review the inkey list niacinamide

You know what they say: everyone’s skin is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Backfire, even.

I totally agree. And yet…

There’s an exception to the rule: Niacinamide. This is an ingredient absolutely anyone can use. It does everything you want it to, and yet it’s so gentle, it won’t irritate skin.

But then…. Why does The Inkey List Niacinamide claims to be “a dream come true for oily skin” only? That’s the marketing spiel. This serum is Beautiful with Brains approved for all skin types. Here’s why:

In case you’re wondering, The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc is really only for oily skin. Niacinamide may work for ALL skin types, but zinc is too drying for non-oily skin. If you want to control oil production, this is a better choice.

What’s In The Inkey List Niacinamide?


Niacinamide is the undisputed star of The Inkey List Niacinamide. This form of Vitamin B3 does everything for your skin:

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

See why I recommend it to everyone, now?

Related: The Complete Guide To Niacinamide: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It


Squalane is a non-comedogenic oil that works for everyone, including bacterial and fungal acne sufferers.

It’s super moisturising. Squalane is almost identical to human sebum, so your skin instantly recognises it and allows it to sink in quickly – no greasy residue whatsoever.

Its main job is to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, a feat that moisturises skin by keeping water in it. If this barrier is intact and healthy, water can’t evaporate into thin air.

Plus, this barrier helps protect skin from the assaults of harsh weather, pollutants, and bacteria, preventing both dryness and irritations.

Related: Squalane Oil: What It Is And How Does It Benefit Skin?


The Inkey List Niacinamide has a gel texture that feels a little tacky for the first few seconds. But it absorbs quickly, leaving no residue behind.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

Morning and night, after cleansing and exfoliation.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I’m a skincare minimalist. Most mornings, I cleanse, follow up with vitamin C serum and end my routine with sunscreen. Why add more steps if you don’t need it?

In winter, my skin does need a little extra care. What does it crave? Moisture. That’s where The Inkey List Niacinamide comes in. I slather it on in between Vitamin C and sunscreen to up my moisturizing game.

It works. The serum does a wonderful job at strengthening my skin’s protective barrier. How do I know? For starters, my skin feels so soft and plumper straight after application.

But the main evidence is this: I can walk around freezing London for days and my skin never gets worse for wear. There’s no tell-tale sign of dryness or flakiness that lets me know my skin’s barrier’s compromised. Thanks, Niacinamide!

I’ve also noticed that, whenever I use niacinamide, the large pores around my nose area look smaller. Instead, I can’t stay I’ve seen a reduction in oil production or breakouts, but then my skin isn’t that oily to begin with.

But I’ll tell you this: if I were dealing with very oily, acne-prone skin, I’d go with The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc. Zinc makes it more drying than The Inkey List Niacinamide, but it’s also better at keeping excess oil production under control.

Instead, my main concerns are dryness and antiaging. When I’m done with The Inkey List Niacinamide, I’m going back to my beloved Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster.

I know it’s way more expensive, but there’s a reason for that: it has antioxidants (like Vitamin C), skin-lightening ingredients and soothing agents that help fight the premature signs of aging, like wrinkles and dark spots.

The Inkey List Niacinamide only has one antiaging superstar (that’s niacinamide, duh!), so you’ll see results on a smaller scale. Unless…

If you’re already using moisturisers and serums with Vitamin C & co and wondering how the heck to incorporate Niacinamide too, this is it. It’s a basic formula that won’t interfere with anything else you’re using.

Related: Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster Full Review

the inkey list niacinamide

Who Is This For?

Anyone who’s currently not using niacinamide into their skincare routine. It’s a basic formula that’s easy to incorporate without interfering with other antiaging actives.

Related: Mix And Match: Which Skincare Ingredients Should You NOT Use Together?

Who Is This Not For?

  • Oily and acne-prone skin: You’ll benefit more from a niacinamide product with zinc.
  • Anyone who wants a more multitasking antiaging product: This only gives you niacinamide, without any extra antioxidants or soothing ingredients.

Related: 5 Antiaging Superstars You Should Add To Your Skincare Routine


The Inkey List Niacinamide comes in a sleek black and white bottle. It’s cute, but small. It only gives you 30ml of product.

Does The Inkey List Niacinamide Live Up To Its Claims?

Lightweight, power packed serum that contains 10% Niacinamide, a naturally occurring B3 vitamin that helps to reduce excess oil, blemishes and redness. True.
Additionally formulated with 1% Hyaluronic Acid for added hydration.True again.

Price & Availability

$6.99/£6.99 at Asos, Cult Beauty, and Feel Unique

Do You Need It?

If you’re not using Niacinamide yet, and are looking for a cheap way to add it to your skincare routine without interfering with your other actives, definitely check out The Inkey List Niacinamide.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water (Aqua/ Eau), Niacinamide, Glycerin, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hyaluronic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phospholipids, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Extract, Allantoin, Disodium Edta, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol, Glycolipids, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterol, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Sodium Phosphate.