Prevention posted "12 Best Niacinamide Serums for Brighter Skin, According to Dermatologists" and features Visha Skincare founder, Dr. Purvisha Patel's insights on niacinamide, and what skincare concerns it targets best alongside a product roundup of the best serums with the ingredient. Advanced Correcting Serum is a product that promotes exfoliation, improves skin’s barrier, and evens out skin tone thanks to niacinamide.
This do-it-all ingredient can keep oil in check, reduce redness, and give you a serious glow.
Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, can stand on its own in your serums and creams, but it’s even better when combined with other skin-boosting ingredients. “B3 is an essential nutrient the body needs,” says Purvisha Patel, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. You’ll find it added to skincare products because it helps balance oil production, reduces water loss in skin, and lessens inflammation, she explains.
Niacinamide also has a big brightening benefit, as it affects melanocytes, cells that play a role in pigment formation in the skin. For that reason, says Dr. Patel, you’ll find the ingredient in products designed to fight discoloration, lessen red marks leftover from acne, and promote a more even skin tone. What’s more, because niacinamide reduces irritation, it can temper the effects of other anti-aging ingredients that can cause skin to act up, like wrinkle-smoothing retinol or exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids, she adds.
Serums are actually one of the best vehicles for niacinamide. “The vitamin is water soluble and will most effectively absorb into skin in a serum,” says Dr. Patel.
How to choose and use the best niacinamide serum
Look for the right dose: An effective product should have 2 to 10% niacinamide, says Annie Gonzalez, M.D., board certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami.
Read the label: Despite what the packaging says, scan the ingredients and look for “niacinamide”—not nicotinic acid. “It’s thought that nicotinic acid converts into niacinamide, but nicotinic acid can cause flushing and redness of the skin,” says Dr. Patel.
Layer it on correctly: As with any serum, make sure you layer it on after cleansing your skin (to remove makeup, dirt, and oil) and before moisturizer (so it can penetrate the skin more easily.) Serums should also be applied before your SPF in the morning, to ensure the sunscreen can do its job effectively.
Now that you have the basics down, you can give your skin the glow it deserves. Here are the best niacinamide serums you can try, according to dermatologists:
Dr. Patel’s formulated niacinamide into her own product for a reason: to promote exfoliation, improve skin’s barrier, and even out skin tone. It’s also packed with other agents that target discoloration, including kojic acid and licorice extract, as well as retinol to promote collagen formation and smooth fine lines.