Table of Contents
- 1 What is Niacinamide?
- 2 The Right Way To Use Niacinamide Serums
- 2.1 Here are Six of the Best Drugstore Niacinamide Serums
- 2.2 Share this:
This post will be sharing six best drugstore Niacinamide serums.
If we had to crown any skincare ingredient for 2020, it is Niacinamide. I honestly do not know how people with oily/acne-prone skin were coping before The Ordinary introduced their 10% Niacinamide serum which revolutionized the entire skincare industry. Suddenly we now have a lot more single ingredient niacinamide serums in the market. Plus brands are becoming even more confident to formulate and market products with niacinamide. For those of us that are new to the greatness that is niacinamide, let’s get a bit more familiar with the ingredient.
What is Niacinamide?
Also known as Vitamin B3, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that has tons of benefits for the skin. It is a well studied, flexible and multi-functional ingredient that can be used in just about any formulation without conflicts. From Retinol to Vitamin C, Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, etc.
Probably the most common benefit is balancing sebum production. This is why people with oily skin appreciate niacinamide so much. It helps control all of that excess oil that causes acne.
A less popular benefit of niacinamide which is gradually gaining momentum is skin brightening. When paired with ingredients such as Vitamin C, Alpha Arbutin or Kojic Acid, it helps fade hyperpigmentation and lighten dark spots. If you want a more scientific explanation, here’s how it actually works; It suppresses the transfer of melanosomes (little spheres carrying the melanin pigment) from melanocytes (skin cells producing the melanin) to keratinocytes (skin cells in the top layer of the skin) while most other skin lighteners block an enzyme called tyrosinase (that plays an important role in melanin production).
Other benefits include; repairing the skin barrier that is typically damaged by over-exfoliating or using harsh products that dry out your skin. It also helps boost collagen production and slows down ageing. As you can see, Niacinamide is a superstar ingredient that all skin types will definitely benefit from.
The Right Way To Use Niacinamide Serums
When The Ordinary launched their 10% Niacinamide serum, most of us just assumed that 10% is the best/most effective percentage. When in actual sense, studies have shown niacinamide to be most effective between 2 – 5%. This doesn’t mean that the serums with 10% will not work. It just means that there is a higher chance of irritation. To combat this, it’s best to use the 10% serums sparingly until your skin has built resistance. So, start with twice a week and work your way up.
Here are some of the best combinations for your skin concerns:
- Acne – Salicylic Acid + Niacinamide
- Hyperpigmentation – Alpha Arbutin + Niacinamide / Azelaic Acid + Niacinamide
- Anti-aging – Retinol + Niacinamide
- Barrier Repair – Ceramides + Niacinamide
- Skin Brightening – Vitamin C + Niacinamide
Here are Six of the Best Drugstore Niacinamide Serums
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The OG niacinamide serum that changed the skincare game that is currently being searched over one million times on Google every month. Formulated with 10% Niacinamide, I use mine with The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin to fade my hyperpigmentation. Let me tell you, this combo is everything! Before now, I used to be overly worried about the scars left over from my acne. But these days, I’m not so worried anymore. Once I notice them, I deal with them with a few weeks of the Niacinamide + Alpha Arbutin combo and they start to fade in no time.
If you have oily skin, the Zinc will help control and balance sebum production. All of that excess oil your skin produces will be stopped on its tracks.
InstaNatural 5% Niacinamide Serum
While researching niacinamide serums for this post, I noticed this brand that has tons of reviews on Amazon. I wasn’t really suprised by their popularity because a lot of people are in the market for niacinamide serums with lower percentages.
This is a more hydrating formula as it is made with Aloe Vera Juice, Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate. It’s also packed with soothing ingredients like Centella and Rosemary Extract to buffer any potential irritation. If you don’t mind the presence of essential oils like Lavender, then you should definitely give this product a shot!
The Inkey List Niacinamide Serum
A lot of people prefer The Inkey List’s Niacinamide Serum because it is supposed to be a more refined version of The Ordinary. A look at the ingredient list validates this preference. The Inkey List’s also a hydrating formula with Glycerin, Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid. It also has soothing ingredients like Allantoin and Panthenol. If you’re not particularly a fan of The Ordinary’s formula, you should give The Inkey List a shot!
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster
Another cult favourite is Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster. This one is packed with brightening ingredients such as Ascorbyl Glucoside; a derivative of Vitamin C and Licorice Root Extract. It also has Allantoin, Panthenol and Beta Glucan to soothe irritated and inflamed skin.
Paula’s Choice is known for its solid formulas. They recently launched a 20% Niacinamide Treatment which I will definitely not recommend as the percentage is just too high and not worth the irritation.
Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% + Zinc 2%
I’m not sure why new brands launch high percentages of Niacinamide serums when there is clearly a demand for lower percentages. Similar to The Ordinary, the Naturium formulates this serum with 12% niacinamide which is quite high and 2% Zinc.
If you’re not a fan of this formula, they also have a gel cream with 5% Niacinamide which is so much safer and will have a less chance of irritation.
Revolution Skincare Extra 15% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc
Just like The Ordinary and Naturium formulations, this serum is also formulated with a whopping 15% Niacinamide and Zinc. Again, high percentages are not althogther bad. Just start really slowly and work your way up.
Except you have perfect skin, Niacinamide should definitely be a staple in your skincare routine. It’s packed with so many benefits that will improve your skin. So, don’t sleep on it!