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Why 5% Niacinamide Is the Optimal Percentage To Brighten + Improve Skin Tone In the Youth Serum

09 Mar 2022

If you’ve tried retinoids in the past and haven’t loved them, try this product.

By now, you’re probably aware that the launch of Youth To The People’s Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum is one of—if not the—most important piece of beauty news on your radar right now. A product that wields the impressive super power of retinal, it delivers all of the results of retinol and reduced chances of unpleasant side effects. It’s the most potent dose of over the counter retinoid on the market—and supportive enough to eschew side effects, unlike some prescription retinoids, which can cause excessive dryness, irritation, and peeling. One reason this retinal serum is so great: 5% niacinamide, formulated here in the optimal percentage to brighten and improve skin tone.

The reason the Youth Serum is able to do work fast and smart (not just hard!), is largely thanks to its supporting ingredients. Yes, YTTP’s retinal is an incredible feat of scientific development, but it’s the inclusion of niacinamide you’ve got to thank for balancing your skin’s receptivity to it.

“Niacinamide is the perfect complement to retinal, fast-tracking all of its results and delivering a steady dose of soothing hydration,” says Youth To The People’s Senior Director of Product Development + Education, Laura Cline. “We chose to use it at 5%, which is also quite unique. Normally, you’d need an entirely separate niacinamide treatment in tandem with a retinoid, but opting for it at a higher percentage allows you to maximize results with fewer steps—making the Youth Serum a multi-effect formulation.”

Celebrated for its moisturizing, hydrating, firming, and wrinkle-reducing properties, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin B3 molecule that doesn’t always get the credit it deserves in skincare. 

“It’s a powerhouse ingredient that can be used by nearly everyone to help reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier, reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, promote greater clarity, and calm visible irritation,” says Cline.

So why is 5% the perfect concentration?

“Too much lower wouldn’t offer the same powerful soothing effects and user experience—and too much higher could cause irritation,” says Cline. “Five percent niacinamide is the ideal concentration to minimize retinal’s potential drying effect, while also improving the look and feel of skin. It’s the ultimate balance of strength and function.”

Niacinamide also amplifies the Youth Serum’s other key ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, to make their effects even more impressive. Both ingredients, paired together, offer additional protection against dehydration, drawing in water and replenishing moisture levels while the retinal gets to work smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. 

“Every result you get from the Youth Serum is further compounded by the inclusion of niacinamide,” says Cline, adding that it also offers the formula a unique star quality that differs from any other product in its category. “If you’ve tried retinoids in the past and haven’t loved them, try this product. From its texture to its appearance and the overall user experience, it’s new and totally innovative.”

Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People

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