Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, an essential nutrient that evens out skin tone, soothes the skin barrier, improves its moisture, and reduces oiliness. Because of these benefits, niacinamide serums have become one of the most sought-out ingredients in cosmetics and skincare products.
There are a couple of niacinamide serums on the market, so you might have trouble choosing one. In this article, we will be providing you with a list of the 10 best niacinamide serums you can purchase online. Know more about how to choose niacinamide serums with our buying guide—with comments and insights from dermatologist Dr. Jarische Lao-Ang!
Dr. Jarische Lao-Ang, MD, DPDS is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila, and achieving healthy skin is her goal in every skin journey she has with her patients. She also aims to raise awareness on healthy skin facts and skincare habits. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and is currently offering online consults for any skin, hair, and nail concerns. You can follow her on her Instagram and Facebook page to know more details about her practice!
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Some serums may differ in terms of how much niacinamide is infused in the product. Depending on what your skin demands, you can always choose what percentage of niacinamide concentration level your serum must have. Below are some examples of these and in what circumstances they work best.
Because of its mild formulation, niacinamide serums with 2% to 5% concentration levels are the most suitable for all skin types. Most dermatologists recommend this because it can be used even by people with sensitive skin without experiencing side effects such as irritation and redness. However, for some, it may be too mild that it won’t work as effectively as those with higher percentages.
Based on available studies, Niacinamide in percentages of 2%-5% is optimal for delivering results for the skin. This formulation also lessens the risk of irritation. However, there are products that may contain as high as 10% niacinamide. The ease of using a higher percentage of niacinamide depends on skin type (sensitive or not) and also skin concerns. For beginners, it is better to opt for a lower percentage first.
Compared to serums with a mild niacinamide concentration, mid-tier serums with 10% to 15% concentration are absorbed by the skin faster. This means it provides quicker results in removing dark spots and evening-out skin tone. Using serums with this concentration level will not cause any major issues, but for people with super sensitive skin, some irritation might occur.
A higher percentage of niacinamide may not always mean better. Though some skin concerns such as dark spots may require a higher percentage to be effective, it’s better to focus on finding the optimal blend of ingredients to address your skin concern.
Beyond the concern on percentages, using too many formulations with niacinamide may cause irritation for sensitive skin types. It is advisable to use only one niacinamide product at a time.
If you only want to minimize pores and even out your skin tone, moderate (10%-15%) concentrations are enough and ideal to deal with these. However, if your skin has an orange peel-like texture, enlarged pores, and bumps caused by excess oil, you may need to use a niacinamide serum with 20% concentration.
It may still be safe to use niacinamide up to this amount, but you should still check if you’re extra sensitive to this ingredient or conduct a patch test before using it because it can potentially irritate your skin. You should also consult with your dermatologist if this concentration is safe for you.
Using 20% niacinamide is better done under the guidance of a dermatologist. If used improperly, it can cause more harm than good to the skin. instead, one may opt for a lower percentage of niacinamide and layer it with other ingredients that are synergistic with it to target skin issues.
Also, based on available studies, high levels of niacinamide can increase serum histamine, which is responsible for triggering allergies. Hence, better to start low and slow for people who have a history of allergies.
Niacinamide, when paired with other ingredients that work well with it, can give more benefits to your skin. Plus, serums may be quite expensive, but you’ll be able to get your money’s worth while enjoying its many benefits. Here are some active ingredients you can look for in your niacinamide serum for added benefits.
Niacinamide, when combined with retinol, can give you an extra anti-aging effect. Retinol also clears fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking young and tight. However, it may dry out and irritate the skin when used on its own.
This is where niacinamide acts to protect the skin’s moisture barrier to keep it plump and hydrated. Similarly, hydroxy acids such as glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acid help exfoliate the skin, smooth fine lines, and wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity.
Niacinamide is safe to be layered with retinoids and hydroxy acids. When used together, they brighten the skin by fading the appearance of dark spots. They also help in oil control, which can result in better control of breakouts. The pairing of these actives can also rebuild collagen, lessening the appearance of wrinkles and skin aging.
If you have oily skin, niacinamide serums containing zinc pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), also called zinc salts, might be for you. While niacinamide works on brightening dark spots and protecting your skin’s moisture barrier, zinc helps in alleviating excess sebum that can cause acne. Moreover, zinc aids in repairing skin and facilitating collagen production.
Aside from hydrating your skin, natural ingredients can also provide other skin benefits that support niacinamide. Aloe vera, green tea, tomato, rosemary, and licorice extracts, for example, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the skin. On the other hand, ingredients like tremella extracts and jojoba seed oil help lock in your skin’s moisture.
Herbal ingredients have anti-inflammatory benefits and soothe irritated skin. Also, certain herbals can contribute to the skin's hydration. When used together with niacinamide, they work well to strengthen the skin barrier. Before layering herbal ingredients, it is good practice to always do a patch test first.
Ceramides and hyaluronic acid are two of the most common ingredients used in skincare products. The reason? Both of them have humectant properties that draw in moisture to the skin.
When combined with niacinamide, these two can effectively hydrate your skin while maintaining your skin’s moisture barrier to keep it from getting dried out. Another ingredient that’s also helpful for hydration is snail mucin, also known as snail slime.
Ceramides are lipid structures that are found in between skin cells. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Both are humectants that keep the skin well moisturized. Hence, if combined with niacinamide, they can protect the skin barrier from external damage.
Niacinamide and vitamin C serums offer a multitude of skin benefits. They both protect the skin from external stressors and brighten it. But because they have the same effects, they may cause an imbalance in the skin’s pH levels, leading to irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.
If you have sensitive skin, you may look for products that already combine niacinamide and vitamin C to ensure an optimal balance of both ingredients in your serum.
Combining niacinamide with vitamin C leads to the formation of niacin, which may cause temporary flushing or skin redness. However, based on available niacinamide percentages in product formulations, it is not enough to cause a severe reaction. For people with rosacea, layer niacinamide with vitamin C with caution first. If planning to use both actives, you may use vitamin C in the morning and niacinamide at night.
Some people have sensitive skin that can be irritated from skincare products that contain harsh ingredients. To prevent this from happening, check the product’s label to see if it has sulfates, parabens, or alcohol. These ingredients may cause dryness that can lead to skin irritation, itch, and redness.
The "free-from" formulations can be suitable for people with sensitive skin. Do remember that not all products that contain sulfates, parabens, and alcohols are entirely harmful.
Click to purchase
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum
A Potent Serum to Lighten Dark Spots and Control Excess Oil
Cos De BAHA
Niacinamide 10 Serum
A Cruelty-Free Serum to Achieve Even Skin Tone
Clinical Niacinamide 20% Treatment
A Highly Concentrated Treatment to Target Advanced Skin Concerns
The Radiance White Nourishing+ Serum
Dermatologically-Tested Serum With 9 Brightening Actives
10% Niacinamide + Hyaluronic Acid Face Anti-Blemish Serum
A Soothing Serum That’s Made for Sensitive Skin
White Radiance Niacinamide + Vitamin C Super Serum
Combination of Vitamin C and Niacinamide for a More Radiant Glow
Vita Capsule Luminous Serum
Vitamin-Packed Serum to Get That Dewy, K-Beauty Skin
Evens Out Skin Tone While Providing Intense Hydration
The Inkey List
Niacinamide Face Serum
Its Lightweight Formula Is Suitable for All Skin Types
Niacinamide 5% + Salicylic Acid Serum
Exfoliate Your Skin With This Salicylic Acid-Infused Serum
If you're looking to free your skin from blemishes and excess sebum, The Ordinary's serum may work perfectly. It contains 10% niacinamide, which reduces the appearance of dark spots and acne marks while brightening up your complexion.
It also contains 1% zinc PCA, which helps control oil production, making your skin less prone to acne breakouts. Moreover, it has a pH level of 5.50-6.50, which normalizes your skin's water-to-oil balance.
Another thing to like about this serum is that it has a vegan formula and does not contain alcohol, sulfates, and parabens that can dry out your skin. It is also free of fragrances, which can potentially irritate the skin. Users love how it doesn't feel sticky at all. Instead, it feels lightweight, perfect for our hot weather.
Packed with nutrients that are good for the skin, Cos de BAHA's serum nourishes your skin while giving you a more even skin tone. It contains 10% niacinamide, which helps fade dark spots, while aloe and licorice extracts help soothe the skin.
It works wonders in minimizing pores and controlling excess sebum, thanks to the inclusion of 1% zinc. It is also formulated with hyaluronic acid, which gives just the right amount of moisture your skin needs. These ingredients make this product a great buy for people with combination skin!
If you have sensitive skin, worry not! This serum does not contain potential irritants like sulfates, parabens, colorants, alcohol, and even fragrances. If you're also looking for something that's cruelty-free, this one might be for you!
For more advanced skin concerns like sagging and enlarged pores that look similar to an orange peel, this serum may be your best bet. With a high concentration of niacinamide at 20%, this product will effectively minimize your pores while smoothening out bumps caused by sun damage.
This serum also contains vitamin C that helps even out skin tone, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, and provides protection against UV rays. Moreover, it contains licorice extract to brighten dull complexion and fade blemishes while soothing it. However, because of its high concentration, this serum may not be suitable for those with highly sensitive skin.
Y.O.U.'s serum can help you get a fresh, radiant glow! It contains 9 brightening actives: niacinamide, tremella extract, vitamin C, oat protein, hyaluronic acid, soybean, moringa, seaberry, and cotton rose extracts—all of which offer a variety of benefits, from the reduction of dark spots to skin firming.
Vitamin C inhibits melanin production, which will leave your complexion brighter and more even. It also improves your skin's barrier for extra protection. For hydration, tremella extract binds moisture to the skin's surface while facilitating collagen production.
What also makes it unique is that it has probiotics, which ward off signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. That way, you can achieve more radiant and younger-looking skin. Users will also appreciate that it is non-sticky yet capable of balancing the skin's water-to-oil levels!
Dermorepubliq's serum contains 10% niacinamide, which can help reduce the appearance of blemishes! It also aims to calm breakouts, as well as minimize the appearance of your skin's pores.
It is formulated with hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to your skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and supple after each use. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to tomato and aloe vera extracts.
The serum also includes snail mucin, which reduces fine lines giving you a more youthful appearance. Plus, it is made for people with sensitive skin in mind, as it consists of only a short list of ingredients. Did we mention it is locally made?
This serum combines the MVPs of skincare, namely niacinamide and vitamin C, to help you achieve a more radiant glow. It does not only whiten your skin, but it can also reduce the appearance of dark spots while evening out your skin tone.
Olay’s serum is also infused with vitamin E, which will also protect your skin from free radicals. In addition, it contains glycerin to help boost the skin’s hydration. Moreover, it has a concentrated yet non-greasy formula, which will not leave your skin feeling sticky and can penetrate up to 10 layers deep!
Do you want to achieve the dewy, natural-looking skin you typically see in K-Beauty? This serum might be for you! Aside from using niacinamide to brighten and clarify skin, it also includes vitamin C and E to revitalize dullness as well as vitamin B5 to hydrate the skin.
Furthermore, it is infused with encapsulated jojoba seed oil that deeply penetrates the skin and moisturizes it from within. It also balances the skin's oil and moisture levels, so it is suitable for those with oily, dry, or combination skin.
This product is dermatologically tested as non-irritating because of its gentle and mild ingredients. It is also free from artificial colorants and fragrances, sulfates, and parabens, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin.
With 5% niacinamide, InstaNatural’s serum gives the skin a boost, protecting it from external stressors and decreasing breakouts, irritation, and age spots. It also intensely hydrates, soothes, tightens, and nourishes the skin with hyaluronic, avocado oil, and rosemary extract.
Moreover, it brightens discoloration and sunspots and reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It is also suitable for all skin types, as it is made without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, and more that could irritate your skin.
You can never go wrong with the combination of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. The Inkey List’s serum proves this, as it will help control your skin's excess oil while giving it the hydration it needs. It also has a lightweight consistency, so you can easily layer it with your other skincare products.
What's more interesting is that because it is so lightweight, it can be used by all skin types, even those with oily skin. And, it is suitable for everyday use, day in and day out! Furthermore, it is sulfate, paraben, alcohol, and fragrance-free, so that your skin is also free from irritation and redness.
Infused with 5% niacinamide, Dr. Sensitive’s serum works by mildly brightening your complexion, alleviating blemishes, and making it look smoother. It also contains salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which can exfoliate the skin by breaking down dead skin cells and improving the appearance of your pores.
However, this product contains methylparaben, a kind of paraben that may potentially irritate your skin, especially if it's sensitive to such chemicals. The salicylic acid may also increase sensitivity to sun exposure, therefore it is recommended to wear sunscreen after using this serum.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Dr. Jarische Lao-Ang.
Niacinamide serum can be used morning and evening. It can be used daily for formulations containing 2-5%. As for those with a higher percentage, better start slowly first (2x a week) to monitor any untoward skin reaction. Being a serum, it is usually applied after face wash or after applying toner.
After applying niacinamide serum, it can be followed by applying topical actives for certain skin concerns, such as retinoids for acne. However, make sure to apply the products 5-10 minutes apart to lessen the risk of irritation, especially if you're a beginner. If you're not applying other actives, then moisturizer can be applied after niacinamide serum.
Niacinamide is not known to cause peeling (flaking) since it is not known to cause purging. On the other hand, niacinamide may cause skin pilling (product seen rolling up on your skin and not being absorbed well). Possible causes may include the following:
Adding serums to your skincare routine helps target various skin concerns such as dark spots, uneven complexion, acne, excess oil, and more. To look for the right serum for you, check out these links below!
Author: Kate Basa
Editor: J. Cuizon
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：The Ordinary｜Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum
No. 2：Cos De BAHA｜Niacinamide 10 Serum
No. 3：Paula's Choice｜Clinical Niacinamide 20% Treatment
No. 4：Y.O.U.｜The Radiance White Nourishing+ Serum
No. 5：Dermorepubliq｜10% Niacinamide + Hyaluronic Acid Face Anti-Blemish Serum
View Full Ranking
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
BeautyBody care, Makeup, Skincare
CamerasCamera supplies, Digital cameras, Drones and multirotors
HealthBeauty supplements, Medical supplies, Feminine care
Household goodsAir treatment, Bath and shower supplies, Blankets
PCs and laptopsComputer accessories, Computer components, Desktop pcs
Home appliances and electronicsAir conditioners and coolers, Air treatment, Blenders, mixers, and food processors
Food and drinksAlcoholic beverages, Baked goods and desserts, Baking
Kitchen suppliesBaking tools, Coffee and tea accessories, Food containers
ClothingBrands and shops, Men's coats and jackets, Men's innerwear
ShoesMen's shoes, Other shoes and footwear, Outdoor footwear
AccessoriesBags, Accessories and jewelry, Belts
Mom and babyBaby books and toys, Baby food and snacks, Baby supplies
Interior and furnitureBeds, Carpets and rugs and mats, Chairs
HobbiesAnimes, Arts and crafts, Board games
OutdoorCamping beds and cots, Camping stoves, Coolers
DIY and tools
Sports and fitnessAccessories, Badminton, Basketball
PetsCat supplies, Dog supplies, Fish and aquarium supplies
Books, CDs, and DVDsBooks and magazines, CDs, Linguistics, dictionaries, and phrase books
GamesConsole accessories, PC and console games
Cars and motorcyclesCar accessories, Car seats, Car supplies
GiftsChristmas-related gifts, Gifts for kids, Gifts for men
Home improvement and toolsDoor hardware and locks, Electrical, Gas stoves
Smartphones and tabletsSmartphone accessories, Smartphones, Storage
Investment and asset management
Banking and financeCredit cards, Debit cards, Services and apps
InsuranceCar insurance, Life insurance, Medical insurance
AudioEarphones, Gaming, Headphones
Smartphone applicationsBusiness apps, Dating apps, Education apps
OthersOthers, Merch, Recreation