12 best niacinamide serums of 2023, per dermatologists

Like the nutrients you cosume, the ingredients you apply topically on the face matter. Alongside hyaluronic acid and retinol, a skincare ingredient we always search for is niacinamide.

Sure, there’s no such thing as perfect skin but incorporating a niacinamide-infused product into your skincare routine is a dermatologist-approved ingredient that makes your skin come pretty close to it.

“Niacinamide is sort of a do-it-all type of ingredient, which makes it a great addition to most skincare products,” Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, a dual board-certified dermatologist and founder of NYC’s Mudgil Dermatology PC, told the New York Post.

Found in a beauty counter-sweep of body butters and toners — along with dry skin products in general — the ingredient is equal parts skin-boosting and redness-reducing. (Related: the best skin-cycling products).

“With the pandemic, everyone started looking for skincare routines online and the result was this thirst for a ‘new ingredient,’” Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a dual board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon with 12 years of experience, told The Post. “Niacinamide has been around for a long time but I think the consumer just wasn’t paying attention to it before.”

Ahead, find the 12 best niacinamide serums, per our dermatologist experts. You’ll also find a few FAQs on how to apply it and what benefits you can confer with these trusty skin-improving potions.

Click to jump to the best niacinamide serums:

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide — easily a skincare ingredient you’ve heard of in commercials and all over the web: one that’s good for you, one that dermatologists recommend. But, what is it, exactly?

“In a nutshell, niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3,” Mariwalla explains. “In serums and creams, it can be a stand-alone ingredient.”

What are the benefits of using niacinamide?

The golden question of these nutrient-filled jellied serums. “It kind of does it all: reduces redness and inflammation in the skin, helps those who are acne/rosacea-prone and can even help with pore size and hyperpigmentation,” Mudgil notes.

Mariwalla echoes Mudgil, also adding that niacinamide helps to brighten the skin, decreases oiliness and can help in skin barrier repair for irritated skin.

When and how should I apply niacinamide to my skin?

According to Mariwalla, niacinamide can be applied daily and right after your cleanser and before your moisturizer and SPF. Since niacinamide takes root in creams as well, you can use a niacinamide serum and a niacinamide cream in your AM or PM routine.

Best Niacinamide Serums

1. Acure Radically Rejuvenating Niacinamide Serum, $18

Acure Radically Rejuvenating Niacinamide Serum

As a “great product at a great price point,” Mudgil approves of this product as your countertop niacinamide serum. Plus, the addition of hemp seed oil offers light hydration, too.

After trying some of Acure’s products, we recommend using this after the brand’s Brightening Cleansing Gel ($8) and before the Day & Night Creams ($28).

2. Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum, $58

Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum

If we could write a love letter to Alpyn Beauty, we would. Not only is the brand one of our favorites for eye creams, but its Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Serum is one we reach for to smooth the skin’s surface and boost its plumpness.

“This product combines a plant-based retinol with vitamin C and niacinamide,” Mudgil explains. “It’s a lightweight, elegant product.”

For more, check our our full brand review of Alpyn Beauty.

3. Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum with 5% Niacinamide and Peptides, $65

Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum with 5% Niacinamide and Peptides

Enter one of Sephora’s newest products to hit the shelves. Alpha-H’s Vitamin B Serum with 5% Niacinamide and Peptides not only has beautiful baby-blue packaging but is also one we’re glossing over.

Specifically, Mudgil recommends this serum for having “good moisturizing properties,” much ado to the formula’s inclusion of hyaluronic acid and chia seeds.

4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Stress Rescue Super Serum with Niacinamide, $67

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Stress Rescue Super Serum with Niacinamide

Don’t stress — Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare has a Stress Rescue Super Serum that’s packed with niacinamide and ashwagandha, the latter an ingredient for helping the skin adapt to stress and improve the skin of fine lines and wrinkles.

That said, Mugil vets this product for its “powerful ingredients,” which more or less help justify its more expensive price point.

5. First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Niacinamide Dark Spot Serum, $38 to $42

First Aid Beauty Niacinamide Serum

Oh, how much we love First Aid Beauty. From its massively followed Ultra Repair Cream ($37) to its bestselling Facial Radiance Exfoliating Pads ($35), it’s a brand apt for sensitive skin, specifically.

“Not only does this product contain niacinamide but it also has licorice root which makes it effective in lightening dark spots,” Mariwalla explains “It’s lightweight and can be used twice a day.” Mudgil enjoys this serum for the same reason, too.

6. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, $34

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

Glow Recipe earned a top spot as our favorite vitamin C serum we tested and, after trying its Niacinamide Dew Drops, we’re not surprised this TikTok favorite made the cut as far as niacinamide serums go.

“Glow Recipe has some ardent fans and I like this formulation as a great hydrator but also a skin brightener,” Mariwalla adds. “It has a wonderful fragrance which a lot of people love.” What’s more, Mudgil gives his stamp of approval to this formula because it contains hyaluronic acid for a “powerful punch.”

7. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum, $11

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum

Known for its no-frills, ingredients-and-that’s-it approach, The Ordinary has phenomenal budget serums that do the job of improving your skin in whatever benefit you’re seeking.

“The combination of zinc with niacinamide makes this a true skin-calming agent.” Mariwalla chimes in. “It’s great for people with redness or skin sensitivity who are also looking to make their pores smaller, but can’t tolerate a retinoid.”

Plus, Mudgil recommends this product for helping to reduce the face’s oiliness.

8. Paula’s Choice Clinical Niacinamide 20% Treatment, $52

Paula's Choice Clinical Niacinamide 20% Treatment

Paula’s Choice isn’t just known for its top-of-the-line toners. The brand’s Clinical Niacinamide Treatment has a whopping 20% niacinamide count, which is approved by both of our dermatologists.

“This is a highly concentrated niacinamide product which also contains vitamin C,” Mudgil highlights. “This combo is good for evening out skin tone, texture and pore size.”

Plus, Mariwalla says the serum itself is “pretty silky feeling.” Just half of the dropper will be enough to coat the face and the neck daily, she advises.

9. Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment, $88

Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment

Peter Thomas Roth’s new Pro Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment is an ingredient-packed formula that also doubles as a dark spot corrector.

“This formula not only contains niacinamide but also tranexamic acid and kojic acid; the combination makes it a powerhouse for skin lightening and brightening,” Mariwalla said. “I like this for hyperpigmentation but also for post-inflammatory acne marks.”

Mudgil also recommends this product for addressing uneven skin tone, specifically.

10. Vichy Mineral 89 Niacinamide Serum, $35

Vichy Mineral 89 Niacinamide Serum

“Vichy’s Mineral 89 is one of my favorite lightweight, non-pore clogging concentrates,” Mariwalla shares. “It contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and probiotic serum which makes it ideal for patients with rosacea or sensitive skin.”

Not to mention, it’s less than $40 for a quick-buy on Amazon or via Vichy, directly.

11. Youth to the People Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum, $68

Youth to the People Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum
Youth to the People

Youth to the People’s Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum is unique in that it not only features the superstar ingredient (niacinamide, that is), but also the anti-aging ingredient star of the show, retinol. Plus, it helps soothe and remedy dullness and uneven texture.

12. Sunday Riley B3 Nice 10% Niacinamide Serum, $65

Sunday Riley B3 Nice 10% Niacinamide Serum

Sunday Riley’s brand-new B3 Nice 10% Niacinamide Serum is the real deal, namely because it helps target redness, large pores and dark spots. What’s more, it’s cruelty free and is supercharged with trans-resveratrol to help soothe the skin and target the above problem areas.

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