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Dr Madhuri Agarwal, founder and medical director, Yavana Aesthetics Clinic helps us dive into what Niacinamide means for Indian skin and why it’s a must-have in your skincare routine.

It’s hard to pinpoint your skin’s prime years. With younger skin, acne is often your biggest concern and as you get older, loss of elasticity, fine lines, dryness, and wrinkles start to sprout up. This makes using the right skincare even more important. No, that moisturiser you’ve been using since you turned 18 won’t cut it anymore. You’ve matured and so has your skin, and now it needs the goodness of power-packed vitamins and ingredients that can target the signs of ageing. Meet Niacinamide—the skin vitamin that can tackle multiple concerns and give you great skin days.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide 101

While you may not have heard of Niacinamide before, you’ve probably heard of Vitamin B3, which is the same thing. Also known as Nicotinamide, this is a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, dullness, and weakened surface. It helps build protein that keeps skin healthy and firm. Topical application of Niacinamide improves the epidermal barrier function and locks in moisture, which helps improve the hydration levels. It’s also a good skin conditioner to soften the skin’s texture. “Another important reason to use it is for its anti-inflammatory effects. In case you’re dealing with redness or irritation, this nutrient helps eliminate these concerns,” explains Dr Madhuri Agarwal.

Niacinamide

Does niacinamide work for all skin types?

Anyone above the age of 18 can use Niacinamide, skin type no bar. However, if you have very sensitive skin or a lot of allergies, its best to do a patch test and consult your dermatologist before you give it a go. “Niacinamide applications usually show noticeable effects after 4-8 weeks of usage, hence patience is key,” advises Dr Agarwal. “Because of its numerous beneficial effects, Niacinamide is an ingredient of choice in a lot of skincare products. It is an effective ingredient to treat rosacea, acne, scars, and sun damage. It is also used in anti-ageing products and can help in photoaging.” Her favourites include Sesderma Azelac RU Liposomal Serum for hyperpigmentation and melasma, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% for oily, and acne-prone skin and SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 for anti-ageing and skin repair.

Things to keep in mind when introducing Niacinamide to your skincare routine

1. Products with 2-5% Niacinamide are good for the skin—when used in high concentrations, it can cause skin irritation and redness.

2. You can use a product that is pure Niacinamide alone or a combination with other ingredients, depending on your skin concern.

3. In case you are using it for dry skin, apply your moisturiser first and then layer it with your Niacinamide product.

4. Niacinamide also has a higher pH level so you can use it in combination with other pH actives like AHA and BHA products.

5. When it is used in a mattifying product, you apply it first and then layer it on with sunscreen to get maximum benefits.

6. If your skincare routine also includes Vitamin C, it advisable to use Niacinamide separately as opposed to in combination as both ingredients cause skin flushing. You can use the products on alternate days to prevent any irritation.

Products with Niacinamide

Sesderma Azelac RU Liposomal Serum, Rs 2,300

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, Rs 500 Approx

SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3, Rs 7700 Approx 

Makeup Revolution Skincare Blemish and Pore Refining Serum – 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc, Rs 1,500

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, Rs 5,700

Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster, Rs 3,900 Approx

Neemli Naturals Kokum and Tamarind Body Butter, Rs 1,450

The Earth Rhythm 10% Niacinamide + Phyto Ceramides + Hyaluronic Acid serum, Rs 999

Mamaearth Skin Correct Face Serum with Niacinamide and Ginger Extract, Rs 599

Dr. Sheth’s Basic Brightening Youth Glotion, Rs 850

Anjan Sachar

While Anjan’s week is made up of writing and talking about everything from glycolic acid to the best new red lipstick, the weekends are spent testing them all, with Gossip Girl reruns on the side. When she isn’t reviewing a new face mask, you’ll find her sipping on mimosas with a side of truffle fries. Her daily essentials: Iced latte with a side of J Balvin and Prateek Kuhad.