Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Skin Care Superstar
B is for Battle
Niacinamide, the active component of niacin (Vitamin B3), has been gaining popularity among skin care professionals in the most recent years. This year in particular will be nothing short of successful in furthering the ingredient’s rise to stardom, as clinical trials and research studies continue to prove the vitamin’s versatility for battling a variety of skin concerns. One major secret weapon behind niacinamide’s success as a skin care ingredient is its ability to increase energy production within our skin cells.
Niacinamide & Cellular Energy
Niacin is found in foods like, asparagus, mushrooms, beets, tuna and poultry. When consumed, the body converts niacin to niacinamide, where it becomes the precursor of the coenzymes NADH and NADPH. This means that niacinamide is crucial for the creation of these two coenzymes, as it is the substance from which they both are formed. Both NADH and NADPH are needed for our skin cells to produce energy. Cellular energy is required to carry out vital skin supporting functions, such as, cell turnover, microcirculation in the dermis, prevention of water loss, and an increase in ceramide and fatty acid levels in the skin (2). This energy stimulation also has the added bonus of enhancing the effectiveness of ingredients put on with or immediately after its application.
Having this much control over the skin’s functionality, niacinamide could be one of the rare beauty trends with much more to offer than a list of empty promises. Studies continue to be conducted and have already shown remarkable results as a treatment for aging, acneic, and discolored skin when formulated correctly in specific concentrations.
Niacinamide Battles Aging Skin & Hyperpigmentation
Energetic skin, skin with the appropriate levels of NADH/NADPH, is a large contributor to maintaining a youthful appearance. Unfortunately, the above mentioned coenzymes rapidly decline as we age, spurring a steady decrease of energy production in our cells from about our early 20s through our 60s (1). Scientists believe this energy deficit to be a contributor to visible signs of aging (2). As a precursor to energy production, niacinamide has been shown to counteract this decline.
The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology published a 2003 study in which 50 women, between the ages of 40 and 60, participated for 12-weeks in the assessment of two facial moisturizers. One moisturizer was given as a placebo, while 5% niacinamide was added to the other. The results revealed “significant improvements” in treating the fine lines/wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sallowness characteristic of aging skin (3).
Niacinamide Battles Acne
There is strong evidence of niacinamide’s success at clearing stubborn cases of acne. A controlled clinical trial involving 76 patients with moderate acne, 4% niacinamide was found to be as effective as a topical antibiotic (4).
The study further establishes the ingredient’s ability to improve the skin’s barrier function, thereby reducing excessive sebum production. The vitamin’s versatility as a skin care ingredient make it the perfect solution for those looking for products that fight against aging, as well as blemishes.
Bee Naturals Products Containing Niacinamide
Cleanse: Foaming Face Wash
Hydrate: Ultra AA Serum
Moisturize: Anti-Aging Blemish Creme – Oil Free Moisturizer
Inflammation/Acne Treatment: Blemish Lotion
- Bissett, D. L., Miyamoto, K., Sun, P., Li, J. and Berge, C. A. (2004), Topical niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyperpigmented spots in aging facial skin. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 26: 231–238.
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