What it is
Niacinamide (also called nicotinamide) is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3.
What it does
Niacinamide increases ceramide, free fatty acid and collagen production in the skin and stimulates micro-circulation in the dermis. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles, sallowness and improves elasticity.
It reduces flaking and restores suppleness, thus improving the appearance of dry and damaged skin.
One study showed that niacinamide is more effective than vaseline (petrolatum) at reducing water loss and increasing the hydration levels of skin. For these reasons, it may help alleviate rosacea.
Some studies on the anti-acne properties of this ingredient showed that it helps reducing the inflammation without inducing bacterial resistance.
Niacinamide also decreases skin discoloration by inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes (organelles that contain melanin in cells) to the skin cells, which stops irregular pigmentation from forming.
Sirtuins, a group of enzymes that regulates the activity of some genes responsible for metabolism, cell defence and other functions, are inhibited by niacinamide. Therefore, products that contain niacinamide shouldn’t be used with products that contan sirtuins.
(Sources: British Journal of Dermatology, Semptember 2000, International Journal of Dermatology, March 2005, International Journal of Dermatology, June 1995, Cutis, August 2005, and Dermatology Research and Practice, July 2011)
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