Niacinamide (also known as nicotinamide) is the water-soluble, active form of Vitamin B3. This active ingredient has been incorporated in many cosmetic and topical agents (e.g. sunscreens).
Niacinamide acts as a cellular energy precursor, a modulator of inflammatory cytokines, and the inhibitor of the nuclear enzyme. This nuclear enzyme is poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose [ADP]) polymerase [PARP], which is involved in the DNA repair process, maintaining genomic stability, and regulating the cellular response to any injuries that skin undergoes.
Vitamin B3 is essential for good health and has lots of benefits for the skin. It helps to improve acne, rosacea, and enhance the ageing skin’s condition. Moreover, niacinamide also helps to improve the skin’s hydration: it reduces the water loss from the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). The active ingredient of niacinamide in various skincare products enhances the overall complexion of the skin by reducing redness, pigmentation, and blotchiness of the skin.
As previously mentioned, skincare products with niacinamide help to clear acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to reduce the production of facial sebum. Excessive presence of sebum causes facial shine and promotes the formation of inflammatory acne lesions and noninflamed comedones. Niacinamide is not recommended to use during pregnancy and nursing period.
Rosacea is characterized as a condition that causes extreme dryness, redness, and sensitivity on the face. Recent studies have shown that moisturizers that contain an active ingredient of niacinamide help to improve the skin barrier function resulting in diminished reaction to any irritants found in regular cosmetics products (e.g. cleaners).
Moreover, niacinamide is also extremely useful in improving the anti-ageing skin: reduces wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmented spots, skin yellowing (sallowness), and red blotchiness. The skin elasticity is improved as well.
It is recommended to use skincare products that contain niacinamide daily. The improvements are usually seen after a month of constant usage and should be continued to use on a daily basis for achieving effective results and long-lasting effects.