AKL Reviews – What is Niacinamide and should you be using it?

Hi everyone

An ingredient that I feel I suddenly see everywhere is Niacinamide, whether I am walking along the skincare shelves or watching skincare routine on Your tube and I just feel like it is the go to ingredient everyone is buying. Skincare can be very confusing with so many opinions and quite a bit of scare mongering. So a little while ago I thought I would try this out for myself. I am a big fan of the Ordinary as a skincare range and so I brought the Niaciamide 10% plus zinc 1%. I thought I would share with you my thoughts.

So lets start at the beginning – what is Niacinamide?

It is basically Vitamin B3 which is an essential nutrient for the body and while we don’t naturally produce this in our bodies we do get this from food so things like Kale or mushrooms. Vitamin B3 is good for healing and repairing and when applied topically (which is when you apply something to the surface of the body) it has amazing benefits for your skin.

Lets talk about the benefits

Firstly its all about the pores. It is proven to reduce the look and size of pores, if you are some like me who is constantly trying to minimise pores then this is very appealing. It is also good at regulating the skin tone and reducing the oil production so the skin is more balanced. Often products including this one will help with congestion and will support the barrier function of the skin which will stop acne causing bacteria to get through. This does suggest that it will reduce the amount of blemishes but it doesn’t claim that specifically just that is creates an environment to help to reduce them. I think that’s a subtle but important difference.

Niacinamide is also excellent for hydration, it increases the skins ability to hold in moisture as well as making the skin look plump and ultimately more youthful. It help with hyper pigmentation and dark spots as mentioned from acne or scaring as well as rebuild and heal the skin. It will help with wrinkles prevention and naturally allows the skin to ‘plump’ up reducing fine lines.

So who would use Niacinamide?

To a certain extent everyone can use Niacinamide. Depending on your skin type through you will choose products that contain other ingredients geared towards your skins concern for example for anti aging you will choose products with Niacinamide and things like Hyaluronic acid which I have talked about here What is Hyaluronic acid and should it be in your skin care routine? where as if you have oily / acne prone skin you would chose products with Niacinamide and maybe a glycolic acid to clarify.

So what about The Ordinary Niaciamide 10% plus zinc 1%?

A lot of products come with between 2% and 5% Niacinamide whereas the ordinary come with 10%. Basically the strength it is down to level of skin concern, to reduce the visibility of pores it has been shown to work at 2% however if you haven maybe more advanced skin concerns you may wish to go for a higher concentrate.

The Ordinary also contains zinc which is excellent at regulating oil production and also balancing the skin so it really complements the benefits of Niacinamide.

Personally I really like The Ordinary version of Niacinamide, it is really good value for money at around £5 for a 30 ml bottle (you can get a super size as well). It doesn’t have a strong smell and didn’t irritate my skin in any way (my eyes are really sensitive to fragrance). It spreads really well across the skin meaning you only need a couple of drops for the entire face and neck. It is a water based serum and so I put this on after cleansing and before any heavier oil or cream based products and I find it mixes well with them without lathering or creating that horrible white build up.

There has been quite a bit of talk about Niacinamide and what you cant put with it or more to the point what you cant put with it, the main rumour being Vitamin C. Deciem who produce The Ordinary say not to put Niacinamide with Vitamin C however Caroline Hirons who I love says not to worry and that this is a myth so I suppose its up to each of us to do our research on this.

Personally I love it and will be repurchasing this as an ingredient and I am really happy with The Ordinary version so that will be a regular in my shopping basket!

Thanks for reading

AKL