Why your skin needs niacinamide

The anti-aging all-star every woman should be using before 30

So I was out at the pub the other night. Ok no I wasn’t, I was at home listening to SmoothFM and Ian Moss’ classic tune, Tucker’s Daughter came on. Naturally I sang along to the only part anyone really knows, the chorus: “Build me up just to tear me down, ohhh,” and it got me thinking, Moss' lyrics don't just apply to tales of torrid love, but also in a way how I treat my skin. Stick with me here a second. My skincare regimen is a constant back and forth between building it up via antioxidant-spiked serums and vitamin-enriched creams, and tearing, or exfoliating it down via retinol, AHAs and BHAs. And the thing is, “Slap my knee bones to the ground,” despite such extensive commitment to my epidermis, I still have room for skin improvement. 

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Credit: Getty Images 

From the 12-step beauty routine junkies, to the soap-and-water girls, the majority of us are united by a desire to look as fresh as possible, for as long as possible. Second to wearing sunscreen all day every day, the best way to prolong a youthful glow is by setting up a well-curated skincare regimen in your 20’s. Focussing on skin health early will promote a strong protective barrier function, which will take you through your 30’s and beyond. Rather than filling your bathroom cabinet with every It-cream on offer, you’re better off opting for products that contain targeted ingredients that are proven to work, and towards the top of that list is niacinamide.

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Credit: Getty Images

Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is the ultimate multi-tasking anti-aging all-star. “Research has proven this humble ingredient can dramatically reduce the appearance of visibly enlarged pores and visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles and reduce brown discolorations,” says Paula Begoun, skincare expert and founder of Paula’s Choice. “It’s considered a cell-communicating ingredient, meaning it can “tell” skin cells how to behave in a younger, healthier manner.” On top of it’s cell-boosting benefits, niacinamide also works to strengthen the skin’s outer layers, reducing irritation and improving elasticity. “Niacinamide also has a direct impact on stimulating vital substances in skin that create a healthy barrier function,” explains Begoun. “The result is smoother, more even, less lined skin!” 

And unlike many other anti-aging powerhouses can be temperamental, unstable and breakdown quickly in the elements, niacinamide stays strong. “It’s a hardy ingredient that remains stable in the presence of heat and light and is beneficial whether used morning or night,” says Begoun. “It is best used in leave-on products like toners, serums, and moisturisers. It mixes well with any other anti-aging ingredient and can also be used with prescription retinoids.” It’s never too late to start a proper skincare routine, so consider nudging one o the below niacinamide-spiked formulas into your life and prepare to reap the glowing benefits. 

Ultraceuticals
Ultraceuticals, Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum, $89. SHOP NOW

Mask
Karuna, Hydrating Face Mask, $11. SHOP NOW

Paula
Paula's Choice, Resist 10% Niacinamide Booster, $67. SHOP NOW

LaRocheEye
LA ROCHE-POSAY, Toleriane Ultra Eyes, $34. SHOP NOW

Loreal
L'OREAL PARIS, Revitalift Laser X3 Anti-Wrinkle + Anti-Dark Spot Serum, $45. SHOP NOW

OCosmetics
O Cosmedics, O-Biotics B3 Plus Serum, $119. SHOP NOW

DrGross
DR DENNIS GROSS, Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum, $132. SHOP NOW

BareMinerals
BAREMINERALS, Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion, $72. SHOP NOW