We think it’s important to know what we’re putting on our skin and why. We want products that work but also that are safe to use and don’t have sketchy side effects. Is that too much to ask? We don’t think so. And because we care, we like to get to know the ingredients in our skincare products—like, really get to know them; where they come from, how they work, and what they do for the skin. So, when we discovered topical niacinamide and started learning about its long list of benefits, we knew we were onto something good.
After thorough research and plenty of practice using this skincare ingredient, we have a laundry list of reasons why we love niacinamide and think it’s a great addition to any skincare routine. And that’s what we’re here to discuss.
We know you’re curious, so what does niacinamide do for the skin exactly and what are all of the benefits?
How Niacinamide Benefits the Skin
Niacinamide is a water-soluble derivative of vitamin B. It’s naturally occurring in the body and essential for healthy skin function. Plus, because it’s water soluble, it can be absorbed by the skin quite easily, especially through a face serum. This is great news because there are many niacinamide skin benefits that we all, regardless of skin type or concern, can benefit from. Let’s explore these…
Niacinamide has many benefits (that we’ll get to below), the first of which is its ability to help calm skin. This benefit can have a variety of positive results on the skin, i.e., it can help reduce the appearance of redness and calm blemishes, to name a few. Niacinamide is also known to be extremely well-tolerated, so it should not cause any additional redness on already sensitive skin.
Minimizes the Appearance of Pores
None of us are immune to blackheads, but for some, the appearance of pores is more than a pore-clearing strip can deal with. Pores stretch and appear larger for a few reasons, including the buildup of oil, dirt, and debris (when you see blackheads) and sun damage. But there are ingredients that can help reduce their appearance, one of which is niacinamide. Niacinamide helps support the skin’s natural functions. It’s not magic, but it almost feels like it.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
While wrinkles are a natural part of life, there are actions we can take to reduce or delay their appearance, such as using niacinamide. This skin-supporting ingredient can support moisture levels, and thus, help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that form over time due to facial expressions, sun damage, and age.
Reduces Signs of Aging
Niacinamide can also benefit your anti-aging efforts when it comes to things such as discoloration, dullness, and lack of fullness. Niacinamide can effectively reduce the appearance of discoloration from hyperpigmentation, and help prevent dark spots from forming in the first place. In fact, when using both niacinamide and vitamin c, you can target dark spots and the culprits behind them from multiple directions. This can help promote a brighter, more even-looking complexion as well.
Protects Against Environmental Damage
You likely know that UV rays from the sun can wreak havoc on the skin, but did you know that pollutants in the air and other pathogens can damage the skin as well? Thankfully, niacinamide is one ingredient that can help protect against and reduce the damage caused by environmental damage; things like urban dust, cigarette smoke, pollution, and more. Apply it each morning to help support your skin in this way.
Supports The Skin Barrier
Your skin barrier acts as a natural shield for your skin; it protects against allergens, environmental pollutants, bacteria, UV damage, and more while locking in moisture. When the skin barrier is strong, the skin can feel more moisturized, smooth, and supple, so protecting your skin barrier is paramount to healthy-looking skin.
This is where niacinamide can be particularly useful. Strengthening the skin barrier is another benefit of this versatile ingredient. It helps build up the lipids that form the barrier, and, because it’s an antioxidant, it helps protect from the things that break it down as well.
Supports Moisture Levels
In its role as an agent to strengthen the skin barrier, niacinamide also helps support the skin’s moisture levels, which, if you’ve ever experienced dry skin or dehydrated skin, you know contribute largely to the look and feel of the skin.
Niacinamide also works well with common ingredients in moisturizers like glycerin, plant oils, and hyaluronic acid to boost their efficacy, which can lead to increased skin hydration so you can kiss dry, flaky, red skin goodbye. For this benefit, you may want to look for a moisturizer containing niacinamide or apply a niacinamide serum prior to applying your moisturizer.
Balances Surface Oil Levels
As we mentioned above, niacinamide can help support a natural balance of moisture in the skin, which can, in turn, help prevent blemishes. This is an all-star benefit for anyone struggling with breakouts or an oily skin complexion.
One of the best benefits of niacinamide and what makes all of the above benefits possible is that it is a gentle skin care ingredient. An ingredient with a long list of promising results is only useful if it is designed to limit irritation or if it is gentle and can be applied often.
This is why we at REN use nature’s most powerful and kindest ingredients to create high-performance skincare with clinically proven results, always with sensitive skin in mind. Because you shouldn’t have to worry about a skin care product potentially causing irritation, or worse. This is also why we love niacinamide. The naturally-occurring ingredient is suitable for the majority of skin types–it’s gentle, non-irritating, and effective, even with everyday use.
Is Easy to Use
So it’s safe to use niacinamide every day and it’s also easy. Niacinamide, albeit extremely popular at the moment, isn’t a new ingredient, and it isn’t going anywhere soon. For a long time, it’s been a favorite among dermatologists, it has just been lesser known by the common skin care user. It’s used in everything from toners and moisturizers to serums and even makeup. It may even already be in some of the products you use every day.
While there are many products you can use to incorporate niacinamide into your routine, a serum is a great place to start.
Niacinamide serum benefits the skin effectively because it typically contains a higher concentration of the active ingredient—a product with a concentration anywhere between 2% and 10% niacinamide will support the above benefits for your skin.
For a serum that packs both the benefits of niacinamide and the benefits of other highly-effective ingredients, look to our Bio Retinoid™ Youth Serum. With Bidens Pilosa, a natural plant-derived alternative to retinol, and ceramides in addition to niacinamide, it’s a powerful formula that’s clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles after 7 days. Be sure to check out our blog on How to Use Niacinamide for more information!
Even if wrinkles aren’t your top concern, you can benefit from using this serum nightly or in the morning. For one, because of all the great niacinamide benefits for your skin, and also those of ceramides. Together, these ingredients will help strengthen the skin barrier, improve hydration and radiance.
About the Author
Camille Poggi is a doctor in Pharmacy (PharmD.) and is passionate about skincare and how the skin works in general. She specializes in the cosmetic industry and worked for renowned companies in France like L’Oréal and Chanel before moving to London. After being a training manager for 4 years, Camille is at ease with explaining how products work in the skin and how to adapt her speech according to the audience.
She joined REN in January 2020 as International Training Manager and moved to the Research & Development team earlier this year to be the new Scientific Education Manager. A tailored-made role where she assesses and leads all technical communication and ensures scientific compliance is always met. She’s also involved in new product development from the earliest stages. Finding a way to create sustainable skincare products and making sure the message is properly delivered and understood is definitely a big challenge but also her favorite part working for REN.