Niacinamide is one of the easiest ingredients to build into a skincare routine. It’s versatile, well-tolerated and is found in a multitude of products as it’s a formulator’s dream.
It’s a trusted ingredient in my toolkit because it delivers some serious soothing while also helping to restore your delicate skin barrier, making it a must-have for anyone tackling redness, breakouts, sensitivity and even hyperpigmentation!
Let’s deep-dive and explore how you can get the most out of niacinamide in your skincare routine.
What is niacinamide?
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin found in food sources such as eggs, nuts and avocados. It plays an essential role in how our bodies work and when it comes to skin, it performs a host of functions.
What are the benefits of niacinamide?
Niacinamide’s versatility comes about because of a variety of modes of action: and effective ingredient for tackling multiple concern:
- Reduces inflammation: Niacinamide soothes irritation and helps to improve redness caused by inflammation in rosacea and acne
- Boosts ceramide production: By increasing ceramides it helps to strengthen the skin barrier and lessens the impact of environmental challenges.
- Evens skin tone: It reduces the pigmentation from blemishes, by reducing the transfer of melanin into our skin cells, keratinocytes.
- Great for sensitive skin: Niacinamide is well-tolerated in all skin types and works well in even our most delicate areas such as around the eyes and neck.
- Safe for use while pregnant or breastfeeding
Niacinamide is a true multi-tasker. Much like azelaic acid, when one ingredient is able to treat multiple concerns, it allows you to use fewer products, making it easier to be consistent with your routine. This leads to sustainable, long-term results that you can rely on.
Given that it’s so well-tolerated, it’s often the active I’ll first use when treating patients with sensitive skin as it helps the skin build resilience. This pre-conditioning may allow the introduction of punchier ingredients such as retinoids or exfoliating acids, which someone with sensitive skin might otherwise struggle to tolerate.
What ingredients does niacinamide work well with?
Niacinamide plays well with nearly every other ingredient in your routine. It can also be layered in multiple products to truly max out the benefits.
It can help us better tolerate more irritating actives , making it a perfect ally for retinoids. By increasing ceramide production and helping the skin stay hydrated for longer, niacinamide can help to mitigate some of the “scaries” associated with retinoids such as dryness and irritation.
Despite the plethora of skincare myths Niacinamide also pairs very well with vitamin C - a fact that might surprise you given recent internet urban legends. The pairing of both together is particularly powerful when tackling the effects of UV damage. That’s why I combined ascorbyl glucoside, the gentle vitamin C ester with 10% niacinamide in my daytime complexion hero Flawless Brightly Serum.
From boosting collagen to supporting essential barrier function, niacinamide is an outstanding all-rounder in skincare. Not only is it the soothing saviour in all three of my serums, it’s also the nurturing hero in Flawless Body Therapy and Flawless Revival Mask. As one of the easiest ways to start building an active routine that will *actually* change your skin, I’m a fan.