Niacinamide is a multifunctional active whose efficacy has been substantiated in numerous peer-reviewed journals. This biologically active form of niacin (vitamin B3) is found widely in many plants and animals.
It is also an important precursor to the co-factors NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) and NADPH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate). Along with their reduced forms NADH and NADPH, they act as coenzymes in more than 40 biochemical reactions and can also act as antioxidants.
Niacinamide is a water soluble material that is solution and light stable. The optimum solution stability is at a PH 6. It can hydrolyze and form nicotinic acid at higher or lower PH, which can result in skin irritation.
Improved Skin Barrier Function
- Topical Niacinamide increases free fatty acid ceramide levels in the skin, stimulates micro-circulation in the dermis, and prevents the skin from losing water. It also increases protein synthesis (e.g. keratin), raises intracellular NADP levels, and speeds up the differentiation of keratinocytes.
- 5% Topical Niacinamide reduces wrinkling, red blotchiness, yellowing and hyper pigmented spots in aging facial skin.
- Synergy with Kinetin is claimed.
- Senetek claims that a combination of Kinetin and niacinamide may reduce facial wrinkles in Asian women by nearly 50%.
- In a small study, 2% topical Niacinamide shown to be more effective than Vaseline (petrolatum) for reducing skin water loss and increasing hydration.
Reduced Skin Oiliness
- 2% Niacinamide topically applied may be effective in reducing sebum production. Synergy with Sodium Dehydroacetic acid is claimed.
Reduced Skin Pore Size
- Synergy with Sodium Dehydroacetic acid is claimed.
- 4% Nicotinamide gel is comparable in efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel (leading topical prescription for treating acne) in the treatment of acne vulgaris.
- Niacinamide is believed to influence cutaneous pigmentation by down-regulating transfer of Melanosomes from Melanocytes to the Keratinocytes without inhibiting tyrosinase activity or cell proliferation, and it may also interfere with the cell-signaling pathway between Keratinocytes and Melanocytes to decrease melanogenesis.
- Topical 2 to 5% Niacinamide has shown some efficacy when used alone or in combination with N-Acetyl Glucosamine for the treatment of melasma and UV-induced hyperpigmentation in fair-skinned patients and Asians. Synergy with N Acetyl Glucosamine is claimed.
- Niacinamide with Retinyl Palmitate has been shown to improve hyperpigmentation and increase skin lightening after 4 weeks of treatment compared with vehicle alone.
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3. Hakozaki T, Mlnwalla L Zhuang J el al. The effect of Niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer. Br. J Dermatol. (July 2002), 147 (1): 20-31.
4. Gehring W. Nicotinic acid/Niacinamide and the skin. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2004) 3 (2), 88–93.
5. Shalita AR, Smith JG, Parish LC, Sofman MS, Chalker DK., Department of Dermatology, State University of New York, College of Medicine, Brooklyn, USA.
6. Navarrete-Solís J, Castanedo-Cázares JP, Torres-Álvarez B, Oros-Ovalle C, Fuentes-Ahumada C, González FJ, Martínez-Ramírez JD, Moncada B. A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial of Niacinamide 4% versus Hydroquinone 4% in the Treatment of Melasma. Dermatol Res Pract. 2011:379173.
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8. Bissett, D. L.; Miyamoto, K.; Sun, P.; Li, J.; Berge, C. A. Topical Niacinamide reduces yellowing, wrinkling, red blotchiness, and hyper pigmented spots in aging facial skin. Int. J. Cosmet. Sci., Vol. 26, Number 5, Oct. 2004, 231-238.
9. US 5980921 Topical compositions for regulating the oily/shiny appearance of skin (Procter and Gamble-11/9/99).
10. EP 0896522B1 Methods of regulating skin appearance with vitamin B3 compound (Procter and Gamble-4/23/97).
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12. Chiu PC, Chan CC, Lin HM, Chiu HC, The clinical anti-aging effects of topical Kinetin and Niacinamide in Asians: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, split-face comparative trial. J. Cosmet. Dermatol. 2007 Dec: 6(4):243-9.
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