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Paula’s Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment review

Quick verdict: If you’re looking to improve your skin’s texture, you need this powerful niacinamide treatment in your life.

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Quick verdict:

Quick verdict: If you're looking to improve your skin's texture, you need this powerful niacinamide treatment in your life.

What we liked

  • Visible results
  • Free from fragrance and parabens
  • Cruelty-free

What we didn't like

  • You can't keep track of how much product you're using
  • High price tag

Niacinamide is one of those skincare ingredients that has absolutely exploded in the last couple of years. It's an anti-inflammatory product that supports the skin's barrier and increases its resilience, improving texture and reducing oil production.

Paula's Choice offers a few niacinamide-specific products (including its 10% Booster which I've also tested) but this treatment is by far the most advanced.

If you're looking for something more gentle, then you do have other options. But if you want to seriously crack down on your skin and transform the appearance of your pores, here's what I love about the Niacinamide 20% Treatment.

What does it do?

This highly concentrated formulation contains niacinamide at a safe yet effective 20% concentration. In fact, this is one of the highest concentrations on the market.

This Paula's Choice treatment deeply penetrates the surface of the skin, improving the look of enlarged pores and minimising the appearance of acne scarring and marks.

Niacinamide is coupled with both licorice and vitamin C, both of which work as antioxidants to brighten and refine the skin.

Does it work?

Instead of using it every morning or night, I like to use the Paula's Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment every second night, alternating it with other active ingredients such as retinol and BHAs.

If I'm dealing with a breakout or congestion, or I'm just not loving the texture of my skin, I find that this product has a noticeable effect by the next morning. My skin looks brighter, clearer and tighter – and who doesn't want that?

I also love how lightweight the formulation is. The product comes in a liquid-serum hybrid that feels like nothing on the skin.

Paula's Choice Niacinamide review

Should you buy it?

  • Buy it if: You're looking to improve your skin's texture.
  • Don't buy it if: You're shopping for skincare on a budget.

Overall, I give the Paula's Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment 4 out of 5 stars. I can see real results when I use this product, which is why I love it so much and have already bought a backup.

All in all, it did lose a star because the price tag is a little steep. It's $66 for just 20mL. There's a wide range of niacinamide-based products on the market going for a lot cheaper. Another one of my favourites is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, which retails for around $10.

Another thing I don't love is the packaging. The dropper is fine, but the product is encapsulated so tightly that you can't track how much you're using or how much you've got left to go. Hence why I purchased a backup almost immediately.

Pricing and availability


RRP $66

Where to buy

How did we test this product?

The members of our editorial team review hundreds of beauty products and reflect on their own personal experiences when testing each one. To test the Paula's Choice Niacinamide 20% Treatment, our reviewer used it every second night for a month and noted the results each morning.

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