different forms of Vitamin B3. However,
niacin can turn into niacinamide when applied or taken excessively.
Almost all skin types can tolerate niacinamide since it is a
gentle ingredient. Typical formulations contain 5% or less concentration, just
enough to treat hyperpigmentation and sun exposure-related damage. However, the
concentration of this ingredient still varies across products.
Topical vs. Oral Niacinamide: Which Works Better?
Niacinamide comes in topical and oral forms. While both produce the same effects, topical products with this
ingredient can have more direct benefits for the skin. Additionally, the small
intestine does not fully absorb Vitamin B3. So, dermatologists recommend taking
topical niacinamide-containing products over oral ones.
But you can still take it orally. One thing to note if you
do is to take niacinamide supplements at doses lower than 35 mg daily.
Alternatively, you can eat B3-rich food such as chicken breast, salmon, brown
rice, and breakfast cereal to get your dose of niacinamide orally.
9 Benefits of Niacinamide
If you plan to use niacinamide, here are some benefits you
1. Improves skin barrier function
Niacinamide strengthens the skin's barrier function, helping
it retain moisture and protecting it from damage.
2. Brightens skin tone
This skincare component can prevent melanosome transfer
from melanocytes to keratinocytes. Doing so can effectively help reduce the
appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone. As a result,
this ingredient is capable of brightening your skin tone.
3. Reduces the appearance of fine lines
Experts often commend niacinamide as an excellent anti-aging skincare ingredient because it improves skin elasticity. This effect can
reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Ultimately, niacinamide is
one of the best ingredients to give you a more youthful-looking complexion.
4. Treats Acne
Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a
valuable component for treating acne, rosacea, eczema, and other inflammatory
5. Reduces skin redness
On top of youthful skin, niacinamide products can help
reduce redness and soothe irritated skin. As such, sensitive skin types can
rest easy when incorporating this skincare ingredient into their routines.
6. Minimizes the appearance of pores
Since niacinamide moisturizes and smoothens skin, it can
subsequently reduce the size of pores over time.
7. Regulates oil
Niacinamide can regulate the skin's oil production. Due to
this, it's well-known to unclog pores, prevent blemishes from forming, and
treat inflammation and acne.
8. Protects skin from environmental stress
Environmental factors such as sunlight, pollution, and
toxins can harm the skin. However, niacinamide is an effective ingredient in
protecting the skin from oxidative stress due to strengthening the skin
9. Builds skin immunity
Apart from strengthening the skin barrier function,
niacinamide can restore its cellular energy and repair damaged DNA. It also
builds keratin, which makes the skin firm and healthy. These other effects can
make it a viable ingredient for preserving the skin's health and hydration.
How to Use Niacinamide
If you are using niacinamide for the first time, it's best
to use it twice or thrice a week. You can gradually change the frequency once
your skin becomes acclimated to it. Experts also recommend using skincare
products with 2% niacinamide if you have sensitive skin, but normal skin types
can increase the concentration to 10%.
When incorporating into your skincare routine, use
niacinamide before serums or moisturizers and after cleansers and toners.
Following this order can guarantee the effectiveness of the ingredient. The key
is checking the directions on your niacinamide-containing products before using
them on your face to prevent any harmful side effects.
You can pair niacinamide with other useful skincare products
to achieve better results. For instance, consider pairing topical niacinamide
with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). Doing so can reduce inflammation and
strengthen your skin barrier. Additionally, combining niacinamide with
hyaluronic acid can hydrate dry skin. Aside from both being water-based,
hyaluronic acid can help increase product absorption.
For acne treatment, pairing niacinamide and retinol is one
of the best combinations to do so as it can improve your skin texture. You can
also combine oral niacinamide supplements with zinc, folic acid, and copper to
achieve the same result.
How Long Will Niacinamide Take Effect?
Like all skincare products or ingredients, niacinamide
cannot produce results overnight. Some niacinamide-containing products take
effect within two weeks, but most will show initial benefits between four and
However, consult a dermatologist if you do not see any
results within a few weeks or months. They may advise you on your skincare
routine, lifestyle, and diet, which can help boost the skincare ingredient's
positive effects. Moreover, they can identify which products will better suit
your needs and current situation.
Does Niacinamide Have Side Effects?
Niacinamide is generally safe, regardless if you take it
topically or orally. However, it's best to remember to take it moderately or as
your dermatologist or physician has instructed. If not, you may deal with an
upset stomach, gas, and headache.
If you have pre-existing allergies, you may experience an
allergic reaction when using niacinamide because it stimulates the body to
release histamine. But you can prevent this issue by doing a patch test.
Apply a dime-sized amount of niacinamide on your forearm and
observe it for 24 hours. If you experience redness, itching, or swelling, wash
the area and stop using the product. Otherwise, you can continue using
Safety Precautions When Using Niacinamide
Not everyone will have the same reaction to niacinamide.
People have different skin types and underlying conditions which may not be
compatible with the skincare ingredient. Here are some safety precautions when
using this niacinamide in your skincare routine.
For pregnant and breastfeeding people
If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, experts recommend
taking a maximum of 30mg of niacinamide for those under 18. But those who are
over 18 can take a maximum of 35mg.
For children and teenagers
Children and teenagers have more sensitive skin than adults.
For this reason, niacinamide can help strengthen their skin barrier. Giving
them small doses is vital to prevent rashes, irritation, and other harmful side
effects. Experts advise those 1-3 years old to take 10mg of the ingredient,
15mg for 4-8-year-olds, 20mg for 9-13-year-olds, and 30mg for 14-18 year-olds.
For people with underlying medical conditions
When taken orally, niacinamide may trigger harmful effects
on the body for people with specific medical conditions. For instance, it may
increase blood sugar, which can be detrimental for diabetic people. Oral
niacinamide supplements may also make gallbladder disease and ulcers worse. As
such, it's best to consult your doctor before taking niacinamide orally.
Start Taking Care of Your Skin Today
A consistent skincare routine is essential for maintaining
healthy and youthful-looking skin. Beyond that, incorporating helpful
ingredients such as niacinamide into your skincare routine can help you achieve
smoother and brighter skin. Consider the points above to treat and protect your
skin and achieve an outer glow that you can flaunt.
Remember that following a skincare routine takes time and
patience. Results do not come overnight. With diligence and consistency, your
skin may improve as time passes. More than that, understanding your skin type,
using the appropriate products, and enhancing your lifestyle and diet can help
you achieve the best results. By taking a holistic approach to skincare, you
can always look and feel beautiful.