Think of niacinamide as a builder. When UV rays and free radicals damage the structure of skin, this handy antioxidant does a top-notch repair job. One of the most thoroughly researched anti-aging ingredients out there, niacinamide has been shown to fight fine wrinkles, redness, and especially dark spots.
A quick refresher: the primary culprits in aging skin are UV rays and harmful compounds called free radicals (produced when your skin is exposed to certain pollutants or UV rays).
UV rays damage your skin by:
Free radicals are unstable compounds. Because they are missing electrons, they'll try to nab them from other molecules — warping the structure of your skin and causing fine wrinkles.
Spent some time in the sun? Don't sweat it. Niacinamide's main construction project is repairing structural damage caused by UV rays and free radicals. How? Niacinamide works to:
One of niacinamide's greatest talents of all? Reducing dark spots, or hyperpigmentation.
UV rays set the skin's pigment factories, or melanosomes, to high gear. Pigment then ships to the outer layer of skin, where it surfaces as dark spots.
Niacinamide acts like a traffic cop on the pigment — blocking shipments to the outer layer. Dark spots start to fade when their regular supply of pigment is reduced!
Not only does niacinamide rebuild after damage, it protects skin structure from future damage by neutralizing those nasty free radicals.
How does it stop electron-stealing free radicals from harming your skin? Niacinamide actually gives the thieves a spare electron, so they don’t steal one from your skin's DNA.
As if this potent ingredient doesn't already do enough, niacinamide also reduces inflammation — meaning it helps reduce raised bumps, redness, and soreness.
As niacinamide is anti-inflammatory, the skin reacts very minimally to it. Side effects such as irritation are unusual.
Curious about other anti-aging ingredients? We've got you covered — Curology's team of dermatology experts has helped create a whole lot more to help you understand your skin.
Check out our guides to tretinoin, vitamin C, and azelaic acid. See you around!