INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)

Blue background with hand writing white text showing Vitamin B3 compound Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is considered to be the “amide” version of Vitamin B3. In other words, the carboxyl group of nicotinic acid is replaced with a (carbox) amide group to form Niacinamide.

Niacinamide is seen as the bio-active version of Vitamin B3. It is generally known to be one of the most powerful ingredients in skin care products. It offers a range of benefits to the skin such as boosting its metabolic rate, regulating tdesquamation and supporting the barrier function of the skin. Niacinamide acts as a precursor for more than 300 enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body and it is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Although studies to determine the various skin care benefits of Niacinamide on the skin are still in full swing, a number of promising results have already been found. According to a study, Niacinamide not only helps in reducing hyper-pigmentation, blotches on the skin and redness, but it is also tolerated by almost all types of skin. This double-blind, placebo controlled study was conducted with a group of 50 women who were aged between 40 – 60. Randomized testing was carried throughout a 12 week time frame and this randomization was done between a moisturizer with 5% Niacinamide concentrations and a moisturizer that did not contain Niacinamide. According to the results of the study, the former solution offered much more noticeable skin effects when compared to the latter.

Another study conducted by the Department of Life Science, University of Seoul, found that the cells that were exposed to Vitamin B3 showed lesser oxidative damage. This makes the results consistent with antioxidants. Other studies have also shown the benefits that Niacinamide has to offer in terms of treating wrinkles and boosting the elasticity of the skin.

Now that you’ve understood exactly how beneficial Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) is for your skin, how about understanding the different ways in which it can benefit your skin?

Improving the moisture content of your skin – Niacinamide helps to improve skin hydration by strengthening the barrier function of the skin, thereby preventing weight loss. This was proved by a study that was conducted in the year 2000. The study showed that about 2% of Niacinamide helped in reducing the transepidermal water loss (TEWL) of the skin by as much as 24% within a period of 4 weeks. Furthermore, it also helped in increasing the ceramides (34%) and fatty acids (67%).

Improving the appearance of the skin – Skin aging usually takes place because of things like reduced collagen, the appearance of wrinkles, a poorer skin structure and reduced skin elasticity. Studies have shown that Niacinamide can help in increasing collagen secretion by 54% and stimulating fibroblasts (an ideal strategy to reduce collagen breakdown) by as much as 20%.

Evening out the skin tone – Prolonged exposure to sunlight leads to hyper-pigmentation, which in turn leads to an uneven skin tone. Although Niacinamide cannot inhibit the production of melanin (the ingredient responsible for uneven skin tones), it can inhibit the transfer of these melanosomes to their surrounding keratinocytes. This was actually proved by a study conducted in the year 2002. This makes Niacinamide a great ingredient for helping even out skin tone.

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