The superstar soothing vitamin that your skin-care routine’s probably missing


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Photo: Getty Images/Janifest

As far as the superstar vitamins you slather onto your skin go, vitamins A and C get all the attention. It’s for good reason, of course—vitamin A is the MVP you know and love as retinol, and vitamin C is the brightening essential that skin-care devotees hoard for their regimen. But there’s another equally important vitamin that’s often overlooked, and that is… drumroll, please… vitamin B3.

Vitamin B3 is actually a nutrient that your body needs in its diet, and your skin isn’t much different. The vitamin, which is also known as niacinamide, has just as much street cred as vitamins A and C, and dermatologists and facialists alike think everyone should be applying to their face.

“Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 commonly used in skin-care products,” says Joshua Zeichner, board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “It helps brighten the complexion and lighten dark spots. It also helps calm inflammation and supports healthy collagen production.” The best part? He says it’s okay to use for all skin types, including those with very sensitive complexions.

Essentially, niacinamide is a key ingredient to add to your skin-care regimen to multitask in various glow-inducing ways. “Niacinamide or vitamin B3 is a key ingredient to treat age-related skin changes, acne, and skin discoloration,” says Alison Adams-Woodford, LE, from research and development at PCA Skin. “It naturally calms the skin and provides dramatic skin brightening.” Other perks, according to her, include decreased hyperpigmentation, blotchiness, fine lines, and acne, while it improves your skin’s barrier function. On top of that, it moisturizes and gives antioxidant effects. So basically, it does everything and deserves proper real estate in your beauty cabinet ASAP for a healthy, supple complexion.

Your healthy beauty regimen should also include fruit skin care, and—of course—a moisturizing sunscreen to wear year-round

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