Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
About Niacinamide and N-acetyl Glucosamine in DIY Skin Care
Application of Niacinamide topically has been shown to benefit skin color, decrease melanin synthesis (important for hyperpigmentation), and decrease inflammation and itching (pruritus).
The biochemical effects of Niacinamide include increased concentration of NADPH, the donor of reducing power in cell biosynthesis, an effect that translates into increased synthesis of collagen, involucrin, filaggrin, and keratin.
Topical application of Niacinamide also decreases UV-induced skin cancers and prevented immunosuppression by UV irradiation.
This molecule is one of the components of NADPH (reduced niacinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) the coenzyme that provides the reducing power required to build new molecules in the human body. Niacinamide and niacin are not synthesized in the human body and therefore must be supplied externally (these is why we call niacin a vitamin), either through the diet or through topical application (or better, both).
Niacinamide is also part of NAD (like NADP but without the extra phosphate), the molecule that is wherever carbohydrates and other foodstuffs are oxidized (respired) to make energy. Even when following a normal healthy diet, topical application of niacinamide will result in increased synthesis of collagen, keratin, involucrin and flaggrin. Topical application of niacinamide will decrease pruritus and inflammation, help acne affected skin, decrease oiliness, alleviate atopic dermatitis, decrease UV-induced skin cancers and help decrease facial pigmentation. These are just a few of the beneficial effects of topical application of niacinamide to the skin, and it would be suspicious that there are so many were it not for the crucial role of this chemical in human metabolism.
"Glucosamine has been shown to reduce production of melanin in melanocyte cell culture . The reported mechanism is inhibition of maturation of tyrosinase, specifically inhibiting the glycosylation of pro-tyrosinase to active tyrosinase. Clinical pigmentation effects of topical glucosamine have not been reported. We have investigated the effectiveness of a stable derivative of glucosamine, N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG), alone and in combination with a previously demonstrated effective material, niacinamide (N) , for clinically reducing the appearance of facial hyperpigmented spots."
"In in vitro human skin cultures, topical application of N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide stimulated hyaluronan synthesis. •These treatments also led to an increase in collagen (procollagen-1) expression. •Twice daily use of a facial moisturizer containing a combination of 2% N-acetyl glucosamine and 4% niacinamide for 4 to 8 weeks by women with moderate to severe fine and wrinkles reduced the appearance of facial fine lines and wrinkles, particularly in the eye area of the face. •The in vitro hyaluronan results suggest that this effacement of fine lines and wrinkles is due at least in part to improved hydration of the skin. References 1.Sayo T, Sakai S, Inoue S. Synergistic effect of N-acetylglucosamine and retinoids on hyaluronan production in human keratinocytes."
"The therapeutic effect of topical niacinamide versus hydroquinone (HQ) in melasma patients was evaluated.
Twenty-seven melasma patients were randomized to receive for eight weeks 4% niacinamide cream on one side of the face, and 4% HQ cream on the other.
All patients showed pigment improvement with both treatments.
Good to excellent improvement was observed with niacinamide in 44% of patients, compared to 55% with HQ.
Niacinamide induces a decrease in pigmentation, inflammatory infiltrate, and solar elastosis.
Niacinamide is a safe and effective therapeutic agent for melasma."
Topically applied Niacinamide may:
- act as an anti-inflammatory:        
- lighten and brighten skin (treat melsama/hyper pigmentation):           
- repair and treat sun damage:      
- prevent or reduce UVA and UVB sun damage:  
- prevent and treat acne:     
- control oil/sebum levels: 
- repair the skin barrier:
- increase hyaluroninic acid production: 
- moisturize and prevent water loss:  
- reduce fine lines and wrinkles:  
- increase skin elasticity: 
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