Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster Ingredients Explained

Last updated on July 18, 2023.

Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 25 ingredients that contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and Vitamin C

Cool Features

It is cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Paula's Choice is from United States. This product is used in 124 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Vitamin C
Niacinamide
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing (5)
Reduces Irritation (4)
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging (2)
Dark Spots (4)
Scar Healing (2)
Acne Fighting
Brightening (3)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
3
Skin Conditioning
4
Antioxidant
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
5
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
1 / 0
6
Skin Conditioning
7
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Hyaluronic Acid Icon
8
Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
9
Skin Protecting
Helps reduce irritation Icon
10
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
11
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Dark Spots Icon
12
Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Good for Dark Spots Icon
13
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Antioxidant IconHelps with Anti-Aging Icon
14
Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
15
Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness Icon
16
Skin Conditioning
0 / 0
Helps reduce irritation Icon
17
Skin Conditioning
18
Skin Conditioning
19
Buffering, Masking
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
20
Buffering, Masking
21
Buffering
22
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
23
24
Skin Conditioning
25
Preservative
Preservative Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 25 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
3
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Acetyl Glucosamine is an antioxidant and humectant. It is a form of Vitamin C.

Acetyl Glucosamine helps the skin produce hyaluronic acid and boost hydration.

Antioxidants help fight off free-radicals, molecules that may damage skin cells.

When paired with niacinamide, Acetyl Glucosamine has been shown to be effective at reducing discoloration.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Learn more about Acetyl Glucosamine
4
What it does: Antioxidant
Community Rating: Liked

Ascorbyl Glucoside is a stable form of Vitamin C. It is created by combining glucose from starch.

When applied to skin, Ascorbyl Glucoside turns into Ascorbic Acid.

Ascorbyl Glucoside is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals, or molecules that may damage skin cells.

It can help to reduce redness, improve skin texture, reduce the effects of aging, reduce the visibility of dark spots, and brighten skin.

Read more about other types of Vitamin C:

Learn more about Ascorbyl Glucoside
5
What it does: Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

6
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Phospholipids are naturally found in our skin as they are the main component of cell membranes. Phospholipids have humectant, emollient, antioxidant properties.

The phospholipids in our skin can be naturally depleted. Replenishing the phospholipids in our skin can help hydrate your skin. Due to their hygroscopic nature, they act as humectants and emollients. Humectants draw moisture from the air to your skin, while emollients help trap moisture in. This ingredient is non-occlusive.

Studies show phospholipids display antioxidant activity and may help with reducing the signs of aging.

Phospholipids are complex lipids that contain glycerin, two fatty acids, and a phosphate group. Some foods that contain phospholipids include soybeans and milk. The phospholipids found in soy come from Lecithin. This ingredient can also be synthetically created.

Some types of phospholipids:

Learn more about Phospholipids
7
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Like hyaluronic acid, it is great at holding water and acts as a humectant. This makes it a great skin hydrating ingredient.

Sodium Hyaluronate is naturally occurring in our bodies and is mostly found in eye fluid and joints.

These are some other common types of Hyaluronic Acid:

Learn more about Sodium Hyaluronate
8
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
Community Rating: Loved

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

Some studies have shown this ingredient can promote wound healing with higher concentrations.

Allantoin is derived from the comfrey plant but produced synthetically for cosmetic products to ensure purity.

Learn more about Allantoin
9
What it does: Skin Protecting

Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract comes from the Boerhavia Diffusa tree, or more commonly known as punarnava, red spiderling, spreading hogweed, or tarvine.

This tree is native to India and commonly used in ayurvedic medicine.

Studies show this extract helps soothe and hydrate skin. This root contains many amino acids that help moisturize skin, such as arginine and glycine.

Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract also contains antioxidants, antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

Learn more about Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract
10
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
11
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate comes from licorice root.

Extracts of licorice have demonstrated to have antibacterial, antiโ€inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant properties.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Licorice root is native to Southern Europe and Asia. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with respiratory issues.

Learn more about Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate
12
What it does: Bleaching, Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Smoothing, Soothing
Community Rating: Liked

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract is an extract of the roots of Licorice. It has been found to have several benefits such as skin hydrating, conditioning, and soothing.

One component, glabridin, has extra potent antioxidant and soothing properties. It has also been found to block pigmentation from UVB rays in guinea pigs.

Licorice Root also contains a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a natural substance from in plants. Flavonoids also have antioxidant properties.

Another component, glycyrrhizin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits. This may make licorice root extract effective at treating acne. However, more research is needed to support this.

Liquiritin is one of the flavone compounds found in licorice. It has been found to help lighten skin by preventing tyrosinase from reacting with tyrosine. When the two react, protein is converted to melanin. Melanin is the substance in your body that gives your features pigmentation.

Learn more about Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract
13
What it does: Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) is a molecule already found in our bodies. It is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing ingredient.

Aging and environmental exposure diminishes our skin's natural ubiquinone levels. This is much like our natural collagen and elastin.

The good news is: studies show applying this ingredient topically replenishes ubiquinone levels in our skin. This also comes with a ton of skin benefits. These benefits include:

Ubiquinone is considered a large molecule and cannot be absorbed into the lower layers of skin. This is why it is believed to be such an effective antioxidant: it protects our skin in the upper layers and prevents damage in the deeper layers.

When used in sunscreen, ubiquinone is shown to increase ingredient stability, increase SPF factor, and add to infrared protection.

Fun fact: ubiquinone is fat-soluble.

Learn more about Ubiquinone
14
What it does: Antioxidant
Community Rating: Loved

EGCG is most famous for being found in green tea. It is a type of catechin, a potent antioxidant.

Antioxidants protect our skin from oxidative damage, helping with slowing the signs of aging.

A study from 2018 found EGCG to help reduce melanin and melanoma cells.

Learn more about the skin benefits of green tea here.

Learn more about Epigallocatechin Gallate
15
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Beta-Glucan is a polysaccharide. It can be derived from the cell walls of seaweed, oats, yeast, and fungi.

Beta-Glucan is a humectant, meaning it can hold large amounts of water. This helps hydrate the skin. It also helps boost your skin's natural barrier.

Beta-Glucan has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help fight free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

Studies show Beta-Glucan may be an effective wrinkle reducer as it can deeply penetrate into skin. It has also been show to help with wound healing.

Learn more about Beta-Glucan
16
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Panthenol (also referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a common ingredient that helps hydrate and soothe the skin.

lt is a humectant, meaning that it helps the skin attract and retain moisture.

Another benefit is the anti-inflammatory abilities. This means that it's great for sensitive, irritation-prone skin.

Once oxidized, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is found in all living cells.

Learn more about Panthenol
17
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

We don't have a description for Carnosine.

18
What it does: Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Genistein.

19
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
20
What it does: Buffering, Masking
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
21
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
22
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
23
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
24
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

You might see Ethylhexylglycerin often paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol. Ethylhexylglycerin has been found to increase the effectiveness of these other preservatives.

25
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 25 ingredients in this product โœจ

60% are loved or liked
16% have mixed ratings
16% are disliked or very disliked
8% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use 10% Niacinamide Booster ->
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Latest Reviews

ManShan_33's Avatar'
Aug 31, 2023

Highly effective for fighting and preventing acne, watery consistency for quick absorption

Highly effective for fighting and preventing acne, watery consistency for quick absorption

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