5 Benefits Of Niacinamide In Skin Care
Table of Contents
How Was Niacinamide Discovered?
In the 1880s, the residents of the East Indies under Dutch rule at that time suffered from beriberi for a long time. To eliminate the threat of disease to the Dutch East Indies, in 1896, the Dutch government established a special committee to study the prevention and treatment of athlete’s foot. The Dutch doctor Christian Eijkman is one of the committee members.
Dr. Eijkman found that people who only eat refined white rice suffer from beriberi, while those who consume unmilled brown rice do not. Dr. Eijkman, who is good at observation, believes that unmilled brown rice contains certain ingredients that can treat beriberi.
In 1911, Dr. Eijkman and another scientist successfully extracted this substance from rice bran. This was the first time that humans discovered vitamins. Later, a Polish biochemist called it vitamins, and in modern times it is called vitamin B1.
The discovery of vitamins greatly stimulated the enthusiasm of scientists for research and began to try to use vitamin B1 to treat pellagra. Pellagra is a disease that produces severe skin cracking in the sun and is associated with diarrhea and psychosis, as well as a certain mortality rate.
However, the therapeutic effect of vitamin B1 is not very good. Later, Dr. Eijkman discovered that vitamin B3, niacin, and niacinamide can effectively prevent pellagra.
For a long time afterward, vitamin B3 was only used as an oral medicine to treat pellagra. But unexpectedly in 1974, an Englishman named Girish Parsad Mathur had a whim and added niacinamide to sunscreen. This experiment unearthed the skin lightening function of niacinamide.
Niacinamide is one of the classic cases when medicines are turned into skincare ingredients, and it is a stable form of vitamin B3. The form of vitamin B3 activated in our body is niacin, but topical niacin is very irritating and cannot be used directly in skin care products, so using niacinamide is the best choice.
The water-soluble vitamin B family members are one of the most easily missing vitamins in our body. Because vitamin B is water-soluble, urination and sweating will lose some vitamin B, and it needs to be supplemented continuously from the outside world. In this vitamin B family, niacinamide represents vitamin B3, which is essential for energy metabolism in all animals.
Summary of The Functions of Nicotinamide
Niacinamide is a common whitening ingredient in the field of skin care, but in fact, Niacinamide has a very wide range of effects on the skin, mainly as follows:
1. Skin Lightening
Niacinamide can accelerate the metabolism of the skin and accelerate the shedding of keratinocytes containing melanin.
Nicotinamide has a small molecular weight and can be directly absorbed by epidermal cells, stimulates the vitality of some aging cells, promotes the synthesis of collagen, prevents excessive melanin deposition, and achieves whitening effects.
After melanin is produced, only the melanin located in the basal layer is transported to the stratum corneum, the skin will turn black. Niacinamide can reduce the transport of melanin to the stratum corneum, reduce the accumulation of melanin in the stratum corneum, and prevent skin darkening.
Clinical experiments have proved that niacinamide can significantly reduce the area and number of brown spots on the skin. With the naked eye, you can see that the skin pigmentation becomes lighter.
Niacinamide also has the effect of anti-glycation, can lighten the yellow color of proteins after being glycated, and improve the dull yellowness of the skin.
2. Control sebum production and shrink pores
When the concentration of niacinamide in skin care products reaches 2%, it can reduce the secretion of skin oil. Pores are the openings of sebum flow channels. The reduction of oil secretion will gradually shrink the pores, achieving the purpose of shrinking pores.
3. Get rid of acne
When using a gel containing 4% niacinamide, the treatment effect on acne is equivalent to 1% clindamycin phosphate gel.
4. Strengthen the skin barrier
Niacinamide can promote the synthesis of epidermal protein, increase the thickness of the epidermal layer, enhance the skin’s defense capabilities, increase skin moisture content, and reduce facial skin wrinkles.
5. Inhibit light aging
Niacinamide can reduce spots and erythema caused by photoaging, and prevent the degradation of collagen caused by ultraviolet rays on the facial skin.
Niacinamide May Be Irritating To The Skin
Although nicotinamide is very powerful, its irritation is often criticized.
Niacinamide is very mild to the skin and has no irritation. It is the trace amount of niacin contained in nicotinamide that causes the irritation.
Although the content of niacin is very low but it is very irritating, modern purification technology can ensure that the content of niacin in niacinamide is very low.
However, when used in weakly acidic formulas, part of the niacinamide will always be hydrolyzed to form niacin to achieve dynamic equilibrium.
Therefore, niacinamide products are not suitable for mixed-use with other acid products. If they are used in combination, it will change the pH of the skin. At this time, niacinamide will release a large amount of niacin and cause skin irritation.
When using high-concentration nicotinamide products, many skin irritation reactions such as redness, swelling, itching, tingling, and other allergic reactions will occur, especially in dry and cold environments.
How to avoid the irritation of nicotinamide, the control of impurities in nicotinamide raw materials and the design of the formula have high requirements. In this regard, P&G and Unilever do better.
Precautions For Choosing Niacinamide Products
Although the efficacy of niacinamide is good, some products on the market only add a little amount to claim that the product has a whitening effect belongs to deception.
When the concentration of niacinamide is lower than 2%, the absorption rate of niacinamide increases linearly with the added amount, but it takes longer to see facial improvement.
After the concentration reaches 2%, the absorption rate of nicotinamide will not increase linearly. If the concentration of niacinamide is higher, the effect will be better, but the irritation will be greatly increased, and many people’s facial skins cannot tolerate high concentrations of niacinamide. Sensitive skin carefully chooses products containing niacinamide.
When choosing a niacinamide product, you can start with a low concentration, wait until the skin can tolerate the irritation of niacinamide, and then gradually choose a high concentration niacinamide product.
Or before using high-concentration nicotinamide, use a thin layer of lotion and then use nicotinamide products. This can moisturize the skin first, adjust the skin to the best condition, reduce the speed of nicotinamide infiltration into the skin, reduce irritation, and achieve the purpose of whitening the skin.
Some people’s skin will sting a bit at the beginning of using it. After a period of use, the skin will gradually adapt to the irritation of nicotinamide. If you keep using it for a period of time, you will see better results.
Niacinamide has a very comprehensive effect, and its disadvantage is that it is more irritating to the skin.
Skin care is a long-term process, and you cannot expect too fast.
28 days is a cycle of skin metabolism. It is necessary to follow the laws of skin metabolism and not attempt to change the normal physiological functions of the skin.
Quick-acting whitening products often add banned ingredients such as heavy metals and hormones, which are harmful to skin care.