Much ado has been made about the merits of vitamin C skin care in recent times, and while the fanfare is very much justified, it may be unfairly stealing the limelight from an equally (if not more) capable competitor: niacinamide or vitamin B3.RELATED: This mask-sanitising spray doubles as an anti-acne treatmentRELATED: 8 detoxifying clay masks to draw out deep impurities
While vitamin C cream and serum, as well as vitamin A cream, rarely stray from a beauty editor’s ‘must-have’ list, niacinamide hasn’t garnered as much traction despite its vast array of brightening and tightening benefits. Until now.Here, we dive deep into the many advantages of including niacinamide in your skin care routine and round up the best products to get you started.
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide is nothing short of a powerhouse, and particularly important to our body as we cannot produce the vitamin on our own.The vitamin itself is water-soluble, which means that we must either eat it or wear it topically to reap its benefits. Niacinamide also goes by the names “Vitamin B3” and “nicotinamide’, a non-acid form of B3.
What are the benefits of niacinamide on your skin?
Suffer from hyper-pigmentation? Dull skin? Niacinamide is your best friend. Known for its capacity to help repair damaged DNA, improve cellular energy and downgrade the effects of sun-induced UV rays, it is particularly useful for fighting early signs of ageing such as wrinkles and discolouration.”Vitamin B3 helps prevent and treat hyper-pigmentation by slowing down the transportation of melanin to the skin’s surface and it’s also effective in improving the skin’s barrier function to maintain skin hydration,” UK-based clinical facialist Kate Kerr told ELLE UK.But it doesn’t end there, with the vitamin offering similar benefits to that of an antibiotic.”This particular vitamin also has an antibiotic effect, which means it improves skin congestion and acne breakouts, all whilst regulating sebum,” said Kerr.Like vitamin C, studies support its impressive brightening properties, the extent of which come down to the concentration of the vitamin in the product in question. The studies also back its ability to maintain moisture, strengthen the skin barrier and aid in the synthesis of healthy fats—all of which are paramount for healthy, youthful skin.In order to best maximise the vitamin’s many benefits, look for skin care products that also include the likes of silica (a natural anti-inflammatory), zinc (for enhanced blemish reduction), hyaluronic acid (for hydration retention) and fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 (to improve the skin’s natural barrier).Although vitamin B3 and vitamin c may appear to overlap in benefits, vitamin B3 is ideal for those who are specifically seeking skin restoration across pigmentation, dull skin, fine lines and enlarged pores. That being said, in conjunction with vitamin C’s overall brightening properties and free radical protection, the duo become particularly powerful, and will tackle an array of skin concerns across the board.
The best vitamin B3 products to try
Want to treat your skin to niacinamide’s powerful properties? Scroll on to find the best niacinamide products for your skin.
Paula’s Choice Clinical 20% Niacinamide Treatment
Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster
Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Treatment
Vitamin B Serum by The Ordinary
Vitamin B3 Serum by APOT.CARE
Vitamin B3+ Serum by Skin Inc
Vitamin B serum by Asap
Words by Sukriti Wahi
Main image credit: @lauren.vandie
Do you use niacinamide in your skin care routine?