Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Renewal – Beautiful With Brains

Forget about peptides, EGF, or rare extracts that grow in the middle of nowhere. One of the best things we can do for our skin is to use niacinamide, the key ingredient in Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Serum. This anti-aging superstar can really improve the appearance of the early signs of aging, including wrinkles and sun spots.
Sadly, so many brands are too busy “discovering” their own supposedly-miraculous-but-actually-useless special ingredients to jump on the niacinamide bandwagon. *sighs* One brand that gets their science right is Skinceuticals – at a high price. Is it worth the splurge? Here’s everything you need to know about this anti-aging niacinamide serum:

Niacinamide, also called vitamin B3, is one of those multi-tasking ingredients that does absolutely everything:

It reduces hyperpigmentation (dark spots) by stopping melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour) from reaching the surface of the skin.
It makes fine lines and wrinkles look smaller to the naked eye.
It hydrates skin better than petrolatum, which is considered the gold standard of hydration by dermatologists.
It counteracts sallowness, giving skin a brighter look.
It soothes sensitive skin and even helps treat rosacea.
It helps treat acne.

Best of all? Unlike other effective multi-taskers, such as retinol and vitamin C, niacinamide has no side effects. It’s so gentle, even those with sensitive skin can safely use it. Isn’t that awesome? Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 contains 5% Niacinamide. It may seem like nothing, but it’s a lot! Definitely more than enough to get the job done.
Related: 5 Anti-Aging Superstars You Need To Add To Your Skincare Routine
Silicones aren’t as bad as you think. They do a lot of good things in skincare:

Enhance texture: They allow the cream to glide on smoothly, without tugging or pulling.
Fill in fine lines and wrinkles: It’s a trick to make them look temporarily smaller.
Softens skin: It makes it feel silky soft to the touch.

They don’t even suffocate skin: silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. They create a barrier that keeps moisture in but still allows skin to perspire.
Related: Are Silicones In Skincare Bad?

Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

Let’s start with the basics. Glycerin is in pretty much ALL skincare products for a reason. It’s a wonderful humectant: that’s a fancy way of saying it draws moisture from the air and locks it into your skin. Once there, this extra moisture softens, plumps, and brightens your skin. That’s the base you want to build the rest of your skincare routine on.
Related: The Complete Guide To Glycerin In Skincare
What a mouthful, eh? Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluroacetate is simply a synthetic Tripeptide. According to the manufacturer, it does two things:

It boosts the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in the skin, keeping it plumper and hydrated for hours.
It improves the quality of collagen fibers to keep skin firmer for longer.

The catch? I couldn’t find any independent studies it works as claimed. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t. But, you know, it’s always wise to take manufacturer’s claims with a pinch of salt…
Related: The Truth About Peptides In Skincare: Do They Really Work?

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
Red: What is this doing here?!

Aqua/Water: The main solvent in the product, it helps to dissolve other ingredients. Plus, it hydrates it.
Propanediol: It’s a humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin, helping to stay hydrated for longer. Plus, it enhances penetration of other ingredients into your skin.
Sodium Chloride: A.k.a. table salt, it thickens the texture of skincare products.
Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that inhibits the growth of bacteria into your skincare products to help them last longer.
Microcrystalline Cellulose: It stabilises emulsions and thickens the texture of skincare products.
CI 77163/Bismuth Oxychloride: It gives a beautiful sheen to the skin. But its rough particles can also irritate sensitive skin.
Chlorphenesin: A preservative that inhibits bacteria contamination and helps skincare products last longer.
Caprylyl Glycol: It’s a humectant that helps draw moisture from the air into your skin, keeping it hydrated for longer.
Sodium Citrate: It adjusts the pH of skincare products.
Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate: An emollient that delivers a smooth feel to the skin.
Cellulose Gum: It’s a texture thickener and enhancer.
Laminaria Digitata Extract: A type of algae that has antioxidant properties and helps your skin stay younger for longer.
Adenosine:  A yeast-derived ingredient that has soothing properties for skin. Plus, it helps fight wrinkles.
Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil/Bitter Orange Flower Oil: It makes the serum smell good, but it can irritate sensitive skin.
Melaleuca Viridiflora Leaf Oil: It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, but it can irritate sensitive skin.
Linalool: A fragrant component of essential oils, it smells floral and spicy. It must be listed separately cos it’s a common allergen that can irritate sensitive skin.
Cymbopogon Flexuosus Oil: A.k.a. lemongrass oil. You’ve guessed it. It smells good, but it’s irritating for sensitive skin.
Citral: A fragrant component of citrus oils, it smells like lemon. It’s lovely, but irritating.
Limonene: Naturally found in citrus oils, it smells divine. But it must be listed separately because it’s a common allergen.
Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil: It has a sweet, floral and uplifting smell. But it can irritate sensitive skin.

This serum has a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any greasy residue behind. It doesn’t feel too siliconey and is a pleasure to use.
Fragrance is the most irritating ingredient in skincare. If you have sensitive skin and something triggers a bad reaction, 90% of the time fragrance is to blame. So you should be happy to know this serum is fragrance-free, right? Not so much. It’s true that technically, this serum doesn’t contain any artificial fragrance. But it contains citrus essential oils that make it smell nice – and that are just as problematic for sensitive skin.
How To Use It
You can use this serum both in the morning and/or at night, after cleansing/exfoliation but before moisturiser. A little goes a long way.
The serum comes in a white tube with a pump applicator. It looks good on your vanity and it pumps out the right amount of product you need, so none gets wasted.
Performance & Personal Opinion
Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 has a lightweight texture that sinks immediately into the skin, without leaving any greasy residue behind. I’ve been using it for a few months now, and my skin is smoother, is slightly more hydrated, and my fine lines look a bit smaller, too.
This emulsion worked really well for me during the heart of winter, when my skin decided to turn dry and sensitive. My beloved retinol became too harsh for a while, and Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 soothed it while giving my skin everything it needed to fight photoaging.
What about dark spots? I don’t have any, so I can’t vouch for it personally. But I can tell you what the science says. This serum can help you fade them away faster, but not on its own. If you’re dealing with melasma, sun spots, or age spot, you’ll still need exfoliation, retinoids, and maybe a more powerful skin-lightner like arbutin.
Related: The Battle Of The Skin-Lighteners: Which One Is The Best Alternative To Hydroquinone?

Lightweight, fast-absorbing texture
Doesn’t leave any greasy residue behind
Practical packaging
Moisturising, makes skin softer and smoother
Helps to brighten up skin
Soothes sensitive skin

Can’t fade away dark spots on its own
Contains fragrant extracts that can irritate sensitive skin

Who Should Use This?
Almost anyone can use it. Niacinamide benefits all skin types. I’d just avoid it if you have sensitive skin (the fragrance oil may irritate it).


Daily emulsion reduces the appearance of discolouration and early signs of ageing.
It’s true, but it does it slowly.

Promotes skin renewal by increasing EPIDERMAL cell turnover.
There’s nothing here that can exfoliate skin.

Strengthens skin’s moisture barrier.

Reduces the appearance of blotchiness and dark spots.
It helps, but it’s not enough on its own.

Lightweight B3 serum delivers intense hydration without a heavy or tacky feel.
I wouldn’t say intense, but it does hydrate skin without leaving a greasy residue behind.

Helps improve the appearance of skin’s firmness.
This is marketing misleading at its finest. Pay attention to the keywords “helps” and “appearance”. The serum doesn’t claim to firm your skin (because it can’t). It claims to help (what?) make your skin look (not become) firmer.

Price & Availability
$126.00 at Blue Mercury, Dermstore, and Skinceuticals
The Verdict: Should You Buy It?
If you’re just looking for a way to incorporate Niacinamide in your skincare routine, there are cheaper ways to do it. But if you don’t mind the splurge, this works.
Dupes & Alternatives

Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster ($44.00): My fave niacinamide serum, it’s also loaded with antioxidants to fight premature aging and shrink pores. Available at Cult Beauty, Net-A-Porter, Paula’s Choice, Sephora, and SpaceNK.
The Inkey List Niacinamide (£9.99): A simple, no-frills niacinamide serum that hydrates, soothes, and brightens skin. Available at Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, and Sephora.

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Propanediol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Methysilanol/Silicate Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Phenoxyethanol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, CI 77163/Bismuth Oxychloride, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, PEG-10 Dimethicone Disodium EDTA, Cellulose Gum, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Adenosine, Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil/Bitter Orange Flower Oil, Melaleuca Viridiflora Leaf Oil, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluroacetate, Linalool, Cymbopogon Flexuosus Oil, Citral, Limonene, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil

About Gio
Hi, I’m Gio. I’m a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is skin coach and writer on a mission to help you achieve your best skin day ever – every day. I bust skincare myths and debunk marketing jargon to help you figure out what’s worth the splurge and what’s best left on the shelf – using science, not hype. I also offer skincare consultations to help you create the best skincare routine for your unique needs.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart