Much ado has been made about the merits of vitamin C skincare in recent times, and while the fanfare is very much justified, it may be unfairly stealing the limelight from an equally (if not more) capable competitor: niacinamide or Vitamin B3.
While vitamin C cream and serum, as well as vitamin A cream, rarely stray from a beauty editor's 'must-have' list, niacinamide hasn't garnered as much traction despite its vast array of brightening and tightening benefits. Until now.
Here, we dive deep into the many advantages of including niacinamide in your skincare routine and round up the best products to get you started.
WHAT IS NIACINAMIDE?
Niacinamide is nothing short of a powerhouse, and particularly important to our body as we cannot produce the vitamin on our own.
The vitamin itself is water-soluble, which means that we must either eat it or wear it topically to reap its benefits. Niacinamide also goes by the names "Vitamin B3" and "nicotinamide', a non-acid form of B3.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NIACINAMIDE ON YOUR SKIN?
Suffer from hyper-pigmentation? Dull skin? Niacinamide is your best friend. Known for its capacity to help repair damaged DNA, improve cellular energy and downgrade the effects of sun-induced UV rays, it is particularly useful for fighting early signs of ageing such as wrinkles and discolouration.
"Vitamin B3 helps prevent and treat hyper-pigmentation by slowing down the transportation of melanin to the skin's surface and it's also effective in improving the skin's barrier function to maintain skin hydration," UK-based clinical facialist Kate Kerr told ELLE UK.
But it doesn't end there, with the vitamin offering similar benefits to that of an antibiotic.
"This particular vitamin also has an antibiotic effect, which means it improves skin congestion and acne breakouts, all whilst regulating sebum," said Kerr.
Like vitamin C, studies support its impressive brightening properties, the extent of which come down to the concentration of the vitamin in the product in question. The studies also back its ability to maintain moisture, strengthen the skin barrier and aid in the synthesis of healthy fats—all of which are paramount for healthy, youthful skin.
In order to best maximise the vitamin's many benefits, look for skincare products that also include the likes of silica (a natural anti-inflammatory), zinc (for enhanced blemish reduction), hyaluronic acid (for hydration retention) and fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 (to improve the skin's natural barrier).
Although vitamin B3 and vitamin c may appear to overlap in benefits, vitamin B3 is ideal for those who are specifically seeking skin restoration across pigmentation, dull skin, fine lines and enlarged pores. That being said, in conjunction with vitamin C's overall brightening properties and free radical protection, the duo become particularly powerful, and will tackle an array of skin concerns across the board.
THE BEST VITAMIN B3 PRODUCTS TO TRY
Want to treat your skin to niacinamide's powerful properties? Scroll on to find the best niacinamide products for your skin.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, $48.99 from Priceline
Vitamin B Serum by The Ordinary, $9.90 from Priceline
Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Treatment, $52.99 from Priceline
Vitamin B3 Serum by APOT.CARE, $50 from MECCA
Vitamin B Serum by ALPHA-H, $69.95 from ALPHA-H
Vitamin B3+ Serum by Skin Inc, $64 from Sephora
Vitamin B serum by Asap, $95 from Adore Beauty
Vitamin B Serum by Paula's Choice, $44 from Paula's Choice