When it comes to pigmentation there are lots of ways to blitz it and one of the most studied ingredients is good ole niacinimide, a form of vitamin B. This is the star ingredient in Skinceuticals’ lovely new lotion – Metacell Renewal B (R1 799, Dermastore). Better yet, they’ve used in a very high concentration – 5%!
Niacinimide is a bit of a boss when it comes to multitasking. Firstly, it helps even out your skin tone by inhibiting the transfer of excess pigment from the cells where it’s formed to the upper layers of your skin. Secondly, it boosts your skin’s moisture content and barrier function (this is useful for those suffering from rosacea) and can even assist in improving acne by reducing inflammation. (A study, not performed by Skinceuticals, that proved the latter used a concentration of 4% applied twice a day, so Skinceuticals’ formulation definitely contains enough of it to help you out on all three fronts.)
Niacinimide aside, Metacell Renewal B also contains a mix of peptides to help hydrate and plump and is largely glycerin-based, so it’s fabulously hydrating but feels feather light on your skin with a subtle silkiness that plays really, really well with foundation. As an oily-combo girl I can happily wear it alone without aggravating the oilies. Someone with a very dry skin type, however, could use it as a serum.
At present, I don’t have any pigmentation on my face because I’m fanatical about sunscreen but do have a little on my chest so I’ve just started using it there too. If I can see any difference in four weeks’ time I’ll be sure to update and let you know.
As far as the price point goes, it isn’t exactly wallet-friendly if you’re on a tight budget but it’s also one of two products in South Africa that use niacinimide at such a high percentage. The other one that I can think of off the top of my head is pHformula Vita B3 Cream (also 5%) which is almost R900. This might make it a more affordable option but bear in mind that you’re not getting the added peptides. I also found its texture quite heavy so if you’re combination-skinned it’s something you could only really wear at night.
Even more broke but want niacinimide in your life? A decent drugstore pick is Olay Regenerist micro-sculpting super firming serum (R320). They don’t disclose the percentage but having taken a look at the ingredients list and doing a bit of research online I’d put it at least 2%.