Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Review: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

A few weeks ago Marianne and I had the following text convo:

A: In other “let’s spend money we don’t have” news, I just booked a facial because my face will no longer allow me to dermaplane at home.
M: Ha!
A: And now it's all hairy. And also zitty.
M: Man, our skin is totally different so this won’t help you, but the Niacinamide serum from The Ordinary has legit transformed my skin
A: Ooh, tell me more! Lately I’ve been getting small surface whiteheads, so that's new and fun.
M: It has really cleared up acne and I swear made my pores smaller

Y'all, that's literally all I needed to hear. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum is under $6 so I figured, what the hell? I also ordered the Squalane cleanser because I'm almost out of my Kiehl's oil cleanser and I like to try new things. First, the serum:

What it is: High-strength vitamin and mineral blemish formula

What it’s for: Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity. Independent studies suggest Niacinamide is also an effective ingredient for brightening skin tone.

My review: You guys. I have been using this every evening for two weeks and my skin is CLEAR. All those little zits just disappeared and my face is looking better than it has in quite a while. After two weeks! I am very, very surprised and pleased because my expectations were low. I haven't experienced any dryness or irritation with this serum which is also surprising because my skin is pretty reactive. I honestly can't believe a serum that costs less than $6 is so effective! It's definitely worth checking out.

Just a note: I bought my serum directly from Deciem and it came really quickly. It's also available at Sephora and Ulta. (Don't buy it from Amazon! Super over-priced.)

What it is: A gentle, moisturizing facial cleanser

What it's for: This gentle cleansing product is formulated to target makeup removal while leaving the skin feeling smooth and moisturized.

My review: I love an oil cleanser and this one is good but not exceptional. The price seems low but the tube is TINY so it's not really a huge bargain. It's a decent cleanser with an interesting consistency - somewhere between an oil and a balm - and you need to use a fair amount to really get everything off your face so I can see going through the tube quickly. It's unscented, which I like, but I think Kiehl's oil cleanser is nicer to use (and it lasts forever) and for a more balm-like cleanser, I really like Clinique's the best.

There you go! If you've been considering trying The Ordinary, I hope this is helpful because that site is really overwhelming. If you're already using their products, what do you like/dislike? I am very curious about the Buffet serum...


  1. Do you layer this with anything else? I use it too but I'm not sure my results have been so transformative, and I think maybe it's because I'm using too many things at once. Other products in my rotation are Paula's Choice BHA solution, and the Ordinary azaelic acid and vitamin C, and prescription tretinoin.

    1. No, I am just using it at night under my moisturizer, and then vitamin c in the morning. I wanted to give it a fair chance.

    2. I'm no skin expert, but it sounds like you have a lot of drying/exfoliating things in your mix esp with prescription tretinoin. What do you do for moisturizing?

  2. I use the niacinamide every other day (alternate with their Vitamin C), after the Buffet, which I use every day. I also alternate their lactic acid and retinoid at night. I use other stuff too, but my skin looks better than it has in years.

    1. Excellent! I am pretty overwhelmed about what I need to use and in what order.

  3. I use the Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid serum and I love it. I've been using it since April and it's just fantastic. I've always liked hyaluronic acid, though--but in other formulations, dimethicones are usually added, and I hate that slippery feeling, plus it seems to hurt absorption of the acid--to me, at least. The Ordinary one doesn't have any 'cones in its formula and seems, to me, to sink in much better and absorb better into my skin. YMMV, of course.

  4. I just got an email today from The Ordinary that some of their favorite products are now going to come in larger sizes and the Squalane Cleanser is part of that group!I tried The Ordinary for the first time a few months ago, and I've loved the products. I use the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, the Vitamin C, the Retinol in Squalane, and the Glycolic Toner. Every product was a winner for me and I haven't run out of anything yet despite almost nightly use. My skin is very happy despite the season change, which always seems to mess with things.

    1. I saw that! And I'm so glad you love the products.