Niacinamide not only just acts on the skin condition but helps improve overall skin texture by enhancing the cellular function of the skin.
Just like how mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell likewise niacinamide is the power ingredient of the skincare world. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin i.e., vitamin B3. Our body doesn’t produce niacinamide naturally but it can make it with the help of niacin supplements, tryptophan in the body can also be converted into niacinamide. Niacinamide did show some visible effects on the skin when applied topically. The list of its benefits keeps flowing and one can reap its benefits over time with proper usage. Firstly it acts as a lipid barrier. Niacinamide helps produce ceramides which contribute to 50% of skin lipids that forms skin barrier naturally. These ceramides prevent permeability by forming a barrier preventing trans-epidermal water loss in case of dry skin and retaining moisture.
Niacinamide also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation could be intrinsic or extrinsic. It helps reduce inflammation, redness, itchiness, acne, and scars. Also minimises open pores that may be due to not enough hydration of skin, early stage of ageing, and loss of moisture. It also has an immunosuppressive effect on the UV rays the of sun that may cause skin degeneration and photoaging and hyperpigmentation that may be due to overproduction of melanin. As it is known when skin is exposed to UV rays the skin tries to protect itself by producing melanin, it’s a protein that brings out the colour of the skin. When it is produced more than required it leaves pigmented marks or patches on the skin which is nothing but hyperpigmentation.
Niacinamide is a holy grail for acne-prone skin. It helps in regulating the sebum production which contributes to breakouts and acne. Propionibacterium acnes is the bacteria responsible for the formation of acne. Niacinamide reduces the action of this bacteria eventually helping heal acne. Niacinamide not only just acts on the skin condition but helps improve overall skin texture by enhancing the cellular function of the skin. Niacinamide is one such ingredient which acts on all skin conditions from hydration to treating skin conditions like eczema. Incorporating niacinamide in skincare is the right choice with changing lifestyles and unpredictable environments and climate changes.
Retinol is highly potent and these side effects start to fade out after discontinuing its usage. But in combination with niacinamide, it complements each other.
But there’s a certain concentration that has to be applied on to the skin. 2-5% is the effective range for any topical niacinamide product. Its easily absorbed into the skin so applying low concentration initially to check its compatibility with the skin is highly suggestible. Even a few drops of the product are more than enough for its absorption into the skin. Niacinamide in combination with other skincare ingredients is also recommended to reap the benefits of the product.
Retinol is best known for its anti-ageing property, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and signs of early ageing and also helps in the production of collagen. But it all comes up with the cost of skin dryness, irritation due to dryness and irritation can lead to redness and even hyperpigmentation. Retinol is highly potent and these side effects start to fade out after discontinuing its usage. But in combination with niacinamide, it complements each other. Niacinamide provides strength to the skin along with required hydration and anti-inflammatory effect also helps retinol work on the skin without irritating the skin.
Next is hyaluronic acid is the hydrating agent produced by our own body. Fine lines and wrinkles also appear due to dehydration and loss of moisture. Hyaluronic acid draws water and can hold up to 1000 times its weight. But with age, the body produces less hyaluronic acid so with the topical application the need can be fulfilled. It helps in cell turnover which is nothing but shedding out dead cells and replacing them with new young cells. Both niacinamide and hyaluronic acids are water-based ingredients and are the power combo hydration ingredients. They quench the need for hydration of the skin in their way. Niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier preventing moisture loss and hyaluronic acid draws water and provides more hydration and plumped up skin with reduced lines and wrinkles.
Be it any product or an ingredient nothing can work wonders overnight. Human skin is the most delicate and sensitive part and takes time to get accustomed to any sort of extrinsic or intrinsic changes. So the same way niacinamide is effective yet takes time to show visible effects and always it is safe to use lower concentrations at the beginning for understanding skin compatibility and eventually changing according to the skin’s needs.
Composed by: “Sunayana Rajju is presently working as research Associate for Hetero Labs limited Hyderabad in formulation R&D injectables department (Non Onco).”