What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide, like most skincare ingredients, appears to have come out of nowhere. In fact, in the past year alone Google searches for Niacinamide have more than doubled.

But what exactly is it and why is there a stigma attached to using it?

Niacinamide facts

Well, for starters, it’s a vitamin. Vitamin B3 to be exact, a pretty essential nutrient to human kind.

It’s normally obtained through diet and a lot of food is actually fortified with it but it’s also found naturally in meat, poultry and fish such as; tuna and salmon.

It has a variety of functions (like many other skincare ingredients) including; hydration, protection (it’s an antioxidant) and lightening hyperpigmentation.

How is it used in skincare?

When you see niacinamide as an active in a skincare product it can be doing any of the following things for your skin:

  • Regulating sebum production – helps to keep oily skin more matte
  • Lightening the skin tone – clinically proven to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and even skin tone
  • Helps the skin to maintain hydration – does so by  trengthening your skin’s moisture barrier 
  • Touted as an anti-aging helped – by locking in moisture it is thought that it helps cells to naturally turnover skin cells
  • Keeps the skin calm – is anti-inflammatory and works to reduce the swelling and redness, which is often why those suffering with acne use it

So, what’s the problem?

Sensitivity.

Many people have had issues with niacinamide.

Now that it’s becoming more and more prominent in the skincare world, brushing up your knowledge is a must for this ingredient because as perfectly articulated on the below tweet by @isaveskins, niacinamide is fast becoming known as a common irritant.

The conclusion?

It has a lot of benefits and many people swear by it, as proven here:

It’s objective and you’ve got to try it to know. Are there great benefits to using niacinamide? Definitely. Will it work for you or cause you sensitivity? Well, there’s only one way to find out…

Photos courtesy of The Ordinary

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