(Beauty)

5 Reasons Why Niacinamide Is A Must-Have Skin-Care Ingredient

You'll want to add this to your skin-care routine ASAP.

By Bianca Lambert
Shutterstock/Sofia Zhuravetc

If you're a skin-care enthusiast, you're likely familiar with the ingredient we're about to take a deep dive into—niacinamide. However, if you're new to the skin-care game and still learning, this may sound like a foreign language. Either way, there is always something to be learned about the benefits of the buzzy ingredients lining our vanities and incorporated into many of our go-to skin-care lines. The inspiration for this lesson? The new Keys Soulcare brightening Promise Serum, infused with niacinamide.

The weightless gel serum is formulated for use both day and night. In addition, it has two other vital ingredients— zinc PCA and snow mushroom— that together help balance and brighten uneven complexions, control oil production, promote smoother skin, and calm and hydrate. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of adding niacinamide to your routine.

It's An Antioxidant

Antioxidants aren't just good to incorporate into our diets. Applying them topically helps protect our skin from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, sun exposure, and pollution. Niacinamide, or nicotinamide as it is known scientifically, is a water-soluble vitamin that isn't made naturally in the body. So, to receive the benefits of the powerhouse B3, we must add food to our diets like tuna, turkey, and salmon. Alternatively, applying it topically via a serum or moisturizer makes it easy for our skin to soak up the benefits right up.

Niacinamide Can Help With Skin Tone And Texture

If you struggle with skin discoloration like hyperpigmentation or age spots, the addition of niacinamide to your skin-care routine could be a game-changer. "Niacinamide has been shown in several studies to help reduce some signs of skin aging, particularly skin tone and texture," New York-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King tells TZR. "Some studies have found that it may help reduce the appearance of age spots and other forms of skin discoloration. And it is also a potent antioxidant that brightens skin by fading hyperpigmentation and reducing redness."

It Can Protect The Skin Barrier And Help Skin Retain Moisture

Whether we think about it much or not, keeping our skin barrier healthy protects our body's largest organ, the epidermis, from environmental threats. And one of the easiest ways to disrupt our skin barrier is by over-exfoliating, overwashing, and using harsh ingredients on the skin. King shares that niacinamide can have a positive effect on keeping the skin barrier feeling and looking its best. "Studies have shown that topical niacinamide can have stabilizing effects on the skin's barrier function, which can help improve moisture retention," she says. "It also increases the skin's production of ceramides, which help strengthen the skin barrier, preventing loss of moisture."

It Works Well For A Variety Of Skin Types

Niacinamide may be piquing your interest, but you might be wondering if it will work well for your skin type. The answer is yes. "Anyone who wants to improve tone and/or texture can use niacinamide," King explains. And unlike ingredients like retinol, BHA, and AHA's, she says niacinamide is safe to use daily. "It does not tend to cause irritation or inflammation, and results will be improved with regular use. Look for products containing 5% niacinamide. That's the percentage that's been proven to visibly make a difference without causing any irritation."

Like any skin-care product you use, it will take a few weeks to see improvements, but King says there is a possibility you'll see some improvement sooner. "You'll notice some effects immediately, although most of the studies on niacinamide showed results after 8-12 weeks."

You Can Layer It With Other Ingredients

Learning to layer skin-care ingredients skin is a science, and adding a new element can sometimes throw things off. However, King says layering niacinamide with hyaluronic acid, retinol, and even acne-fighting ingredients is OK. "Many acne-fighting ingredients like retinoids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide can be drying and irritating, so it can be helpful to combine ingredients like this with ingredients like niacinamide, that support the skin barrier and improve moisture levels and tone, and texture."