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All B vitamins, including niacin -- or B3 -- are known to promote healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver function. Niacin is included in creams and lotions to make skin look younger. Adding niacin to your skin-care routine, either in topical treatments or vitamin supplements, may help reverse sun damage and discoloration that naturally occurs with aging. Others use niacin as an irritation-free alternative to tretinoin, an anti-aging derivative of vitamin A.
Purchase an over-the-counter lotion or cream that lists niacin, niacinamide or B3 as an active ingredient. Pat the lotion onto the skin daily after washing with a mild cleanser. Use for six to 10 weeks, then check for signs of improvement in skin texture and discoloration.
Add niacin-rich foods to your diet daily. Include beets, beef, salmon, tuna, swordfish, nuts and seeds, which are all good sources. Buy breads and cereals that are fortified with niacin.
Consult a healthcare professional about whether ingesting a daily niacin or vitamin B complex supplement would be an appropriate addition to your skin-care regimen. These can be purchased over the counter, but talk to a healthcare professional first, as niacin can interact with other drugs and produce side effects.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Pubmed: The Effects of a Daily Facial Lotion Containing Vitamins B3 and E and Provitamin B5 on the Facial Skin of Indian Women: A Randomized, Double-blind trial.
- The New York Times: Skin Deep: Debating the Claims Behind Wrinkle Creams
- New Beauty: How The Vitamin Niacin Can Fix Your Skin
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Very few people in the United States have a vitamin B3 deficiency, which can result in fatigue, digestive problems, canker sores and depression. Severe deficiencies can result in pellagra, a condition that causes scaly skin and dementia. Consult a physician for a diagnosis.
- If tretinoin is part of your skin-care routine, you may want to stop using it while you're using niacin cream. One claimed benefit of niacin is that it provides the same anti-aging benefits of tretinoin without the associated irritation. If you stop using tretinoin while you use niacin, you can then compare the two anti-aging products to determine which is more effective for you.
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