What Is Niacinamide and Why Is it So Popular in Skincare?

Niacinamide has been around for years but has recently gained traction in the beauty world and can now be found in a number of skincare products. In fact, of the 10 most-Googled skincare ingredients this year, niacinamide came in at number nine, with the most Googled question being “Is niacinamide good for acne?”.

In short, the answer is yes. Niacinamide can be extremely helpful in the treatment of acne and is why this ingredient is getting so much attention lately. But, it’s also great for every other skin type out there, according to Nicola Kropach, the general manager at Aesthetics Rx — an active skincare range that uses potent natural antioxidants.

“Every skin can benefit from niacinamide since it is one of the vitamins required for healthy skin repair function,” Kropach told The Latch.

With this in mind, Kropach answered all of our niacinamide-related questions, so here’s everything you need to know.

What is niacinamide?

“Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It is essential for some skin cell functions including repair and renewal since it is a precursor for some of the chemical reactions in the skin that need to occur for these functions to be maintained,” Kropach told The Latch.

What are the benefits of niacinamide?

According to Kropach, niacinamide can be used to target a number of skin concerns including acne, ageing and general skin health.

“Niacinamide revives skins healthy tone, by improving skin hydration and the appearance of premature ageing skin by stimulating new fibroblasts and collagen production, therefore reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and imperfections,” she said.

“It helps to heal and repair the skin and is a potent ingredient we use to reduce inflammation in the skin.”

Is niacinamide good for acne?

“It is so good for acne because it heals the skin, reduces inflammation associated with breakouts, helps reduce sebum (the oil in the skin responsible for acne) and also strengthens the skin’s barrier which often is compromised due to the use of harsh products used by some acne sufferers,” Kropach said.

“Niacinamide also helps to even out skin tone, making it beneficial in the treatment of the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation left behind by acne.”

What you should look for in skincare that contains niacinamide

“The therapeutic dose of niacinamide is 2% minimum, so look for a quality B3 serum that contains at least this percentage,” Kropach said. “That doesn’t mean look for the highest percentage though, often the ‘less is more’ approach is best because high doses can trigger unwanted side-effects.

“Aesthetics Rx B Serum ($109rrp) is an oil-free moisturising serum packed with vitamin B3, supported by vitamin B5, & hyaluronic acid. This serum provides maximum skin hydration & is suitable as a moisturiser for acne or oily prone skin or as a serum prior to normal moisturiser in normal, dry or dehydrated skin.”

Why is niacinamide so popular at the moment?

“Niacinamide is not new, we’ve used it, along with most dermatologists for many, many years,” Kropach said. “It is a go-to ingredient in clinical settings because of its ability to heal, strengthen and reduce inflammation associated with some of the skin disorders we see and the types of dermal treatments we perform.

“Ingredients come and go like trends, and become buzzwords intermittently, depending on how deep the pockets of the brands marketing budgets are! Its mostly marketing hype when you start hearing about an ingredient like this all of a sudden, that has been around for years.”

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