Niacinamide: Benefits For Skin, Topical or Supplement

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B-3, one of the B-complex vitamins. B-complex vitamins are essential nutrients for your overall health, and several of these vitamins are also especially notable for their benefits for your skin. 

Your body produces niacinamide as a byproduct of niacin, which is another type of vitamin B-3, in this way, your body can get niacinamide when you take supplements that include niacin or eat niacin-rich foods. However, it’s important to note that niacinamide and niacin are not exactly the same, and that niacinamide is the form of B-3 that you want to look for in hair care and skincare products.

You can get B3, along with other beneficial B vitamins, by taking a B-complex supplement, or by eating foods that are rich in B-vitamins. Since there are multiple B vitamins, not all of these nutrients will be present in the same foods. Thus, it’s important to eat a diet that is filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and other nutrient-dense foods. That way, you’ll get all of your B vitamins, including B-3, from your diverse diet, which you can complement with high-quality supplements. 

In this post, we’ll walk you through the benefits of niacinamide for your skin and hair, including for the treatment of acne, sun damage, hair loss, and more. If you are looking for a natural ingredient to add to your hair care and skincare regimen, niacinamide may be exactly what you need. Keep reading to learn more.

Using Niacinamide Topically 

Using niacinamide on your skin, including your scalp, can have numerous benefits. Below are some of the perks of including niacinamide in your skincare regimen.

Niacinamide is an Antioxidant 

Antioxidants are molecules inside your body that serve several important purposes. One of the most notable roles that antioxidants play is fighting off the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are another type of molecule generated by your body. These molecules have unpaired electrons, and they can harm your healthy cells by stealing electrons from them. When your body’s free radical activity overwhelms its antioxidant activity, your body can enter a state of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause problems for your skin, including leading to a slowdown of your skin’s production of the essential proteins collagen and elastin. 

  • By using antioxidants like niacinamide topically, you can support your skin’s overall health and work against the harmful effects of free radicals.

  • Other antioxidants that you can use topically include biotin, another B-complex vitamin, vitamin E, vitamin C, and more.

  • Further research on the impact of antioxidants on skin health is still needed, but the current research indicates that free radicals and oxidative stress can negatively impact your skin.

Niacinamide May Help Reduce Acne. 

According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, niacinamide supplements can have a positive impact on the appearance of acne, as can topical anti-acne treatments that contain niacinamide. It appears that the results for acne are not noticeably different between taking niacinamide supplements and using the ingredient topically.

Remember to talk to your dermatologist if you are curious about whether niacinamide is the right ingredient to add to your acne prevention regimen.

Niacinamide is a Hair Loss Prevention Ingredient

Your hair needs vitamin B-3 to grow healthy and strong. Using niacinamide topically as an ingredient in hair products can play an important role in a comprehensive hair loss prevention regimen. 

  • GroMD’s shampoo, conditioner, and follicle activator spray all contain niacinamide, along with a number of other essential nutrients for your hair, including biotin, Korean red ginseng, saw palmetto, argan oil, stinging nettle, and many more.

  • It’s best to use your growth-boosting hair products each day. Daily use supplies your hair and scalp with essential nutrients, including niacinamide, as often as possible.

  • Make sure to leave your hair loss prevention shampoo and conditioner in your hair for several minutes before rinsing it out. This allows the ingredients to be absorbed by your hair and scalp, maximizing the benefits for growth and hair loss prevention.

  • Use niacinamide alongside DHT-blocking ingredients for best results. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is one of the primary causes of hair loss in adults. Certain ingredients, including saw palmetto, pumpkin seed extract, caffeine, and more can inhibit your body’s production of DHT, which can lead to more robust and full hair growth.

  • You can also complement your use of DHT-blocking shampoo that includes niacinamide with minoxidil. Minoxidil is an FDA-approved hair loss prevention treatment that can be highly effective. However, it’s important to make sure that you keep your hair hydrated with moisturizing, nourishing ingredients while using minoxidil – the treatment can sometimes dry out and irritate your scalp during use.

Niacinamide Can Be Beneficial For Sun-Damaged Skin

Too much exposure to the sun’s rays can cause hyperpigmentation, also known as dark spots. When your skin takes in too much ultraviolet radiation from the rays of the sun, your complexion can become uneven and spotty. Fortunately, niacinamide and other antioxidants can be beneficial for sun-damaged skin.

When your skin gets too much sun, the result is often that your complexion looks significantly aged. Sun damage can cause wrinkles, lines, and other signs of aging to appear more prominently. However, the use of topical antioxidants like niacinamide can help to minimize the appearance of signs of aging that have become more visible as a result of sun exposure.

  • Use of a niacinamide serum may be helpful if you have dark spots. Serums are highly concentrated, liquid-based skin treatments that contain large amounts of their main ingredients. A niacinamide serum can help to minimize the appearance of dark spots by supplying your skin with nutrients like niacinamide through serums can be extremely helpful if one of your primary skin concerns is hyperpigmentation.

  • Other topical antioxidants can also be beneficial for sun-damaged skin, especially vitamin C. Vitamin C can have a brightening and evening effect on your skin, helping to fade dark spots. In addition, vitamin A, which is often found in the form of retinol, can also be helpful if you are dealing with hyperpigmentation.

  • To avoid further sun damage, make sure to apply a generous amount of mineral-based sunscreen each day before leaving the house. This form of sunscreen is made without harsh chemicals, which can potentially irritate sensitive skin.

How Should I Use Niacinamide – Supplements or Topically?

You can benefit from including both niacinamide supplements and topical treatments in your daily routine. As previously mentioned, the ingredient’s effects on the treatment of acne were virtually identical in groups that used niacinamide topically and took it as a supplement. In addition, you do not have to include just one form of niacinamide in your skincare regimen – you can use a serum to treat your skin, use hair products with niacinamide to treat your hair and scalp, and take a supplement  to support your overall health. 

If you have additional questions about niacinamide and how to include it in your hair care and skincare regimen, make sure to consult your doctor or dermatologist. A healthcare professional can offer helpful guidance and give you a better sense of which form of niacinamide is best for you based on your personal hair and skin concerns.

In addition, if you are curious about hair loss prevention and other ingredients that can be beneficial for thinning hair, make sure to visit GroMD’s blog. There, you’ll find interesting, helpful articles about the science of hair loss prevention and how natural ingredients can help to boost hair growth. 

Dr. Amir Yazdan, MD, is an internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon, expert guest on Dr. Phil and The Doctors, creator of the GroMD hair restoration product line, ISHRS member, accredited member of the IAHRS and a visceral advocate for patient care. Learn more about Dr. Yazdan or read rave reviews from his patients.