For years, I’ve thought of myself as having awful skin–stemming from the rosacea and acne that plagued me throughout my teenage years. In reality, at some point within the past two years, my skin has simply…cleared up. No more giant chin cysts. No more random forehead zits. Dramatically less redness. Normal, not Exxon-Valdez, levels of oiliness. In short: just, skin.
I should take clear, happy, healthy skin as a compliment, but I can’t help but view it with suspicion and dismay. You know what this means, don’t you? It means I have adult skin! I am no longer young! I have outgrown my teenage hormones!
The logical conclusion: death is nigh.
No makeup yet: clear skin! Huzzah!
While the truth of the matter is that skin really does change as you get older, I like to think that my recent discover of ingredient Niacin has something to do with it. Niacin is a form of vitamin B-3 that (when used in one of its forms called Niacinimide) helps reduce acne and rosacea, boost skin’s water content, and treat fine lines.
My favorite Niacin line is NIA-24, which features a patented Niacin molecule called “Pro-Niacin” that deeply penetrates skin to help strengthen its barrier while also stimulating repair. I’ve been using a variety of NIA-24 products since my dermatologist Dr. Nancy Samolitis introduced them to me last year, and from the second I started trying the products, I loved them. LOVED THEM.
NIA-24 holds the position of honor on my bathroom vanity, but there are a variety of other Niacin-featuring products I’m also digging. Here, the products that I’m rotating between, all of which are making my skin very, very happy:
This B.Kamins is the cream I currently use in the morning (under my NIA-24 Sun Damage Prevention SPF 30 sunscreen). I brought it with me to Europe and was terrified the TSA-Nazis would snatch it away, but luckily, it made a successful round-trip with me. It features the same Bio-Maple Compound that’s in all B.Kamins products, which helps improve skin tone and texture. I’ve liked B.Kamins’ products since my Lucky days, and this cream really does work for all complexions.
Retinol/retinoids are beloved by derms, but I can’t stand the flaking and irritation that often accompanies. This cream, which touched off my love of niacin as an ingredient, has many of the same benefits of retinol, including reducing fine lines, treating acne and hyperpigmentation, and making skin softer, smoother and more radiant. Plus, no irritation! I could swim in this stuff. It’s been added to my Holy Grail list.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, E. and I have both been addicted to this cream for a while, which goes on extremely light and sinks in quickly and can be used both morning and night. It actually doesn’t have Niacin, but instead features Mannose which also helps protect your skin’s barrier in the same manner as my other Niacin creams; the Kiehl’s reduces dryness, blotchiness and redness, too. Most importantly, it doesn’t create breakouts. My skin is simply happier and calmer after using it. Gold stars all around.