The best niacinamide serums for clear, radiant skin, according to dermatologists



Just like the nutrients you consume, what you apply topically to your face is important. Along with hyaluronic acid and retinol, niacinamide is the skin-care ingredient we've been looking for. 


Of course, there's no such thing as perfect skin, but when you incorporate products rich in niacinamide, a dermatologist-approved ingredient, into your skin care routine, you can get your skin pretty close to perfect. 

"Nicotinamide is a versatile ingredient, which makes it a great addition to most skin care products," Adarsh ​​Vijay Mudgil, MD, a dual-dermatologist and founder of Mudgil Dermatology PC in New York, tells the New York Post . 

The ingredient is included in beauty counter ranges of body butters and toners, as well as general dry skin products, and has equal skin-strengthening and redness-reducing effects. (Related: The Best Products for Skin Circulation). 

"As the pandemic spread, everyone started looking for skincare routines online, and the result was a desire for 'new ingredients,'" says Kavita Mariwala, a dual dermatologist and Mohs surgeon with 12 years of experience. Kavita Mariwalla, MD, told The Washington Post. 

"Nicotinamide has been around for a long time, but I think consumers just didn't notice it before." Next, find the 7 best niacinamide serums, according to our dermatologist experts. We've also included review notes on recommended formulas to help you find one that's right for you and your skin type. 

Plus, some expert-backed FAQs simply explain how to best use Niacinamide Serum and the benefits you can get from using the superstar B ingredient. Click here to see the best niacinamide serums: The best niacinamide serum 

What is niacinamide? Niacinamide – A skin-care ingredient you’ve heard about in ads and on the internet: one that’s good for you and recommended by dermatologists. But what exactly is that? 

“Put simply, niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3,” explains Mariwalla. "It can be a standalone ingredient in serums and creams." Since niacinamide is a B vitamin, it has multiple benefits for the skin and is recommended for all skin types. 

What are the benefits of using niacinamide? The golden question with these nutrient-rich gel serums. "It does almost everything: It can reduce skin redness and inflammation, help those prone to acne/rosacea, and can even help shrink pores and hyperpigmentation," notes Mudgil. 

Mariwalla agrees with Mudgil, adding that niacinamide helps brighten skin, reduce oiliness, and helps repair the skin barrier of irritated skin. When and how should I apply niacinamide to my skin? 

According to Mariwalla, niacinamide can be used daily and immediately after cleansing and before moisturizer and SPF. Since niacinamide is also found in creams, you can use Niacinamide Serum and Niacinamide Cream in your morning or evening routine. 

1. Acure Total Rejuvenation Niacinamide Serum, $18. As a "good value product," Mudgil recommends this product as your daily niacinamide serum. Additionally, the addition of hemp seed oil provides a slight moisturizing effect. 

After trying a few of Acure's products, we recommend using them after the brand's Brightening Cleansing Gel ($10) and before day and night creams ($28). 

Our Review: Acure Radical Glow Niacinamide Serum is gentle on skin and comes in a travel-size bottle that ensures you get enough of the skin-boosting B vitamins. Plus, it's lightweight and easy to blend, making it perfect for subsequent use with your favorite moisturizer. 

2. Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle Niacinamide Firming Serum, $58. If we could write a love letter to Alpyn Beauty, we would. Not only is this brand one of our favorite eye cream brands, but we also use wild nettle and niacinamide serums to smooth the skin's surface and enhance its plumpness. 

“This product combines plant-based retinol, vitamin C, and niacinamide,” explains Mudgil. "It's a lightweight, elegant product." See our full Alpyn Beauty brand review for more information. 

Our Rating: Alpyn Beauty Wild Nettle and Niacinamide Firming Serum leaves skin feeling fresh. It's especially effective on sensitive skin, leaving your skin feeling visibly smooth. Bonus points for herbal, consciously sourced formulas. 

3. Alpha H Vitamin B Serum with 5% Niacinamide and Peptides, $65. Bring one of Sephora's newest products to stores. Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum with 5% Niacinamide and Peptides not only has gorgeous baby blue packaging, but we've also whitewashed it. 

Mudgil recommends this serum specifically for its "good moisturizing properties," especially the hyaluronic acid and chia seeds included in the formula. 

Our Review: Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum with 5% Niacinamide Serum not only contains star ingredients, but it's also rich in peptides for extra skin-boosting benefits. Don't worry - this serum looks blue, but it blends perfectly into your skin and plumps up dull areas. 

4. Ph.D. Dennis Gross Skincare Stress Rescue Super Serum with Niacinamide, $74. Don’t stress – Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare has a Stress Relief Super Serum that's enriched with niacinamide and ashwagandha. The latter is an ingredient that helps the skin adapt to stress and eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

However, Mugil rates the product for its "powerful ingredients," which more or less helps justify its hefty price tag. Our Rating: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare's Stress Rescue Super Serum with Niacinamide is the holy grail of our skincare routines, especially because of its refreshing benefits. 

It's one of the more clinically recommended niacinamide serums we recommend because in addition to niacinamide, it also contains microencapsulated superfoods and adaptogens. 5. First Aid Beauty Facial Glow Niacinamide Dark Spot Serum, $42 

Oh, how we love emergency beauty treatments. From the popular Ultra Repair Cream ($37) to the best-selling Facial Radiance Exfoliating Pads ($35), this is a brand designed specifically for sensitive skin. "Not only does this product contain niacinamide, it also contains licorice root, which effectively lightens dark spots," explains Mariwalla. "It's lightweight and can be used twice a day." Mudgil likes this serum for the same reason. 

Our Review: First Aid Beauty Facial Glow Niacinamide Dark Spot Serum is a serious product as far as niacinamide serums go, as it acts as a dark spot corrector and helps treat hyperpigmentation. This is also another great brand for sensitive skin. 6. Glow Formula: Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, $34 Glow Recipe ranks high among our favorite vitamin C serums we've tested, and after trying the Niacinamide Dew Drops , we're not surprised this TikTok favorite made its way into the Niacinamide Serum. "Glow Recipe has some raving fans and I love that the formula works both as a great moisturizer and as a skin brightener," adds Mariwalla. 

"It has a wonderful scent that a lot of people love." Additionally, Mudgil praises the formula's inclusion of hyaluronic acid, which packs a "powerful punch." Our Review: Glowing Formula Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops are an affordable serum that comes in beautiful packaging – though its formula is just as lovely. It feels like jelly (but not sticky), so it's a top choice for people with dry skin. 7. Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum, $9 The Ordinary is known for its simple approach to ingredients and nothing more. It offers extraordinary and affordable serums that will improve your skin the way you want it. “The combination of zinc and niacinamide makes it a true skin soothing agent,” Mariwalla agrees. “This is great for people with red or sensitive skin who want to reduce the size of their pores but are intolerant to retinoids.” In addition, Mudgil recommends this product to reduce facial oiliness.

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