These Are the Best Niacinamide Serums for Brighter, Smoother, and Bouncier Skin (2024)

The hype surrounding niacinamide isn’t, well, all hype. The best niacinamide serums offer a host of benefits for the skin, ranging from improved texture to diminished dark spots and cleared-up acne. Skin Medicinals founder Dhaval Bhanusali, the board-certified dermatologist who helped formulate Rhode skin care, calls niacinamide a “true all-in-one.” He adds that the buzzy ingredient has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiaging benefits. Plus, it can help the skin tolerate other active ingredients that contribute to a dewier, bouncier complexion overall. Ahead, a look at the best niacinamide serums to consider—plus, all you need to know about incorporating the sought-after ingredient into your skin-care routine.

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In This Article

  • What is niacinamide?
  • Who is a niacinamide serum for?
  • What are the benefits of using niacinamide in a skin-care routine?
  • What to look for in a niacinamide serum
  • Meet the experts

Sunday Riley Be Nice 10% Niacinamide Serum

Sunday Riley

B3 Nice 10% Niacinamide Serum

  • Why we love it: Sunday Riley’s brightening serum offers benefits that keep on building. Within two weeks, oiliness and the appearance of post-acne dark spots can start to fade; after eight weeks, pores, wrinkles, and redness become less noticeable too.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, trans-resveratrol, EGCG
  • Size: 1 fluid ounce

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

SkinCeuticals

Discoloration Defense Serum

  • Why we love it: Ideal for oily or combination skin, the oil-free serum effectively treats discoloration and hyperpigmentation by pairing niacinamide with potent brightening agents like tranexamic and kojic acid. Plus, this also reduces inflammation.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, tranexamic acid, kojic acid, hepes
  • Size: 1 fluid ounce

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Hue Drops

  • Why we love it: Glow Recipe’s tinted serum imparts a subtle bronzing, hydrated glow on any bit of skin it brushes across. Over time, it can contribute to a more even skin tone and minimized look of pores. The featured centella asiatica ensures skin remains calm and balanced in the process.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, centella asiatica, hyaluronic acid, watermelon
  • Size: 1.35 ounces

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

The Ordinary

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum

  • Why we love it: With a potent blend of vitamins and minerals, the serum can lead to a noticeably brighter and smoother complexion in eight weeks. It’s ideal for oily skin, as its zinc-infused formulation helps regulate sebum production.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, zinc PCA
  • Size: 2 ounces

La Roche-Posay Mela B3 Serum

La Roche-Posay

Mela B3 Serum

  • Why we love it: Powered by the patented ingredient Melasyl, the radiance-boosting serum combats stubborn discoloration from age spots, sun spots, liver spots, and more. Along with 10% niacinamide, it’s also infused with thermal spring water, which nourishes the skin with antioxidants.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, Melasyl, La-Roche Posay thermal spring water
  • Size: 1 ounce

Glossier Super Pure

Glossier

Super Pure Serum

  • Why we love it: The water-weight, dermatologist-tested serum draws on the benefits of zinc and niacinamide to provide skin with improved clarity and texture; it also has a blurring effect on pores.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, zinc PCA
  • Size: 1 fluid ounce

Kiehl’s Ultra Pure High-Potency 5.0% Niacinamide Serum

  • Why we love it: With a 5% concentration of niacinamide, Kiehl’s glow-boosting serum instantly absorbs excess oil and rebalances the complexion. It can be used all over the face or in targeted areas to treat breakouts.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, glycerin, propanediol, methyl gluceth-20
  • Size: 1 fluid ounce

Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum

Eadem

Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum

  • Why we love it: In addition to harnessing the soothing, inflammation-taming powers of niacinamide, Eadem’s silky serum has vitamin C to brighten the skin and boost collagen production. Powered by SmartMelanin technology, this is specifically formulated for melanin-rich skin.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, amber algae, licorice root, papaya and pineapple enzymes, vitamin C
  • Size: 1.01 fluid ounces

Topicals Faded Serum for Dark Spots & Discoloration

Topicals

Faded Serum

  • Why we love it: Developed for sensitive and acne-prone skin, Topicals’s serum-cream can contribute to a brighter, more even complexion after four weeks of regular use. Use it as a spot treatment or wherever you’re experiencing discoloration.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, tranexamic acid, azeliac acid, licorice root extract, centella asiatica
  • Size: 1.7 ounces

Dr. Idriss Major Fade Hyper Serum Dark Spot Treatment

Dr. Idriss

Major Fade Hyper Serum Dark Spot Treatment

  • Why we love it: Dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss’s Major Fade Hyper Serum has an instantly illuminating effect on the skin, including dark undereye circles. Over time, its blend of niacinamide, alpha arbutin, and kojic and gallic acid promises to brighten stubborn dark spots.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, diglucosyl gallic acid
  • Size: 0.96 ounces

Caudalie Premier Cru Anti-Aging Serum

Caudalie

Premier Cru Anti-Aging Serum

  • Why we love it: Caudalie’s antiaging serum draws on firming sugars to tighten the skin in three minutes. While niacinamide is featured to target dark spots, it’s also infused with hyaluronic acid for hydrating and plumping effects.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, firming sugars
  • Size: 1 fluid ounce

Youth to the People Retinal & Niacinamide Youth Serum

Retinal & Niacinimide Youth Serum

  • Why we love it: Youth to the People’s clinically tested wrinkle-fighting serum is formulated with retinal, a powerful retinoid that visibly smooths the skin without irritating. It’s also packed with soothing adaptogens and ceramides.
  • Ingredients: Niacinamide, retinaldehyde, adaptogens, ceramides
  • Size: 1 fluid ounce

What is niacinamide?

“Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 and a very powerful antioxidant,” says board-certified dermatologist Margarita Lolis. “It keeps your skin healthy by fighting against environmental insults.” Ashley Magovern, board-certified dermatologist and medical advisor for Dermstore, adds: “Niacinamide serums tend to be geared toward fighting or treating problems like acne, rosacea, and pigmentation.”

Who is a niacinamide serum for?

Dr. Lolis describes niacinamide as “wonderful for all skin types,” including oily and acne prone. “I love recommending it to all my patients, whether they’re looking for an antiaging serum or something to improve their acne, rosacea, or pigmentation,” Dr. Magovern says.

What are the benefits of using niacinamide in a skin-care routine?

“Niacinamide has so many uses—anyone can benefit from adding it to their daily routine,” Dr. Magovern adds. “It helps to prevent and repair sun damage and can improve pigmentation.” It can also treat redness and acne, as it helps control oil production and has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, according to Dr. Lolis, niacinamide can boost collagen production to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

What to Look for in a Niacinamide Serum

“With niacinamide, the percentage and purpose are important,” says Dr. Bhanusali. He breaks down the different concentrations of the ingredient and how they work.

Percentage: The percentage of niacinamide impacts its efficacy for skin.

  • 1 to 2%: “We tend to use 1 to 2% niacinamide in formulas to help calm the skin and support the barrier,” says Dr. Bhanusali.
  • 5 to 6%: “At higher concentrations of 5 to 6%, niacinamide is commonly used to help with hyperpigmentation,” he continues. “At these levels, it has also been shown to help with fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve texture.”
  • 6 to 10%: Some niacinamide serums have higher concentrations of 10% or even more. Higher doses of the ingredient do offer some benefits, Dr. Bhanusali says, but he recommends them less frequently as they can be irritating.
These Are the Best Niacinamide Serums for Brighter, Smoother, and Bouncier Skin (2024)
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