Niacinamide: it sounds complex and very scientific, but in actual fact, it’s a derivative of everyone’s favourite energy vitamin – vitamin B – and specifically the B3 component. Dull, sluggish, lacklustre skin? Blemishes? Fine lines? You need some Niacinamide in your life.
So what makes niacinamide a great ingredient in skincare? Well, it’s all down to two important enzymes – NADH and NADHP – in our skin that contribute to cellular energy and cellular growth. As we age, these enzymes decline, but the topical application of niacinamide through creams, serums and the like has been shown to reduce this rate of decline, in turn helping to keep our skin radiant and youthful.
It has a whole host of skin benefits, actually, as not only can it improve elasticity but it can also boost the levels of fatty acids, to help our complexions stay plump and inhibit pigmentation. What’s more, it has been shown to help deal with inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, all while keeping your skin hydrated by helping it retain water.
Need we say more? Here are a few of our favourite niacinamide skincare products, and how to use them…
Whatever your skin type, if breakouts or wrinkles are the bane of your complexion Paula’s Choice Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster, £38, can help. It refines the look of pores, smooths skin texture and can be added to your usual serum or moisturiser to give your regime a boost. Alternatively, the combination of niacinamide 10% and zinc 1% in The Ordinary Niacinamide, £5, balances the skin and treats the oiliness associated with acne and breakouts. Use after cleansing and under moisturiser for best results.
A lot of acne and blemish treatments can leave the skin feeling dry, or take a harsh approach that can make it feel parched, but La Roche Posay Effacer H Moisturiser, £15, is quite the opposite. The niacinamide in this formula not only supports the skin’s barrier, but can help balance sebum production and uses thermal spring water to keep skin nourished while it’s treated.
If an anti-ageing serum that really delivers is on your beauty wish-list, B. Nourished Advanced Serum, £14.49, could be the answer. Packed with hyaluronic acid and enriched with plantain stem cells, this also contains niacinamide to help brighten your complexion. Alpha-H Liquid Gold Intensive Night Repair Serum, £51, works overtime to neutralise discolouration, replenish collagen levels, banish dullness and minimise the appearance of scarring and uneven skin tone.
If your skin is prone to breakouts, Dr Nick Lowe Deep Down Clearing Mask, £38, is one to keep in your beauty supply. Containing salicylic acid to exfoliate skin and antioxidants, the niacinamide in this formula is used at a concentration to help calm reactive skin and reduce surface oil.