This Niacinamide ‘Booster’ Ups the Effectiveness of All Your Skin-Care Products—And We’ve Got an Exclusive 20% Off Deal

Photo: Getty Images/ Yana Iskayeva
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Any dermatologist will tell you that when it comes to skin care, "luxury" doesn't always mean "more effective." It's easy to assume that higher-priced products work better than their luxury counterparts, but with so many amazing accessible skin-care brands on the market (looking at you, The Ordinary), that simply isn't the case. Every once in a while, though, an expensive formula comes around that really is worth pouring your paycheck into—which is exactly the case with the new True Botanicals Niacinamide + Biotin Booster ($90).

After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, True Botanicals founder Hillary Peterson wanted to lessen her exposure to chemicals in her beauty products, so decided to create a line of non-toxic formulas of her own. The brand launched in 2014, and in the years since, celebrities like Brooke Shields and Olivia Wilde have become die-hard fans. And it makes sense: Not only are the products effective and luxurious-feeling, but their science is also clinically backed by research from Carnegie Mellon and Cornel. What's more, they've all got a Made Safe seal, meaning they’re made without over 6,000 ingredients that Made Safe has deemed harmful, for example, artificial dyes and heavy metals.

Experts In This Article

The new Niacinamide + Biotion Booster is no exception to these stringent standards, and is the rare case of a new beauty launch that feels truly innovative. It comes in a powder form that can be added to any mask, moisturizer, serum, or toner that's already in your routine, upping their benefits even further. The brand considers the booster to be "the answer to minimizing pores and maximizing glow" without having to add an extra step to your regimen.

The benefits of True Botanicals Niacinamide + Biotin Booster

Niacinamide is one of those ingredients that derms regularly recommend to all skin types.  "Niacinamide is a well-studied antioxidant that nearly approaches the amount of published scientific investigation that we have on retinoids and L-ascorbic acid [vitamin C] in terms of substantiated benefits," Loretta Ciraldo, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta Skincare," previously told Well+Good. "It can be used by a diverse amount of skin types and skin tones, by those with rosacea or oily skin." Adding the ingredient to your regimen will help fend off free-radical damage, improve breakouts, fight dark spots, reduce fine lines, decrease redness, and improve skin elasticity.

Meanwhile, biotin (which you may be familiar with as a mainstay ingredient in hair loss supplements) may help strengthen the skin barrier when it's applied topically, though more research needs to be done to confirm its complexion benefits.

What happened when I tried it

Though the thought of mixing my own powder potion made me feel like I was playing cosmetic chemist in my bathroom, using the booster was actually less intimidating than it sounds.

The brand recommends adding the booster to water-based products for optimal mixing (to determine if a formula fits the bill, look for anything that begins with "aqua" on the ingredients list), and using one or two shakes of powder for best results. All you have to do is put your favorite serum or essence into your hands, add the powder, and rub them together before applying the mixture to your face.

Per the directions, I added a few shakes of product into a single serving of my First Aid Beauty Hydrating Toner ($24), and it melted into the liquid almost instantly. I didn’t need to go out of my way to dissolve the powder and simply followed my normal regime of warming up the toner in my hands before tapping it into my skin. Although I noticed that the powder slightly thickened up the consistency of the toner, it didn’t add any granular texture or smell. I used it first at night, and when I woke up the next morning, my pores were slightly blurred and my texture looked more even. My skin also wasn’t any more sensitive in the sun on my a.m. walk, and I didn’t notice any new breakouts or irritation throughout the day. I used the booster again the following morning, and it didn’t affect the application or wear of my makeup.

After testing the product for a few days, I noticed that my skin looked radiant and less congested—just as the brand promised it would. While much of the credit for this goes to the ingredients, some of it could also be attributed to the attentive care I was giving my complexion during the trial period. When using the booster, I felt as though I was really doing something special for my skin. Typically, I'm guilty of rushing through my routine (and even skipping a few steps here and there), but the opulence of the booster made me feel like my face deserved a little extra TLC.

Another thing I liked about the booster was how well it supplemented the retinol that was already in my regimen. "Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, so it calms redness and soothes redness," says Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. "When used in combination with retinol it improves the tolerability both visibly and functionally of the retinoid. This means that you'll be less likely to experience redness and irritation when you use the two together." Though I wasn't combining the ingredients together, it helped to have them both integrated into different parts of my routine.

Overall, I was impressed with the instant results the product delivered, and the ease with which I was able to add it to my day-to-day. For anyone else looking to give their skin a similar boost, you're in luck: Well+Good readers can snag 20 percent off the poowder at checkout with the code WELLGOOD20 from now through August 13.


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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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