Can you take a guess at the top 3 most searched for skincare ingredients of 2021? In the top spot is acne-reducing salicylic acid, followed by hydrating must-have hyaluronic acid, and in joint third we have vitamin C and niacinamide. According to Glamour these two hero ingredients each rack up nearly 50,000 Google searches every month. Vitamin C has gained a strong reputation as the go-to for brighter, more radiant skin, but what about niacinamide? Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is far from a one-trick skincare ingredient, as it can:

  • Regulate sebum (great for oily, combination and blemish-prone skin)
  • Minimise the appearance of pores
  • Improves uneven skin tone
  • Help clear congestion thanks to its antibacterial properties
  • Help strengthen our skin barrier to keep skin looking plump
  • Protect skin from sun damage and help lighten existing hyperpigmentation

The great thing about niacinamide is that it plays well with other skincare ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about adverse reactions when combining it with the likes of retinol, vitamin C and acids. You can even use several niacinamide-enriched products within your skincare routine without overdosing, and sensitive skin types don’t need to steer clear either. All in all it’s a very easy going skincare ingredient that can slot into any skincare routine, so here is a selection of niacinamide products to choose from.

Katherine Daniels Treatment Boost for Pigmentation & Dark Spots 

Katherine Daniels’ serum targets hyperpigmentation – caused by the disruption in skin’s ability to produce melanin evenly – thanks to a combination of tranexamic acid (which reduces pigmentation in superficial cells), vitamin C (to limit the production of new pigmentation marks) and niacinamide (which also helps to reduce dark spots). This cocktail of antioxidant ingredients works not only to reduce the appearance of existing damage but also by strengthening the skin barrier it prevents further damage. The gel-like serum texture sinks into skin quickly without leaving any sticky residue, and after 3 weeks of daily use – consistency is key for noticeable results – my skin looks less dull and a little more even. This serum can improve the appearance of my acne scars and sun damage, but melasma caused by hormonal imbalance is notoriously hard to shift, so its effect on some of my pigmentation will always – as with other topical products – be limited. 50ml RRP £93.00

Revolution Skincare 10% Niacinamide and 1% Zinc Blemish & Pore Serum

Part of the ingredient-led skincare family – joining the likes of The Ordinary and The Inkey List – Revolution offers a vegan and cruelty-free 10% concentration combined with Zinc, a hero ingredient for blemish-prone skin, known to help reduce the appearance of active spots. Lightweight, clear, oil-free, this gentle everyday serum is ideal for oily and congested skin, regulating sebum without drying out skin. Niacinamide is often lauded for reducing the appearance of pores, but honestly I don’t think I’ve ever come across a product that’s done that for my pores. And frankly as long as they’re clean, I really don’t mind them being visible, I prefer to view them as a spattering of freckles across nose and cheeks. 30ml RRP £6.00

Caudalie Premier Cru Serum

Niacinamide is the fourth ingredient in the ingredient list so I’d assume it boasts a decent concentration. Beautifully light texture, delicately fragrant and 98% natural, Caudalie’s Premier Cru Serum instantly hydrates (thanks to Hyaluronic Acid) and firms skin for up to 6 hours. A fantastic vegan formula that provides the satisfaction of immediate results. 30ml RRP £85.00

Nourish Balance Essential Anti-Blemish Moisturiser

Niacinamide is such a great ingredient for oily and combination skin, with its sebum regulating, pore minimising and antibacterial properties, so it’s no surprise it features in Nourish’s Anti-Blemish Moisturiser. I’m typically weary of dry patches appearing on my cheeks by mid-afternoon if my moisturiser isn’t nourishing enough, but this non-greasy formula hits the perfect spot, reducing shine and restoring balance with the right amount of hydration thanks to sweet almond oil. And the apple scent is delightful! 50ml RRP £25.00

Pestle & Mortar NMF Lactic Acid Toner

A brighter, smoother and more even skin? Yes please. This leave-on lactic acid toner with niacinamide claims to hydrate, exfoliate, lighten hyperpigmentation and reduce fine lines. I apply to clean skin and feel a satisfying gently tingling sensation, with an immediately smoother skin texture. 200ml RRP £28.00

Heimish Artless Glow Base SPF50+

This Korean skincare brand knows how to deliver ‘chok chok’ skin (a Korean phrase that translates as ‘moist’ or ‘damp’ and is used to describe the much sought-after dewy complexion). A cross between a skincare and cosmetic product, this brings the finishing touch to my skincare routine for a pearl-like glowy result and UV protection all rolled into one. 40ml RRP £19.00

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