In this blog, we set our attention to an essential vitamin for the skin: nicotinamide.
Nicotinamide (also known as niacinamide) is a form of vitamin B3, an essential nutrient that needs to be obtained through diet or supplementation.
Dermatologists use nicotinamide as a dietary supplement, but it is used widely in skin care products as well. Nicotinamide is a versatile vitamin in topical preparations with a wide range of actions. Clinical researchers investigated many of its cosmetic effects and in conditions such as acne, seborrheic dermatitis, and rosacea.
Multiple cosmetic-based studies have been performed. One study involving 138 people showed that topical nicotinamide evened skin tone. Another study showed that nicotinamide containing moisturizer improved the skin barrier’s function, leading to better skin hydration. Nicotinamide may do this by activating the skin cells to make ceramides, natural emollients, and skin protectants. Researchers also found that topical nicotinamide improved the appearance of sun-damaged skin (improved appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and red spots). Topical nicotinamide may improve fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness.
Nicotinamide, available in a topical cream, gel, and oral form (e.g., trade name Nicomide), has shown to be effective in clearing acne. In a controlled clinical trial, 4% nicotinamide gel was found to be as effective as the topical antibiotic 1% clindamycin gel in treating inflammatory acne vulgaris in 76 patients. The study concludes that the anti-inflammatory properties of nicotinamide may have contributed to its success in reducing acne.
Nicotinamide may affect facial sebum production. Sebum is responsible for facial shine and contributes to non-inflamed comedones and inflammatory acne lesions. Clinical study results in Caucasian and Japanese women showed that applying 2% nicotinamide moisturizer to the face for 4-6 weeks reduced sebum production with significant differences in facial shine and oiliness.
The clinical signs and symptoms of rosacea include increased facial skin dryness, redness, and sensitivity. Moisturizers containing nicotinamide may improve skin barrier function in rosacea patients, leading to diminished reaction to irritants, including cleansers and cosmetics. When clients experience products in the treatment room that have benefits to improve their home care regimen, maintaining results achieved during the services become more accessible and more cost-effective. Nicotinamide has a wide variety of uses with a topical application making it an attractive ingredient in moisturizers, including daily sun protection and treatment-based color cosmetics such as mineral foundations and powders.
The newest skingredient on the block similar to nicotinamide is its chemical cousin known as N-nicotinoyl tyramine (NNT). NNT was shown to reduce the production of melanin pigment in laboratory-grown cells. We look forward to seeing if NNT is used more in studies and in cosmetic products to see how it works in people.
* This blog is for general skin, beauty, wellness, and health information only. This post is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health condition or problem. The information provided on this Website should never be used to disregard, delay, or refuse treatment or advice from a physician or a qualified health provider.Integrative Dermatology Symposium.