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  • Stella Lee

Review - Olay Luminous Niacinamide Super Serum

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

In this blog post I am sharing my experience in detail on Olay's new Niacinamide Super Serum. I was invited by BeautyHeaven to trial and review this newly released product.


Olay Luminous Niacinamide Super Serum is formulated with 99% pure Niacinamide and absorbs quickly while penetrating 10 skin surface layers deep to reduce dark spots for an even glow. It is suitable for those with dark spots.

Key Ingredients

  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) brightens the skin tone and reduces the look of dark spots

  • Xylitol increase skin hydration and boosts skin translucency


  • Helps to diminish the appearance of dark spots for an even glow

  • Noticeable smoother and more even skin tone in 28 days

Key ingredients


Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is one of the most versatile active ingredients. The ability of niacinamide to lighten pigmentation has been widely documented (see an example here). It can also support skin barrier repair, boost hydration, improve the look of enlarged pores, soften lines and wrinkles. Best of all, it is not fussy to use in terms of pH, and it does not degrade or oxidise quickly like ascorbic acid (vitamin C). It sounds like an ingredient that is too good to be true, but it is all backed by solid research.

I am not at all surprised that Olay launched a range of niacinamide serums. Niacinamide has been used as a key ingredient in a lot of Olay products.

"Formulated with 99% pure Niacinamide"?

One of the reasons that I am sometimes put off by Olay (and a lot of the other brands) is the way that claims and statements are phrased. "99% pure niacinamide" sounds extravagant and impressive, but it does not mean the serum is made up of 99% niacinamide. In fact, most studies done on the effectiveness of niacinamide were using approximately 2-10%. I suspect that "formulated with 99% pure niacinamide" simply means the starting ingredient is 99% pure, which actually makes me wonder what is that 1% impurity.

Another claim is "penetrating 10 skin surface layers deep" - I honestly have no clue what this means! It is generally understood that the epidermis contains only 5 different layers (stratum corneum, stratum lucidium, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and stratum bassale).


A widely documented hydration boosting ingredient. It is a decent ingredient but there is no reason for me to be overly excited about it - in my mind I catergorise this like I would for glycerin - cheap, abundant, standard, but quite effective.

My experience

The trial period given by Beautyheaven on Olay Luminous Niacinamide Super Serum was about 2.5 weeks. It was too short to see any results, especially given the claim of even skin tone in 28 days. I would like to have been given a longer trial period. After the "trial" has completed I continued to use it twice a day until the bottle was emptied. It lasted for a total of 5 weeks.

What I really enjoyed was the overall "feel" of the serum. As I am all in for a good user experience, it was easy to stick to the serum until it ran out. I feel that the serum is easily absorbed, easy to layer and does not pill with other products. There is a fragrance which I did feel a little strong at the beginning but got used to it after a couple of weeks. It looks slightly pearlescent in the serum but once it is applied on skin it does not look sparkly or shiny. It does not have the same slip as a lot of the other serums though, so I feel the need to use more in terms of quantity. Two pumps is probably a good amount for face and neck.

What I did not enjoy was the design of the automatic pipette (dispenser) of the bottle. The dispenser has been set to dispense a set amount of serum, but as per the instruction 2 pumps of serum are required for each application. This means that to achieve 2x pre-sent amount I will be required to open the lid, dispense the serum, close the lid, wait for the serum to be drawn again, re-open the lid, dispense the serum, and re-close the lid. I ended up manually pumping (which defeats the purpose of the automatic pipette, I know) as it is more practical, although the amount became quite arbitrary.

Changes in skin

After one bottle, I did not notice any reduction in hyperpigmentation, but I do notice a lot of luminosity in my skin.

Left: before using Olay Niacinamide Super Serum; Right: after finished one bottle of Olay Niacinamide Super Serum

Overall, very happy with it.

Comparison with other niacinamide serums

I have been asked a lot whether Olay Niacinamide Super Serum is better than The Ordinary's 10% niacinamide serum. The truth is I have not used The Ordinary's 10% niacinamide serum (gasp!). My first TO serum was their hyaluronic acid and the texture was very sticky and it balled up big time with anything else I used. It was off-putting and I have not tried many TO products since. If the niacinamide serum texture is anything like their hyaluronic acid, then it would also be a big no for me.

I looked at the other varieties in the Olay Niacinamide Super Serum series. Here are the specific ingredients contained in those serums:

Niacinamide + Hyaluronic acid: adding sodium hyaluronate as the 27th ingredient

Niacinamide + Vitamin C: adding ascorbyl glucoside as the 29th ingredient

Niacinamide + Cica: adding centella asiatica extract as the 31st ingredient

Overall I am not at all convinced that there would be any significant differences between these varieties. At the same time I would not mind to try them based on the positive experience on the Niacinamide Super Serum I've used.

Full ingredients list

Water, Hexyldecanol, Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Xylitol, Tapioca Starch, Panthenol, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Dimethicone, Boron Nitride, Polysorbate 20, Tocopheryl Acetate, Mica, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Inositol, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide, Benzyl Alcohol, Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine, Aminomethyl Propanol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Laureth-7, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Fragrance, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, CI 77891, CI 16035


The products ware received as part of BeautyHeaven trial team. A separate review based on the 2.5-week official trial has already been published on the BeautyHeaven website. I have no obligation to publish this detailed follow up review. My opinion is honest.

About me

Makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Founder of the well-known award-winning bridal specialist team Faces Makeup & Hair. Beauty junkie with an obsession for skincare.

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