Vitamin B3

Vitamin B for blemishes

Topical vitamin B3, or niacinamide, provide a number of different benefits for the skin including increasing elasticity, strengthening the skin barrier, evening skin tone and reducing inflammation.

More and more clinical studies are reporting the benefits of topical vitamin B3 for acne healing and skin regeneration. Topical vitamin B3 is highly effective, but unlike topical medications, it is very well tolerated by all skin types meaning there’s no side effects such as increased skin sensitivity, dryness, redness or irritation. Plus, topical vitamin B3 does not lead to bacterial resistance like many other antibiotic-based acne treatments. Instead, it targets the very first stage of acne (sebum oxidisation) and prevents pimples from developing in the first place.

Vitamin B3 has been proven to reduce inflammation in various scientific studies. One 8 week study discovered that a 4% B3 lotion reduced acne by 60% compared to just a 43% improvement in the subjects who used a 1% antibiotic gel (clindamycin).

Topical vitamin B3 lightens pigmentation and evens skin tone

The red marks that you get after a breakout are the result of abnormally high levels or over stimulated melanocytes, which produce melanin – the substance that gives our skin its colour.

One 8 week study showed that 5% topical vitamin B3, or niacinamide, actually inhibited the transfer of melanin to the surrounding skin cells and epidermis by up to 68% – this basically means that topical vitamin B3 blocked the build up of melanin in the surface of the skin. This clinical trial showed that pigment marks and age spots on the face were significantly reduced after 8 weeks of using topical vitamin B3.

Vitamin B for anti aging

The levels of Vitamin B3-dependent coenzymes in the skin can decrease with age, and topical nicotinamide appears to reverse the decline.

Several studies have shown that topical nicotinamide improved fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented “age” spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness as well as elasticity. One study showed nicotinamide to increase the skin’s production of ceramides (natural emollients and skin protectants) and therefore improving skin hydration. Another study reported improvement of eyelid wrinkles after 8 weeks of application of a cosmetic containing 4% nicotinamide.

Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD forecasts topical vitamin B and its multiple derivatives as key ingredients in future anti-aging products. For example, one derivative of the B vitamin niacin, nicotinamide, has been shown to improve the ability of the epidermis, the upper-most layer of the skin, to retain moisture. One study reports that topical nicotinamide, when applied to the skin for six days reveals softer, smoother skin with less dryness and flakiness, and a reduction of fine lines.