There are plenty of skincare ingredients fighting for our attention these days, yet we always come back to niacinamide. This wonder vitamin is suitable for pretty much every skin type, making it an all-round crowd-pleaser. and its benefits are easily reaped. If you want to know more about the benefits of this ingredient and the niacinamide serums we love, keep reading.
What can niacinamide serums do for my skin?
Also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinamide, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that’s known to visibly minimise the appearance of pores, reduce skin congestion, and calm active breakouts. The ingredient does all of this while it softens fine lines, evens out your skin tone and texture, and fades dark spots.
You can also expect your natural sebum levels to balance out with consistent use. That means you won’t have to reach for the blotting papers as often. Niacinamide is widely praised for its ability to soothe the skin, making it the perfect solution for those with sensitive, blemish-prone skin.
Using niacinamide with vitamin C: Is it okay?
When you’re building your skincare routine, it’s possible to find potent ingredients that cancel out each other’s benefits when applied together. That is the case with niacinamide and vitamin C. Vitamin C is a beloved ingredient that lightens pigmentation and brightens your overall skin tone, but you should never layer or mix it with a niacinamide serum.
You can still use both of these ingredients, but you’ll have to apply them at alternate times. Since vitamin C boosts your sunscreen’s ability to fend off free radicals and prevent UV damage, we recommend using it during the day. You can then use niacinamide in your nighttime routine.
Using niacinamide with retinol: Is it okay?
If you use retinol in your current routine, we’ve got good news. Since retinol can be a little harsh on the skin, niacinamide goes well with it to help reduce the irritation. We recommend using this duo at night, as retinol can be highly unstable when exposed to daylight.
As with every ingredient, you should always perform a patch test on the inside of your wrist or a small area along your jawline. This will help determine if you’re sensitive or allergic to niacinamide. If you’re ready to invest in this ingredient, we’ve got 16 niacinamide serums we’d love for you to meet.
Niacinamide serums to add to your routine
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (most popular!)
The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is particularly good for those who have rosacea or oily, blemish-prone skin. The niacinamide in the formula soothes irritation and balances skin tone and texture for a clearer, brighter complexion.
It’s made with zinc PCA too, an anti-inflammatory mineral that’s commonly used to treat burns and scars while fighting against free radicals. On top of that, the ingredient also encourages collagen production to help you get that youthful glow. This product is also the most affordable one in our list of niacinamide serums, so it’s a real value for money.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% retails for S$8.37, available at Beautylish.
Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum
Just like The Ordinary’s serum, Good Molecules’ Niacinamide Serum is formulated with 10% niacinamide. The lightweight texture sinks into the skin quickly, so you can layer on your moisturiser after to seal in the goodness.
You can also combine the serum with Good Molecules’ Niacinamide Brightening Toner, which is now available in a set. The toner has arbutin and licorice extract to lighten pigmentation and soothe irritation.
Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum retails for S$8.51, available at Beautylish.
Somethinc Niacinamide + Moisture Beet Serum (cult favourite!)
Apart from using niacinamide to soothe your skin, Somethinc’s serum also contains a good amount of allantoin, which helps to strengthen the skin barrier. There’s also beet extract that’s derived from Switzerland in this serum, and it fights free radicals while it moisturises the skin.
Somethinc Niacinamide + Moisture Beet Serum retails for S$12.13, available at Shopee.
The Inkey List Niacinamide Serum
If you’re new to The Inkey List, it’s a brand that has a straightforward, no-nonsense take on skincare’s best ingredients. In this case, niacinamide is the star of the show, with a few accompanying ingredients to make sure the serum delivers its benefits in the most effective way.
The serum contains a drop of hyaluronic acid, which supports your skin by hydrating it without leaving a sticky feeling behind. It’s practically a dream for those with oily skin.
The Inkey List Niacinamide Serum retails for S$12.16, available at Cult Beauty.
Skinlex 10% Niacinamide Serum
Get ready to hear about this serum, because it’s packed with a ton of skin-friendly ingredients. Skinlex’s 10% Niacinamide Serum contains glucosamine, a restorative ingredient that heals wounds. It works like a chemical exfoliant, except it sloughs off dead skin cells without causing any irritation.
The serum also contains licorice root extract, an antioxidant that soothes and calms flushed skin, as well as willow bark extract, an astringent that speeds up cell turnover. To strengthen and hydrate your skin barrier, there’s hyaluronic acid, allantain, and panthenol. You get 60ml of serum in this bottle too — a real bang for your buck.
Skinlex 10% Niacinamide Serum retails for S$19.30, available at Skinlex.
HERA Youth Activating Cell Serum (K-beauty option!)
Though it’s not in its name, HERA’s Youth Activating Cell Serum is loaded with niacinamide among other stellar ingredients. The serum contains Pyruvate, a compound that reduces the breakdown of collagen and speeds up cell production. It also has oil particles of different sizes, which gives the serum a lightweight but nourishing texture.
These ingredients work together to give your skin a more youthful, dewy look. The elegant serum bottle is also a refillable one, so you can purchase the cartridge separately when you run out. How neat is that?
HERA Youth Activating Cell Serum retails for S$120, available at HERA Online.
InstaNatural Niacinamide Serum
To strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier, InstaNatural’s Niacinamide Serum uses its star ingredient to combat dryness, irritation, and premature ageing.
Combined with hyaluronic acid, avocado oil, and rosemary extract, the light formula moisturises, soothes, and firms the skin. The serum contains lavender essential oil too, which has antibacterial properties but may not be ideal for those with sensitive skin.
InstaNatural Niacinamide Serum retails for S$23.65, available at iHerb.
Revolution Skincare 15% Niacinamide Super Serum
Revolution Skincare’s serum is formulated with a whopping 15% niacinamide, our current favourite blemish-busting hero. In addition, the formula also contains glycerin to lock in hydration for more balanced skin. There’s zinc PCA in the serum too, which decreases sebum production to help reduce blemishes.
Revolution Skincare 15% Niacinamide Super Serum retails for S$25.56, available at Beauty Bay.
Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide
If you have dry, acne-prone skin, try Beauty of Joseon’s Glow Serum. The Korean beauty brand has paired niacinamide with propolis, a soothing ingredient with antibacterial benefits. So apart from minimising the appearance of pores and regulating sebum production, the serum also helps to nourish and hydrate the skin.
There’s also turmeric root and centella asiatica extracts in the formula—both of which have anti-inflammatory properties to calm redness and irritation.
Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide retails for S$21.80, available at Althea.
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster
Paula’s Choice’s 10% Niacinamide Booster really gives your skin a boost when it comes to hydration and addressing enlarged pores. The serum is as light as water, so your skin can drink it up fast. It uses niacinamide to soothe redness, smooth out rough skin texture, and promote radiance.
You can use it before your moisturiser or mix a few drops into your moisturiser to protect and heal your skin throughout the day.
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster retails for S$63, available at Paula’s Choice.
Skin Inc Vitamin B3+ Serum
When your skin needs a moisture boost, reach for Skin Inc’s Vitamin B3+ Serum. The serum has a gel-like consistency that absorbs fast, all thanks to the glycerin in the formula. It also contains three types of hyaluronic acid to draw and lock in moisture, so your skin will feel soft and plump with continued use.
As you massage the serum on your skin, you’ll see the tiny capsules burst to deliver all its nutrients. Apply a layer of this on your skin before using your moisturiser or mix it in with another Skin Inc serum for a customised cocktail.
Skin Inc Vitamin B3+ Serum retails for S$68, available at Sephora.
The brand has also recently launched the My Daily Dose of Armour, designed to help soothed irritated skin. This contains Niacinamide in its formula, along with Ceramide and Licorice to strengthen skin’s natural barrier and to hydrate it deeply.
Skin Inc My Daily Dose of Armour retails for S$98, available at Skin Inc’s website.
Verso Hydration Serum
Keeping your skin well healthy and hydrated is the best way to defy the signs of ageing. This is why Verso has created its Hydration Serum. Made with niacinamide and oat kernel oil, the gel-like formula keeps dryness at bay by giving your skin a dose of moisture. Thanks to the niacinamide, it also improves your skin’s texture for baby smooth cheeks.
Verso Hydration Serum retails for S$137.56, available at Cult Beauty.
Aesop Lucent Facial Concentrate (well-reviewed!)
To rebalance your complexion, try Aesop’s Lucent Facial Concentrate. It’s a serum that’s rich in vitamins to soothe and hydrate, so it’s perfect for those with combination skin. Niacinamide can help to reduce sebum production on oilier areas of the face, while glycerin moisturises and replenishes the skin.
There’s also a tinge of rose flower oil in the serum to uplift your senses—something to look forward to at the start and end of each day. After you’ve massaged this on your face and neck, you’ll notice a demi-matte complexion that’s ready for the rest of your routine.
Aesop Lucent Facial Concentrate retails for S$150, available at LookFantastic.
Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum
Clean beauty brand Marie Veronique has teamed up with American facialist Kristina Holey to create a niacinamide serum for all skin types. The soothing formula calms redness and blotchiness with its blend of niacinamide, licorice root, and panthenol. These ingredients work to reduce breakouts while they hydrate the skin too.
The serum features knotgrass flavonoids as well, an ingredient that leaves your skin firmer and bouncier. This formula is free of fragrance and essential oils, so those with sensitive skin can breathe easy.
Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum retails for S$150, available at Kate & Paul Organics.
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense
To lighten dark spots and pigmentation, consider SkinCeuticals’ Discoloration Defense. You won’t find vitamin C in the ingredients list, but this serum has niacinamide and kojic acid to get the job done. Both of these ingredients lighten the appearance of stubborn brown patches and acne scars over time while they amp up your skin’s glow.
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense retails for S$159, available at SkinCeuticals.
Eve Lom White Advanced Brightening Serum (high quality!)
If you want to brighten and even out your skin tone, try Eve Lom’s White Advanced Brightening Serum. Made with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and peptides, the serum replenishes your skin’s moisture levels and boosts radiance. It contains a bit of rose essential oil too, which helps to soothe your skin and senses.
We’re well aware that it’s the most expensive out of all the niacinamide serums, but you can’t beat the high-quality ingredients in this one. With continued use, you’ll see a brighter, more luminous glow.
Eve Lom White Advanced Brightening Serum retails for S$212.98, available at Beautylish.