Niacin is the generic name for Vitamin B3, also known as Niacinamide or Nicotinic Acid. There’s loads of literature on the use of supplemental Niacin for general health, but today I’m talking about the benefits to the skin.
To put it short and sweet, Niacinamide, the form used in topical (skin) applications, has been found to work:
- As an anti-inflammatory
- To soothe and reduce irritation and redness
- To decrease the appearance of fine lines
- And can reduce the appearance of, and help heal, acne spots
I’ve put lots of research and testing on this costly little ingredient that’s caused it to earn it’s place high on the list of “must use” for our specialty products. I started out tentatively, only using 1 to 2.5% in lotions and worked my way up. I’m currently using a higher amount in the mister’s daily lotion*, as well as a fantastic facial lotion, the first I’ve ever been happy with after 30+ years of trying them all.
This higher amount, used in conjunction with (this is important!) his heavy duty prescription steroid cream and lots of allergy pills, as dictated by his University of Alberta dermatologist, is working to prevent the worst outbreaks but it also reduces the “claw my skin off” irritation and pain so significantly that it became just as important to use with the steroid. We have spent years trying all combinations possible, including a variety of store bought lotions, many versions of our own, going steroid only, going lotion only, using one in the morning and one in the evening, etc, etc.
As a side note, these lotions are also using allantoin, another super-ingredient I’ll be doing a post on later about. I also use them, they are ridiculously luscious on the skin, but it’s almost overkill because all I suffer from is occasional dry skin.
Disclaimer: This is all anecdotal. I’m not a scientist, I don’t have a control group, and I can’t publish any data to be peer reviewed. I’m not submitting my formula to get a NPH number at this time, because it’s more work than it’s worth. Maybe someday. But later this season, I will be offering both a body lotion and a facial moisturizer (possibly 2 versions, one for dry skin and 1 oil free version) that contain niacinamide in our shop and I’ll bet you love them as much as we do.
*You might (or not) recall the mister has atopic dermatitis, or eczema, brought on by a number of annoying factors, but it’s itchy-to-painful and with diabetes causing slower healing times, it’s pretty important to heal it up quick and prevent it as much as possible. He is under the care of a qualified Dermatologist from the University of Alberta. In addition to topical products and allergy pills, it’s important to keep the environment as clear of rash causers as much as possible. Air purifier, weekly pet bathing and reducing their dander as much as possible, free & clean laundry detergent, 3x a week bedding changes, etc etc.