Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide or vitamin B3, is a true workhorse of an ingredient. It has healing and barrier protecting capabilities that help fade away hyperpigmentation, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate the skin, reduce redness and blotchiness, and even help control our skin’s oil production. It’s very good.
In addition to its skin-boosting abilities, niacinamide is unique in its compatibility with other ingredients. Unlike most other powerful actives (like AHAs, BHAs, or retinoids, for example) niacinamide can be paired with just about anything — it can slip easily into your skin-care routine, without fear that it will counteract another ingredient and agitate your skin. Niacinamide’s neutrality is why you’ll notice it included in all types of products — serums, masks, moisturizers, and even SPFs. It’s also suitable for just about any skin type, officially making it the Switzerland of skin care.
Below, a list of my very favorite niacinamide-infused products for calming, hydrating, and evening out my complexion.
This light, watery essence from K-beauty brand Cosrx uses a combination of two superstar skin-care ingredients: niacinamide and antioxidant-rich galactomyces ferment filtrate. Together, they work to deliver deeply nourishing, healing, hydrating, and balancing benefits to your skin and can help treat a wide range of skin issues, from breakouts, to texture, to moisture loss, gently and effectively. This fix-it-all, easy-to-use formula is my go-to whenever my skin is looking and feeling a little dull or “bleh,” which is why you’ll always find a bottle of it in my medicine cabinet. I pat in a few pumps after cleansing my skin, and before applying my serums.
Super Pure is without a doubt my favorite Glossier serum. It uses 2 percent niacinamide as well as the skin conditioning humectant zinc pca, which helps treat blemishes, redness, and congestion without leaving that tight, stripped feeling. This is a great serum for any dry or sensitive skin type that wants to add a clarifying and smoothing serum to their routine without compromising their skin’s natural moisture. This is one of my favorite serums to use during my time of the month, when my skin is equal parts sensitive and pimply. Pat a few drops on before applying your moisturizer.
I like to mix this “booster” from Paula’s Choice, which has a high concentration of niacinamide, into my moisturizer. This is particularly good for people who like minimal step routines — no need to layer a ton of serums or essences, just mix a few drops of this into your night cream and viola, skin care done!
I really like this niacinamide infused, mineral sunscreen. Its broad spectrum formula helps protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays, while the niacinamide helps soothe, refine, and add radiance to your complexion. It’s a twofer, that’ll help simplify your morning routine.
These Hanskin sheet masks have recently become one of my favorite things to throw on whenever my skin is feeling dry, dull, and pimply. It uses a blend of hyaluronic acid (for hydration,) niacinamide (for, well, everything,) and rose water (for antioxidant and barrier protecting). Whenever I use this mask, I wake up with a smoother, plumper, and more radiant complexion.
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