But don't let its sudden trendy status fool you. Like retinol and vitamin C, niacinamide is a powerhouse ingredient beloved by dermatologists and skincare professionals alike. The reason? It's clinically proven to help reduce inflammation and redness, fade hyperpigmentation, protect against free radical damage, and regulate sebum production, so your pores stay clear and blemish-free and that's just the start of it.
What is Niacinamide and What Does It Do?
To find out what makes niacinamide the skin-perfecting ingredient that it is, we consulted Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist and the director of cosmetic research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, for his expertise on everything you need to know about the skincare superstar.
Niacinamide is the ultimate multitasker in skin care, Dr. Zeichner explains. It is a form of vitamin B3 that has a variety of benefits for the skin, including helping to soothe inflammation, even skin tone, and encourage healthy collagen production. But the reason it's so popular? It can be used across all different skin types, including those with sensitive skin, says Dr. Zeichner. Niacinamide is effective on its own, or it can be used as part of a combined routine with other active ingredients. It plays nicely with others, and I can't think of one ingredient that it cannot be paired safely with.
Intrigued? We knew you would be. Below, find the top 14 niacinamide serums for every skin type and concern.
'Described as a 'highlighting serum', Glow Recipe's new Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Drops combines the skincare benefits of a traditional niacinamide serum with the glow-inducing powers of a makeup highlighter to create the ultimate all-in-one complexion booster. Free of any glitter, mica, or pearl, it can be worn in three ways: as a hydrating serum before your daily moisturizer, mixed in with your foundation, or worn on top of your makeup for a subtle illuminating effect. In addition to giving the skin a dewy, lit-from-within glow, it also works to reduce hyperpigmentation, correct the look of dullness, and minimizes pores, so your complexion appears smoother and more even over time. For those who don't like to wear a lot of makeup but still want a little something, you can't do much better than this product.
If you're looking for an acne treatment that won't dry out or irritate your skin, look no further than The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1% serum. This water-light formula combines the calming and redness-reducing powers of niacinamide with the mattifying effects of zinc to help reduce oil production, unclog pores, and decrease the inflammation that causes new blemishes to form. And its super-affordable price point just makes it that much more appealing.
Melasma and dark spots are no match for Peter Thomas Roth's Pro Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment. In addition to niacinamide, this expert- level formula also boasts a powerful Active Brightening Complex, including tranexamic acid, kojic acid, and alpha-arbutin, which work together to suppress excess melanin production, so the skin appears brighter and more even. It even works on hard-to-treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (aka acne marks), making it a must-have in our skincare arsenal.
We've never met a Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare product that we didn't like, and the same goes for this popular niacinamide serum. As its name suggests, this supercharged formula is ideal for anyone dealing with irritated, inflamed, or stressed-out skin (all of my eczema and rosacea people know what I'm talking about). That's because, in addition to niacinamide, it also features ashwagandha and goji fruit extracts, which help support lipid barrier function to retain moisture and protect the skin from oxidative stress. We like to think of it as a giant green juice for your complexion.
For those looking to minimize the look of wrinkles, we love Eve Lom's White Advanced Brightening Serum. It combines niacinamide with vitamin C and a powerful tri-peptide complex to stimulate skin cell turnover, thus reducing the look of wrinkle depth and smoothing fine lines for a more youthful glow.
If you thought niacinamide serums were just for those with oily or acne- prone skin, think again. Verso's Hydration Serum with Niacinamide is specially formulated for those with dry skin, helping to provide immediate and long- term hydration while also fighting the irritation caused by dryness. This serum also strengthens the skin barrier and reduces the look of fine lines and pores, leaving your skin looking smoother and more even.
Perfect for those with inflamed or blemish-prone skin, this niacinamide-focused formula helps calm irritation and redness while also keeping fine lines and hyperpigmentation at bay. Other key players include zinc, white tea extract, and mushroom extract, which work together to hydrate, brighten, and improve skin texture for smoother, more radiant-looking skin.
If natural ingredients are non-negotiable for you, consider Marie Veronique's Soothing B3 Serum. This gentle gel formula features all-natural plant extracts and 10 percent niacinamide to instantly reduce the look of redness, soothe irritation, and moisturize the skin for a healthy glow. Its microbiome-friendly, fragrance- and essential oil-free formula also ensures it's safe for even the most sensitive skin to use, making it a universal favorite.
Another affordable yet effective option, The Inky List's Niacinamide serum is the one to reach for when your skin looks and feels like an oil slick. It contains just the right amount of hyaluronic acid to help keep your skin hydrated (a must even when your skin is oily) while also helping to regulate your skin's sebum production and reduce the look of enlarged pores. The result is a more balanced complexion, which means fewer breakouts down the road.
Combination or in between skin can be tricky to treat as you're often looking to address more than one concern. Enter: Glossier's Super Pure serum. Its niacinamide- and zinc-based formula does a little bit of everything, allowing you to target all of the concerns that come with having combination skin, whether you're looking to smooth and refine your texture or balance and clear congested pores. This water-gel formula is also oil-free and super lightweight, meaning it will absorb quickly into your skin without any sticky or greasy residue.
When rough, uneven skin texture is your top concern, nothing beats Shani Darden's award-winning Texture Reform serum. Safe to use on all skin types, this gentle resurfacing serum combines 5 percent retinyl palmitate (a mild retinoid) with niacinamide and aloe vera to smooth, brighten, and refine the look of pores without any of the usual dryness or irritation that comes with a traditional retinol product.
There's a lot to love about Supergoop's new Daily Dose Vitamin C serum. In addition to niacinamide's anti-inflammatory benefits, it also boasts high- potency vitamin C and SPF 40 to help fade the look of dark spots while also protecting the skin from future UV and blue light damage. Apply a few drops of this hydrating, oil-free formula before your daily moisturizer for a healthier- looking glow.
When your skin looks a little dull, blotchy, or just overall blah, reach for Murad's Revitalixir Recovery Serum. Infused with niacinamide, caffeine, wild indigo, and cannabis Sativa seed oil, this multitasking serum does it all: it depuffs, hydrates, brightens, smoothes, and tones the skin, giving your tired complexion the extra boost it needs to appear healthy and glowing. Consider it the skincare equivalent of a double-shot of espresso.