Niacinamide – or vitamin B3 – is essential to the proper functioning of the body. This molecule is multifunctional. In particular, it helps prevent the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and pigment spots. It also helps regulate sebum production in oily skin and reduce imperfections. Typically, well tolerated by all skin types, there might be contraindications and precautions to take when using a niacinamide skincare product.
Can We Have a Niacinamide Reaction or Irritation?
Niacinamide in a Few Words.
Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3, like two other molecules: niacin and nicotinamide riboside. These water-soluble vitamins are not stored in our body, it is essential to provide them to the body via the diet to remain in good health. Vitamin B3 is involved in the synthesis of the coenzymes NADP (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) and NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). The latter are essential to the energy transfer process in the heart of cells.
As a cosmetic active ingredient, niacinamide helps restore the skin's barrier function and reduces insensible water loss. It thus allows the skin to remain hydrated longer. It also reduces marks and redness left by imperfections. Thanks to its sebum-regulating properties, it is an ally of choice for combination to oily skin.
Niacinamide in Cosmetics: Are There Any Dangers and Contraindications?
Niacinamide is a gentle and safe cosmetic active ingredient, very well tolerated by all skin types. It does not present any danger to human health. There are no particular restrictions regarding the application of this ingredient on the epidermis. Niacinamide can be used in synergy with all other active ingredients, without worrying about interference.
Undesirable Side Effects of Niacinamide.
Can niacinamide cause irritations, or redness?
Very rare cases of niacinamide reactions have been reported following the application of a niacinamide treatment. In a few users, allergic reactions such as itching and redness have been observed. Discomfort such as burning and tightness are also rare side effects of niacinamide.
To rule out allergic niacinamide reactions, we recommend that you test this vitamin on your skin, in the crook of your arm or on the back of your hand. If you do not feel any uncomfortable sensation after 24 hours, you can apply the care to your face. Irritated, pink or red skin may be a sign that you are intolerant to niacinamide. If these signs appear after the test, avoid using the product.
Precautions to Take When Using Niacinamide.
Niacinamide is not a photosensitizing substance: it does not cause skin irritation following exposure to the sun. A niacinamide-based care product can therefore be applied during the morning and evening beauty routine. However, in the morning, we still advise you to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun with a broad-spectrum sun cream.
Please note: to observe the effects on your skin, a niacinamide-based skin care product must be used for at least four weeks.
GEHRING W. Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2004).
KREFT D. & al. Niacinamide - mechanisms of action and its topical use in dermatology. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (2014).