Everything You Should Know About Niacinamide
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient. A B-3 deficiency can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys, and brain. Taking niacinamide can help prevent B-3 deficiency.
And there’s much more to this nutrient, especially when it comes to general skin health. Although more research is needed, topical niacinamide may help treat certain skin conditions, including acne and eczema.
Is this the same thing as niacin?
Despite the similarities in names, niacinamide isn’t the same thing as niacin. They’re two different types of vitamin B-3.
However, your body can make niacinamide from niacin supplements you’ve taken. This happens when there’s an excessive amount of niacin in the body. Tryptophan in the body can also be converted into niacinamide.
You should always talk to a doctor before taking vitamin B-3 or other supplements.
What benefits does niacinamide offer?
Overall, niacinamide can help build proteins in the skin and lock in moisture to prevent environmental damage.
Individual benefits include:
- Immunity. Niacinamide helps build keratin Trusted Source, a type of protein that keeps your skin firm and healthy.
- Lipid barrier. Niacinamide can help your skin grow a ceramide (lipid) barrierTrusted Source, which can, in turn, helps retain moisture. This is beneficial for all skin types, especially if you have eczema or mature skin.
- Minimizes redness and blotchiness. Niacinamide reduces inflammationTrusted Source, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Minimizes pore appearance. Keeping skin smooth and moisturizedTrusted Source may have a secondary benefit — a natural reduction in pore size over time.
- Regulates oil. The benefits of moisture retention aren’t just for those with dry skin types. Niacinimide can also help regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce and prevent your glands from going into overdrive.
- Protects against sun damage. Niacinamide can concurrently rebuild healthy skin cells while also protecting them from damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
- Treats hyperpigmentation. Some research has found 5 percent niacinamide concentrations can be helpful in lightening dark spots. Benefits were seen after four weeks, but not beyond two months. This benefit may be due to increased collagen production.
- Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. Research has also found that the same concentration was helpful in reducing some signs of sun damage that come with aging. This includes fine lines and wrinkles.
- Protects against oxidative stress. Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins.
- Treats acne. Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne, especially inflammatory forms like papules and pustules. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.