When it comes to wellness, fruits, vegetables and whole grains get a lot of praise for being nutritional powerhouses. That’s because they’re packed with vitamins and minerals that are critical for our bodies’ healthy development and function. And just as our diets benefit from vitamin- and mineral-rich ingredients, so too does our skincare. In fact, one of my favorite ingredients that can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns — from acne to rosacea to signs of aging — is a form of vitamin B called niacinamide. 

Let’s take a closer look:

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of one of the eight B vitamins — namely, vitamin B3. There are actually two forms of vitamin B3, the other being niacin, which has slightly different effects in the body. Both forms can be found in a variety of healthy foods, including green vegetables, beans, cereal grains, eggs and meat. Our bodies can also use the dietary niacin we consume to produce niacinamide.  

How does it work?

The body uses niacinamide to help create two different types of coenzymes needed to repair and grow cells, and to synthesize fatty acids and lipids. When applied to the face, niacinamide has been shown to directly increase the levels of these coenzymes in skin tissues, as well as to increase production of ceramides and keratin. Thanks to these effects, it’s a great ingredient to use on aging skin, helping to boost collagen production, smooth out wrinkles, hydrate skin and strengthen the skin barrier.

Niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory and brightening properties. This makes it beneficial in treating acne and rosacea, as well as for improving the appearance of sallow-looking skin, melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation (dark spots). More good news for acne sufferers: niacinamide has also been shown to help shrink pores and reduce oil production.

While other popular skincare ingredients like retinols and hydroquinone may have similar effects, niacinamide is generally non-irritating and very well-tolerated. It can be layered in multiple products (such as both a serum and a moisturizer) and combined with other beneficial ingredients to deliver greater results.

Where can I find it?

Here at Sara Elizabeth Skincare, niacinamide is one of the stars of the show in our best-selling Azelaic Purifying & Brightening Cream with Alpha Arbutin. Formulated to improve the appearance of visible aging, blemish-prone and/or pigmented skin, this fantastic cream uses a synergistic blend of niacinamide and other brightening and acne-fighting ingredients to deliver clearer, smoother and more even-looking skin. In our unique formulation, niacinamide works to reduce inflammation and the appearance of fine lines, as well as to restore the skin’s natural barrier, making your skin look and feel refreshed and revived, no matter your skin type. I encourage you to try it out — you won’t be disappointed!

In beauty and health,
Sara Tucker

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Author Sara Tucker

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