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What is NAD+? How you can use it?

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is crucial to life. It works as an electron/hydrogen carrier that facilitates the transfer of energy between nutrients and the cell’s energy currency, ATP. In these oxidation-reduction reactions, the active part of the coenzyme (the one that gets reduced and oxidized again and again) is the nicotinamide.

Note: the name used in chemistry is nicotinamide, but the skincare industry uses “niacinamide”. The rose by any other name…

Although NAD+ is crucial to life, some live forms can make it and other can’t. Humans can’t, and we have to ingest it as food (or vitamin supplements). It is a vitamin, a form of vitamin B12, also plays an important role in the regulation of enzymes like sirtuins.

NAD+ decreases as we age, probably affecting nuclear and mitochondrial functions. Because mitochondria are crucial to cell function this decline in NAD* is likely to contribute to some age-associated problems. The combination of sirtuin activation and NAD+ intermediate supplementation may work as an anti-aging intervention.

The dependence on NAD+ concentration by crucial enzymes like sirtuins, PARPs, and cADPRs , makes NAD+ even more relevant from the point of view of human health. So, be prepared to see NAD+ in the news.

How to add NAD+ to your skin care regime

Use NAD+ between 0.5-1% in formulations. This ingredient is soluble in water (50mg/ml) but vortex mixing is recommended to fully dissolve. NAD+ degrades rapidly with heat (38C and up) and alkaline pH.

In short? Add some powder to your (water based) lotion or cream and mix thoroughly.

Other relevant blog posts

The Relationship Between Resveratrol, NAD, Sirtuins and Aging

NAD and Your Skin



Imai S., Guarente L. (2014) NAD+ and Sirtuins in Aging and Disease. Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Aug; 24: 464–471.  10.1016/j.tcb.2014.04.002

Benavente, C., Jacobson, M., & Jacobson, E. (2009). NAD in Skin: Therapeutic Approaches for Niacin. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 15:29–38. doi:10.2174/138161209787185760

Oblong, J. E. (2014). The evolving role of the NAD+/nicotinamide metabolome in skin homeostasis, cellular bioenergetics, and aging. DNA Repair, 23: 59–63. doi:10.1016/j.dnarep.2014.04.005


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