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8 Best Niacinamide Serums for Acne Treatment

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The answer to what you were looking for to control your acne-prone skin might be niacinamide. You’ve probably heard of it, as it’s commonly used in skincare products that address basically all skin concerns: acne, excess sebum, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or dry skin. And if you haven’t heard of it, here’s exactly what you need to know before purchasing a niacinamide serum to fight acne.

What is niacinamide?

In skincare, niacinamide is an antioxidant. Technically, it’s a form of vitamin B-3, water-soluble, that works with other natural substances in your skin to improve skin tone, minimize large pores, soften fine lines, and diminish acne. Yes, one element can do all these things!

How niacinamide attacks acne?

When applied topical daily, niacinamide may positively influence your skin health by reducing inflammation and acne-causing bacteria, smoothing the overall texture, and brightening your skin. Niacinamide is also great in regulating the amount of sebum and prevent sebaceous glands from producing excessive oil. Not only that niacinamide helps build cells in the skin, but it also protects from environmental stresses like toxins, sunlight, and pollution. Due to its ability to improve the skin’s barrier, niacinamide reduces the impact of free radical damage and helps skin repair itself, which is excellent for scars left by pimples.


A study published in the International Journal of Dermatology showed that 4% niacinamide treated acne, comparable to a topical antibiotic. The experiment states that niacinamide helps treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and sebum-reducing properties — the holy grail for acne-prone skin.

Why in a serum

Because serums have smaller particles, they penetrate the skin on a deeper cellular level faster, working more effectively. The beauty of serums stays in their ability to provide higher concentrations of active ingredients. The higher the concentration and deeper penetration, the better it is for the skin to benefit from niacinamide’s unique properties.

How it should be applied

First upfront start by being patient, as you’re looking for at least two months of daily use of your niacinamide serum before you can expect visible results. This because niacinamide is gentle on the skin, unlike more aggressive skin treatments, being less likely to irritate your skin. Use your niacinamide serum every morning, and evening, after cleansing your complexion and after you’ve used the toner. Follow with moisturizer/SPF after you’ve applied your niacinamide serum.

8 Best Niacinamide Anti-Acne Serums

To make the job *super* easy for you, we’ve picked 8 serums infused with niacinamide, with as pure and natural formulas as possible. And so that your skin absorbs even more benefic nutrients, these serums are also enhanced with hyaluronic acidantioxidants, vitamins, zinc, or retinol — the perfect addition to your skincare routine. Check ’em out ASAP!

Murad Environmental Shield Serum
Best for acne-scarring

1. Murad Environmental Shield Serum

It’s an intensive serum that promotes brighter, more even skin with vitamin C, oligopeptides, and subtle light-reflecting pearls. At the same time, the niacinamide complex enhances cell turnover to reduce dark spots and scarring appearance. No way your skin will get too dry, as it’ll get moisture from urea, amino acids, and rice extract.

Naturium Store Niacinamide Serum for Acne
Best for minimizing pores look

2. Naturium Store Niacinamide Serum

The holly-grail of niacinamide serums, this one contains pure 12% niacinamide and 2% zinc, helping refine skin tone and minimizing acne and large pores. Highly concentrated, it aids in purifying and refining your complexion while retaining moisture thanks to the hyaluronic acid in it. Plus, it contains vitamin C, which, you know, antioxidant protection winks.

Paula's Choice Niacinamide Concentrated Serum
Highest niacinamide concentration

3. Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 20% Niacinamide Serum

This advanced 20% niacinamide concentration serum targets clogged pores, bumps, and discolorations, doing an excellent job! With vitamin C and licorice root extract, Paula’s Choice product makes a noticeable difference in your skin within just a few days of using it. Its safe and effective formula is cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certificated — we very much appreciate it!

The Ordinary Niacinamide Treatment for Acne
Best for excess sebum

4. The Ordinary Niacinamide Treatment for Acne

A dream came true for oily skin; this serum reduces acne-causing bacteria and minimizes pores by regulating sebum production for real. Featuring a high concentration of two of the most efficacious blemish-battling ingredients, niacinamide and zinc, it soothes skin and improves its overall appearance. The shot of zinc also helps repair damaged skin and encourages the production of collagen synthesis — what I call a win-win.

Dennis Stress Rescue Super Serum
Best for anti-stress

5. Dennis Stress Rescue Super Serum

Not only is it supercharged with niacinamide, but it takes care of your skin with squalane, caffeine, lactic acid, vitamin C, and a blend of botanical extracts meant to nourish and protect the skin. Its hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic formula is just perfect for acne-prone skin without irritating it. With a silky-smooth weightless texture, it helps correct and prevent dullness, redness while improves skin texture.

QRxLabs Niacinamide and Retinol Serum
Best for healing skin

6. QRxLabs Niacinamide and Retinol Serum

This niacinamide serum may be the solution you have always wished for. The reason? It combines niacinamide and retinol with organic aloe vera, vitamin E, jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, and a cocktail of natural extracts, resulting in a rich consistency that’ll blow you away. QRxLabs Niacinamide Serum is the right product in your beauty arsenal to diminishing breakouts. Did I mention it’s made with tea tree oil, calendula extract, and vit B5? This means it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in preventing acne and stimulate the skin’s healing process.

I DEW CARE Purifying Face Serum with Niacinamide
Best k-beauty serum

7. I DEW CARE Purifying Face Serum with Niacinamide

A supercharged serum made for blemish-prone skin with a balancing blend of niacinamide, zinc, kale, spirulina chlorella, plus a purifying complex to help soothe and clear the complexion. One thing you should be aware of: it contains BHA, which makes your skin photosensitive, so you’d better apply it at night and always use sunscreen during the day.

Cos De BAHA Niacinamide Anti-Acne Serum
Best wallet-friendly

8. Cos De BAHA Niacinamide Anti-Acne Serum

Cos De BAHA has a fantastic serum with 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc that addresses breakouts, blemishes, red marks, and irritated skin for an affordable price. With regular use, you’ll observe a pores’ appearance reduction and increased skin elasticity due to the addition of hyaluronic acid. In plus, this product contains 78% ingredients from organic sources — no reason not to try it out. With a surprisingly small price tag, this potent serum is perfect for combating blemishes, enlarged pores, and uneven skin tone.

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