Niacinamide and Its Benefits
Niacinamide – also known as Vitamin B3 or Nicotinic Acid – has been touted of late as something of a skincare panacea. There is good reason for this hype, however. We all know the benefits to be derived from getting enough B vitamins in one’s diet. They help to convert the ingredients in food into fuel for our bodies, among other things. So why include Niacinamide in your skincare routine? The ability of many vitamins like Vitamin C to protect our skin from harmful oxidation is not to be minimized. Niacinamide functions in similar fashion. But its greatest benefit lies in its ability to minimize hyperpigmentation. This condition can be brought on by too much sun, acne scars and hormone changes, and it can afflict anyone whether they are light or dark-skinned. Improvement tends to be gradual and without disruption of the skin’s natural acid mantle, making it a good alternative to irritating chemical peels. It is also a more affordable alternative to laser treatments. Niacinamide can also help to balance oil production in persons who are acne-prone by reducing excess sebum production. This can make your pores appear smaller (although actual pore size is genetically determined). Clinical studies have also shown it to minimize the appearance of fine lines. It’s especially good for persons with skin issues due to the overuse of products or chemical peels. By helping to restore the skin’s natural acid mantle, it can help to soothe troubled skin. So what’s not to like about Niacinamide? The ideal concentration in skincare products is 10%. If you’re looking to try a product containing Niacinamide, why not try our Whole Earth Body Actives Age Defying Vitamin C Face Creme. In addition to using a gentler form of Vitamin C, it contains Niacinamide which adds its antioxidant benefits to a light gel-like formula that can be used day and night.
Paula’s Choice Glossary page on Niacinamide
Dermatology Times article on Niacinamide
Our diet has a huge impact on our skin.
We’ve often heard that “you are what you eat.” When it comes to your skin, the same is true. While many “fad” diets were developed to help people lose weight, little consideration is given to the impact that they have on the skin. The best diet consists of health-promoting foods that keep our skin healthy, too.
Our bodies function optimally at a very narrow pH – 7.3-7.5, which is slightly alkaline. Our diets can often create an acidic environment which can contribute to disease states in the body. The same can be said for our skin. Normal skin has an “acid mantle” somewhere near a pH of 5. Our skin produces sebum which creates a barrier. This prevents drying and protects the skin from harmful bacteria, while supporting beneficial bacteria. When this natural barrier is stripped away by harsh products, it creates an imbalance that can contribute to skin problems.
Our diets may also contribute to skin imbalance by creating an imbalance in the body. Our modern diets are often low in fiber and fresh vegetables, which can make our bodies work harder to digest food and can lead to kidney and gallstones. We often don’t drink enough water, which is needed for proper muscle, kidney and skin function. It also allows the body to flush out toxins and prevent dehydration. Fresh fruits and vegetables also have a high water content. The following foods can contribute to a healthy body and glowing skin:
1) Foods high in antioxidants like berries, spices, dark leafy greens, and green tea, help reduce free-radical damage on the skin as well as in the body.
2) Foods rich in Vitamins C (orange, pineapple, papaya) help to maintain skin integrity and promote healing.
3) Foods high in beta-carotene (squash, sweet potato, kale) can help protect against sun damage.
4) Foods irhc in Vitamine E (nuts, wheat germ, leafy greens, cold-pressed oils, fish oil) can help protect the body’s lipid-bearing membranes (including skin).
5) Drinking adequate fluids (purified water or herb tea) help prevent dehydration, which can cause skin drying and helps maintain the body’s normal functioning.
6) Foods high in fiber (wheat germ, beans, dark leafy greens) can help the body remove toxins from the body, while supporting beneficial gut bacteria.
By taking the time to find the right diet and skincare regimen, we can go a long way towards maintaining optimal health, inside and out.