When it comes to skincare, I have to say we are spoiled. We have a variety of products on the market that help us achieve that natural, youthful glow we all want. From gels, oils, serums, creams, foams, scrubs, and vitamins, we clearly can't go wrong. If you're obsessed with taking care of your skin or have been prone to skin problems like me, you've probably used retinol, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide as part of your skincare routine. These are just common key ingredients that have been on the market for decades. Now, there are so many other types of acids and supplements that give your skincare routine the upgrade you didn't know it needed.
Enter niacinamide. According to an article from Healthline, niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3 that is an essential nutrient and is water-soluble. Vitamin B-3 is found in eggs, cereals, green veggies, beans, fish, and milk. When you are deficient in vitamin B-3, it can lead to skin disorders or other types of health conditions. Did you know our bodies can also produce niacinamide? When our body has too much niacin (vitamin B-3), it's converted to niacinamide. So, how does our skin benefit from niacinamide?
Overall, niacinamide builds proteins in the skin and prevents environmental damage by locking in moisture. It also helps treat skin conditions like acne and rosacea, and it protects against sun damage and oxidative stress (pollution or toxins).
Here are the specific skin issues niacinamide can help treat and the products you should add to your skincare routine:
A Smoother Skin Texture
Some of us were not blessed with smooth skin and invisible pores. I have what you call orange-peel skin, which is when the pores are enlarged and visible. Niacinamide improves skin texture by making pores look smaller and also helps balance oil production. It has also been proven to reverse and prevent signs of aging, reduce redness and irritation, minimize fine lines, and brighten the skin.
If you are like me, you might struggle with dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). I've used medical-grade acne medication such as a sulfur wash, retinol, and hydroquinone to lighten my dark spots, but research has shown niacinamide can be almost as effective in comparison to hydroquinone when it comes to fading dark spots.
In a Vogueinterview, dermatologist Blair Murphy-Rose recommended using niacinamide with skin brightening ingredients, such as kojic acid (found in mushrooms and a byproduct of fermented rice) and a tranexamic acid (a man-made form of amino acid) to maximize the benefits of niacinamide. However, niacinamide can be paired with retinol, peptides, and hyaluronic acid too.
How to Use Niacinamide in Your Skincare Routine:
To achieve the flawless skin you've always wanted, niacinamide should be applied topically via a cream, lotion, or serum. It's the type of ingredient that is well-absorbed by the skin.
You can safely use niacinamide twice a day with a moisturizer and sunscreen. Serums have a higher potency and higher concentrations, so you want to be sure to use a low concentration (2% to 5%) because a higher one can irritate the skin.
If you plan to add niacinamide to your skincare routine, it should look something like this:
- Cleanse your face.
- Apply niacinamide.
- Apply moisturizer.
Niacinamide has become a popular ingredient used in moisturizers, serums, sunscreens, and face masks. Some trending beauty products approved by skin experts containing niacinamide include:
- The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
- CeraVe PM Moisturizing Lotion
- The INKEY List Niacinamide Oil Control Serum
- Fenty Beauty Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum
- Glossier Super Pure Serum
- Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution
- First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Niacinamide Dark Spot Serum
- SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense
- EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
I personally haven't tried any serum-based products with niacinamide, but I can say I have tried other products from The Ordinary and I've used the EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum sunscreen. These are two of my favorite skincare brands because they are affordable. The sunscreen is recommended by my own dermatologist and esthetician.
I know trying different skincare products can be a hit or miss, but don't knock the product until after four weeks or more. Your skin takes time to heal, especially if you have hyperpigmentation problems. Any dermatologist will tell you that results become apparent over time with consistency and correct application.
Upgrade your skincare routine with niacinamide, sis.
To get your beauty fix and to stay up to date with the latest trends, check out the xoNecole Beauty section here.
Featured image via Getty Images
Camille is a lover of all things skin, curls, music, justice, and wanderlust; oceans and islands are her thing. Her words inspire and her power is her voice. A California native with Trinidadian roots, she has penned personal essays, interviews, and lifestyle pieces for POPSUGAR, FEMI magazine, and SelfishBabe. Camille is currently creating a life she loves through words, self-love, fitness, travel, and empowerment. You can follow her on Instagram @cam_just_living or @written_by_cam.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
In the crazy world of dating, so much attention is placed on the behavior during actual dates. Whether it is choosing the right outfit or making a good first impression, the focus tends to center on the in-person time spent together. But something that often gets overlooked is the significance of "between date behavior (BDB)." BDB is not just generic good morning text messages (that can be sent to 10 women in one minute), but rather text check-ins during the day and even nightly phone calls. This is the time when two people are apart but still find time for connection.
It is during these in-between moments that the foundation of a truly meaningful relationship is often built. A glaring example of what happens when there isn’t BDB is the early relationship between Carrie and Big from Sex and the City. At the beginning of the series, she was so hyper-focused on the time she spent together that she ignored that Big wasn’t calling or texting her often between dates. Instead, he would reach out and send cars based on his convenience… and not hers.
When it comes to dating, don’t be Carrie!
BDB in Dating
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Please realize that 80-90% of your time will NOT be with your partner while seriously dating, so the BDB will also be a significant part of your relationship. Here are some other reasons why what happens when you're not together is just as, if not more, significant than the hours spent face-to-face…
One of the key factors that makes BDB so crucial is authenticity. When we are with someone on a date, it is easy to put on a front (show one’s representative), showcasing our best qualities and concealing our flaws. But it is in our day-to-day interactions, the text messages and phone calls, that our true selves shine through.
Consistency in behavior is an indicator of authenticity. And authenticity builds trust. And trust is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship.
Speaking of trust, it is one of the foundations of a successful relationship. Building it doesn't happen in a single evening. It's the consistency in behavior between dates that solidifies trust. When your person consistently communicates, shows interest, and keeps it respectful in the moments between your dates, it is reassuring that your potential partner is seriously interested and invested in the relationship.
Also, in between dates, the channels of communication become lifelines that connect two people and nurture emotional intimacy. How you communicate and what you choose to communicate about can significantly impact a growing relationship. Consistent, thoughtful messages and meaningful conversations like sharing your thoughts, dreams, and vulnerabilities can help create a strong emotional bond. Being supportive and understanding during difficult moments can bring you closer together.
While the time spent on a date is super important, the BDB, I would argue, should not be slept on. It's the glue that holds the connection together, builds trust, and sets the stage for a healthy, long-lasting relationship. So, the next time you find yourself waiting for that next date, remember that the journey between those dates is just as significant, if not more so, in the grand scheme of building a meaningful connection.
Hope this helps!
Coach Anwar is a certified dating and relationship coach who has 13 years of experience helping Black and brown women date with strategy, meet relationship-ready men, and get into the best relationship of their lives.
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