The Best and Worst Niacinamide Products for Oily and Acne-prone skin

Let’s talk about some of Cassandra’s favorite niacinamide products, her least favorite niacinamide products, and why. Please keep in mind that Cassandra’s skin is oily and acne-prone. She’s struggled with blemishes, breakouts, and scars her entire life. So, she primarily looks for products that are not only going to make her skin look good, but also help her overall health. So, while her skin needs might be different than yours, these are a few products to start with.

REVOLUTION SKINCARE 15% Niacinamide Serum -$14

This product isn’t just niacinamide. It’s zinc and niacinamide. For some people, the zinc might dry their skin out, especially since it’s zinc pca. However, if you have acne or blemish-prone skin, the combination of niacinamide and zinc pca is going to be one of your best friends.

When Cassandra first started using this, she thought it was okay, but not a slam dunk. The niacinamide serum was syrupy and liquidy, and didn’t do much for her skin. It left her skin feeling a little bit greasy, and she didn’t notice great benefits from it. 

Glow Recipe Niacinamide Dew Drops - $22


Cassandra wanted to love this, and it’s supposed to make your skin look and feel luscious. It smells like a watermelon jolly rancher. She gives the branding, packaging, and scent a 10 out of 10, but she was not impressed with the way it works on her skin. Everyone’s skin is going to have different needs, but it fell short of benefitting Cassandra’s skin. To her, this felt like an under-makeup primer. When you pour it out, it almost looks like Glow Recipe’s watermelon moisturizer, but it gives your skin the slightest amount of dew and shimmer similar to the way a liquid highlight would. 

It definitely has some benefits, but it doesn’t do for her what some of her favorite products do. If you’re looking for skincare and makeup combined, you are going to love this. But, this wasn’t what Cassandra was looking for. It doesn’t layer well underneath her other cosmetics, and even from a treatment perspective, it’s not Cassandra’s favorite.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% -$16

Cassandra got this from Target. Cassandra does like that the niacinamide percentage is at 12%, but when it comes to percentages in skincare, more doesn’t always necessarily mean better. Specifically for niacinamide, more can actually mean chalkier, and chalkiness is what Cassandra experienced with this serum. However, the serum’s benefits are still good. The first time Cassandra used this, it blended really well, but when she woke up, it was a little bit crusty and left a film on the skin. The film wasn’t that bad, but it may become worse if you apply it too generously. When she used less, it did better. But, people who need to apply a greater amount then have to worry about the texture. Because this formula has zinc, it’s better for oily skin. Furthermore, this is the niacinamide that Cassandra would recommend if you struggle with oil or blemishes. Overall, the formula is halfway decent, and as long as you are not applying it too generously, it shouldn’t be a problem.  

The INKEY List Niacinamide Oil Control Serum -$7.99


Although not as much, this one can get chalky on the skin too. Cassandra would recommend this one for all skin types, combo skin types, and even for dry skin types. This one is fragrance-free and denatured alcohol-free. It has propanediol, and it comes out a little bit gooier. It smoothes onto the skin so nicely, and feels like a hug on your epidermis. The serum goes on a little bit tacky, but it absorbs really well. It dries down, and that’s the reason this is one of Cassandra’s favorites compared to the others. 

This one layers well under products, specifically moisturizers, and Cassandra finds that gives amazing results. But, keep it simple because if you layer too much, it can get cakey over time. 

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%  -$6.50


Then, we’ve got our favorite product to put on pimples. This is The Ordinary’s niacinamide and zinc. Even though this one has a lower zinc percentage than Naturium, Cassandra would still say that this one is for oily skin. Even though it’s not for everyone, this has been a tried and true for Cassandra, and it does amazing things for her skin. This product helped with oil production the most. 

Not only did it help with oil production, but it also helped with her skin’s ceramide production. As for blemishes, even though Cassandra has acne, she doesn’t have a lot of PIH, so she’s not able to attest to how helpful it is for hyperpigmentation. She’s heard that it works wonderfully for people who do though. The texture is not gummy, and for acne and oily-prone skin, this is one of Cassandra’s favorites. 

PURITO - Deep Sea Pure Water Cream -$19

Cassandra loves this one, and it’s oil-free. Not all of Purito’s products started off as essential oil-free, but the customers had feedback, and the brand listened. That’s something she also really loves. This is the deep sea pure water cream, and it's unlike all of the other ones because it’s not just a serum, it’s an actual moisturizer. 

There are some other brands that have niacinamide moisturizers from Elta MD. But, in Cassandra’s opinion, this one can’t be beaten. It has caprylic triglyceride which is amazing and found in many moisturizers. It has caprylic triglyceride which is amazing. It’s found in many moisturizers. 

The texture feels like fluffy seafoam on your skin. This product melts into your skin and blends so nicely. Afterwards, your skin has this cushiony, hydrated feel. Purito also states that it has nourishing marine ingredients. So, if other niacinamide serums have dried your skin out, this is definitely the one that Cassandra would recommend. Cassandra even puts this on her psoriasis flares!

These are just a few of Cassandra's picks, but results may vary for you! Please enjoy and patch test!


Coverphoto cred: Photocred: Greatist