Niacinamide belongs to the family of the B vitamins, it is also known as Vitamin B3. This ingredient is not only important for the skin, but also extremely important for more general health as it helps the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins so they can be used by the body. It’s also involved in controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous and digestive systems. Niacinamide is what our body converts niacin into when metabolised. Thus internally, it acts as a precursor to co-enzymes (facilitators of enzymatic reactions) essential for numerous metabolic pathways. These co-enzymes play several crucial functions but in particular they play a key role in metabolism of glucose, cellular energy production and synthesis of lipids. Typically, the levels of these co-enzymes decrease with age, but studies have shown that the topical application of niacinamide can reverse this process. Hence why niacinamide is celebrated as one of the most potent anti-inflammatories in skincare and is a high-performing multitasking agent that can battle against an extensive army of skin woes.
What does it do?
As a skincare ingredient, niacinamide is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. Historically it has been associated with the treatment of acne as it has been shown to regulate oil secretion, making it highly effective for oily and combination skin types as well. This nifty ingredient also improves barrier function, and an improved skin barrier prevents trans-epidermal water loss as well as environmental damage. Basically, it keeps the bad stuff (like pollution) out and the good stuff (like moisture) in.
Niacinamide is a key vitamin required for healthy skin condition. It has been shown to:
- Have positive effects on skin hydration and moisturisation. Skin softness, suppleness and skin hydration are related to the barrier properties of the horny layer, which niacinamide is excellent for supporting.
- Improve the appearance of ageing skin. Skin ageing is characterised by major skin changes like reduced skin elasticity, poorer structure and appearance of wrinkles. An important factor is the gradual loss of collagen and elastin fibers synthesised in fibroblasts. A recommended strategy in preventing skin ageing is to reduce collagen breakdown, while increasing fibroblasts. Studies with human fibroblasts undertaken by Bissett et al in 2003 showed that niacinamide stimulates new fibroblasts by 20% and collagen secretion by 54%, helping increase elasticity and firmness and reducing fine lines.
- Increase the production of fibroblasts (which helps reduce the signs of wrinkles and fine lines) which effectively imparts a more even-looking skin tone, helping to attain a glowing complexion. Extended exposure to sun light is a main reason for hyperpigmentation.
Our products that contain Niacinamide:
As a topical application, Oskia uses niacinamide. As already mentioned, Niacinamide is a fabulous ‘all-rounder’ with numerous scientifically proven benefits when used in a skincare regime.
Swedish brand Lernberger Stafsing also employ niacinamide in their a cutting-edge products. They're famed for their exceptional commitment to honest beauty, their products boast the most thought-out ingredient combinations to help strengthen the skin's outer barrier.