Niacinamide Revisted: In our seemingly never-ending search for the proverbial fountain of youth, it’s easy to overlook ingredients that are safe and effective but don’t have the “star power” of, say, retinoids. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is one of those unassuming ingredients that does its work well but deserves twice as much recognition as it currently receives.
Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of vitamin B that comes with a myriad of benefits when applied topically to skin. Just like its showier relative, the retinoid, niacinamide is a multi-tasking genius, helpful in fighting acne, redness from rosacea, hyperpigmentation and loss of skin elasticity.
The key to niacinamide’s efficacy is its ability to reduce the rate of decline of two important enzymes (NADH and NADPH) that can greatly affect the production of cellular energy and lipids that are responsible for cell growth. Topically applied niacinamide boosts skin barrier function by increasing the amount of ceramides produced, thus increasing hydration as well as the ability of your skin to protect against external assaults from pollution and bacteria. For those who suffer from rosacea, strengthening the skin barrier is critical to minimizing reactions to irritants. When used as a treatment for acne and hyperpigmentation, niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties come into play.
As part of an anti-aging routine, niacinamide has been shown to increase levels of fatty acids levels in skin, improve elasticity, brighten overall skin tone and fade dark spots that can age our appearance. Where niacinamide has an advantage over other anti-aging ingredients is that it causes little or no irritation to skin and is photostable. This allows niacinamide to be incorporated into formulations that can be used day or night with no risk of degradation. So, even exposed to light, niacinamide will continue to retain its integrity and efficacy. That’s definitely something to boast about!
Look for niacinamide in Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging where it is combined with retinaldehyde and other actives, making this treatment one big bang for your buck! Be cautious to apply only at night because even though niacinamide is stable for day time use, retinoids can be degraded upon exposure to sunlight.
We think 2017 will be niacinamide’s year, don’t you?