Hey guys, welcome back! It‘s Felicia and Rowena and in the skincare world Niacinamide is a friend that everyone wants. They get along with everyone else, they work well together, they boost and lift you up to improve you to be the best you can be. This is our part two of our A, Bs and Cs of skincare Basically we will go through vitamin A, which is retinol, vitamin B3 and vitamin C, which we‘ll be talking about in the next video. So today, we‘re gonna be talking all about niacinamide and how it works, the skin‘s benefits, including: Evening out skin tone and texture, restoring hydration and improving the skin barrier, controlling sebum production, minimizing the look of large pores, reducing hyperpigmentation and age spots, reducing redness and rosacea and promoting collagen and firm youthful skin. Make sure you guys watch till the very end of this one because this ingredient is seriously the real MVP of skincare ingredients! So let‘s first get into what niacinamide is and how this works Niacinamide is one of the most popular go-to active skincare ingredients that have been proven to work among dermatologists and researchers for a long time. It‘s a form of vitamin B3 and so there are many names that refer to vitamin B3, like: niacin, niacinamide, nicotinamide (Chuckling) I don‘t know they all rhymed a little bit and it gets a little confusing, but here‘s what you need to know: Vitamin B3 is present in food, which is called niacin. It‘s essential because it helps change carbohydrates into the fuel our body needs. Some foods that include this are: chicken, fish, liver foods if you‘re into that, mushroom, eggs, beet and green vegetables So an easy way to understand it is: when we refer to food and supplements, it‘s known as vitamin B3 and niacin, which are two different names for the same thing. And when we talk about skincare products, it‘s known as niacinamide or nicotinamide – also two names for the same thing. So that‘s why it can be a little confusing, but essentially “Niacinamide” is all you need to know. Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it won‘t dissolve in oil and so you‘ll typically find it in water-based serums or moisturizers and also masks. So it‘s perfect for anyone of you who hates oily or oily solvents – so oily products in general. It‘s also one of the most stable active ingredients in skincare with a pH of around neutral, which means it is unlike chemical exfoliants like AHA, BHA, vitamin C and retinols (or vitamin A); niacinamide is non-acidic and non-irritating and works well on basically all skin types. We‘ll explain more on why knowing the pH levels of your skincare is important later in the video. Niacinamide is also easily absorbed by the outer layer of the skin and it helps to keep the acid mantle, which is a combination of oils and proteins and ceramides, on the outer layer of our skin healthy, which means that you can get soft and glowing skin without any sort of irritation that other chemicals can also give you. Moving on to benefits of niacinamide because there are A LOT. The studies of niacinamide have been proven to improve skin barrier function, decrease skin hyperpigmentation, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, decrease redness and blotchiness and improve skin elasticity So that‘s basically everything that you’re looking for in, like, an entire skincare routine, but it’s all in one ingredient! So be as excited as us when we get into these, because it‘s a lot. So let‘s go into how each of these are achieved a little more and by the end of it, you‘ll be like “uhm… are you sure this is right? It sounds a little too good to be true” but you bet your bottoms it is because niacinamide is skincare‘s real MVP! Brightening and hyperpigmentation: niacinamide reduces color or pigmentation by disrupting one of the key enzymes that produce melanin. It‘s actually a pigment that our body produces that gives our skin the color that we have, you know, our nice tan or fair complexion, as well as the hair color and also eyes. But on a bad note, melanin is also produced by the skin in response to damaging sunlight and UV rays, which is why when we don‘t apply sunscreen, we get sunspots and freckles like these and this is the outcome of increased melanin production. So when we use niacinamide, it helps prevent melanin production by stimulating the production of keratin, which increases the thickness of the skin‘s outer layer. Just to compare this with another popular ingredient for lightening and brightening that‘s hydroquinone, which is used in a lot of other products for the same reasons. There‘s one from Murad, the “Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum” with 2% hydroquinone, which is close to the highest amount before you need to get it prescribed from a dermatologist. So niacinamide has been found to have the same effects and the qualities. Because a double-blind clinical study found that 4% of hydroquinone was comparable to using 4% of niacinamide, but with less side effects. So it‘s effective in evening out your skin tone and helping with the overall brightening of the complexion without the irritation part of it. So this is what you want to help with to just reduce the blotchiness or the speckliness. Even with acne marks, like, you know how you got hyperpigmentation scars that come through, it‘s darkening – this will also help in quickly removing those marks That’s the first one. Moving on to helping to improve dryness and also anti-aging When it comes to anti-aging, this has a lot to do with hydration – we sound like a broken record – because the hydration levels of the skin cells and also proper moisturization in general of the skin is what actually prevents signs of fine lines and wrinkling and aging. Once again, this has everything to do with keeping the skin barrier well nourished because our skin barrier is important in producing fatty acids, ceramides, lipids and key proteins, needed to maintain plump, healthy and glowing skin. And this concoction makes up the acid mantle, which is a very fine layer on the skin, of the skin barrier, that protects us from bacteria and viruses and contaminates just in the environment, like free radicals, but it also reduces transepidermal water loss aka TEWL but this slowly reduces with age as well, leading to things like dullness and sagging and lines that also come from dryness. How niacinamide helps with this, is that it greatly reduces the evaporation of water from our skin and actually helps to increase the moisture content of the stratum corneum. This means that we can achieve a thicker and stronger skin barrier, which means better skin. And then you won‘t get irritation and rash. And on top of the moisturizing qualities, niacinamide increases collagen production and slows down the bonding of glucose and proteins in the skin that lead to cross linked collagen. So basically, what this means is that it stops aging and it helps with skin elasticity and the plumpness cross linking Now moving on to how it helps with acne. So when it comes to the bane of our collective existence whatever skin type you are, pimples, breakouts you might not have known that niacinamide can also help to control and alleviate mild to moderate acne. Niacinamide has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties so it‘s actually a very gentle way to help control acne. It not only helps to reduce redness, bacterial buildup in the pores but it helps acne by controlling and reducing the amount of sebum that‘s actually secreted from your pores. Also, niacinamide is especially helpful and works wonders if you have combination or oily skin types. As someone who is in this skin type category, when I use niacinamide, it actually helps with- like, it‘s one of those things you don’t even have to think about, you just add into your routine and it really does help with this controlling of sebum. But on top of that, it doesn‘t irritate and I think that’s the main thing if you have sensitive, oily or acne-prone [skin]. It doesn’t irritate, it doesn’t cause anything. If anything, it just helps all your other products work harmoniously together as well Minimizing pores Following on from the previous point about helping to regulate sebum production, this means that niacinamide helps with the appearance of minimizing pores because as we know, the less the pores are clogged with excess sebum and dead skin the finer and smaller the pores will be. The texture of the skin will also be smoother and softer and just more fine and there have been so many studies on this and one that was particularly interesting was that using niacinamide and salicylic acid significantly reduce pore size and bumpy skin texture. So once again, if you are oily, combination, flaky – whatever it is, niacinamide will help with that. One of the biggest advantages to using niacinamide is that it‘s a stable ingredient, meaning it works well with other ingredients and is well-tolerated, so you don‘t have to be worried about mixing wrong ingredients when it comes to this specific one. And because we did a whole video, well two videos, on what not to mix with niacinamide, you can kind of breathe a sigh of relief and be like “ok I can get it, incorporate into my routine” and not really have to worry, like with chemical exfoliants and things like that. Which brings us on to the next point: rosacea and redness. According to many studies on niacinamide, blotchy redness and skin conditions like rosacea can actually be improved with the use of niacinamide. Rosacea is a skin condition with no cure, much like eczema, where the main symptoms are the red skin tone and flare ups that bring red bumps and pustules to the surface. When niacinamide is used on this type of skin, it can help to alleviate the redness because it helps to improve, once again, the skin barrier and a healthy skin barrier is what we all want because when this is functioning properly, it means our skin is well protected, nourished and hydrated and won’t have things like dehydration, flakiness, itchiness or anything like that. So even those of you with rosacea or sensitive skin, you can feel safe using niacinamide. Like a couple of days ago, I had a rash and I still use niacinamide and you know when you have a rash, it means your skin barrier is, like, depleting, it‘s compromised, it’s been invaded by foreign entities. It’s pretty serious, but still using niacinamide – the booster that we’ll talk about a little bit later – I still had that in my routine and stripped everything else down and it didn‘t flare up, it didn’t itch, it didn’t tingle or anything, so that’s always a good sign. Now, free radicals. Free radicals is also one of the major benefits of using vitamin C because vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it’s very similar. Free radicals are apparent in the air and when they get onto our skin, it can cause stresses and make our skin age prematurely. One of the biggest reasons for using vitamin C like I just said or L-ascorbic acid in products is that vitamin C is a free radical scavenger, which means it helps to fight damages of free radicals when it comes into contact with our skin and we don’t even know it, so that it could prevent dullness and aging. But what niacinamide has over vitamin C is that niacinamide is more stable. Vitamin C‘s known to be unstable and acidic. It can also often be oily on the skin and harder to work with compared to niacinamide. You always hear of your vitamin C serums going bad or you need to put it in the fridge or put it in a very dark corner, otherwise it will go like this weird browny color and then you‘re using a bad ingredient that’s gone off. By now, you‘re all probably wondering “ok, I have to have this in my life” – so now, let’s move on to how to use niacinamide in our skincare routine. How to use niacinamide? The best thing about niacinamide; it has little to no side effects at all and it can be used at high percentages and still be able to be well-tolerated by the skin, even if you are very sensitive and it’s a stable ingredient, pairs well with all the other ingredients, no matter what stage you are in your skincare routine, which we’ll get into in just a a little bit. Niacinamide‘s like the kid that just gets along with everyone at recess. I wanna be that kid. You wanna be friends with them. The amount you’ll typically find in products are usually 2, 5 and 10% niacinamide or they‘ll be in some products that don’t even state that there is niacinamide until you look at the back of the packaging of things like moisturizers or face masks, which commonly have them because as we said, it’s a great brightening ingredient. Some dermatologists have said that if you do experience any irritation from using niacinamide products, it’s probably from another ingredient within the formula, like fragrance or preservatives, rather than niacinamide itself. Before we jump into how you can use niacinamide in your routine, we should recap over pH levels of our products, so you understand what’s going on. Our skin‘s natural pH level is around 5.5, so products with a low pH, which is between 1 to 6, are at a level closer to the skin‘s natural levels. You‘ll see on a lot of your products, especially cleansers, it states the pH level that it‘s best used at because different ingredients work better at different levels. So this just means that it’s relatively close to our skin‘s natural, like, where the skin barrier lies, in terms of the pH level and so it’s much more gentle. Chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, vitamin C (which is ascorbic acid) work well on the skin at low pH levels, which means chemical exfoliants will penetrate more deeply, work more effectively and have a greater concentrated effect on the skin. This can also mean that it can be a little more irritating if it’s too low, especially for those of you who haven’t tried any chemical exfoliants, so just remember to always start with a small percentage and work yourself up. An extreme example of something with a super low pH is lemon, which sits at 2.0 on the scale and so should never be put on the face by itself because it is highly irritating and will basically burn the barrier of your skin if it isn‘t properly formulated. You‘ll find lemon as citric acid, which is in a lot of different skincare products as the ingredient – it’s usually towards the end because there’s only a little bit and it is highly acidic. But when it is formulated in a product, obviously they do their tests and stuff. Then on the other end of the spectrum is high pH levels, which is 8 to 14, which are more alkaline and this is the biggest threat to your skin‘s pH and your skin barrier. The biggest giveaway of a product that’s too alkaline is that kind of tight and squeaky clean feeling that you get from cleanser sometimes after washing your face and it strips away all the sebum that’s actually healthy for the functioning of your skin, leading to redness and inflammation and dryness. Your skin might even break out because you cleanse with a product that’s too alkaline. So what’s the best option? Because our skin normally lies at around 5.5, you wanna look for products that lie between like 4.5 to about 7, which is kind of a safe range and the general rule is that slightly acidic is preferred because it’s similar to our own skin levels. Another thing is that you want to apply products that work on a lower pH level earlier on in your skincare routine, things like AHAs and vitamin C because as we said before, these ingredients work better on a lower pH level on our skin and this is why you’ll see them in a lot of toners and serums because it’s like towards the front part of your skincare routine. Since niacinamide works well on a higher pH level, after cleansing your face, apply low pH active ingredient products, so toners or serums, like chemical exfoliants (AHAs like glycolic, lactic or mandelic acid) and/or vitamin C products like serums, then we suggest you let them sink in a little. After these low pH level dependent actives, you can then start to basically apply your niacinamide product of choice at any point – that’s why it’s so easy to use. If it’s a more liquid based formula, you can apply that next after your toner. If it’s in a moisturizer or in a thicker serum, you can also apply that a little bit later on, so it’s actually very versatile in the way that you can use it. Finish off with your cream or moisturizer to hydrate the skin and protect it, especially when using any chemical exfoliants. Now to your guys‘ favorite part: product recommendations! I’ve been using this one lately and actually love the boosters of Paula‘s Choice. So what it is, is 10% niacinamide booster with vitamin B3 and vitamin B5 and the cool thing is, you can add it into your serum or add it into your moisturizer or you can use it alone. (Rowena) Oh it looks like apple cider vinegar. (Felicia) it does actually! There‘s no smell, it’s not irritating and it helps with brightening, with oil control, with pore minimizing. It helps with like evening texture and skin tone. It really is – and I think for this one anyway because this is the most recent I’ve used – it didn’t cause any irritation. It almost feels like you didn’t add anything in. (Rowena) That‘s what I was gonna say too! So I’ve been using the Nacific one, I haven’t used too much of it, but when doing research when you hear these marketing buzz words or it’s just like the benefits of niacinamide, I‘m like “it’s gonna brighten, it’s gonna lighten, it‘s gonna minimize my pores, it‘s gonna do all these things” and when it doesn’t do it within day 1, I‘m like “ugh it doesn’t work!” But then I catch myself on that “well like you need to-”
(Felicia) it‘s a long term [thing] because actually, with a lot of the studies that I read through, most of the time, the effects of it actually working was after 8 to 12 weeks and after that, of like consistently using it, then they were like “whoa, this is amazing!”, but like with everything that’s good in life, you have to give it time.
(Rowena) like three days in I‘m like “uhm… it’s not doing anything, Imma switch to something else” Don’t be like me, moral of the story. Don‘t expect drastic changes [in a short amount of time] Then, The Ordinary is also really great because The Ordinary as well as The Glossier – I was reading reviews – no one had any breakouts or anything like that, so you can tell generally, it’s a very well accepted ingredient. Let‘s just quickly talk about the myth of using vitamin C with niacinamide. The long standing myth of not being able to use these together was based on studies a long time ago in like the 1960s that have just been kind of regurgitated up until today. And those studies were done on unstabilized forms of both ingredients, which is why there was this concern. As we mentioned, niacinamide is a pretty tough ingredient, light and air don’t affect it like vitamin C. So while the two active ingredients are perfectly safe to use together and they actually boost each other‘s abilities to improve the skin and using them at the exact same time can maybe cause flushing or redness for some of you, who have more sensitive skin. If you do want to use both, as we said before, just use one in the day and one at night. So this was vitamin B3, which is niacinamide. This is our second video of our, like, A, B, Cs of skincare and that’s what they mean because all of these are like the fundamentals and the most basic but most important ingredients. Retinols or, you know, vitamin A, vitamin B – and then the next will be vitamin C, our temperamental friend vitamin C. So we hope you guys enjoyed this one. Have you guys watched our skincare basics, all of them? Cleansing, toning, exfoliating, all of them. A lot of the questions you guys ask are actually all answered within each of those videos, where we break each step down, why it’s important and how it works within our skin. It will be there (pointing to the right) Thank you all so much for watching and we will see you in the next video. Bye!