COMPARISON: The best niacinamide serum - The Moisturizer
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COMPARISON: The best niacinamide serum

Header The Moisturizer - COMPARISON: The best niacinamide serum
Are you looking for a new niacinamide serum? This antioxidant is amazing if you have oily, combination or sensitive skin, since it will help you rebalance your skin’s oil levels and minimize redness and irritation. Let me show you what’s the best niacinamide serum to include in your skincare routines (both day and night)!


Hello! I wanted to share this article so much! I know that niacinamide is one of your favorite ingredients, so I really wanted to share this comparison to tell you about my experience with some of the best-known niacinamide serums on the market and so that you can see which one is my favorite and why.

As you will remember from my guide on antioxidants, niacinamide is a great ingredient whether you have oily skin and are looking to rebalance its oil levels (thanks to its sebum-regulating properties) or if you have irritated or sensitive skin and you want to reduce redness (thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties).

In recent years, niacinamide has become a very popular ingredient precisely because of how versatile it is and how easily it can be combined with other active ingredients. In fact, I love using it together with retinoids, but in the end each of us must create our own skincare routine tailored to our specific needs and incorporate the products in the way that best benefits us.

Although in this comparison I am going to talk about serums, keep in mind that niacinamide is a fairly common ingredient in our cosmetics and you can also find it in cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and even sunscreens.

This graphic aims to help you understand in which part of your skincare routine you should use each product.
You don’t need to do all the steps from this routine (but you should always cleanse, moisturize and use sunscreen).
Remember it’s key to do a patch test every time you consider adding new products to your skincare routine.


In this case, I am going to talk about the niacinamide serums from some very popular cosmetic brands. I am sure that with this comparison I will help you choose which of them you will like the most:



This serum has stolen my heart, as you can see in its complete review. After using it for a long time and comparing its texture and results with the others that I have included in this article, it is the one I like the most.

It is a very liquid serum, practically watery and that is absorbed with great ease. It has a light yellow color and does not have a characteristic scent. Its texture is the lightest in this comparison, so it is very comfortable to use. For me, four drops of product are enough to cover the entire face well, but you will have to find the right amount for you. I have used it in my morning and night routines, pairing with strong active ingredients and independently, and in any case it has always been my winning choice.

In addition to niacinamide itself, this serum includes among its ingredients ascorbyl glucoside (a derivative of vitamin C that provides us with additional antioxidant properties and helps us improve the luminosity of our skin) and hyaluronic acid and panthenol (ideal to provide more water to our skin and thus balance the skin barrier).

If you like niacinamide, I advise you to try this serum, it is likely that you will not want to use others afterwards. Although its price is a little higher than the others, I am clear that I will buy it again and that I am interested in paying a little more for it.

Water (Aqua), Niacinamide (vitamin B3, skin-restoring ), Acetyl Glucosamine (skin replenishing/antioxidant), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Phospholipids (skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/skin-soothing), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidant), Beta-Glucan (skin-soothing/antioxidant), Panthenol (skin replenishing), Carnosine (antioxidant), Genistein (antioxidant), Citric Acid (pH balancing), Sodium Citrate (pH balancing), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

You can get the Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster on Paula’s Choice and on Niche Beauty.



Lately you are asking me more and more about The Inkey List (and in fact I have a few reviews pending of the brand’s products), so it is the ideal moment to introduce you to their niacinamide serum, which I have not yet shared a review on the blog.

This niacinamide serum from The Inkey List has a thicker texture than the previous one, although it is easily absorbed. Its color is whitish and it does not have a prominent scent (since, like the other serums in this comparison, it does not include perfumes or essential oils) among its ingredients.

In this case, among the ingredients of the serum, in addition to niacinamide, we find squalane (which helps us improve skin hydration and provides fatty acids and antioxidants), hyaluronic acid and panthenol (moisturizers that help provide water to the interior of the skin) the skin to protect the hydrolipidic barrier) and soy extract (which helps prevent damage caused by ultraviolet radiation and minimize the signs of aging).

Something that differentiates this serum from The Inkey List is the type of container in which it is sold, made of plastic and with an applicator that does not make it necessary to expose the product to the air each time it is used. This is especially convenient, since you can take the necessary few drops of product in a simple and practical way. As with the Paula’s Choice product, being opaque, the formula is also protected against ultraviolet radiation.

This serum, cheaper than the previous one, is a good solution if you are looking for a low cost alternative or if what you want to get from niacinamide are its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects while helping to keep your skin properly hydrated.

Water (Aqua/ Eau), Niacinamide, Glycerin, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hyaluronic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phospholipids, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Allantoin, Disodium Edta, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol, Glycolipids, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterol, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate.

You can get The Inkey List Niacinamide on Cult Beauty.



This is possibly the best known niacinamide serum on the market and one of The Ordinary products for which more people have discovered the brand. Its texture is similar to that of the previous serum, perhaps a bit lighter (probably because this The Ordinary serum does not incorporate squalane) and its color is also whitish.

In this case, among the ingredients of the serum we find zinc PCA, with anti-inflammatory and sebum-regulating properties similar to those of niacinamide itself. This is interesting, as I think this serum may be the most suitable solution if what interests you about niacinamide is precisely its ability to help you control oil levels, reduce shine and improve the texture of your skin. Of course, each skin is different and you will have to see what yours needs.

Something that I want to highlight about this serum from The Ordinary is that in my case, when I use it on irritated skin (for example, after shaving or in an area that has some pimples), it leaves me with an itchy sensation that in the other cases I have not experienced. It is true that this sensation is fleeting and disappears after a few seconds, but I think it is convenient for you to know.

Another interesting aspect about this serum is that its composition is the simplest of all the ones that I have included in the review. Why might that interest you? Because if you want to try niacinamide and assess whether it is an ingredient that really gives you what you are looking for, in this way you will be able to see it more easily. In addition, since it is a serum with a very cheap price, in case you see that it is not what you really need, your pocket will not hurt for having tried it. So if you want to try niacinamide for the first time, this may be the best option.

Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

You can get the serum The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% on DECIEM (recommended) and on SkinStore.



This Hylamide serum (a brand that used to belong to DECIEM, such as The Ordinary), included among its ingredients niacinamide along with various peptides that help improve the appearance of some wrinkles and fine lines.

There are rumors that Hylamide may end up disappearing, so if you want to try this serum I would recommend taking the chance and getting it while supplies last.

Its texture is different from that of the other products in this comparison, since it is very liquid and slightly milky at the same time. The sensations on the face when applying it are great, since it is wonderfully absorbed and the skin is very well hydrated after using it.

You already know that I really like the combination of niacinamide and retinoids, and this serum gives me exactly what my skin needs. If you are looking for the main benefits of niacinamide (reduction of oil levels and redness) with a very comfortable texture, this serum can be a great addition to your beauty routines (both day and night).

Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Pistacia Lentiscus (Mastic) Gum, Allantoin, Lecithin, Citric Acid, Sodium Salicylate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Laureth-9, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysorbate 80, Triethanolamine, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.



This Paula’s Choice serum is a special case among those that I have included in this comparison. That’s because, in this case, Paula’s Choice has developed a serum with a 20% niacinamide concentration, double what is included in the other formulas I’ve talked about.

Although at first it may seem interesting to incorporate this double concentration into your beauty routines, you should bear in mind that your skin may not need such a high proportion of niacinamide. Normally, studies carried out with this ingredient use lower concentrations, so in some cases this 20% can lead to greater irritation.

The texture of this serum is quite dense, it reminds me a bit of The Ordinary, although it feels good on the skin, it doesn’t leave a sticky feeling. Its color has a slightly yellowish hue and a specific smell would not stand out.

Regarding my experience using this serum, I have noticed a slight itching sensation, especially in irritated areas, something that does not happen to me with some of the formulas that I have talked about before. It is true that this sensation dissipates quickly, but it makes it not my favorite among all the niacinamide serums that I have tried.

Water, Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Acetyl Glucosamine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Camellia Japonica Flower Extract, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Lecithin, Pullulan, Panthenol, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Sclerotium Gum, Propanediol, Sodium Phytate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

You can get the Paula’s Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment on Paula’s Choice and on Niche Beauty.


Have you tried any of these serums? Which one are you most excited to try? Do you usually use cosmetics that incorporate niacinamide? Tell me in the comments!


If you liked this article and want to continue learning how to take care of your skin, you will surely be interested in reading these others:

Do you want to learn to take better care of your skin? You can see an index of all my informative posts here

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The Moisturizer

I’m Nacho and I’m passionate about skincare. I really enjoy learning and sharing my knowledge about skincare and I read scientific papers so you don’t have to. I want to break stereotypes because I believe skincare has no gender: skin is skin.  

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