Stylish Spy asks the skincare experts about this lesser-known – but highly effective – hero ingredient
I just learn how to say hyaluronic acid and another ingredient enters the market… what does this one do?
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that can be found in certain foods such as green veg, meat, fish, milk, grains and eggs. In extreme cases, it is used as a dietary supplement to treat pellagra, a condition caused by a poor diet.
So, if I have a healthy diet, I don’t need it?
Used topically, niacinamide can also be used to tackle acne-prone skin, with more severe cases treated with high-doses containing between 2% and 4% - ask your doctor for a prescription. In smaller does, it can also be used to combat dehydration, pigmentation and excessive oil production.
And if I don’t suffer from any of these things?
Then consider yourself lucky - although niacinamide can also boost collagen production and smooth out fine lines.
How would I use it?
Being a non-acid, you’re more likely to find niacinamide in water-based serums and masks over cleansers and rich creams, making it easy to incorporate into your daily skincare routine. It’s also safe to use whilst you’re pregnant.
Is it expensive?
There are many niacinamide-based products on the market now – from specialist online shops to high street stores – so you are sure to find a price point that works.
Do I have to use it every day?
Not at all – although if you are prone to pigmentation, oily skin or acne then daily use will yield better results. For a once-a-week blitz, go for a mask or a snappable ampoule.
Can you suggest some products?
Million Dollar Facial launched Niacinamist last year as part of their Medi+ range - a lightweight, pore-reducing mist that really is a jack-of-all trades. As well as reducing acne scarring, it acts as a barrier to environmental stresses, regulates oil secretion, reduces breakouts and blotchiness, and helps restore a compromised skin barrier. Combine it with an SPF to create an extra layer of protection.
Image Skincare’s ILUMA intense facial illuminator is a concentrated corrector and skin brightening serum designed to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots while enhancing luminosity. Containing tranexamic acid, vitamin C and niacinamide, it targets dull, uneven skin tone; the lightweight liquid can be used on its own or under a moisturiser.
For a more intense hit, try Comfort Zone’s Hydramemory Hydra & Glow Ampoules, seven snappable glass ampoules to be used day and night as part of an intense hydration course. Use before a holiday to prepare the skin for the sun or before an important occasion, such as a birthday or a celebration where you want to look best. We loved the plastic dispenser facilitating portion control (and preventing the liquid from running down our face) and the instant silky feel after application. We used one ampoule after swimming in a chlorinated pool to restore lost moisture.
Natura Bissè’s Diamond Extreme Mask gets to work while you sleep, restoring depleted collagen and reducing the free radicals associated with blue light pollution. The mask continues to work the next day, too, keeping dehydration at bay. Combine it with their Diamond Cocoon Ultra Rich Cream to give ageing a real run for its money.
Skincare routine already chock-a-block? Apply Elemis’ Papaya Enzyme Peel once a week. This smooth, rinse-off exfoliator gently removes dead skin cells using a powerful combination of glycerin, sunflower seed oil, niacinamide and papaya extract.
Can you also recommend a treatment?
We sure can - try Elemis’ Skin Booster Facial (25 mins, £55), a rapid treatment using the Papaya Enzyme Peel together with massage techniques to rid the skin of dead cells and leave it glowing.
Try it at: The Headland Spa
31st January 2022
Minimalist lines; organic products; facial massage; tranquillity; interesting people-watching.
Discarded towels on loungers; steam rooms that aren't steamy; mobile phones.
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