Topical Vitamin B3 - benefits, products & home remedies
Continuing with the series on Topical uses of Vitamins, here is the second post on Vitamin B3.
- Helps reduce dryness and irritation,
- fine lines,
- Vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide or nicotinamide) promotes an increase in the production of the body's natural moisturizers, and also helps skin to retain more moisture and reducing fine lines, irritation, and redness.
- B3 is also able to restore proper function to skin's protective upper layer (the stratum corneum)--which can be degraded by environmental stress such as sun exposure, wind, dust & pollution -- leaving the complexion more hydrated and less vulnerable to the effects of damaging agents such as detergents, toners, fragrances and soap.
- B3 is thought to enable coenzymes (acting as co-factor) required for many reactions in the skin to keep it healthy. It increases production of ceramides and fatty acids, two key components of your skin’s outer protective barrier. As that barrier is strengthened, skin is better able to keep moisture in and irritants out—making B3 a great ingredient if your complexion is dry or sensitive
- According to an article published earlier this year in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, one study involving a topical product containing niacinamide showed a small but significant reduction in fine lines after eight weeks of twice-daily use--possibly due to a boost in the production of collagen.
- In another study, subjects saw decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightening after four weeks. It inhibits the transfer of pigment to skin cells, minimising dark spots.
EFFECTS & SIDE-EFFECTS:
Though vitamin B's effects aren't as dramatic as those delivered by prescription retinoids (refer previous post on Vitamin A), noticeable improvements in the look and feel of skin comes without side effects such as redness, flaking, or itching.
Products that contain niacinamide are mild enough to be tolerated by even those with sensitive skin.
PRODUCTS TO TRY:
Vitamin B3 is found in avocadoes, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, whole grains, legumes & nuts
- Olay Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream with niacinamide as well as aloe vera and cucumber extract to soothe puffy skin (Alfa & NBC both stock this)
- Olay Total Effects moisturiser
- Vaseline Body Lotion has Vitamin B3 which helps reduce hyperpigmentation & lighten skin
- Pond’s Flawless White range (contains a mix of B3, E and allantoin that reduces pigmentation)
- Vichy Bi-white advanced corrective eye care
- Biotique Dandilion Extract
- Fair & Lovely Multi Vitamin Range (Night Cream, Facewash, Day Cream)
- Read lotions, creams, and serums ingredient list. It’s often called niacinamide on the product label. For maximum effect use products that list it amongst the first 5 ingredients.
- For maximum effect, apply B3 vitamins in the morning and evening.
- Face packs containing Milk, curd, tomatoe paste, oatmeal (excellent exfoliant), rice bran oil or powder, moong dal paste, almond paste will not only provide B3 to the skin but also act as gentle exfoliants.
- Curd / Dahi is very rich in Vitamin B of the fermentation by Lactobacillus spp. Apply a spoonful to your face and wash off after 10 minutes. This also smoothens skin as it has lactic acid which exfoliates.
- Buy a small bottle of avocado oil and add a drop to the moisturiser of your choice before application.
- Using a niacinamide-based product in conjunction with a prescription retinoid (Vitamin A) helps minimize irritation and results in superior anti-aging benefits, according to research presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. Mix them together in the palm of your hand before applying— they won’t deactivate each other. Besides decreasing side effects, the combo produces superior anti-ageing benefits.