NIACINAMIDE – A power ingredient that brightens & lightens skin

The lockdown of 2020 has completely changed our lives in one way or the other. We are more mindful of our bodies, and our skin is probably one of those organs that have received the most attention. We are constantly on the lookout to up our skincare game. If you have entered the arena of skincare, you must know the ABC of skincare. Vitamins A, B, and C have been of paramount importance if we want to take good care of our skin. Lately, vitamin B3 or Niacinamide is the ingredient that is gaining popularity as something that suits all skin types and provides most of the benefits you might expect from a good match for your skin.

What is Niacinamide?
Our search for brightening and soothing ingredients is probably endless. However, Vitamin B3 or Niacinamide should be the one to top your list. Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble essential vitamin, meaning that it cannot be produced by our bodies. Thus, vitamin B3 or niacin forms an important form of our diets. For our skin, topical Niacinamide has three important functions

1. Restoration– enhances cellular repair, immune response, and sebum balance.
2. Brightening– prevents hyperpigmentation, reduces the appearance of pores, hydrates the skin, and strengthens the skin barrier.
3. Soothing– reduces erythema or redness of sensitive skin, rosacea, and eczema.

Essentially, there are two basic forms of niacin- Niacinamide/ nicotinamide, and nicotinic acid. These two forms are speculated to be inter-convertible inside the human body.

However, when topically applied, nicotinic acid proves to be more efficacious when it comes to the benefits of Vitamin B3 (restoring, brightening, and soothing). But don’t be fooled by this advantage, as topical nicotinic acid causes vasodilation (thus flushing of the skin). In comes the rescuer Niacinamide or nicotinamide. Niacinamide gives the same benefits as nicotinic acid, without the added side effects of change in BP, pulse rate, or temperature. This is why it is favoured in the cosmeceutical world.

How does Niacinamide work? 
Niacinamide penetrates the stratum corneum (topmost layer of your skin) and interacts with specific receptors in the deeper layers of the skin to increase the production of NAD (and its phosphorylated form, NADP), which are cofactors that take part in important redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions of your skin.

What are the effects of Niacinamide on the skin? 
When used in a concentration of 2% or above (for 4 weeks),

  • Niacinamide improves the functioning of the skin’s barrier by increasing the synthesis of ceramides and by increasing the differentiation of keratinocytes. This occurs by an increased up-regulation of serine palmitoyl transferases. Additionally, Niacinamide also decreases trans-epidermal water epidermal water loss, thus increasing hydration.
  • Niacinamide acts as an important antioxidant, i.e, it acts as a free radical and decreases oxidative stress on the skin.
  • By increasing or improving the barrier function, Niacinamide also soothes the skin and calms down erythema or redness. This is especially useful in conditions of inflammation including acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.
  • Niacinamide increases the synthesis of collagen and other proteins, thus also aiding in the anti-ageing process of the skin.
  • Niacinamide decreases the development of hyperpigmentation (eg melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It is to be noted that Niacinamide cannot decrease the synthesis of melanin, and neither can it reduce the activity of tyrosinase (an enzyme that is crucial in the synthesis of melanin). Niacinamide acts indirectly by decreasing the transport of melanin into the superficial layers of the skin.
  • Niacinamide is known to reduce the appearance of pores and regulate sebum production.

How to choose the right Niacinamide product for your skin?

Niacinamide when used in combination with other efficacious ingredients shows wonders on the skin. For instance, Vrija illuminate night mask is a mighty combination of Niacinamide & world-class ingredients like sea fern extract, brightening complex, tranexamic acid, stabilized vitamin C & curcumin to even the skin tone, reduce fine lines, dark spots & age spots. Along with the brightening effect the mask is committed to provide moisturization. Choosing Illuminate night mask gives a happy ending to your skincare regime as apart from the brightening effect the mask will assist the skin in its repair & rejuvenation for a healthy, nourished & younger-looking skin.

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