Allenby, however, says moisturizers may be the best way to get your niacinamide off. “Overall, creams can slightly increase absorption due to increased inclusion, which increases the absorption of a product into the skin more than a serum,” she says. That said, she is a huge fan of the SkinMedica Lumivive System, in which the daytime serum is a fantastic source of niacinamide.
Confuses? Heed Garshick’s advice: the desired outcome determines which formulation is ideal. “For example, for brightening, a serum may be preferred, while for soothing and moisturizing benefits, a cream may be best,” she says, recommending Pond’s Rejuveness Advanced Hydrating Night Cream. But regardless of the format, she says, you don’t have to use products with very high levels of niacinamide to get the results you’re looking for.
Hu agrees that a higher percentage of an active ingredient like niacinamide is not always better. “An effective product should contain between 2 and 10 percent niacinamide,” she explains. Allenby adds that products with niacinamide concentrations below 5 percent are particularly well tolerated.
Are there any side effects with niacinamide?
If you follow expert advice and stay within a well-tolerated percentage range, you are unlikely to experience any sensitivity or irritation from niacinamide. But that doesn’t mean you should dive head first into it all willy-nilly. “I rarely see reactions to niacinamide, but as with any new product or ingredient incorporation, it is important to test your body’s reaction first with a small section on your neck or the inside of your wrist. before applying it all over your face, ”advises Irwin.
While niacinamide is known to help reduce skin redness with acne and rosacea, if you’re concerned about its topical use and want to play it safe, Allenby says there are oral forms. prescription niacinamide available from dermatologists.
Another thing to consider: “Since oral niacinamide promotes hair growth in some, it remains to be seen whether widespread use on the skin will cause hair growth on the face,” says Irwin.
Even if you like to use other active ingredients in your skin care routine, you don’t have to worry about contraindications because niacinamide works well with most other ingredients. “Niacinamide is a unique skin care ingredient that works well with most other commonly used products, including retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, and other antioxidants,” says Irwin.
The big exception: vitamin C. But not because of anything that could harm your skin. “Niacinamide can reduce the effectiveness of vitamin C, so it’s best to apply them alternately – one in the morning and one in the evening.”
And luckily, using niacinamide in the morning does not pose an increased risk of UV. Unlike other popular active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids and retinol, “niacinamide is photoprotective, so it is not considered to be a product that can cause photosensitivity,” says Allenby. With that said, you should still wear sunscreen.
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