Forget about peptides, EGF, or rare extracts that grow in the middle of nowhere.
One of the best things we can do for our skin is to use niacinamide. This anti-aging superstar can really improve the appearance of the early signs of aging, including wrinkles and sun spots.
Sadly, so many brands are too busy “discovering” their own supposedly-miraculous-but-actually-useless special ingredients to jump on the niacinamide bandwagon. *sighs*
One brand that gets their science right is Skinceuticals. Niacinamide is the star of their Metacell Renewal B3 Serum. Here’s what it does.
What’s In Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3?
NIACINAMIDE TO… EVERYTHING
Niacinamide, also called vitamin B3, is one of those multi-tasking ingredients that does absolutely everything:
- It reduces hyperpigmentation by stopping melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour) from reaching the surface of the skin.
- It makes fine lines and wrinkles smaller.
- It hydrates skin better than petrolatum, which is considered the gold standard of hydration by dermatologists.
- It counteracts sallowness.
- It soothes skin and helps treat rosacea.
- It busts acne.
Best of all? Unlike other effective multi-staskers, such as retinol and vitamin C, niacinamide has no side effects. It’s so gentle, even those with sensitive skin can safely use it. Isn’t that awesome?
Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 contains 5% Niacinamide. It may seem like nothing, but it’s a lot! Definitely more than enough to get the job done.
Related: 5 Anti-Aging Superstars You Need To Add To Your Skincare Routine
SILICONES TO ENHANCE TEXTURE
Silicones aren’t as bad as you think. They do a lot of good things in skincare:
- Enhance texture: They allow the cream to glide on smoothly, without tugging or pulling.
- Fill in fine lines and wrinkles: It’s a trick to make them look temporarily smaller.
- Softens skin: It makes it feel silky soft to the touch.
They don’t even suffocate skin: silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. They create a barrier that keeps moisture in but still allows skin to perspire.
Related: Are Silicones In Skincare Bad?
Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).
GLYCERIN TO HYDRATE SKIN
Let’s start with the basics. Glycerin is in pretty much ALL skincare products for a reason.
It’s a wonderful humectant: that’s a fancy way of saying it draws moisture from the air and locks it into your skin. Once there, this extra moisture softens, plumps, and brightens your skin.
That’s the base you want to build the rest of your skincare routine on.
Related: The Complete Guide To Glycerin In Skincare
TETRADECYL AMINOBUTYROYLVALYLAMINOBUTYRIC UREA TRIFLUOROACETATE TO FIRM SKIN?
What a mouthful, eh?
This stuff is simply a synthetic Tripeptide. According to the manufacturer, it does two things:
- It boosts the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in the skin, keeping it plumper and hydrated for hours.
- It improves the quality of collagen fibers to keep skin firmer for longer.
The catch? I couldn’t find any independent studies it works as claimed. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t. But, you know, it’s always wise to take manufacturer’s claims with a pinch of salt…
Related: The Truth About Peptides In Skincare: Do They Really Work?
Lightweight. Fast-absorbing. Leaves no greasy residue behind.
Technically, it’s fragrance-free. But it contains citrus essential oils that make it smell nice (and may irritate sensitive skin).
How To Use It
Morning and/or night, after cleansing/exfoliation but before moisturiser.
Performance & Personal Opinion
Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 has a lightweight texture that sinks immediately into the skin, without leaving any greasy residue behind.
I’ve been using it for a few months now, and my skin is smoother, is slightly more hydrated, and my fine lines look a bit smaller, too.
This emulsion worked really well for me during the heart of winter, when my skin decided to turn dry and sensitive.
My beloved retinol became too harsh for a while, and Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 soothed it while giving my skin everything it needed to fight photoaging.
What about dark spots? I don’t have any, so I can’t vouch for it personally. But I can tell you what the science says. This serum can help you fade them away faster, but not on its own.
If you’re dealing with melasma, sun spots, or age spot, you’ll still need exfoliation, retinoids, and maybe a more powerful skin-lightner like arbutin.
Related: The Battle Of The Skin-Lighteners: Which One Is The Best Alternative To Hydroquinone?
Who Is This For?
Almost anyone can use it. Niacinamide benefits all skin types.
Who Is This NOT For?
Sensitive skin. Just because the scent may irritate your skin.
A white tube with a pump applicator. Sleek and practical.
Does Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Live Up To Its Claims?
|Daily emulsion reduces the appearance of discolouration and early signs of ageing.||It’s true, but it does it slowly.|
|Promotes skin renewal by increasing EPIDERMAL cell turnover.||There’s nothing here that can exfoliate skin.|
|Strengthens skin’s moisture barrier.||True.|
|Reduces the appearance of blotchiness and dark spots.||It helps, but it’s not enough on its own.|
|Lightweight B3 serum delivers intense hydration without a heavy or tacky feel.||I wouldn’t say intense, but it does hydrate skin without leaving a greasy residue behind.|
|Helps improve the appearance of skin’s firmness.||This is marketing misleading at its finest. Pay attention to the keywords “helps” and “appearance”. The serum doesn’t claim to firm your skin (because it can’t). It claims to help (what?) make your skin look (not become) firmer.|
Price & Availability
$112.00 at Dermstore and Blue Mercury
Do You Need It?
If you’re just looking for a way to incorporate Niacinamide in your skincare routine, there are cheaper ways to do it. But if you don’t mind the splurge, this works.
Dupes & Alternatives
- InstaNatural Niacinamide Serum ($22.76)
- Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster ($44.00)
- The Inkey List Niacinamide ($6.99)
Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Propanediol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Methysilanol/Silicate Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Phenoxyethanol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, CI 77163/Bismuth Oxychloride, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, PEG-10 Dimethicone Disodium EDTA, Cellulose Gum, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Adenosine, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil/Bitter Orange Flower Oil, Melaleuca Viridiflora Leaf Oil, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluroacetate, Linalool, Cymbopogon Flexuosus Oil, Citral, Limonene, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil
I think manufactures put some citris in products that are skin lightening is to help lighten hyper pigmentation. I guess Skinceauticals expects that somebody spend $110 on a products for sun damage is gonna wear sunscreen over this.
About vitamin C serums,I’ve got a question: Does vitamin C serums cause photo sensitivity,because isn’t the vitamin C often derived from citrus?
Hannah, yes, I think Skinceuticals expects the same. But, that doesn’t mean people will do it. *sighs*
Yes, vitamin C can increase sun sensitivity, which is why it should always be used together with sunscreen too.
You’re welcome. 🙂
The one thing that sold me on it is that you don’t need much to cover your face, just a pump and it stays working on your face.. it lasts for about 6 months that way. I only use it once a day. I find it makes a big difference in combo w/CE Ferulic!
Emily, it’s amazing what niacinamide can do for the skin, isn’t it? So bad it’s so underrated.
Over the past year I have been buying Skinceutical products. I’m a male with sensitive/oily skin and found that Skinceutical products really work for me, above all the products once aplied over the face do not leave it shiny! Awesome.
I love the Ferulic serum, phyto gel, retexturing activator .These are standard which I buy once I’ve finished the bottles.
About a week ago I bought the H.A Intensifier and the Metacell Renewa B3. These 2 new products do sink in . The M.R B3, I really like cause it sinks in the skin and leaves no oily shine. As for results I’ll give it 3 months and see!!! I hope it lives up to its claims.
Thank you.Have a Merry X-MAS and a Happy New Year.
Nik, glad to hear this line works well for you. It’s expensive but most of the products are very well formulated and contain actives that really work. I love CE Ferulic and the HA Intensifier too. This one is more basic but I think niacinamide is one of those ingredients everyone should use. It doesn’t give you results as quickly as, let’s say, glycolic acid, but it works.
I just came across your website as I was looking for some reviews about Metacell Renewal B3. Have been using it for a couple of weeks now and I really love it. It has a very elegant consistency, it’s not oily nor clogging. On the other site there was a review of C E Ferulic which I’m using for a few years now and someone wrote that your skin routine should be as simple as ABC SPF 🙂 A for retinol, B for niacinamide and C for vitamine C plus spf as a must. She also mentioned that there is no need to pay particular attention to moisturiser (this can be very simple), as good formulation of above ABC can replace moisturiser. In fact I think that Metacell Renewal B3 is so good at keeping moisture in that there is no need to apply anything else on top apart from spf. My routine at the moment is C E Ferulic + Metacell Renewal B3 and rest of my skin care is la mer (can’t help it, love their products). As a final note… I have been asked by the cashier for my ID the other day while buying some adults bits… didn’t mind it as I’ll be 40 next year ??
Dorothy, I completely agree on keeping it simple. I think it’s all a matter of figuring out what your skin concerns are and what ingredients can best fix them. Retinol and niacinamide are such multitaskers, you don’t often need much else. And sunscreen of course!
I agree re moisturiser. It’s designed to prevent dryness so if your skin isn’t on the dry side, you may not need it at all.
That’s awesome! You’re definitely doing something right. 😉