Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid, niacinamide is a potent cell-communicating ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin. Assuming skin is being protected from sun exposure, niacinamide can improve skin's elasticity, dramatically enhance its barrier function, help erase discolorations, and revive skin's healthy tone and texture.
Topically applied niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis. It also has a growing reputation for being able to treat an uneven skin tone and to mitigate acne and the red marks it leaves behind (known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It is an excellent ingredient for those struggling with wrinkles and breakouts. Niacinamide is stable in the presence of heat and light.
Sources: American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, April 2011, pages 87–99; Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, January-February 2010, pages 20–26; British Journal of Dermatology, December 2009, pages 1,357–1,364; October 2003, page 681; and September 2000, pages 524-531; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 860-865; Experimental Dermatology, July 2005, pages 498-508; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, April 2004, page 88; Journal of Radiation Research, December 2004, pages 491-495; and Journal of Dermatological Science, volume 31, 2003, pages 193-201.