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Niacinamide and Retinol: 10 Best Products to Try

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I’m back with more of my skincare secrets and favorite products, and today I’m talking about all things niacinamide and retinol.

There are so many benefits to using these kinds of products. You can either incorporate them together or separately in your everyday skincare routine—it all depends on your skin type.

If you’ve never heard of these 2 products or need some more advice on where to start, I’ve got you covered.

Once you start using niacinamide and retinol, you’ll notice a huge difference in your skin tone and texture. There’s no better time to start taking extra care of your skin than now!

Now getting into the basics, niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that is water-soluble, meaning that it’s not stored in the body and needs to be replenished. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties that help with brightening any uneven skin tones.

Niacinamide also boosts hydration on the skin to help absorb more moisture and can strengthen the skin barrier. All you need to do is apply a few pumps of serum to your skin to absorb and over time you’ll start to notice healthy changes.

So now that you know how niacinamides work, it’s time to understand retinol. Retinol is really retinoids that are derived from Vitamin A and there are a few different types you can find in skin care products.

Retinols help with anti-aging, acne, and removing dead skin cells. It also helps promote collagen production and cell turnover to the skin. 

It’s actually recommended to use niacinamide and retinol together because they really compliment each other. However, if you struggle with sensitive skin problems like eczema or rosacea, you should try to avoid using any retinol products due to potential skin irritation.

Let’s get into some of my fav niacinamide and retinol products!

10 Best Niacinamide and Retinol Products

Best Niacinamide:

Niacinamide and Retinol, by Blogger What The Fab
Image via Sephora

1. Paula’s Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment

I’m sure you’ve heard of Paula’s Choice by now—their products are everywhere on social. This Niacinamide 20% treatment works amazing at tightening and minimizing the look of large pores. 

It also helps reduce the look of rough bumps caused by any sun damage or aging. After a few uses of this serum, you’ll notice your skin looking youthful, smooth, and glowy. 

Besides niacinamide, this treatment features two other key ingredients: licorice and vitamin C. The licorice helps with brightening any dullness and the Vitamin C evens out your skin tone. 

All you have to do is apply a few drops once or twice a day after cleansing—be sure to apply SPF in the morning after use or if you plan on being outside in the sun.

Niacinamide and Retinol, by Blogger What The Fab
Image via Sephora

2. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

I’ve been loving Glow Recipe products so much lately, so when I saw they had a niacinamide serum I knew I had to try it. I love the packaging and that it also doubles as a highlight giving you a reflective glow.

It has a gel-like formula making it super lightweight and absorbent on the skin. The niacinamide in this serum will help with any hyperpigmentation and minimize the look of your pores.

The watermelon helps with hydration and brightens the skin. And hyaluronic acid doubles the hydration on the skin by locking in any moisture keeping your skin extra bouncy.

This glow serum also makes a really good beauty primer to wear under your makeup to keep your skin glowy and moisturized. 

Image via SkinStore

3. SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

I love everything SkinCeuticals and this Discoloration Defense is amazing. Not only does this serum brighten and balance out your skin, but it’s also a dark spot corrector.

You can find holy grail skincare ingredients like 5% niacinamide, 3% tranexamic acid, 1% kojic acid, and 5% HEPES that all work together to dramatically reduce the look of discoloration—can you believe it’s all in one product?

Your skin will be looking radiant and healthy in less than 2 weeks of incorporating it into your skincare routine.

This works on all skin types and is gentle for daily use—be sure to use SPF in the daytime. Just apply a few drops and gently rub into your skin.

I know SkinCeuticals can be pricey, but they’re so worth it for the quality you’re getting. 

Niacinamide and Retinol, by Blogger What The Fab
Image via Sephora

4. Algenist Algae Niacinamide Moisture Veil

The Algenist Algae Niacinamide Moisture Veil is literally a liquid moisturizer that helps preserve your skin’s barrier while reducing the look of oily skin.

This serum is amazing for minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The niacinamide and algae work together to make the skin look visibly brighter and improve the texture of your skin.

After a few uses, you’ll notice your pores shrink drastically and look overall more radiant. 

The only thing to be aware of while using this serum is the shimmer undertone. So if glitter and shimmer aren’t your favorites, you may not love this. 

Niacinamide and Retinol, by Blogger What The Fab
Image via Glossier

5. Glossier Super Pure Niacinamide + Zinc Serum 

The Glossier Super Pure Niacinamide + Zinc Serum is another favorite because not only is it effective, but it’s also on the more affordable side. This serum works to reset and balance the skin in 4 weeks. 

I love that there’s zinc in this product because it helps with minimizing the look of congested pores without over-drying the skin. Since it’s a water-gel formula it absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky.

If you tend to struggle with acne-prone skin this product works wonders without causing any irritation. The zinc also works really well at calming irritated skin during a breakout. 

Best Retinol:

Image via Sephora

6. Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Treatment

Again, you can’t go wrong with Paula’s choice, and their 1% Retinol Treatment works amazing. This retinol treatment hydrates the skin while also targeting anti-aging. 

I love that it has a controlled-release delivery system that allows even absorption. You’ll notice after using retinol your skin will start to look more youthful and your fine lines will begin fading away.

It has a light lotion texture to it making it very easy to work into the skin—all you need is a few drops. Apply the retinol treatment after cleansing and toning. 

Retinol is potent so you should only be using it around 3 times a week max.

Niacinamide and Retinol, by Blogger What The Fab
Image via Sephora

7. Drunk Elephant A-Passioni™ Retinol Cream

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love Drunk Elephant—you can check out my Skincare After 30 guide here. When I saw they made a retinol cream, I knew I had to try it. 

This retinol cream is unique because it’s made with a 1% vegan retinoid mixed with a triple-peptide blend and vitamin F. All these ingredients work together to improve the look of wrinkles, uneven skin texture and calms any irritation.

I love that you don’t need to use a lot of product for it to work effectively—all you need is a pea-sized amount. Since it’s retinol, they recommend using it only 1 to 2 times a week before gradually using it every other night.

Image via Sephora

8. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Retinoid Night Oil

If you’re looking for a luxurious night oil, the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Retinoid Night Oil is the perfect product for you. It’s a super gentle oil that helps reduce the look fine lines, redness, and pores.

I love that this face oil also has avocado oil that helps with plumping the skin to promote more elasticity in the skin. All you need is 3 to 4 drops of this oil to start seeing results. 

It’s gentle to use every day, just be sure to use SPF the following morning. For extra treatment, Sunday Riley recommends letting the Luna Sleeping Oil soak into the skin for a few minutes and follow up with their Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid for complete skin renewal.

Image via Kiehl’s

9. Kiehl’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide

The Kiehl’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum is amazing at minimizing the look of wrinkles while firming the skin to promote a more even skin tone.

I love that this serum is potent but doesn’t dry the skin to the point of peeling or causing any redness. The ceramides and peptides combined with the retinol promote a gentle skin surface turnover. 

This serum is super fast absorbing and it’s suitable for all skin types. You can use this retinol serum morning and night—just apply after cleansing.

After a few uses, you’ll begin to notice some major changes in the skin like more youthful and glowy skin.

Image via Sephora

10. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum

Last up is the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum that works on all skin types and all ages to promote anti-aging—you’ll notice major results in 2 weeks. 

It has retinol tri-active technology that fights fine lines and wrinkles while also boosting radiance in the skin. I also love that it has hyaluronic acid to promote more moisture in the skin.

All you need to do is apply a thin layer of the serum and massage it into your skin. Definitely apply this serum after cleansing and toning to notice any differences.

It feels super gentle on the skin and doesn’t have any harsh fragrance.


Those were all my favorite niacinamide and retinol products! I hope this guide inspired you to mix up your skin care routine with just a few new ingredients. 

Again, these products can be used together or separately—it’s up to you! I can’t wait to see how much using these products change your skin.

Be sure to tag me on Insta @wtfab, so I can see your skincare lineup, and feel free to share any skincare products you think I missed.

Looking for more beauty and skincare recs? Get some inspo here.

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FAQs

What are the best niacinamide products?

The niacinamide products are:
– Paula’s Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment
– Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops
– Algenist Algae Niacinamide Moisture Veil

What are the best retinol products?

The best retinol products are:
– Drunk Elephant A-Passioni™ Retinol Cream
– Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Retinoid Night Oil
– Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum

Can I use niacinamide and retinol products together?

Yes, you can definitely use niacinamide and retinol products together. Both these ingredients work well together for anti-aging.

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