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Niacinamide and its Role in the Achieving “Mirror Skin”

It’s all about being consistent with skincare, targeted at serving you in the long run rather than temporarily. 

Oily skin girls, it’s your time to shine (literally) because dewy skin is in for 2021This time round it’s not about dewy foundations being favoured over matte or velvet finish foundations. It’s all about being consistent with skincare, targeted at serving you in the long run rather than temporarily. 

Mirror skin may become forgotten once this year is over, but who knows? – It may stick around for longer. It seems promising that this trend will be something that we will continue to swear by for years to come. After all, it does teach us about the importance of caring for our skin more gently and can bring confidence to those who wish to be comfortable in their own bare skin. 


Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin concerns that connects people with mature skin, acne-prone skin and people who do not apply facial sunscreen on a daily basis. Whether you have sun spots, uneven skin tone, acne scars or melasma – these are all types of hyperpigmentation and can be faded with Niacinamide. Niacinamide is often recommended for sensitive skin types as a replacement for Vitamin C or Retinoids, as these can cause increased sensitivity or purging among irritable skin types.  

Without diving too much into the Biochemistry, just remember that Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Vitamin B3 – a vitamin naturally formed within our bodies when we consume certain types of green leafy vegetables and proteins. Vitamin B3 is a precursor of two particular enzymes which play a role in cell energy production as well as lipid synthesis in our skin (as well as the rest of the body). 

Knowing this, we can apply topical skincare products containing Niacinamide to either increase or regulate these enzymes which are necessary for healthy skin cell activity; thus, decreasing the likelihood of further hyperpigmentation issues and correct discolouration which already exists. With prolonged use for 12 weeks and onwards, many people find that their skin looks more radiant overall and not just at the areas of concern once adding Niacinamide into their skincare routines. 

 Niacinamide does more than just brighten skin, but lowers the chance of trans-epidermal water loss. In other words, it supports the natural functions of the skin barrier by regulating sebum production and moisture retention to reveal youthful glossy skin. It is suggested that concentrations of only 2% Niacinamide is enough to improve the stability of the skin barrier, and therefore it doesn’t necessarily have to be the main ingredient in a product to be effective.  

Niacinamide is far from a new inclusion in skincare, yet a peak in demand for skincare products which use a good amount of Niacinamide has occurred within recent years. Due to this, Niacinamide is a focus point for countless Korean Skincare brands in 2021 and is connected with the mirror skin trend.  

Brand examples include: Beauty of Joseon, Cos de Baha, TIA’M, Purito, Some By MiBarr, RNW and SKINRx Lab. You may have noticed that Western brands such as The INKEY List, Verso, The Ordinary, Facetheory, Paula’s Choice and Glossier are also continuously exploring ways to incorporate Niacinamide into their products.


Not too long ago, back in 2017, we saw the rise in popularity of the glass skin trend which originally surfaced in the K-beauty community. With most trends we expect them to fleet when an interesting or subjectively better skincare method emerges. However, it appears that the glass skin trend is here to stay and isn’t a passing fad after all. It’s true that even to this day, search engine results show that glass skin continues to tally highest among topics concerning both Korean and Western skincare practices. Mirror skin can be viewed as an adaptation of glass skin and more or less concentrates on optimizing the overall health and radiant appearance of any skin type. 

Mirror skin more specifically refers to a solid skincare regime which promotes glowing skin similar to that of wearing strong highlighter, with the exception of not actually wearing makeup or at least minimal base makeup. Similarly, to the other trends highlighted throughout this article, in order to achieve it, mirror skin relies on the use of skincare products containing generous amounts of Collagen, Hyaluronic acid, Snail Mucin and Propolis, but more so encourages the use of brightening ingredients like Niacinamide and so onSubsequent of a regular routine using Niacinamide and other ingredients which are naturally present in skin, skin can gleam at the higher points of the face (cheekbones and brow bones). 


Mirror skin is not about getting a quick fix. As mentioned above, it’s all about correcting hyperpigmentation and dull skin tone at the source so that you may grow to appreciate your unique skin and perhaps become less inclined to camouflage so called ‘imperfections’ with concealer, and products alike. So, adding facial oils to your foundation to elevate the glow of your foundation isn’t going greatly to contribute to improving your skin condition in the same way mirror skin is achieved though thinly layering hydrating and brightening skincare products. Sure, combining a few drops of your go-to facial oil to your makeup will boost hydration levels for dry skin types, but that won’t address pigmentation issues to the same degree that Niacinamide, Vitamin C or retinoids can.  


Invest your time and money into corrective and active skincare products which use ingredients which naturally make-up the skin barrier, as opposed to products which only alleviate the issue in the short-term.  


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