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niacinamide: is it worth the hype?

By Natalia Fernandez

Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that is supposed to help your skin in various ways, from improving texture to supporting your skin barrier. Over the course of quarantine, I kept hearing dermatologists and skin specialists on TikTok and YouTube talk about this skincare ingredient, and more specifically, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. This product has a high 10% concentration of niacinamide as well as zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. The zinc acts to regulate sebum activity and regulate oiliness, while the niacinamide reduces the appearance of blemishes and calms irritation. 

Everyone was raving about this product and it sold out almost everywhere. It took months for me to find it in stock, but the moment I did, I purchased it immediately to see what the hype was all about. As I brainstormed what I could write about for this article, I realized the timing couldn’t have been better because I was just about to start testing my new skincare goodie, so I decided to see what would happen if I added niacinamide to my daily skincare routine for two weeks. Here’s how it went down.

Day 1: October 26

Today was my first day adding niacinamide to my skincare routine. To have a baseline and be able to make comparisons later on, I’m going to document the current status of my skin. I have little breakouts in my forehead, nose, and chin area (confession: I’ve been eating a lot of fries and ice cream lately), and also slight redness on the sides of my nose. Overall, my skin looks pretty even-toned, but textured. I’ve heard that the amount of niacinamide you apply to your skin can make a difference in the results that you get after some uses, so we’ll put that to the test over the next few days.

Day 4: October 29

The first night I used way too much product and I woke up with my skin feeling a little irritated, so I cut down on the amount I applied and the next two nights have gone better. Breakouts are slowly but surely going away (not sure if it’s because of the niacinamide or because I haven’t eaten french fries or ice cream this week…maybe a mix of both). I feel like my skin is starting to smooth out a bit, but I’m still experiencing redness on the sides of my nose. 

Day 8: November 2

Officially the first day of the second week! Today I’m feeling really good about my skin because my complexion is looking brighter and more even-toned than before. The texture on my forehead is also going away.

Day 11: November 5

Election day stress was real, and so are stress pimples. My chin decided to act up, but the rest of the face is doing great! 

Two Week Final Reflection: November 9

I’m actually really happy with the way my skin has adapted to niacinamide. I feel like it looks brighter, more even, and feels extra moisturized after using this product. I will say that maybe I could’ve seen more of a change in my skin if I had used the product twice a day as directed in the bottle, but my skin is really sensitive and I wanted to test it out in small portions first. Now that I know how my skin responded to the addition of niacinamide, I’ll probably start trying twice a day and see how that goes. I want to see if over a longer period of time it creates more change, or helps sustain the change I see in my skin now. Overall, it was a good experience and I recommend that you give it a try if you’re interested! Niacinamide could be the next best addition to your current skincare routine.

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