What Does Niacinamide Do for the Skin Barrier?

Niacinamide is a wonderful ingredient, it can help with oil control, increase the ceramides that our skin naturally produces, and it can help to stop the spread of pigment or dark spots. Niacinamide (NIA) or “vitamin B3” is a water-soluble vitamin that displays antioxidant effects and helps repair damaged skin barriers and combats reactive oxygen species. Recent studies show that matter such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), disrupts DNA, lipids, and protein, and ultimately skin keratinocytes. Niacinamide is used to decrease some of the effects of reactive oxygen species and to repair the skin barrier.

Photocred: Semantic scholar

You’ll find niacinamide in a lot of different products. Sometimes, it’s easy to spot because niacinamide is the key feature or key ingredient of a product, and other times, it may be more unnoticeable. There are sunscreens, moisturizers, and even toners that have niacinamide in them, but they don’t always label it directly on the front. That’s why you have to turn and learn your ingredients.

Is niacinamide good for oily skin?

Most people don’t even know where niacinamide comes from. Niacin is a B vitamin that we need in our bodies. We need to ingest it, but when it comes to applying it topically, how does it truly help? While most people know that niacinamide is excellent for skin and that it generally works for all skin types, what does it actually do? It is great for oily skin, dry skin, damaged skin barriers, and even for people who have pigmentation. One of the coolest things about niacinamide is that it can help with oil regulation, production, and control.

What does niacinamide do?

Specifically, it helps with creating ceramides. Over half of the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin is made from ceramides, and if your skin doesn’t naturally have enough ceramides, this can lead to dryness, irritation, and it can actually damage your skin’s barrier. Niacinamide is great because it tells your skin, “Hey, we need to create more ceramides.” So, instead of just applying ceramides, you’re literally using a vitamin that teaches your skin how to make more. Niacinamide is also great for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. If you ever get an acne lesion or a mark and it leaves behind a purple, brown, or red dark patch, niacinamide can help.

Niacinamide stops pigment from being transferred to keratinocytes and moving to the top layer of the skin. Therefore, it’s really good for people who are struggling with a little bit of minor pigmentation and the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can come along with acne and breakouts. When you combine niacinamide with other ingredients, specifically retinoids, niacinamide can help with dryness and graceful aging.

Can you mix niacinamide with vitamin C?

There are rumors that you shouldn’t mix niacinamide and vitamin C or that you can only use niacinamide during the day. Firstly, niacinamide is a very stable molecule making it very stable for skincare.It’s in so many products because it can go with just about anything, and it works for just about everyone’s skin. As for the rumor that niacinamide shouldn’t be used with vitamin C, that idea actually comes from an outdated study. In this study, they looked at super high and pure amounts of L ascorbic acid and pure nicotinic acid. They put them together under high temperatures, and thus, they saw that there could be irritation. However, that was done in a clinical setting, and those sorts of conditions would never happen in real life, and they would definitely not happen on your skin. So, unless you notice major irritation, there’s no problem with putting niacinamide on before vitamin C or vice versa.

Rather than worry about what you’re mixing it with, Cassandra would personally be a little more worried about how niacinamide can ball up or become chalky upon being layered. Some niacinamide formulas also get a little crusty. However, that is a perfectly normal occurrence. You just want to make sure that’s not happening on your face or that mixing them with other products isn’t making it worse. Overall though, yes, you can use niacinamide during your nighttime or daytime skincare routine.