INGREDIENT LOVE: NIACINAMIDE

There is a growing list of hyped-up “wonder” skincare ingredients fighting for our affections these days, yet few are as widely loved as Niacinamide (Vitamin B3).

 

Retinol is great, but not everyone needs it. (We personally don’t recommend using over-the-counter retinol products without first consulting a dermatologist.) Vitamin C? Theoretically, an amazing anti-oxidant, but also a highly unstable molecule prone to oxidation. The scientific debate is still out on how to properly deliver it to skin cells.

 

The secret to Niacinamide’s success? It’s the Level 99 Warrior-Mage in your dungeon party. That is to say, it’s powerful and highly effective. This form of Vitamin B3 is suitable for pretty much every skin type, and benefits are quickly seen. You also don’t need to be a Level 99 Chemist to understand how to use Niacinamide correctly (side note: Chemist is indeed a job class in Final Fantasy Tactics).

 

So stay reading for a deep-dive into everything you need to know about Niacinamide—what it is, what it’ll do for you, and what EVENPRIME products contain it.

 

What is Niacinamide?

 

Niacinamide, also called Nicotinamide, is one of two major forms of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) that can be found naturally in eggs, green veggies, beans, fish, and even dairy. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in skin to help visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and dullness. This is why it is so commonly found in K-Beauty products. Niacinamide also reduces environmental stress to skin because of its ability to improve skin’s natural barrier to free radicals and harmful bacteria.

 

Sounds groovy, but what’s the science?

 

Scientists theorize that Niacin (therefore Niacinamide/Nicotinamide) may be effective because it is a precursor to two important biochemical cofactors: Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+/NADH) and Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate (NADP+). Both molecules are central to the chemical reactions that your cells—notably skin cells—need to repair damage, propagate, and function normally.

 

These essential reactions won’t occur without NAD+, which your cells can’t make without Niacinamide supplementation. By giving your body the precursor, it is theorized that this allows your body to produce more NAD+. This fuels cells to proliferate and also allows the body to absorb and neutralize more free radicals.

 

Free radicals are molecules that have either gained or lost an extra electron, which makes them unstable and highly reactive. In high enough doses, they can damage healthy cells (and may lead to cancer). NAD+—courtesy of Niacin (and Niacinamide)—contributes an extra electron to those unpaired free radicals so they can stop wreaking havoc on your skin.

 

There’s also evidence that topical use of Niacinamide can increase the production of ceramides (lipids that help maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier). It is for this reason that Niacinamide has become so popular with skincare nerds.

 

To summarize, why should you use Niacinamide?

 

I. Fights Acne:

 

Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent treatment for skin conditions marked by inflammation, like acne. In two double-blind studies—one published in 2013 and the other in 1995, both in the International Journal of Dermatology—a topical preparation of Niacinamide treated moderate acne when applied routinely over the span of eight weeks.

 

II. Inhibits the Production of Oil:

 

Research also shows that Niacinamide can help regulate skin’s production of oil. Your skin’s sebaceous glands produce a natural oil that benefits the overall health of your skin, but too much or too little oil can lead to acne or dry skin, respectively. Niacinamide is relatively non-irritating compared to other acne treatments, making it an especially attractive option for people with dry or sensitive skin.

 

III. Shrinks Pores:

 

By regulating oil production, Niacinamide also helps return pores to their original size, making them appear less visible. This is one of the main reasons we love Niacinamide. Who doesn’t want smaller pores?

 

IV. Improves Fine Lines & Wrinkles

 

In one study published in 2004 in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers had 50 women apply a moisturizer containing Niacinamide to one half of their face and a placebo moisturizer to the other half for 12 weeks. Their results showed that the halves of their faces receiving Niacinamide had significant improvements in hyperpigmentation spots, fine lines, and wrinkles compared to the control side. (It should be noted that Niacinamide is usually studied in combination with other anti-aging ingredients. Which makes it a useful counterpart to Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate.)

 

V. Strengthens the Skin Barrier:

 

Lastly, Niacinamide helps renew and restore the surface of skin against moisture loss and dehydration by helping skin improve its natural production of skin-strengthening ceramides. When ceramides become depleted over time, skin is left vulnerable to all sorts of problems, from persistent patches of dry, flaky skin to becoming increasingly sensitized.

 

If you struggle with dry skin, topical application of Niacinamide has also been shown to boost the hydrating ability of moisturizers so skin’s surface can better resist the moisture loss that leads to recurrent dry, tight, flaky skin. Niacinamide works brilliantly with common moisturizer ingredients like glycerin, non-irritating plant extracts (e.g. Centella Asiatica), and sodium hyaluronate.

 

How should you incorporate Niacinamide into your routine?

 

Using Niacinamide is as simple as finding great skin care products (*cough* like EVENPRIME) that contain it along with other beneficial ingredients like Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Centella Asiatica (Cica), Kakadu Plum, Sea Buckthorn, and Hyaluronic Acid.

 

This multi-ingredient approach to skin care is important because as great as Niacinamide is for skin, it’s not the only ingredient skin needs to look and feel its best. Think of it like your diet—as healthy as spinnach is, if spinnach was all you ate, you’d quickly become malnourished because your body needs more than one healthy food to maintain itself. The same is true for skin, the body’s largest organ.

 

For best results, use leave-on products with Niacinamide and apply them to cleansed skin twice daily. This could be a fragrance-free Face Mist with Niacinamide applied immediately after cleansing to rehydrate and replenish skin. Our Daily Moisturizer also contains ample amounts of Niacinamide along with other skin beneficial ingredients—formulated specifically to prevent blemishes and improve pore size.