28/06/2016 08:26 BST | Updated 28/06/2017 06:12 BST

The Proven Benefits of Topical Vitamin B3 for Acne


This article looks at the scientifically proven (yes, scientifically proven!) skin benefits of topical vitamin B3 for acne and why this particular antioxidant may even be more effective than prescriptions like benzoyl peroxide when treating acne.

What are the skin benefits of topical vitamin B3 for acne?

Topical vitamin B3, or niacinamide, provide a number of different benefits for the skin including increasing elasticity, strengthening the skin barrier, evening skin tone and reducing inflammation.

Topical vitamin B3 could be MORE effective than established prescribed acne solutions such as antibiotics & BP!

More and more clinical studies are reporting the benefits of topical vitamin B3 for acne healing and skin regeneration. In fact, some studies claim that topical vitamin B3 could even be more effective than more established prescribed solutions such as antibiotics, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid! This is because topical vitamin B3 is highly effective, but unlike topical medications, it is very well tolerated by all skin types meaning there's no side effects such as increased skin sensitivity, dryness, redness or irritation. Plus, topical vitamin B3 does not lead to bacterial resistance like many other antibiotic-based acne treatments because it doesn't target the bacteria overgrowth. Instead, it targets the very first stage of acne (sebum oxidisation) and prevents pimples from developing in the first place.

Topical vitamin B3 reduces inflammation

Vitamin B3 has been proven to reduce inflammation in various scientific studies. In fact, this 8 week study discovered that a 4% B3 lotion reduced acne by 60% compared to just a 43% improvement in the subjects who used a 1% antibiotic gel (clindamycin). Pretty impressive huh?! If simply adding a 4% topical vitamin B3 lotion to your skin could potentially reduce anti-inflammatory acne by 60%, imagine what you could achieve if you teamed it with an anti-inflammatory diet and healthier lifestyle?!

Inflammation can happen for many different reasons, from diet to air pollution, and is widely believed to be the match that starts the fire when it comes to acne. To cut a long story short, inflammation causes oxidative damage to sebum which sets the wheels in motion for hyperkeratinisation, clogged pores, p.acnes bacteria overgrowth and eventually an inflamed pimple.

To fully understand the role that inflammation plays in the formation of acne, check out this post here

Topical vitamin B3 lightens pigmentation and evens skin tone

The red marks that you get after a breakout are the result of abnormally high levels or over stimulated melanocytes, which produce melanin - the substance that gives our skin its colour. This 4 week study showed that 5% topical vitamin B3, or niacinamide, actually inhibited the transfer of melanin to the surrounding skin cells and epidermis by up to 68% - this basically means that topical vitamin B3 blocked the build up of melanin in the surface of the skin. This clinical trial showed that pigmentation and age spots on the face were significantly reduced after just 4 weeks of using topical vitamin B3.

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Amy Saunders is an expert in natural beauty and founded her virtual acne clinic Skyn.Therapy after suffering from severe acne for 13 years. Amy delves deeper into the root causes of acne, proving you don't need harsh chemicals to achieve a flawless complexion. Find Amy on Twitter, Instagram, and on her blog Skyn.Therapy.