Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, has proven to be extremely beneficial for your skin care routine. Many beauty products, such as lotions, creams, and serums, contain vitamin B3.
B3 can help strengthen your skin’s outer protective barrier by increasing the production of ceramides and fatty acids. A strong outer barrier is more effective at keeping moisture locked in and irritants out. If you have very dry or sensitive skin, look for products with B3!
B3 has also been shown to help reduce redness, especially for the common skin condition rosacea. In addition, a double-blind trial conducted by the State University of New York concluded that the topical application of a 4 percent niacinamide gel twice daily for two months resulted in acne improvement (similar improvement to a 1 percent clindamycin gel).
B3 can even help minimize the appearance of dark spots, as it prevents the transfer of pigment to skin cells.
In an Australian research study, researchers tested Nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, on 386 people who had already been diagnosed with skin cancer (squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma) and who averaged 66 years old. The participants took either two 500 mg vitamin B3 pills daily for a year, or a placebo. After a year, those who took the B3 were 23 percent less likely to develop a new skin cancer. The pills also reduced the numbers of pre-cancerous legions (actinic keratosis); a reduction of 20 percent was seen in participants who took the vitamin after 9 months of treatment.
Aside from taking B3 capsules or looking for beauty products with the vitamin in the ingredients, niacin can be found in many foods, such as yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, nuts, green vegetables, beans, and enriched breads and cereals. It is important to first consult with your doctor before taking any additional B3 supplements, as most people get plenty of niacin from a healthy diet alone.