Niacinamide, Moisturizers and the Skin Barrier Function

Written by on September 18, 2005 in Rosacea Moisturizer with 17 Comments

This study concludes that rosacea sufferers can benefit from using a moisturizer, such as one that contains Niacinamide, that helps by improving the stratum corneum barrier function.

There aren’t many moisturizers on the market that contain Niacinamide. If you do find one that you like, please do let us know below in the comments.

Niacinamide – Containing Facial Moisturizer Improves Skin Barrier and Benefits Subjects With Rosacea, Draelos ZD, Ertel K, Berge C. Cutis 2005; 76:135-141.

Abstract: A growing body of literature suggests that some moisturizers can improve stratum corneum barrier function, as well as ameliorate dry skin.

The clinical signs and symptoms of rosacea, which include increased facial skin dryness and sensitivity, suggest a possible role for such moisturizers as an adjuvant in the management of this condition.

This randomized, investigator-blind, controlled observational study (N=50) was designed to assess whether a niacinamide-containing facial moisturizer would improve the stratum corneum barrier and thus provide a clinical benefit to subjects with rosacea.

Subjects with rosacea applied the test moisturizer to their face and to one forearm twice daily for 4 weeks. The other forearm remained untreated as a control.

Barrier function on the forearms was assessed instrumentally and using a dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) chemical probe. Stratum corneum hydration also was measured instrumentally. The dermatologist investigator evaluated each subject’s rosacea condition over the course of the study, and subjects self-assessed their facial skin condition at study end. Instruments provided objective measures of stratum corneum barrier function and hydration on the face.

Results of tests conducted on the forearms showed that the niacinamide-containing facial moisturizer improved stratum corneum barrier function and hydration. Similar trends in these parameters were seen on the facial skin. The investigator’s evaluations and subjects’ self-assessments showed improvement in the signs and symptoms of rosacea over the course of the study.

These results suggest that this patient population can benefit from using a facial moisturizer that improves the stratum corneum barrier.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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17 Reader Comments

  1. Cjal says:

    This is very interesting. I heard that Niacin makes the redness worse but I also heard this about Niacinamide doing the opposite. Thanks

  2. Heather says:

    I know that Skin Actives sells Niacinamide which you can add to their creams. They also sell a Rosacea Serum that I am about to order.

  3. bluebell says:

    Hi Heather have been looking for a mosturizer, at the moment using aveena cream also cetaphil gentle wash. Cetaphil moisturizer however this often causes me to have more than usual pustules which is why I am looking for a new one.

    I have seborreic dermatitis, rosacea with pustules now for nearly 3 years, I hate it. also on erythromycin antibiotics as everything else has made my skin worse. More recently 2 little white flaky lumpy bits above my lips havent healed leaving what looks like they could leave a permanent red mark. Its a little sore and when I eat or smile my lips feel more like dermatis I used epaderm but didnt help- for long.

    One of the tests I had for allergys showed I had a allergy to fragrance,lanolin alchohol, amercol, nickol. I avoid heat,cold,sun, except when sleeping always wake up rosy red even when I use clonidine tabs.

    I live in the UK also Scottish, so would I be able to purchase the rosacea Serum if it is suitable and free of the ingredients that I am also allergic to, have you had success with using it or is this just your first order?.


  4. Johnabetts says:

    Niacinamide has been researched at P&G for a long time and some results of this are now coming on to the market.

    A look at the ingredient listings on the current Olay products may be useful. Their ad. at the end of the article is a hint.

    Note that the niacinamide is said to be present as a moisturizer and no anti-rosacea claims are made. This does not mean that it cannot be used, or at least tried, for rosacea, though.

  5. Nicole Bissoon says:

    True has hyaluronic acid treatments which I have used that have helped my rosacea. It also has a COQ10 serum that work minacles and contain niacinamide.

  6. mon says:

    I’ve only recently heard of niacinimide being used in skin care (i live under a rock!). But I recently discovered Ponds Clarant B3 cream. Its marketed for dark spot reduction but I find it exciting that it may help with my current redness, as well.

  7. Kaye says:

    I use Nia24 products with fabulous results- I don’t even have to use medication on my rosecea spots when I use it. However, the Nia24 moisturizer is very expensive. I’m looking for another moisturizer that works as well but costs less.

  8. Johnabetts says:

    Nia 24 products contain myristyl nicotinate as the active vitamin B3 component. It may be this that gives their products their special properties and an improvement over niacinamide.

    According to however there is not much advantage in the Nia 24 range over more conventional niacinamide formulations.

    One if the difficulties with topical niacinamide is the low bioavailability. Perhaps the myristyl nicotinate overcomes this to some extent. I know that P&G are researching to improve topical niacinamide biovailability and it is a subject of some work that I am doing myself.

  9. carrie says:

    EltaMD makes a natural (chemical-free) daily sunscreen with niacinamide. It’s their “UV Clear SPF 46 Very Light Broad Spectrum Sunscreen.” The product description says that it “is ideal for daily use and is often suggested by dermatologists as the best sunscreen for skin types prone to Acne, Rosacea, and Hyperpigmentation.” I’m about to try it.

  10. Stephanie says:

    CeraVe facial moisturizing lotions contain niacinimide as the 4th ingredient. I use the PM lotion because the AM one contains chemical sunscreens. If you check Beautypedia, you’ll find that Paula gives it her top rating…and it’s available at Walmart, CVS, etc, very reasonably priced. I also use Blue Emu, which I originally purchased for arthritis, on the recommendation of my son’s judo sensei. While researching it, I discovered that emu oil has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. While there is disagreement as to whether it actually helps arthritic joints, all agree that it is an excellent carrier oil, which penetrates quickly and is very emollient. In addition to emu oil, Blue Emu contains aloe, quite a few herbal extracts like chamomile and comfrey, and vitamins A, D and E. A less expensive option to Prosacea that I’ve been using is Clearasil Adult Tinted Blemish cream. It contains 8% sulfur and 2% resorcinol. If you research, you’ll find that the combination has been found affective in helping calm the symptoms of rosacea. Resorcinol is used to reduce lumps, pustules, even warts. I’ve been using the above listed combination of products for the last couple of months and my skin looks better than it has for years. Did I mention that I’m 50 and have had rosacea for almost 30 years…so plenty of time to experiment, lol.

  11. Lizzie says:

    Freederm oil free moisturiser available at boots or on amazon contains this and it’s very good, don’t bother with the freederm gel unless you have spots, I just have inflamed skin on one side of my nose for some reason, but this really helps, first time I’ve seen my nose looking healthy for years, it looks dewy and a normal colour, I put a light coverage of number 7 essential foundation on and that is also very good, it contains grape seed extract and skin strengthen ceremides. Do not use it with another other treatment even herbal, I put tea tree oil watered down on my nose then this on top and it burned, but this on it’s own before I used the tea tree oil was the best moisturiser (price wise as well as it’s cheap and was on offer) I’ve used.

    • Stephanie says:

      CeraVe facial moisturizers,, AM & PM, contain niacinamide. They’re available at Wal-Mart and most drug stores, and cost about $12 for a fairly good size bottle. I use the PM with a physical sunblock because the AM contains chemical sunblock.

  12. T says:

    CeraVe PM facial moisturizer is not available for oily/combination skin, only dry skin. Olay ProX Intensive Wrinkle Cream ($42) contains niacinamide.

  13. robbi768 says:

    ‘Topically applied niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin, prevent skin from losing water content, and stimulate microcirculation in the dermis. It also has a growing reputation for being able to treat an uneven skin tone and to mitigate acne and the red marks it leaves behind (known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).

    I use the Citrus Clear Pore & Blackhead Mask because it has these excellent ingredients for wrinkles and breakouts. Apply the Citrus Clear mask, let dry in about 10 minutes, rinse and off you go. I do it once per week, and I see results right after the first use.

  14. Stephanie says:

    CeraVe’s daytime and nighttime facial moisturizers contain niacinamide, plus ceramides and hyaluronic acid to rebuild the skin barrier. All CeraVe moisturizers are unscented. The daytime version also includes a broad spectrum sunscreen. They are available in drugstores, Walmart and Target. The price is really reasonable, usually running between $13-15.

  15. T. Smith says:

    I’ve been having some luck with a serum product I got on Amazon called Cos de Baha AH serum. It contains 10% azelaic acid, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. I’m having less redness and my pustules have almost been completely eliminated. I am using a Tea Tree face wash, and I also use Procure Rosacare which contain licorice root, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, aloe, and cucumber. I use one in the am and one before bed. I’ve seen a big improvement, and the hyaluronic acid is great for wrinkles too!.

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