Niacinamides: The Anti-Acne Superpower
It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a niacinamide! That is exactly the enthusiasm that you are going to want to embrace topical vitamin B3 with, if you have not already.
Superpower may only be a slight exaggeration for this naturally occurring vitamin, which is commonly known as niacin, and is found in mushrooms, green vegetables, nuts, beans, yeast and fish, as well as milk and meat. Niacin, vitamin B3, or nicotinic acid vitamin, can take the form of niacinamide. It is involved in hydrogen transfer and when used topically has a number of benefits.
What Do Niacinamides Do for Your Skin?
Niacinamide can help the epidermis reduce water loss, thereby retaining moisture. It can increase the keratin and protein processes that improve the skin's actual structure so that aging skin becomes more smooth and wrinkles diminish. And it has an antiinflammatory effect which does wonders for acne. In an often cited double blind study conducted by the State University of New York, topical application of niacinamide gel garnered similar results as test subjects who used clindamycin.
What exactly is niacinamide? We found the best description detailed on FutureDerm.com's Spotlight on Vitamin B3, Niacinamide (NCA) or nicotinamide is the "amide" form of vitamin B3. What that means is that outside of the pyridine ring, the carboxyl group (COOH) of nicotinic acid has been replaced by a (carbox)amide group (CONH2). It is debatable whether or not the two forms interconvert between one another in vivo. It is known that when taken orally, NTA does convert to NCA in order to exhibit the known vitamin effects. However, it is unknown whether or not NCA converts to NTA. It seems likely that a small amount of NCA is metabolized to NTA. The amount appears to be negligible however, as NCA does not exhibit many of the same pharmacological effects (skin flushing, lowering of cholesterol) as does NTA.
Acne can be infuriating and hard to treat. It is uncomfortable and unsightly. It is an inflammation of the skin caused by oils and bacteria clogging pores around the sebaceous glands and at the base of the hair follicle. It causes spots, lesions, and pimples on the skin most commonly of the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders.
The skin's pores connect to sebaceous oil glands beneath it; hair follicles connect those glands to the pores. These follicles act as small sacs where sebum is produced and secreted. The sebum serves to expel dead skin cells through the follicles to the skin's surface. The only part of the human body that is not covered by pores, follicles, and the glands below them are the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Acne does not happen in those places. It happens when there is inflammation that causes oxidative changes to sebum resulting in skin cells, sebum and hair clumping together and becoming infected with Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). The infection causes swelling which can result in a head, or pimple.
How Vitamin B3 Treats Acne
Niacinamides are gentle on the skin and have powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. This helps them work on acne-prone skin in several ways. Applied topically, they reduce inflammation, which is a key component in treating acne and regular use will have a positive correlation with healthy skin previously prone to acne. Additionally the antimicrobial properties help to fight the bacteria and the antioxidant effects help the skin repair itself.
Niacinamides serve as an alternative to the antibiotics and steroids that have been prescribed by doctors to treat acne vulgaris for years. However, steroids have side effects that can be damaging to the body and so their use should be limited. Antibiotics can be very effective, but there is increasing concern in the medical community that the over prescription and over-use of antibiotics are leading to P. acnes bacteria becoming resistant. (Source). Niacinamides come in forms that do not require a prescription and can easily be incorporated into creams, gels, cosmetics and serums. Because niacinamide is gentle on the skin and easily tolerated by almost anyone, it is becoming a popular and key ingredient in skincare products and cosmetics. (Source). Interestingly it is loved by everyone from health care bloggers to dermatologists and skin care companies. This includes Calsysta Labs which has designed a line of skin care products that utilizes the incredible power of niacinamides to help everyone have the beautiful skin they deserve.
Calysta Labs Calming Acne Serum uses niacinamides to reduce inflammation, stop bacterial growth, and restore normal and healthy oil production of the sebaceous gland. We have mixed it with other naturally occurring and organic compounds balanced with scientifically formulated agents. It can deliver vitamin B3 directly to where you need it the most and in a way that the superpowers of this incredible compound will help you have relief in less than a week.