Some skincare ingredients have exotic names, like Moroccan Argan and Tunisian Orange Blossom.
Others are less glitzy, but powerful in an understated way like a classic Little Black Dress.
One of these unsung heroes is Vitamin B3. Yes it’s what your skin craves!
It’s also called Niacinamide and is a key part of skincare for those with sensitive skin.
If you’ve ever considered going onto retinol then your dermatologist will have recommend you use vitamin B3 to calm your skin down.
B3 is essential for your general wellbeing too, any many people are deficient in it. It’s not their fault though, soils have become depleted from intensive monoculture practices used by modern agriculture that strips away minerals, vitamins and harms the delicate microbiota of the soil.
A lack of Vitamin B3 is linked to eczema, rosacea, acne and hyper pigmentation while an extreme deficiency causes pellagra, with the ‘3 D’ symptoms: Dermatitis, Diarrhoea, and Depression.
Sometimes my podcast listeners or newsletter subscribers ask me whether niacinamide can be used alongside retinol, hyaluronic acid or Vitamin C.
If you use any products in the Glow Essential Collection, they all play together really well. The Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C inside Drench work beautifully with the natural retinol inside Empress Elixir, and Hyaluronic Acid of Heart of Eternity. You can layer them in any order you like, at any time of the day.
So here we go, your questions answered. Enjoy!
Why our skin needs Vitamin B3
Niacinamide helps our skin stay dewy.
Niacinamide strengthens our skin’s barrier to protect against environmental damage.
It does this by helping our skin produce ceramides, which then seal in hydration.
So if you have dry, tight, flaky skin or eczema, it could be a sign of low Vitamin B3.
As we age, our skin can get a yellow hue or beastly liver/age spots from free radical damage. Niacinamide helps prevent this !
It increases NAD(P) antioxidants in the skin, which protect against free radicals that cause yellowing and glycation
Vitamin B3 also supports healthy collagen, and softens fine lines and wrinkles while diminishing dullness.
A shortage of Niacinamide is linked with dry, red and irritated skin as well as hyperpigmentation. Yuk.
Some reports suggest that Vitamin B3 reduces pore size over time because it regulates oil production.
Keep reading to find out what foods are rich in Vitamin B3! Because Vitamin B3 is water soluble, any excess is simply removed through your urine.
And the good news, is that you can use it with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C.
What is Hyaluronic Acid (aka HA)
Hyaluronic acid (see article here) is not actually an acid – it’s a super crucial ingredient to plump up fine lines and hydrate your skin.
In fact, it’s started to appear in specialised toothpaste to plump up your gums and some DIYers make their own nutritious gummy bears with HA extract.
Hyaluronic Acid be used for all skin types and ages. Many take it as a supplement. It’s really important to use if you have lines forming around your mouth.
Yes you can use Hyaluronic Acid with natural retinol and Vitamin B3 – a great plan as HA has a half life so it gets used up by your body and you need to replenish supplies.
Got horrid pucker lines starting around your mouth? That means your hyaluronic acid supplies are dwindling. Consider using a face cream such as Heart of Eternity that contains hyaluronic acid
Niacinamide and vitamin C
If you read that Vitamin C and Vitamin B3 cannot be combined, then you’ve read outdated research was done in the 1960’s with non-stabilised forms of vitamin C.
Today we have stable forms of vitamin C that do not oxidise or turn your face cream or tonic brown.
Why would you combine them? Well Niacinamide has visible results on pores, fine lines, and dullness skin, while antioxidant Vitamin C brightens your complexion as it fights free radicals. Hyaluronic Acid is essential for hydrated skin.
So yes, they complement each other and create a synergy when you put them together in a face mist like Drench Facial Tonic.
This dream combination is designed by Wendy to addresses uneven skin tone, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and dullness. (Skin conditions that are common around menopause)
All skin types will see a complexion that progressively becomes more radiant, smoother, more even, and noticeably younger-looking.
The anti-aging effects of vitamin C are enhanced even further when it is combined with both vitamin E and ferulic acid
tonic with hyaluronic acid vitamin c and niacinamide
Niacinamide skin care products
Yes, even if you eat healthy, your skin can still be missing out on nutrition. Being the largest organ, it waits in line for nutrition, so by applying a topical product, it goes directly to skin where it’s needed.
Look for niacinamide products that you can leave on your skin, so that the Vitamin B3 is not washed away. Think -toners, serums and face creams.
You can layer Vitamin B3 products, for instance, apply a tonic with niacinamide immediately after cleansing to rehydrate and replenish skin.
Then apply either a serum or face cream that contains Vitamin B3.
Sometimes you can blend your serum into your favourite moisturizer or facial mist. Experiment and see what works best for your skin!
Natural sources of Vitamin B3
Healthy skin is made from eating well so include these natural sources of Vitamin B-3 in your menu:
- seeds – sunflower, sesame, pine nuts, almonds, macadamia, peanut, watermelon, pumpkin, chia, pistachio, pecans, walnuts
- green peas, mushrooms, avocados, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, artichokes, okra, kale
- bananas, mangoes, guava, nectarines, prunes, raisins and apricots
- beans – adzuki, kidney, black turtle, garbanzo, Lima
- fish, esp. anchovies, salmon, tuna
- chicken, turkey, pork, beef
- barley, millet, lentils, quinoa
- potatoes and brown rice
- Analysis by multiple angle reflectance spectrophotometer demonstrated that 2.5% niacinamide resulted in smoother skin surface compared to vehicle alone (p<0.05)
- 3.5% niacinamide cream was compared with placebo for four weeks and demonstrated a 14.8% reduction in skin roughness (p=0.05).
- In a randomized, double-blind, split-face, placebo-controlled, clinical trial, 50 white females applied 5% niacinamide and vehicle twice daily for 12 weeks. Results showed significant improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness, yellowing, and skin elasticity (p<0.05)
- This study using niacinamide 5% and niacinamide 2% + UVB/UVA sunscreen moisturizer reported reduced facial hyperpigmentation in Japanese women.
- In a randomized, split-faced trial, 5% niacinamide was used on 18 Japanese women vs. vehicle. Pigmentation change was evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively using high resolution digital images and subjective judgments. After 8 weeks, there was significant lightening of hyperpigmentation on the side treated with niacinamide compared to vehicle (p<0.05).