In my quest to read more and more labels, some ingredients initially catch my eye and then my ears because they have got the beauty industry buzzing. Niacinamide is one of them. Olay claims it to be the ultimate skincare ingredient and has scientifically proven benefits for both young and old skin. So of course I read copious amounts about it and I have understood that it is something that all of us should start taking seriously.
But, what is it?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin (body doesn’t store it) made from Niacin, also known as vitamin B3. Niacin is found in all cells and is present in greatest amounts in tissues that are more metabolically active – like the brain, heart, liver and skeletal muscle.
Niacin & Niacinamide – What is the difference?
Niacin and Niacinamide, make up vitamin B-3. In this form, it is found in cereal grains, yeast, milk, meat, fish, eggs and green vegetables. An amide is a chemical compound that contains a carbonyl group, or C=O, that is linked to a nitrogen atom.
Our body can convert Niacin into Niacinamide. Our body also makes Niacinamide from tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is found in animal foods. The Niacinamide we make from tryptophan, only covers a small amount of our body’s needs.
Why is it important for the skin?
It is a very effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits skin. It is said to improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness, and a weakened skin surface. Sounds like a copy written for one of those pretentious ads, LOL. Niacinamide can also help reduce the damage caused due to environmental reasons.
How does it do all that?
More specifically it is known to increases the production of Ceramides that improves epidermal barrier performance, which helps retain moisture, keeps skin hydrated for longer and will protects the skin from the harshness of the environment. Due to this the skin’s natural ability to protect itself from external factors becomes better.
Topical application of a Niacinamide formulations are also said to improve skin structure which help reduce redness, blotchiness and sensitivity , issue caused due to poorly functioning barrier.
When your skin retains its natural moisture with a well-functioning epidermal barrier, the natural oil flow of the skin becomes controlled. So folks with excessive oily skin, might consider using Niacinamide products. It is also said to boosts collagen production which will help retain skin elasticity.
Its a versatile ingredient and is very well tolerated so it can be used by all skin types, anytime of the day and in many product forms like sunscreens and serums. One should also bear in mind that it’s a great ingredient that doesn’t mean that the effects will be immediate. This will also need long-term commitment to see any noticeable results like any other skin care regime.
Let me know what Niacinamide products you are using in your skincare routine in the comments.