How To Add Niacinamide To Your Skincare Routine

by Gio

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:

Key Ingredients 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:

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

paula's choice 10% niacinamide booster 01

Vitamin C

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

Hyaluronic Acid

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

paula's choice 10% niacinamide booster 02

Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion

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.

I like to mix it 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.

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

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Have you tried Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Ingredients: 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)

PR Sample. Affiliate links.



Fatou November 6, 2018 - 4:29 pm

This is amazing!

Gio November 10, 2018 - 7:09 pm

Fatou, glad you enjoyed the article!

Geo55 November 6, 2018 - 7:31 pm

Love this booster for my oily acne prone large-pored skin! I usually use it twice a day layered with my other products and now don’t want to be without it!

Gio November 10, 2018 - 7:08 pm

Geo55, it’s fab isn’t it? I can’t believe how quickly my pores have shrunk since I’ve started using it. It’s a HG product for me too now.

Claudia November 7, 2018 - 12:05 pm

Do you have an opinion on Nia products which contain niacinamide?
I use the mineral based sunscreen.

Gio November 10, 2018 - 7:06 pm

Claudia, I love their sunscreens and moisturisers. A bit pricy maybe but so moisturising and gentle.

Ana November 7, 2018 - 10:42 pm

Hi! I’am 26 years old, I have combination skin, with blackheads and large pores, and I still get pimples. Could you help me with my skin routine please?
This is what I normally do:

Paulas choice 2% BHA liquid
Clinique moisturizing gel
SPF 50

the same without the SPF

are they ok?
I do not if I should add the niacimide acid or a retinol or both.

Gio November 10, 2018 - 6:48 pm

Ana, your skincare routine sounds fine. But if you get pimples despite using BHA, I’m thinking there may be something in your skincare routine that’s comedogenic. Could it be the sunscreen?

I’d definitely add niacinamide. You can use it in the morning after or in place of BHA.

Melly January 10, 2019 - 10:55 am

Hi, I am wondering which of these ingredients should be used first in the evening? Retinol, AHA, Niacinamide, Vit C and Hyaluronic. I am not using them all at once, but I wonder what should go first etc.?

Gio January 24, 2019 - 1:24 pm

Melly, exfoliation always go after cleansing so if you’re using an AHA, that goes first. After exfoliation – or better at alternate days/times – use actives that need to penetrate skin like vitamin C and retinol. I like to apply vitamin C in the morning and at night, alternate between retinol and AHA. After that, you can use Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.

Liz October 30, 2019 - 9:54 pm

Thanks Gio your blog has been so helpful in understanding the minefield that is skin care! I have irritated and dried my skin around my mouth with BHA and retinol products and this Niacinamide booster from PC has really helped visibly soothe the inflammation really quickly. Just need to find a sunscreen that doesn’t break me out and I think I’m sorted. Thank you 😊 xx

Lucila January 25, 2019 - 8:35 pm

Hi gio! Keep reading your Whole page. Can’t stop! It’s so useful! You give si much needed information!
Regarding this post, I’d like to ask you if is it posible to do the same with the “the ordinary” niacinamide 10 + ziNc
Thank you very much!

Gio February 8, 2019 - 12:29 pm

Lucila, you mean mixing it with other skincare products? It’s not designed for that so I wouldn’t.

Melly February 1, 2019 - 10:09 am

Does it mean that I can use Niacinamide and hyaluronic acid at the same time? And if yes, what should go first?

Gio February 7, 2019 - 5:53 pm

Melly, yes you can. And the order doesn’t really matter in this case.

Lauren February 10, 2019 - 10:15 pm

How about just using CeraVe PM or Olay regenerist as nightly moisturizer which includes Hylauronic acid in addition to Niacinimide instead of buying a separate booster? Do these products contain enough Niacinimide?

Gio February 15, 2019 - 1:19 pm

Lauren, if you’re using a moisturizer or serum with niacinamide, you don’t need a separate booster too. This is for people who don’t already use it and don’t want to look for a new moisturizer/serum.

Andrea Ramirez February 26, 2019 - 6:15 pm

Hello Gio! Thank you so much for sharing this information. Regarding this post, I’d like to ask you the reason behind applying the T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum before the Ordinary niacinamide 10 + Zinc. Thanks again!!

Gio March 1, 2019 - 9:30 am

Andrea, it’s an exfoliant. Exfoliants should always be used after cleansing. 🙂

Andrea March 1, 2019 - 11:25 pm

Thank you, Gio! You’re the best!! 🙂

Gio March 8, 2019 - 3:41 pm

Andrea, you’re welcome. 😳

camila March 29, 2019 - 5:04 pm

gio hi!!! would you recommend the ordinary niacinamide?

Gio April 4, 2019 - 11:56 am

Camila, only if you have oily skin. It’s too drying for use on dry areas.

Shauna May 3, 2019 - 4:12 pm

Hi Gio!
I am confused by this, why is the ordinary niacinamide more drying than the Paula’s Choice?

Gio June 4, 2019 - 9:09 pm

Shauna, because it contains zinc, which regulates oil production. Just because two products have the same ingredients doesn’t mean they’re dupes. Niacinamide + Zinc was especially formulated to absorb excess oil from oily skin so it doesn’t make sense for other skin types to use it. It may do more harm than good.

Lise Aasland Ursin April 6, 2019 - 12:14 pm

I dont´t see any green tea in the ingredients list? Am I missing it? And do you know the percentage of green tea and Ubiquinone in this serum?

Gio April 12, 2019 - 3:40 pm

Lise, Epigallocatechin Gallate is green tea. 🙂 I don’t know the % but should be around 1.

Ambrea June 26, 2019 - 8:06 am

Hello Gio,

I’m currently using 3 serums by The Ordinary : Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% and Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.
I’m mixing the 3 serum on my hand and then put it on my face and neck.
Then I apply the Clinique Superdefense SPF20.

I just ordered Paula’s choice Niacinamide but reading you, it seems I can’t apply it the same way…

I’m thinking to use it in the evening by first applying an acid tonic by Ren Skincare (Ready Steady Glow) and then Niacinamide and NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex.
Is it the best way to use the full potential of Niacinamide ?
Thanks a lot for your answer !

Ambrea Mayfair

Gio July 6, 2019 - 2:51 pm

Ambrea, you can use Paula’s Choice niacinamide booster alone or mix it with a serum. It doesn’t matter how you do it, all it matters is that you use it!

Carmen August 1, 2019 - 10:40 pm

If used alone does it matter what moisturizers you apply after a niacinamide booster or serum? I want to add niacinamide to my routine but the only moisturizer I can tolerate at the moment is vanicream lite lotion (because of rosacea) I believe its a ph 3.73? would that render the niacinamide useless? I also use sebamed gentle cleanser (ph 5.5) before that

Gio August 8, 2019 - 4:34 pm

Carmen, you can use niacinamide with anything so don’t worry about it.

Carmen August 12, 2019 - 10:55 pm

Thanks! I may have some fungal acne on my one cheek, is it okay to use niacinamide there too? It’s just that one area that has bumps but I don’t want to make them worse

Gio September 15, 2019 - 1:51 pm

Yes, you Cana use niacinamide there. Just make sure the product doesn’t contain anything that feeds the fungus.

Nella August 16, 2019 - 7:05 am

Do you like to use niacinamide with bha/ahas?

Gio September 14, 2019 - 12:31 pm

Nella, yes you can use them together.


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