How to use niacinamide in skincare

Niacinamide (also called nicotinamide) is a form of vitamin B3 that is found in small concentrations in food and can be taken as a dietary supplement or applied topically. Niacinamide helps to repair cellular damage in the skin, while at the same time protecting it from oxidative stressors such as sunlight and pollution. Not only does it rebuild healthy skin cells, but it also increases the production of ceramides – lipids that maintain your skin’s protective barrier, so it retains moisture better. Dietary niacinamide and topical niacinamide products ‘work in synergy’, Dr Glancey explains, ‘but skin products are usually more effective at penetrating directly into the skin and reaching the target area.’ Ideally you should use it twice a day, morning and evening. Choose formulas – like serums and moisturisers – over cleansers, as they are left on the skin to be absorbed rather than quickly washed away. Most doctors would not recommend taking niacinamide supplements unless you were found to be clinically deficient.