I Used The Ordinary Niacinamide And Lactic Acid Serum & This Happened

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My quest to achieve flawless skin has made me use so many skincare products from different brands, but I use mostly products from The Ordinary brand, considering the fact that their products are pocket friendly and also very effective.


I have used their 10% niacinamide serum which helped reduced redness, excess oiliness (because I have an oily skin) and minimized my large visible pores. I have also used their 10% lactic acid serum which gave me the smoothness of my life with a brighter-looking complexion. I used both products individually. But then I thought to myself “why don’t i combine these two actives together to make a routine and see how it goes?”, well, i never ruminated on that for too long before I executed the idea.

And that’s what this article is all about, I want to share my personal experience with the combination of The Ordinary 10% niacinamide serum and 10% lactic acid serum. But before we dive into that, let’s take a look at what these ingredients are all about, and what they do for the skin.

What Is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is also known as nicotinamide, vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid. It’s a water soluble-vitamin and doesn’t dissolve in oil, that’s why you’ll only see niacinamide in oil-free (water-based) moisturizers and serums. This wonderful skincare ingredient helps regulating excessive oil production, reduce redness (blotchiness), shrinking large visible-pores and getting rid of nasty looking blemishes which in turn improves overall skin tone and texture.

Niacinamide readily penetrates deeply into the skin to deliver its potentials, it’s one of the most stable active-vitamin in skincare, with a pH around neutral. It’s non-acidic and non-irritating.

What Is Lactic Acid?

Lactic Acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acids), extracted from lactose in milk. As a chemical-exfoliant, its been used in many over-the-counter products to gently exfoliate the skin and address skin texture irregularities. Apart from being extracted from fermented milk, lactic acid is found in pickled vegetables, sourdough bread, beer, wine, sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented soy foods like soy sauce and miso. Lactic acid gently sloughs-off dead skin cells, treats hyperpigmentation, age spots, and other factors that contribute to a dull and uneven complexion.

Lactic acid is more gentle and milder on the skin unlike other AHAs, that’s why is best recommended for individuals with sensitive skin or new acid-users.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1% Serum.

The ordinary niacinamide and lactic acid serum review

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The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum combines 10% niacinamide with 1% zinc to potentiate the formula towards regulating oil production, and offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Zinc works with other vitamins and minerals to help treat skin lesions as it offers anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects to help treat inflammatory acne, calms inflammation, minimize early signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and regulates oil. You can read full review here.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA Serum.

The ordinary niacinamide and lactic acid serum

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The Ordinary lactic acid serum pairs 10% lactic acid with 2% hyaluronic acid and tasmanian pepperberry, not only to offer mild exfoliation to the skin with intense hydration but also soothe irritations associated with acid-use, all thanks to tasmanian pepperberry which calms and soothes irritation. The Ordinary also has a 5% lactic acid serum for new beginners. So, if you’re new to lactic acid, you may want to ease your way into it by starting from the lower percentage.

Both lactic acid concentrations combines lactic acid, hyaluronic acid (for hydration) and tasmanian pepperberry — (which is a skin soothing ingredient). You can read full review here.

My Honest Review On The Combination Of The Ordinary Niacinamide And Lactic Acid Serum.

The ordinary niacinamide and lactic acid serum

I took the leap of faith by combining The Ordinary niacinamide and lactic acid serum to make a simple skincare routine to see the effect on my skin, considering the fact that niacinamide helps regulate excess oil production, reduce redness and shrink large pores which in turn improve overall skin tone and texture by tackling texturized and bumpy skin.

Same also applies to lactic acid, as a mild AHA which has a large molecular size enables it work best on skin surface to gently exfoliate the top layer of the skin by sloughing-off dead skin cells thereby reveling brighter, fresher and healthier skin beneath and also stimulates collagen renewal, tackles texture irregularities by smoothening fine lines, wrinkles and bumps all thanks to its exfoliating potentials.

I used the combination of these two potential skincare actives for two (2) weeks (and some days) and I think it’s a good time to make a review about them. I used niacinamide everyday, while I used lactic acid thrice weekly because I was using a higher concentration (10%).

However, weaker concentration (2-5%) of lactic acid can be used everyday, while higher concentration should be limited to two or three time per week as tolerated. But if you’re a new acid-user, it’s best you ease your way into acids by starting from a lower concentration and use twice weekly, so as to avoid the occurrence of inflammatory-irritation.

What Was The Effect On Your Skin?

You know how smooth an egg is? That’s exactly how my skin is after using the product combination. I can’t just stop admiring and touching my face. My mirror seems to be my closest friend, I always stare at it in admiration of my face.

Not only did my skin texture greatly-improved but my complexion enhanced too, and I give the credit to lactic acid, because as at the time I significantly used it (read my review here), my skin tone was dazzling with an amazing glow.

Niacinamide serum took care of my large pores (it shrunk them), and maintained them that way, it also helped drastically reduced excess oiliness. This was my major problem, because I have an oily skin type which leads to eruption of acne-breakouts most times, due to clogged-pores. I never regrate the day I added niacinamide into my skincare routine. It’s indeed a God-sent. I call it, “the enemy to my oiliness“. You can read my in-depth review about it here.

Lactic acid on the other hand tackled texture irregularities (small bumps, tiny acnes), smoothened and brightened my skin. During the time of using lactic acid serum solo, I experienced flakiness due to mild exfoliation which shed away dead skin cells for a brighter and fresher skin underneath, which in turn improved my skin luminosity.

Combining these two products/ingredients wasn’t a bad idea and it’s one of the best decision I have made in my life, my skin is happy and healthy. You should give it a trial, I’m sure your skin will definitely thank you for it.

Did It Dry-Out Your Skin?

I felt slight drying sensation during application, due to the fact that both are active ingredients, but that wasn’t much of a problem, because I follow up with my moisturizer after applying the skincare topicals leaving my skin hydrated and happy.

Sometimes I make a mixture of both products/ingredients with my moisturizer at 3 drops of each, then mix them in the palm of my hand before applying to my skin. I normally do this if I feel too lazy layering the products. But I advice you should use this method if you have a sensitive skin.

How To Layer The Ordinary Niacinamide And Lactic Acid Serum.

According to skincare philosophy, layer your skincare products from the thinnest to the thickest, and use a moisture-rich moisturizer at the end of every skincare routine to seal in moisture in the skin. Below is how-to correctly layer The Ordinary niacinamide and lactic acid serum.

Wash your face with a skin-suitable cleanser, pat your face with a clean towel (don’t towel off completely) as your skincare products tends to penetrate more when the skin is moist or damp.

Apply 2-3 drops The Ordinary lactic acid serum, then wait for 2-3 minutes (to allow skin return to normal pH level), before moving ahead to apply the niacinamide serum, then follow up with an humectant and emollient rich moisturizer.

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: Can i mix niacinamide and lactic acid serum together?

A: Yes, you can. A research study which subjected 52 volunteers to anti-aging skincare routine which contains alpha hydroxy acids and vitamins B3 (niacinamide), C and E saw significant improvement on the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines with an improved skin texture without adverse effects.

Both niacinamide and lactic acid can be used in water based formulations which includes serums and moisturizers. Both ingredients a very compatible to be used together. However if your skin is new to any of them, and you want to use the combination of niacinamide and lactic acid serum, it’s highly advised to start from a lower concentration. Example, a 5% niacinamide and 5% lactic acid serum will be a good start, then gradually work your way up when your skin must have built tolerance. This is to avoid skin irritation or flushing.

Q: Can pregnant women or nursing mothers use niacinamide and lactic acid serum?

A: Lactic acid, glycolic acid and other alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and will help keep the skin smooth, hydrated, refine your pores and treats pregnancy-induced acne. This research study authenticates the fact.

Niacinamide serum on the other hand can also be used while pregnant or breastfeeding, as it has low absorption rate. Only a small amount of it is absorbed into the body when applied topically to the skin. Both actives are pregnancy-safe and also can be used by a nursing mother. However, you can see your doctor for further advice prior to commencing treatment.

Q: Can i use niacinamide and lactic acid serum everyday?

A: Niacinamide serum can be used everyday. While
weaker strength of lactic acids can be used daily too, and higher strength of lactic acids should be limited to two or three times per week as tolerated. If your skin is getting too irritated, red, and dry, it is important to take a break for a few days to allow your skin to recover or decrease to a lower strength (probably 5% concentration).

In general, both actives can be used together everyday, so far the lactic acid concentration is compatible with your skin. If you fear a higher strength niacinamide serum (10%) and a higher strength lactic acid (10%) will be too much for your skin, then consider going for a 5% concentration of both actives till your skin builds tolerance. You can move up to higher concentrations (if need be).

Q: Can i use niacinamide and lactic acid serum morning and night?

A: Niacinamide serum can be used both morning (AM) and evening/night (PM) as it’s non-acidic and won’t increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun, but lactic acid should be subjected to night/evening (PM) use only, because of its acidic nature which can increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun and can potentially lead to sunburn if skin-protection isn’t observed.

So, I use niacinamide and lactic acid serum at night only and use only niacinamide serum in the morning. I don’t forget to apply my sunscreen during the day too, to protect my skin from UV exposure. 

Disclaimer: This is a personal experience with The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide and 10% Lactic Acid serum, you may have a whole different experience as skin type differs so as result differs too.

UP NEXT: Struggling With Dark Spots? Here’s The Best Skincare-Routine For Hyperpigmentation Using The Ordinary Brand

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