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7 March 2023

Niacinamide— the unsung hero of skincare

Not all heroes wear capes, some come in bottles, out of pipettes or pumps to save the day (and your skin). If you have a keen interest in skincare, then you’ve probably heard of one of these particular heroes— niacinamide. If so, you’ve likely heard rave reviews. But if you’re not a skincare freak, you may not have come across this gem of a product and all the wonders it can do for you and your face. Not to worry, your time for minimised pores, reduced inflammation and glowy skin has come. The Beauty Drop is here to give you the complete run down on your potential new holy grail— what it is, all its benefits and when and how to use it.

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that works with the natural substances in your skin. As a water-soluble vitamin, niacinamide breaks down to work with our skin’s naturally occurring substances. It works largely by preventing oil build up and locking moisture into the skin, supporting the skin’s natural barrier, and making for a smoother, more even, and hydrated face. When it comes to benefits, there’s not much out of the realm of possibility for this seemingly magical product. Through hydration and oil regulation, many users find that niacinamide minimises the appearance of pores, evens out skin tone, softens fine lines, brightens skin, and reduces acne and inflammation.

Niacinamide is a bio-active ingredient, meaning there are some things to be consider when introducing it to your routine. Actives in skincare are products that have the ability to change the biology of your skin cells. Amazing— right? Absolutely! But, if not used carefully, actives can overwhelm and irritate the skin, doing more harm than good. Of course, niacinamide, being the skincare superhero it is, is a relatively mild active and carries little risk when it comes to your face’s rescue. For most people, niacinamide is non-irritating and can be used on sensitive skin, it can be used every day, even twice a day, and works well in a routine alongside most products, including other essentials such as vitamin C and retinol. While both niacinamide and vitamin C are powerhouse actives, there is some belief that they don’t work well when used one after another, so if you are going to incorporate niacinamide into a routine that includes vitamin C, many people opt to leave at least twenty minutes between applications or use one product in the morning, and one at night.

Niacinamide often comes in the form of a serum, but can also be found in moisturisers, toners and other products. To get the most out of your niacinamide, opt for a product that is left on the skin, like a serum, rather than one that is washed off, like a cleanser, and start with a lower concentration to ease the skin into the new product. Start with a five per cent niacinamide product such as the Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum with 5% Niacinamide or the Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal Skin Tightening Cream, if you have sensitive skin, you might like to start with a two per cent product, such as the Face Theory Replenamist T5.

Remember that even heroes can’t do it all on their own and niacinamide works best with the help of others skin-loving products. A typical daily skincare routine may follow the steps of:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Tone
  3. Exfoliate
  4. Layer creams, serums, etc from the thinnest to thickest product (this is likely where you will incorporate niacinamide)
  5. Apply SPF in the morning!

Once in your routine, niacinamide can produce results as quickly as within two to four weeks, although some people may find it takes a little longer than this. Be sure to follow the instructions of your specific product for the best results.

As a mild and gentler option than most, niacinamide is unlikely to cause irritation or carry any side effects, some people do report skin flushing, however tolerance to the product tends to build quickly. When used properly, niacinamide shouldn’t cause acne breakouts or produce other skin concerns, if you find a niacinamide product has done so for you, check out the other ingredients in the product as they may be the culprit. As always, it is best to consult with a doctor if you have any concerns or are trying out new products.

Niacinamide really is the unsung hero of the skincare world, with a long list of benefits and little to no side effects, you can look forward to happier, healthier skin with the introduction of this skin saviour!

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