But, so many brands are being quite slow at jumping on the niacinamide bandwagon, busy as they are discovering their own supposedly-miraculous-but-actually-useless special ingredients. *sighs*
One brand that gets their science right is Skinceuticals. Niacinamide is the star of the Metacell Renewal B3, which claims to reduce photodamage (another word for sun damage). There is a whooping 5% of it here. I know 5% doesn’t sound like much, but it’s one of the hightest concentrations you’ll find in a cosmetic product these days. Well done, Skinceuticals!
But, is that alone worthy the equally whooping $110.00 price tag? Let’s investigate:
Why Niacinamide is so awesome for the skin
Niacinamide, also called vitamin B3, is one of those multi-tasking ingredients that does absolutely everything:
- It reduces hyperpigmentation by stopping melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour) from reaching the surface of the skin.
- It makes fine lines and wrinkles smaller.
- It hydrates skin better than petrolatum, which is considered the gold standard of hydration by dermatologists.
- It counteracts sallowness.
- It soothes skin and helps treat rosacea.
- It busts acne.
Best of all? Unlike other effective multi-staskers, such as retinol and vitamin C, niacinamide has no side effects. It’s so gentle, even those with sensitive skin can safely use it. Isn’t that awesome?
What else is in Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3?
- 15% of glycerin, a humectant that draws water from the environment into the skin, keeping it well-hydrated. And when skin is hydrated, it glows.
- Silicones. They make up its base, which is why its texture feels so silky soft and spreads on the skin so easily. And nope, silicones, don’t suffocate skin. Their particular molecular structure is made up of large molecules with large spaces between each molecule that allow skin to perspire.
- Citrus oils, which have no real benefit for the skin, but can cause irritations and even darken skin (quite ironic since this emulsion is designed to fight that!). There’s very little of them in here, so I doubt they’ll cause any real problems, but always use it with a good sunscreen, just in case.
- Tetradecyl aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric urea trifluoroacetate, a tripeptide that reduces wrinkles and firms skin. At least, according to the company that makes it. There are no indepedent studies confirming these claims yet.
What else isn’t here?
Antioxidants. Skinceuticals relies heavily on niacinamide here to do pretty much all the work, which is not a bad idea. Niacinamide works. But, if you charge $110.00 for a bottle, I can’t help but feel you should include some more goodies in the formula, don’t you?
Personal experience and results
Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 has a lightweight texture that sinks immediately into the skin, without leaving any greasy residue behind. I’ve been using it for a few months now, and my skin is smoother, is slightly more hydrated, and my fine lines look a bit smaller, too.
This emulsion worked really well for me during the heart of winter, when my skin decided to turn dry and sensitive. My beloved retinol became too harsh for a while, and Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 soothed it while giving my skin everything it needed to fight photoaging.
So, is Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 worth the splurge?
Yes, if your skin is sensitive and you need something that can fight photoaging without irritating it.
No, if you don’t feel like splurging on a fairly basic niacinamide treatment that lacks antioxidants. In this case, a cheaper retinol or vitamin C serum can give you the same results.