Oily skin and summer weather do not mix. You’re sticky and sweaty, and your skin is producing so much oil that no amount of blotting paper can control it. To help curb oil production, Shirley Chi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Southern California, says you can use niacinamide.
“Niacinamide has calming and anti-inflammatory properties, which counteract the effects of stress hormones on the skin,” says Dr. Chi. “Stress hormones increase oil production on the skin, so decreasing inflammation makes your skin less oily.”
Stress hormones and oil production are connected because the glands that create oil and sebum have hormonal receptors on them. So calming your skin and protecting it from stress hormones helps to normalize the oil glands. A small study from 2006 found that a two percent topical niacinamide product lowered sebum excretion rates over the course of four weeks, which means that if you start using your niacinamide now, it may help de-grease your skin before the really hot summer weather sets in.
In addition to decreasing oil production, niacinamide is also a great hydrator, can help to strengthen your skin barrier, and offers antioxidant protection from environmental stressors. It’s also quite gentle, meaning anyone can use it, explains Rebecca Marcus, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Dallas.
“People who have very sensitive skin usually can tolerate niacinamide in the right concentration,” says Dr. Marcus. “It’s important to pay attention and make sure it’s between 3 and 5 percent so that it works, but it’s not irritating.”
Shop 4 great niacinamide options for oily skin
Use this serum from Volition Beauty to exfoliate, regulate oil, and improve the look of blemishes, dark spots, and acne scars. It does all of this using niacinamide along with salicylic acid from willow bark, azelaic acid, mandelic acid.
Made with 10 percent niacinamide, this booster is designed to minimize the appearance of pores while improving skin dullness. Use it on its own or add it to any serum, moisturizer, or facial oil for a pore-refining boost.
This tinted oil-free sunscreen calms and protects sensitive, acne-prone skin with the addition of 5 percent niacinamide. It also includes sodium hyaluronate, a form of hyaluronic acid, to keep skin hydrated throughout the day.
Learn more about caring for oily skin:
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