Niacinamide Serum Is the Latest TikTok Skin Care Obsession—Here Are the Best Under $20

This powerhouse ingredient can help prevent acne

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Applying serum will make face look great

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It’s one thing when influencers on TikTok send the platform in a tizzy over a skin care product. But when dermatologists on the social media platform join the conversation? Well, that’s when you know it’s one to watch. Case in recent point: niacinamide serum.

Niacinamide is a powerhouse ingredient in the skin care world. When used topically, it can help treat acne. The ingredient's anti-inflammatory effects may reduce redness and irritation from acne. And according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, an Associate Professor of Dermatology and the Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, who recently shared a TikTok video with more facts about niacinamide, it's safe for different skin types—including sensitive skin.

Dr. Zeichner goes on to say that niacinamide "reduces inflammation, it brightens dark spots, and it supports production of healthy collagen." But he notes that niacinamide doesn't necessarily do all of these things very well. Instead, he recommends using it to supplement other skin care actives such as retinols or hydroxy acids.

Perhaps the most popular niacinamide serum on TikTok is from budget skin care brand The Ordinary. The brand's go-to products are reasonably priced with many of them available for less than $10—including their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum.

the ordinary niacinamide and zinc serum

The Ordinary

Buy Now: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum, $6.50 at Sephora

What sets The Ordinary's niacinamide serum apart—in addition to the price tag—is that it pairs the key ingredient with Zinc. These ingredients, with their anti-inflammatory benefits, work to reduce redness, brighten skin, and control oil. If you add this product to your skin care routine, you should follow it up with a moisturizer to boost hydration.

More niacinamide serums under $20:

If you prefer to pair your niacinamide with hydrating ingredients, this pick from Dr. Zeichner is a solid choice. He calls CeraVe PM a "great moisturizer at a reasonable price". This nighttime formula pairs niacinamide with three ceramides (that can be found throughout CeraVe's skin care products), along with hyaluronic acid. The ceramides work to fortify the skin barrier while hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated.

cerave pm facial moisturizing lotion


Buy Now: CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, $13 at Amazon

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By Ashleigh Morley
Ashleigh is the director of commerce for the Health Group at Dotdash Meredith where she oversees health, fitness, family, and mind content. Her work has appeared in Men's Health, Women's Health, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, and more.Ashleigh received her B.A. in Journalism from Baylor University.