Monday, January 12, 2015

Let's take another look at niacinamide!

I've started using a lot more niacinamide these days, and this article really reminds me why it's such a great ingredient! This water soluble powder can be included in your toners, moisturizers, and other facial and body care products suitable for all skin types. It's inexpensive - $3.95 for 1 ounce at Lotioncrafter or $4.50 for 1 ounce at Making Cosmetics - and you don't need much to make a huge impact.

The claims for niacinamide are pretty substantial and they are backed up by studies and good science. Studies have shown that 2% in a facial moisturizer can increase skin's keratin, ceramides, and barrier lipids which results in a reduction of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and an increase in collagen synthesis. 2% can result in a 23% reduction in sebum production and pore diameter. It can reduce hyperpigmentation of age and sun spots. And it can reduce the damage from environmental causes, which reduces the irritation, inflammation, and skin redness from things like the sun, cold, or weather as well as application of straight SLS.  Even at 5%, there's a lack of irritation and redness on our faces ('cause sometimes niacin can make our skin flush, but not at 2% or 5%). It can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and decreases skin blotchiness and "pebbling" or roughness on facial skin. It also behaves as an anti-inflammatory and enhances skin's barrier functions.

All of these great things can happen in a short period of time. In one study, all of these results were seen within 12 days (the first time they checked, so it could have been a shorter period of time) and continued to work with application of the moisturizer daily.

Use it in your heated water phase or cool down phase, but make sure you dissolve it well. I've had no problems dissolving this ingredient and no problems with precipitation after it has dissolved.

How to use it? I've used it in this cucumber extract toner at 2% and absolutely love it! You can use it in a facial moisturizer - try it as the only active to make sure your skin likes it - or an oil free facial moisturizer for oily skin. It is water soluble, so you can only use it in things that contain water or water soluble ingredients. Sorry, lotion bars or balms are right out!

Handbook of Cosmetic Science & Technology (textbook)
Surfactants in Personal Care Products and Decorative Cosmetics (textbook)


Dev said...

Hi Susan!

I remember reading about vitamin B3 and falling in love with the benefits. I quickly forgot how awesome it is! I tend to do that though. I'll research a raw material, buy it, then forget about it after so many uses because I moved on to the next raw material lol. Anywho, I never bought B3 as a single ingredient. I always bought the Vitaplex complex ( from Lotioncrafters because it always seemed more economical to me. It has a pretty good amount of B3, but a pretty decent amount of B5, Vitamin E & C, etc. I use it in my leave in conditioners and skin care products. Not in rinse off products though. I didn't know about the pH thing. I always thought a pH of 6 was too high for hair products so I always adjust23rd the pH to 5-5.5. Luckily I never had a reaction, but now I'm questioning using it in hair care. Let me stop rambling lol.

Just wanted to put other options out there.


Paige B said...

FYI, they also have it at The Herbarie ($11.50 for 6 oz) and Ingredients to Die For ($2.53 for 1 oz).

Katrina Li said...

I love niacinamide too for skin and hair growth promotion!

I found it at Windypoint (Calgary)
And Botanicalplanet (Toronto, Brampton)

Robyn Mac said...

Hello. I'm having a problem with niacinamide and I'm hoping you can help. It keeps crystallizing and there is a slight tingling sensation whenever I use it. My product is a simple toner. 2-4% niacinamide (I used 4% first then tried again with 2%), 2% glycerin, 1.5% optiphen plus and the rest is distilled water.
I heat and hold the niacinamide and glycerin for 10 minutes then add the optiphen to the cool down phase. I see no visible crystals after but, after using and a little of the formula is on the outside of the bottle, within a few hours it crystallizes on the outside of the bottle, not the inside. Also, it tingles, as if it's heating up my skin.
I figured maybe it was the optiphen plus, so I ran a test. In a shot glass, I added boiled water and niacinamide, then added lukewarm water and niacinamide to another shot glass. It dissolved in both. Threw out the liquid from both, then left the shot glasses to the open air and when I came back a few hours later, both had crystallized niacinamide at the bottom. I used distilled water and I don't have a PH tester right now.
Could it be that I'm not dissolving it properly? Is it supposed to tingle?
I have oily acne prone skin so that's why I chose to try niacinamide. HELP ME!!