Thanks to its neutral pH and gentle nature, niacinamide has the reputation of being the most stable and versatile ingredient in the skincare scene. Plus, it’s a great multi-tasker that battles almost any concern out there and works wonders for all skin types — no surprise everyone loves it, myself and derms included. This makes the best niacinamide creams some of the most sought-after products and definitely a must in any beauty routine.
Keep reading to learn how a cream infused with niacinamide can save your skin and find the best product for you.
What is niacinamide?
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 often used in skincare products thanks to its restorative and protective abilities. It has a pH value close to the skin’s pH, meaning it’s very stable, gentle, and less likely to cause irritation.
Benefits of niacinamide cream
It is not hyperbole to say a niacinamide-infused cream improves skin on all fronts. On top of everything, niacinamide increases keratin and collagen production, two proteins needed to maintain skin elasticity. Hence, it’s great to plump fine lines and superficial wrinkles. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, protecting your cells from environmental aggressors such as UV damage. More than that, niacinamide helps restore the skin’s barrier by reducing transepidermal water loss and boosting hydration. It does that by stimulating ceramides — lipids that make up about 40% of the outermost layer and are responsible for the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
A niacinamide cream is a perfect treat for oily and acne-prone skin folks as well since it regulates sebum production and reduces pimples. You can also benefit from niacinamide if you have large pores, as it shrinks their look and makes them appear smaller. And if that wasn’t enough, niacinamide is a great ally to battle dark spots too. It diminishes discoloration and brightens by blocking the transfer of pigment into skin cells, promoting an even-looking complexion.
You know it’s a good time to add niacinamide cream to your skincare routine if you’re concerned about:
- Dehydrated, cracked, irritated skin
- Early aging signs
- Sun damage
- Lack of moisture and firmness
- Uneven tone and dark spots
- Breakouts and excess sebum
- Clogged and large pores
How to find the best niacinamide cream for you
Gentle enough for those with sensitive skin and often paired with other potent actives, niacinamide easily fits into anyone’s routine. Scroll on to find the best niacinamide creams. From light to heavy textures, correcting to moisturizing formulas, you’ll surely find one for you.
EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer
- Key features: Non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, clean
- Suitable for: Normal, dry, mature, sensitive skin
- Targets: Weakened barrier, loss of firmness and moisture
- Must mention: Not cruelty-free
- Price: $39 ($22.94 per oz)
A staple among skincare enthusiasts and often recommended by derms, EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer is the perfect addition to your beauty routine if you’re looking for a product to strengthen and replenish the protective barrier. It’s one of the best niacinamide creams because it has niacinamide third on the ingredient list, followed by glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (two humectants that pull water into the skin), plus peptides and a slew of antioxidants. This formula feels hydrating and rich, yet not greasy nor heavy, doesn’t clog pores, absorbs quickly, and most importantly, leaves you with a dewy and soft complexion by morning.
StriVectin Advanced Retinol Nightly Renewal Moisturizer
- Key features: Alcohol-free, fast-acting formula, cruelty-free, clean
- Best for: Mature skin
- Targets: All signs of aging
- Must mention: It contains comedogenic oils; people with dehydrated skin may need an extra moisturizer
- Price: $79 ($79 per oz)
Reviewers say this cream is magic in a tube, and I couldn’t agree more. It targets all possible aging signs with a fast-acting formula loaded with two forms of retinol and an optimized form of vitamin B3 (NIA-114). The best part is that NIA-114 actually supercharges the anti-aging benefits of retinol by enhancing cell turnover while mitigating its irritating effects. Besides, the cream also contains hydrators (sodium hyaluronate, lactic acid), antioxidants (vitamin C and E, resveratrol), and an amalgam of soothing ingredients. It’s an all-in-one solution for aged skin.
Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment
- Key features: Alcohol-free, oil-free, lightweight,
- Best for: Normal, oily, combination, mature skin
- Targets: Uneven tone, dark spots, acne blemishes
- Must mention: Not cruelty-free
- Price: $88 ($51.7 per oz)
Peter Thomas Roth made one of the best niacinamide creams to fade dark spots, reduce skin discoloration, and promote an even-looking complexion. It’s unbelievably effective because it contains a juicy complex of 15% niacinamide, tranexamic acid, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, and peptides, which are all tried-and-true depigmenting agents that can brighten the skin in the long run.
Ole Henriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer
- Key features: Alcohol-free, non-comedogenic, vegan
- Best for: All skin types
- Targets: Skin barrier, loss of firmness, dehydration
- Must mention: Contains naturally derived fragrance
- Price: $48 ($28.2 per oz)
Ole Henriksen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer is that hero product literally every skin needs after its 30s. It was not only formulated to replenish what skin loses with age (elasticity, strength, moisture, and firmness) but also to reinforce the barrier, reduce environmental damage, and smooth rough patches. This is all thanks to the formula powered by peptides, ceramides, niacinamide, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and humectants — the skincare essentials that shouldn’t miss from any routine. On top of everything, the cream feels terrific, not too greasy or thick, settles quickly, and leaves your complexion hydrated and plump.
Innisfree Dewy Glow Jelly Cream
- Key features: Lightweight, vegan, K-beauty
- Best for: All skin types
- Targets: Lack of radiance, skin hydration
- Must mention: Contains natural fragrances
- Price: $25 ($14.7 per oz)
Let your skin absorb all the benefits of cherry blossom with Innisfree Dewy Glow Jelly Cream. Cherry blossom comes from K-beauty, and it’s a natural skin savior: it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and protective benefits, working to hinder sun damage and slow down skin aging. The addition of niacinamide, betaine, and vitamin E leaves you with a hydrated and supple complexion, while the lightweight texture instantly sinks in, leaving behind a radiant glow.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
- Key features: Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic
- Best for: Normal, dry, combination, sensitive skin
- Targets: Lack of moisture, redness, dehydrated skin
- Must mention: Not cruelty-free, may leave white flakes
- Price: $19.99 ($11.7 per oz)
Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is one of La Roche-Posay’s all-time best-sellers, and even today, it’s still a cult favorite loved among derms. It has raked thousands of 5-star reviews not only for its wallet-friendly price tag but also for the 48-hour hydration it provides with the help of niacinamide, glycerin, ceramide, and vitamin E. More bonus points as the formula has the brand’s signature prebiotic thermal water as a base, a rich source of selenium (a natural antioxidant).
Dr. Dennis Gross Stress Repair Face Cream
- Key features: Alcohol-free, non-comedogenic, lightweight, cruelty-free, clean, vegan
- Best for: Normal, dry, sensitive skin
- Targets: Skin barrier, stressed skin, environmental damage
- Must mention: It can be harsh for reactive skin
- Price: $72 ($36 per oz)
This niacinamide-infused cream was made for days when the skin needs extra protection against environmental stressors. Infused with squalane, ceramide, niacinamide, and sodium PCA, it’s great for restoring and fortifying the protective barrier, while allantoin and colloidal oatmeal calm redness and problematic skin. I also love how this cream strikes a balance between a pampering texture and a lightweight feel (it just feels like heaven), and that also adds a heavy dose of hydration with glycerin and hyaluronic acid.
Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Face Moisturizer
- Key features: Fragrance-free, alcohol-free, oil-free
- Best for: Normal, combination, mature skin
- Targets: Hydration and firmness
- Must mention: It may feel too heavy for some
- Price: $40 ($23.5 per oz)
Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Face Moisturizer is one of the best options if you’re looking for a drugstore niacinamide cream. It’s super concentrated in niacinamide and also contains peptides, glycerin, and vitamin E to replenish, hydrate and soften skin. Although most people seem to appreciate the creamy and thick texture, others feel it is too greasy and say it doesn’t soak into the skin that well. Hence, if you don’t fancy heavy products, you probably should steer away from this one.
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