When asked about the superstar skincare ingredient, Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol or even cannabis might be your first choice. But in this list is an unsung hero, a master-of-everything i.e. Niacinamide which tackles all your skin woes – be it fine lines, hyperpigmentation, oily skin, acne, dehydration and uneven skin tone. While it has been working away in solitude over the years in many of our cleansers, creams and serums over the years, some of the much-loved made-for-millennial skincare brands (like the cult favourite The Ordinary) have put the Niacinamide into the spotlight. And after experiencing the goodness of Niacinamide first-hand, it’s time to break it down to you all – why it needs to be the star of your skincare routine?
In simpler terms, Niacinamide (also known as Nicotamide) is just another form of Vitamin B3 that acts as skin’s gatekeeper by boosting the production of ceramides that make the skin’s protective barrier, thereby restoring and renewing skin’s surface. And as a result, the essential moisture stays locked in, whilst irritants and pollutants are kept away from the skin giving way to hydrated and dewier skin along with reduced fine lines. Not just that, this water-soluble vitamin is truly an ingenious all-rounder that works for all ages and skin types, and is even compatible with other essential skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, AHAs, BHAs, Vitamin C, antioxidants and more. This makes the addition of Niacinamide into the skincare routine much easier; unlike say the precautions of using Vitamin C and Retinol together.
Exploring Niacinamde’s skill set further, you’ll realize that it’s like a real life sole Deathly Hallows for your skin. I mean, if you have excessive oiliness, this happens to be one of the few ingredients that can actually reduce sebum production to make the skin feel more balanced and under control, and, in turn, minimize pore appearance. And well, I can truly vouch from my own experience that this is an absolute reality. While we have already established that it helps with ceramide production and hydration (especially beneficial during winters and for dry/dehydrated skin), it also helps to calm beaming red blemishes and even fade out spots (age, sun or acne) for more radiant and even skin tone. And if your skin’s prone to sensitivity and redness, this right here is the magical ingredient for all your woes. So, whenever you introduce a new skincare product into your routine, you can use a Niacinamide-based product along with it to help make your skin less prone to irritation. This can particularly be helpful in case of powerful ingredients (like Retinol) that may have tendency to irritating.
Well, the artistry of Niacinamide is such that it’ll easily fit into your existing routine (day or night). You can simply slot it according to your convenience or need, after all it is found in everything from cleansers to moisturizers, serums and toners, and even sunscreens. To be honest, it has been like my secret skincare weapon this year and has helped me manage my skin, especially through the exceptionally humid monsoon. And to help you seize the mighty powers of Niacinamide, below are some of the most remarkable Niacinamide products from The Ordinary, Hylamide, La Roche-Posay, Dr. Sheths and more to get you ready for #GlowGang.
Karishma is an engineer turned fashion stylist and writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, Ranveer Singh, salted caramel ice-cream and red lipsticks make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma’s story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.