Ingredient spotlight: Niacinamide

The one everyone is talking about!! Most likely you have been seeing this active ingredient mentioned all over the place recently: in products, blogs and your friends’ recommendations alike!

So what is it and what does it do?

Niacinamide is a skincare active form of vitamin B3, therefore making it an antioxidant, and the reason it is so popular is due to the fact it targets a multitude of skin concerns:

Aging, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, redness and inflammation, weakened skin barrier and acne (by regulating oil production).

It is a hydrating, soothing and balancing ingredient that stimulates collagen, ceramide and keratin synthesis and can be used in the morning and/or evening, as it does not cause photosensitivity.

Leading on from our last post around Rosacea, niacinamide (at a low percentage) is a wonderful ingredient to consider adding to your routine, as it strengthens the skin barrier and brings anti-redness and anti-inflammatory results without being too harsh on sensitive, rosacea skin.

In fact, any and all skin types can benefit from niacinamide so there’s really no reason not to give it a go if you are interested! It’s an everyday skin superhero.

One thing to bear it mind when using it, however, is that it does not generally increase in effectiveness after about 10% and actually only 2-5% is needed to see oily skin/skin barrier benefits so there’s no need to go overboard. As it is such a popular ingredient currently, check the various products in your skin routine to make sure you are not overdoing it with multiple layers of this active ingredient.

If you find that none of your current products contain niacinamide, an easy way to start is by adding in a couple of drops of a niacinamide serum before your moisturiser in the morning and evening. Or another idea is to purchase a moisturiser that contains it, so that everything is done is one easy step and you know that you have an ideal formulation of ingredients. If you notice any small red bumps on your face or another reaction like redness and increased sensitivity, the percentage is probably too high (10% or above), so we would recommend sticking to a gentler product with 2-5% niacinamide.  

Finally, as with all active ingredients, it is important to remember that real, lasting results take time – so don’t worry if you don’t notice any difference for the first few weeks or assume it’s not doing anything – changes using niacinamide using start occurring around week 4 or as late as week 12, depending on which issue you are tackling! So be patient and keep a selfie skin log (mentioned in our previous post) if you want to track the changes ?