For a luminous, even-toned complexion irrespective of the time of year, niacinamide serums should be your go-to. Unlike your typical serums, these potent solutions deliver a bright, vibrant look to your skin that mimics the effects of a professional LED light treatment or a meticulously curated skincare regimen. Because these specific serums often feature concentrated niacinamide, they’re generally more beneficial than traditional serums (take note, sensitive skin types) and won’t exacerbate redness or draw attention to textured areas of the skin.
Proper application of these serums is essential. It’s recommended to apply a few drops to a clean, dry face, paying extra attention to problem areas. Following up with a moisturizer can help seal the serum’s benefits and maintain your skin’s hydration.
Whether they come in dropper bottles or pump dispensers, the application process is straightforward: Just distribute the serum evenly over your skin and let it absorb. It’s challenging to err here, especially since most niacinamide serums are designed to be rapidly absorbed. If you accidentally apply too much, simply give it a few extra minutes to fully absorb before continuing with your routine.
Curious about which niacinamide serums have captured our hearts? Continue scrolling to discover our top picks, including a budget-friendly option that has gained acclaim for its impressive results, and an innovative, high-strength formulation from a leader in the skincare industry.
Continue scrolling to discover the best niacinamide serums that cater to your skincare needs.
This serum from Paula’s Choice is a powerhouse.
It’s made up of niacinamide, which is an antioxidant that helps to minimize the look of sagging pores and rough bumps while tightening your skin. The formula also prevents irritation caused by age or sun damage, and it helps reduce hard, clogged bumps.
It’s highly concentrated, so you don’t have to use much of it at once—just a little bit goes a long way. Plus, you can use this serum either once or twice daily, depending on your personal needs.
And since it can help fade post-blemish marks, we recommend using it at night when you’re going to be sleeping anyway!
If you’re looking for a vitamin C serum that’s not only budget-friendly but also does a lot of good for your skin, this is the one for you.
Bubble’s Day Dream Serum is a powerful anti-aging serum that can even out your complexion, reduce scarring and dark spots, and give your face a daily dose of glow. The secret to this serum’s success? Niacinamide—a vitamin B3 derivative that works to calm irritation and improve skin barrier function, among other benefits.
It also contains plant-derived ceramides and arbutin to replenish the natural building blocks of your skin barrier. If you’ve been searching high and low for an effective vitamin C serum that won’t break the bank, look no further than this one!
This serum by BYOMA is an incredible find for anyone looking to improve the tone and texture of their skin. It works to brighten, visibly even skin tone, and help ease the signs of hyperpigmentation.
The best part about this serum is that it’s infused with a barrier-boosting tri-ceramide complex—niacinamide, which is great for brightening and evening out skin tone, hyaluronic acid to intensely hydrate your skin, and ceramides to strengthen your skin barrier function.
If you’re looking for a way to make your skin look more radiant and youthful, this serum should be at the top of your list.
“I have been using this product since the beginning of the year, and my skin has never looked better! It has given me a glow and radiance to my skin,” explained one tester.
La Roche-Posay’s niacinamide serum is one of the best ways to fight discoloration and uneven skin tone.
This 10% formula contains niacinamide, which helps to clarify discoloration and rebalance the appearance of uneven skin tone. Plus, this triple-benefit product visibly reduces dark spots in size, number, and color—so you can say goodbye to those pesky dark spots for good!
According to the brand, this product continues to fade dark spots three weeks after use. It also leaves skin brighter and more radiant than ever before—so whether you’re looking for a quick fix or something more long-term, this is an excellent option for anyone who wants clear skin that’s free from dark spots
Our favorite skin-care products are the ones that take care of both our physical and emotional needs. That’s why we love The INKEY List’s Niacinamide Serum.
It’s lightweight, affordable, and can be easily layered into your skincare regime—and it helps effectively reduce excess oil, blemishes, and redness without being too harsh on your skin. It’s also infused with hyaluronic acid for added hydration.
The consistency is thin and easy to layer over top of other products in your routine, so you can use it in the morning or at night—or both! It’s also suitable for all skin types, so everyone can enjoy its benefits.
According to reviews, “I love that the texture does what it says and feels great on the skin. Not sticky and quick absorbant.”
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Drops hydrate, brighten and evens out skin tone in one fell swoop.
Designed to be a skincare-makeup hybrid, this serum can be used as your last step of the day or as a light highlighting serum that delivers an effortless glow instantly. It has a lightweight, buildable texture that quickly absorbs into the skin for a glossy finish that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy.
The watermelon and moringa seed oil provide added benefits—treating fine lines and wrinkles with the former and vitamin E with the latter—to help nourish your skin.
“It is a simple serum with a subtle glow. The one thing I would recommend is to not put too much,” explained one reviewer. “Two pumps are enough for me to achieve that subtle glow unless you want to be more dewy.”
We’ve tried a lot of different niacinamide serums, and this one is definitely my favorite.
The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum is water-based and made for blemish-prone skin. It smoothes, brightens, and supports the appearance of skin radiance and luminosity with a high 10% concentration of niacinamide—and it’s incredibly affordable!
And because it’s so lightweight and fast-absorbing, you’ll be able to apply other skincare products without any issues whatsoever.
As one enthusiast pointed out, “This product has really surprised me. It’s so affordable, and you really start to notice results overnight if you use it with very little product.”
If you’re looking for a serum that can help reduce the appearance of dark marks and pores, we’ve got the product for you.
This is a lightweight serum that’s gentle on your skin. It contains 10% niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of dark spots and help strengthen the moisture barrier of your skin. It also contains glycerin to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
It doesn’t contain any fragrance—just a subtle scent from its natural ingredients like aloe vera leaf juice, cucumber extract and hydrolyzed wheat protein. And it comes in a recyclable glass bottle and carton!
If you’ve got oily skin, you know how frustrating it can be to find products that won’t make you feel greasy or clog your pores.
That’s why we’re so excited about Glossier’s Super Pure! Its water-gel texture is gentle enough to use daily and can help sort out oiliness without the sticky or greasy residue.
It’s a vitamin and mineral duo of zinc PCA and 5% niacinamide that nourishes skin for visibly smoother texture, smaller-looking pores, and improved clarity—and all in just four weeks!
As one user pointed out, “I have to say this serum is the best! It calms my skin and makes me feel relaxed.”
Good Molecules has arguably one the most inexpensive niacinamide serums you can buy.
The best thing about it is that it’s a water-based formula, so it layers seamlessly under skincare and makeup. It also makes your skin look amazing—and it’s good for daily use!
Niacinamide is one of those ingredients that works on a bunch of different levels. It improves the look of enlarged pores, helps maintain a healthy, hydrated-looking complexion, and even helps to reduce acne inflammation.
What to Look for in Niacinamide Serums
Concentration of Niacinamide
When it comes to the power of niacinamide serums, the concentration of this wonder ingredient plays a pivotal role. Usually, the most effective concentrations range between 2% to 10%, and finding a product within this scope could yield a significant transformation in your skin health. However, a higher concentration does not necessarily translate to better results as it may lead to skin sensitivity in some people. It’s important to gauge your skin’s reaction and adjust the concentration accordingly. A patch test is always recommended before full application.
Niacinamide plays well with others. A thoughtful formulation will pair niacinamide with synergistic ingredients to enhance its skin benefits. For instance, hyaluronic acid can bolster the serum’s hydrating capacity, zinc can help control excess oil production, and vitamin C can provide additional brightening effects. However, always scrutinize the ingredient list for potential irritants like fragrance, especially if your skin tends toward sensitivity.
Texture and Absorption
The texture of the niacinamide serum could dictate how often and willingly you reach for it. A lightweight, fast-absorbing formula ensures a pleasurable application experience and leaves no room for sticky or greasy aftermath. It should ideally sink into your skin seamlessly and layer well under other skincare or makeup, becoming a silent yet salient soldier in your skincare army.
While niacinamide boasts impressive stability compared to other skincare ingredients, it still appreciates thoughtful packaging. Opaque and airtight containers are your best bet to preserve the efficacy of the serum, as they offer protection from light and air degradation. The addition of a pump dispenser not only ensures ease of use but also prevents contamination.
Brand Reputation and Reviews
Never underestimate the value of research. Understanding the brand’s ethos, its reputation in the skincare industry, and the quality of its ingredients can save you from potential skin woes. Scour through product reviews to get a sense of the serum’s real-world performance. It’s essential to remember that skincare is highly personal, so look for reviews from individuals who share your skin type and concerns. Good manufacturing practices and a commitment to transparency from the brand side are always a good sign.