Does niacinamide help with blackheads? Yes, niacinamide helps with blackheads, but it would not be able to get rid of blackheads single handily. It can do this by preventing blackheads from developing thanks to its ability to reduce inflammation, regulate sebum production and minimise the appearance of pores.
Niacinamide is an anti-inflammatory that works to reduce the swelling and redness associated with acne. It also works to regulate the amount of acne-causing oil being produced by the glands in your skin.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
Salicylic acid also works as an anti-inflammatory, so helps to reduce inflamed pimples. It's especially beneficial for treating blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules, so use this mask when you have a bad breakout to quickly treat active blemishes.
By helping things get back to normal, niacinamide use helps pores return to their normal size. Sun damage can cause pores to become stretched, too, leading to what some describe as "orange peel skin". Higher concentrations of niacinamide can help visibly tighten pores by shoring up skin's supportive elements.
Though some people do report experiencing irritation and breakouts after using the ingredient, niacinamide is unlikely to cause purging. That's because it doesn't affect the skin in a way that usually triggers purging.
When selecting niacinamide products, Dr Ho advises that “a concentration of 4-5% niacinamide is ideal—enough to improve acne and fine wrinkles”. Higher concentrations, like The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc, have not yet been proven to exhibit a higher rate of efficacy.
People use niacinamide to prevent vitamin B3 deficiency and related conditions such as pellagra. It is also used for acne, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, aging skin, skin discoloration, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins. Treats acne. Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne, especially inflammatory forms like papules and pustules. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.
What Else You Need to Know: Niacinamide (vitamin B3) reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10 percent concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc PCA to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.
While some niacinamide-containing products start to show initial benefits in two weeks, most results will show in four weeks or more. "You have to remember that it doesn't take two days for spots to form so you can't expect them to be removed in two days either," explains Engelman.
Don't Mix: Niacinamide and vitamin C. Although they're both antioxidants, vitamin C is one ingredient that's not compatible with niacinamide. "Both are very common antioxidants used in a variety of skincare products, but they should not be used one right after the other," says Dr. Marchbein.
In the clinical studies, niacinamide significantly decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness compared with vehicle alone after 4 weeks of use. Conclusions: The data suggest niacinamide is an effective skin lightening compound that works by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes.
As it's well tolerated by most people, niacinamide can be used twice a day everyday. It works at any time of the year although it comes in particularly handy in winter during cold, dry weather and frequent use of central heating. Use it in the run-up before starting your retinol treatment and alongside it, too.
Being oil soluble, salicylic acid can penetrate deeper into the skin layers, but it can also dehydrate and irritate skin. Niacinamide, on the other hand, reduces inflammation and boosts skin's natural moisturization. Niacinamide is a very accommodating ingredient.
Retinol has similar benefits, but it's stronger than niacinamide. It's also known to cause irritation, redness, and dry skin. Pairing the two ingredients is safe and can make retinol easier to use. Niacinamide helps hydrate the skin, which reduces the risk of irritation caused by retinol.
Blackheads form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. Each follicle contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil. This oil, called sebum, helps keep your skin soft. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump called a comedo.
This type of acne develops when oil (sebum) and dead skin cells combine to form a plug that clogs your pores. Sometimes, cleansing and exfoliating may be enough to loosen the plug and draw it out. But if the plug hardens, or it's too deep to access, you might not be able to remove the blackhead on your own.
Most niacinamide products also contain a variety of other ingredients. If any of these ingredients increase skin cell turnover then they may be behind any 'purging'. Some ingredients can also be 'comedogenic' which means that they are more likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
4 tips for when niacinamide fails
Why it might not be working: If the product is pilling, that means it's not properly absorbing into the skin and, because it's not absorbing, it's not delivering results. If you experience redness or burning, your skin is likely sensitive to the ingredient.
By controlling and lowering sebum, Niacinamide prevents pores from getting caught with excess oil and dirt, thereby preventing them from stretching, and invariably leading to smaller pores. This makes the skin look smoother. #7 Minimizes Dryness: Another way Niacinamide can be used in skincare is to treat dry skin.
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a potent antioxidant that works to protect and soothe skin while supporting a healthy skin barrier to reduce the impact of environmental damage. It is best known for its ability to minimize the look of discoloration and dark spots, resulting in a more even-toned complexion.
While the two ingredients are similar, they also have their differences. "Because it's a mild acid, vitamin C also gives you more of an exfoliating and brightening effect than niacinamide," says Dr. Lee. "Niacinamide has a greater impact in terms of hydrating the skin."