There are a handful of skincare ingredients that are heroes at what they do. There’s vitamin C, of course, and retinol. And then there’s niacinamide, a humble powerhouse that’s slowly getting the recognition it deserves particularly for menopausal skin.
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinamide, is a water-soluble vitamin and potent antioxidant with so many skincare benefits it can be hard to sum them up neatly. While all skin types and ages stand to gain from using niacinamide, its ability to boost hydration, strengthen the skin barrier and stimulate collagen production make it particularly good for menopausal, mature skin.
When you enter the perimenopause and menopause years, you may find that your skin becomes drier and therefore more prone to sensitivity. Niacinamide will help fortify the strength of your skin’s structure thus reducing sensitivity and improving the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
Niacinamide also slowly boosts collagen production, which helps even out the appearance of fine lines, pores and wrinkles. It will help to prevent the breakouts that can occur as oestrogen levels drop.
Niacinamide slowly boosts collagen production, which helps even out the appearance of fine lines, pores and wrinkles.
Finally, niacinamide will work to minimise hyperpigmentation by blocking the transfer of pigment to your skin’s surface. As an antioxidant, it will help prevent further damage from external aggressors such as environmental pollutants.
Here we round-up the best serums, masks, and booster making it easy to introduce niacinamide into your menopausal skincare routine.
Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Hydrating Mask, £44
This plumping and restorative overnight mask from Drunk Elephant helps to hydrate parched complexions by preventing water loss and improving moisture levels.
Containing niacinamide, as well as squalane, omega fatty acids and vitamin F, the formula will help to strengthen and replenish the skin’s natural barrier while also improving the appearance of uneven tone and texture.
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster, £41
This booster from Paula’s Choice works to visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone and texture, and multiple signs of ageing including fine lines and brown spots.
Add two or three drops of the booster into your moisturiser or serum or use on its own. Do note that 10% is a high concentrate so if you find the product is irritating your skin, switch to a lower percentage of around 4-5%.
111skin Rose Gold Radiance Booster, £85
Cosmetic surgeon Dr Yannis Alexandrides’s luxury skincare range 111skin is on the pricier side but it’s well worth it.
The brand’s Rose Gold Radiance Booster contains actual 24K gold extract, as well as hyaluronic acid for plumper skin, rose damask to hydrate and calm and niacinamide to brighten pigmentation and smooth skin tone and texture.
My Topicals Faded, US$36
If brightening is the main aim of your skincare game then My Topicals’s Faded serum is a good option. Great for sun-damaged and scarred skin, this gel serum fades stubborn marks, scars and spots to balance and brighten skin tone and smooth texture.
The niacinamide in the formula will interrupt pigment transfer to the upper layers of the skin as well as help reverse oxidative damage.
Dr Sam’s Flawless Brightly Serum, £44
This serum from cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting contains four hero actives including ascorbyl glucoside (a vitamin C derivative), azelaic acid, bakuchiol and 5% niacinamide.
The impressive foursome work together to stop breakouts, prevent dryness and fade pigmentation to leave your skin tone brighter and more even.
Zelens Z Luminous Brightening Serum, £140
If your dark spots are getting you down, splurging on Zelens’s Z Luminous Brightening Serum could be your answer.
Combining niacinamide, zinc-glycine complex and phytic acid, the serum is clinically proven to diminish dark spots, counteract pigmentation, reduce melanin production and help restore uniformity of tone.
Dr Dennis Gross B3 Adaptive SuperFoods Stress Rescue Super Serum, £75
Suitable for all skin types, from dry to oily, this serum from Dr Dennis Gross helps to soothe compromised skin and revitalise tired-looking complexions.
Infused with ingredients including niacinamide and adaptogens, it will minimise and combat signs of stress-induced ageing such as worry lines, dullness and flare-ups.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5
Combining niacinamide with zinc, this serum is great for skin that is on the oiler side or experiencing breakouts. The blemish-combatting ingredients work together to regulate sebum production to minimise pores and decongest the skin leaving you with clear, calm, even skin.
Again, it’s good to note that 10% is a high concentrate so if you find the product is irritating your skin, switch to a lower percentage.