paula's choice 10% niacinamide booster review

Niacinamide is always the odd one out, isn’t it?

You’ve already got your skincare routine down to a T:

AHA/BHA exfoliant? Check.

Vitamin C serum? Check.

Retinol serum? Check.

Moisturising sunscreen? Check.

But none of them has niacinamide! Argh! How do you fit this antiaging superstar into your skincare routine, too?!

Fret not. You don’t have to give up one or your staples and start the search all over again. Just get yourself a bottle of Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster.

It’s a lightweight booster you can mix with any of your fave skincare products to supercharge it against wrinkles and large pores. Here’s how it works:

What’s In Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster?


Niacinamide wins the award for the “Most Versatile Skincare Ingredient.”

I’m not exaggerating. Here are all the things science says this form of vitamin B3 can do:

  • It hydrates skin: It’s more effective than petrolatum at preventing water loss
  • It soothes skin: It alleviates the symptoms of rosacea and irritations
  • It lightens skin: It reduces dark spots, blotchiness (redness) and sallowness (yellowing)
  • It helps treat wrinkles: Preliminary research shows it can boost the production of skin-firming collagen
  • It treats acne: Its effects are similar to those of 1% clindamycin gel

Told you, it did everything! No matter what your skin type is, it’s a must for everyone:

  • Dry skin: It helps keep it soft and hydrated
  • Oily skin: It helps shrink large pores and heal pimples faster
  • Sensitive skin: It helps soothe redness and irritations
  • Mature, sun-damaged skin: It helps lighten dark spots and keep wrinkles at bay

Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster contains a generous 10% dose. That’s more than enough to do the job.

Related: All You Ever Wanted To Know About Niacinamide

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Wait, what?! I thought you couldn’t use vitamin C and niacinamide together?!

That’s a myth. Phew! I’ve written all about why it’s totally ok to use these two vitamins together. The only exception? If you’re one of the few people who gets a red flush when you use this combo together, don’t go there.

Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster uses ascorbyl glucoside, a derivative of vitamin C that fights free radicals (the little culprits that give you wrinkles) and reduces dark spots.

FYI, ascorbyl glucoside is less effective than L-ascorbic acid (the pure form of vitamin C). But it’s more stable (read: doesn’t go bad within a month) and less irritating. A good trade off, if you ask me.

P.S. Vitamin C isn’t the only antioxidant in Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster. It has also has green tea, liquorice extract and ubiquinone ( to name only a few).

Related: Types Of Vitamin C In Skincare


Ok, Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster uses sodium hyaluronate, a close cousin of hyaluronic acid. But, they work in the same way.

Sodium hyaluronate is a moisture magnet: it attracts moisture from the air into the skin, drenching it in water. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!

It doesn’t do the job alone. Glycerin and butylene glycol are two fellow moisture magnets that give it a helping hand.

Related: Why You Should Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):


I love the texture of Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster: it’s clear, lightweight as water and absorbs immediately into the skin without leaving a greasy or sticky residue behind.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

You can either use it alone or mix a few drops with your fave moisturiser or serum.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I like to mix Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster with a hyaluronic acid serum or moisturiser in the evening, but you can use it in the mornings, too. Just don’t mix it with sunscreen. ANYTHING you mix with sunscreen will dilute the SPF. Don’t go there.

Or, if you don’t like the idea of mixing your lotions and potions, use it alone. Like a serum. Either way, it works.

The results here depends on what it is you’re dealing with. For example, I have large pores on and around my nose. After a few applications, they already look smaller. 

I also noticed an improvement in the texture of my skin. Now it looks a little smoother all over. It’s also softer. While Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster isn’t the most hydrating product I’ve ever tried, it does helps strengthen my skin’s protective barrier so moisture can’t escape out.

I can’t personally vouch for its ability to reduce dark spots, just because I have none (lucky, I know!). As for wrinkles, that takes time. Wrinkles weren’t formed in a day and niacinamide won’t make them disappear in a day. You have to play the long game here.

My only complaint is the size. Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster contains only 20ml of product. Sure, you need so little that’s gonna last you a long time but I still want more. I’m greedy like that.

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Who Is This For?

Anyone can use this, especially if niacinamide isn’t already part of your skincare routine.

Who Is This NOT For?

Unless you’re allergic to one of the ingredients, you can use it.


A white bottle with green accents and a practical dropper applicator. It’s sleek, if small.

Does Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster Live Up To Its Claims?

This concentrated 10% niacinamide serum booster dramatically improves uneven skin tone and refines the appearance of pore size, skin texture and fine lines.True.
Sheer, ultra-light liquid formula.True.
Promotes a brighter, younger-looking appearance.True.

Price & Availability

$42.00/£40.00 at Dermstore, Nordstrom, Paula’s Choice and Selfridges

Do You Need It?

You DO need niacinamide into your skincare routine. If you don’t know how to add it in, this is a great option for you. Just add a few drops to your moisturiser and you’re good to go.

Dupes & Alternatives


Water (Aqua), Niacinamide (vitamin B3, skin-restoring ), Acetyl Glucosamine (skin replenishing/antioxidant), Ascorbyl Glucoside (vitamin C/antioxidant), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Phospholipids (skin replenishing), Sodium Hyaluronate (hydration/skin replenishing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (skin-soothing), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (skin-soothing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/skin-soothing), Ubiquinone (antioxidant), Epigallocatechin Gallate (antioxidant), Beta-Glucan (skin-soothing/antioxidant), Panthenol (skin replenishing), Carnosine (antioxidant), Genistein (antioxidant), Citric Acid (pH balancing), Sodium Citrate (pH balancing), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancing), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)