Vitamin B3 and treating skin pigmentation

With the fast approach of our warmer months (southern hemisphere) and the last rays of summer in the northern hemisphere, it is worthwhile mentioning an effective way of treating skin pigmentation. Without harping on about wearing a sunscreen,which we all know is an absolute must to prevent this condition, I wanted to share a fantastic ingredient we now find in most good skin care ranges.

Niacinamide is a physiologically active derivative of Vitamin B3 and works at decreasing melanosome (pigment) transfer within our skin and is effective with all skin colours. Not only does it decrease skin pigmentation, it also boosts the skins immune system which can be suppressed when exposed to ultra violet radiation and helps with the repair of the skins barrier function (see previous post, Do you have sensitive skin? Then Your Barriers are down… Sept 5th 2012), by increasing synthesis of skin lipids.

This wonderful cosmetic ingredient has been noted in various double blind studies and the percentages have ranged from 4% – 10% with results well worth taking notice of. I prescribe products containing Niacinamide to 100% of my clients and ask they use it in the morning. If their skin is hyper sensitive, I suggest they use it morning and night until we see an improvement. I include it in all my protocols to treat skin conditions such as; Rosacea, Acne, Eczema, Photo Aged and also post cancer treatments when the skin has hyper sensitivity due to barrier function impairment from medications. When the skin has been affected with post inflammatory hyper pigmentation, this is my priority ingredient. I then reassess my protocol as the skin begins to repair and present less inflamed.

I would love to know what your thoughts are of this ingredient, are you currently using a product containing #Niacinamide? Have you noticed changes with your skin?

If you think your skin has any of these conditions, I cannot recommend a product with this ingredient in it fast enough. Try it and let me know what your results are.

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11 thoughts on “Vitamin B3 and treating skin pigmentation

  1. I must get back on to this product.
    Thank you for the information you’ve included today.
    2 questions:
    Can we purchase this as a raw ingredient OTC that you are aware of?
    And
    Would this be suitable for skin that has to undergo radium treatment?

    Many thanks
    Loulou

  2. Hi Loulou, I’m not sure you can buy as a raw ingredient unless you are a manufacturer.
    If you are looking at treating the skin while it is undergoing radiation treatment, then yes, I wouldn’t hesitate using a product containing Niacinamide. Once treatment has finished, then I would include a product containing Vitamin C for optimum scar formation.
    The two main product lines with these ingredients in Australia are:
    #ASAP: Niacinamide “Ultimate Hydration Moisturiser” – 5% Niacinamide
    #ASAP: Super C Serum
    #Rationale: Immunologist Serum – 10% Niacinamide
    #Rationale: SuperAntioxidant Serum – Vitamin A,C, E
    Also look at a Danish line that is available in Australia: #Beaute Pacifique, I am not fully aware of their products but believe they do have products with these ingredients.

  3. Hi
    Thanks for the interesting article. I have melasma which developed after having my son. Have you seen any improvement to this condition using Niacinamide?

    • Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for your comment. Niacinamide works best at preventing pigmentation. A combination of topical Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A work well at treating Melasma. In conjunction with some professional treatments which may include: needling and IPL.
      Unfortunately Melasma can be tricky and can take a while to treat, but is best treated with multiple modalities. I hope that helps.
      Warm regards, Donna

      • Many thanks for the info. I’m already using a Vit A cream at night and Vit C morning and night (plus Vit E). I’ll get some B3 to add too. We have a great site in UK which sells ingredients to make your own creams.
        I’ve tried IPL before but it made little difference.

  4. hi I brown skin and i have really bad hyperpigmentation around my mouth and have the worse dark circles. I bought niacinamide in powder and mix it with my face moisturiser do you think this will lighten my face especially the affected areas.

    • Hello Arani,
      I am unsure of the Niacinamide you are using, and not sure of how much is being delivered into your skin. All recent studies show that between 5%-10% in scientifically formulated serums/creams show improvement with hyper pigmentation. Hopefully you see a result with your condition.
      Donna

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