My Honest Review On The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum – A 10% Niacinamide + Zinc 1% Solution.

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I have oily skin with an uneven skin tone. I desperately needed something that could control the oil production and even out my complexion. Which made me order The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Solution to see if it actually worth the hype!. Therefore this article entails my honest review on The Ordinary niacinamide serum. 


The ordinary niacinamide serum

Buy Now From Ulta

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Buy Now From Cultbeauty

We all know about The Ordinary skincare brand, if you haven’t heard about them, mehn!!! have you been living under the cave?, DECIEM is the parent company of The Ordinary (based in Canada) and the biggest seller so far in the industry with quality skincare products — and you know what? The Ordinary skincare products are ridiculously cheap. In fact they are known for the affordable prices of their skincare line. The Ordinary brand broke the record of balancing the equation between inexpensive and quality skincare products.

But before we go into the review, let’s know what niacinamide really is and its benefits to the skin

What’s 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, which is perfect for those who hates oil-based skincare topicals especially individuals with oily skin type.

What Are Niacinamide Benefits To The Skin?

The core benefits of niacinamide to the skin is 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 which is perfect for individuals with sensitive skin unlike L-ascorbic acid form of vitamin C and retinol.

The Ordinary niacinamide serum contains 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc.

What Are Zinc’s Benefits To The Skin?

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, regulates oil and protects skin from UV rays of the sun when applied topical as an SPF.
Zinc can also be ingested as a supplement to deliver its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging potentials.

The Packaging.

The ordinary niacinamide serum

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% comes well packaged in transparent glass bottle with a dropper to dispense product-content.
The lid is tightly closed to avoid spills.

The Texture.

The ordinary niacinamide serum

The Ordinary niacinamide serum has a lightweight gel-like texture, (just like hyaluronic acid serum) it glides smoothly and effortlessly on the skin. It easily spreads with little or no added effort.

The ordinary niacinamide serum
When applied on the skin it absorbs quickly. In fact the fact that it absorbs almost instantly when applied on my skin makes me love it.

How Does It Scent?

The ordinary niacinamide serum

The Ordinary niacinamide serum is completely scentless as it is fragrance-free which is literally a good thing, as fragrance can contribute to irritation especially to individuals with sensitive skin.


The ordinary niacinamide serum

The Ordinary niacinamide serum comes in 2 sizes, which are 30ml and 60ml.
The 30ml size can last for a month, while the 60ml can last for 2 months. A little goes along way.

My Honest Review On The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum.

Ever since I purchased and used this serum, it has won a special place in my heart. Like I mentioned above, the main intent of buying The Ordinary niacinamide serum is to help reduce excess oil, calm down redness, treat blemishes and of course improve my skin tone.

The ordinary niacinamide serum

I have an oily (acne-prone) and sensitive skin and for that fact, I have been battling with oiliness and redness.
Some times I break out. Although, I do control my breakouts with retinol serum which has been very helpful, but I decided to include niacinamide into my routine to muscle it up.

After 2 weeks of applying The Ordinary niacinamide serum, I’m glad to say my expectations were satisfied and indeed this serum really worths the hype. First of all, it helped reduced excessive oiliness especially around my nose and T-zone area. My large visible pores were shrunken and reduced in size, my annoying little pesky blemishes and blackheads were taken care of and redness was a thing of the past.

But my biggest testimony is the drastic reduction of oiliness. My skin no longer produces excess oil like before and you know what? My complexion improved. Although, my biggest fear is getting my skin irritated due to the fact that the serum contains 10% niacinamide — a very high concentration — which may not be suitable for some skin types, especially individuals with super-sensitive skin, or individuals whom their skin can’t tolerate high concentration of niacinamide

The ordinary niacinamide serum

So, If you feel like The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum is right for your skin, it’s important you should do a patch test first (to test for allergy). This serum is water-based and should be applied before any heavier oils and creams at both morning and evening times to enjoy the full effects.

Example. You should apply The Ordinary niacinamide serum first before applying any heavier moisturizers, oils and serums for a more effective result.

I use CeraVe moisturizing lotion after applying niacinamide serum to seal-in moisture and keep my skin ultra-hydrated all night.

Note: Some skin types can’t tolerate a high percentage of niacinamide, especially — extreme sensitive skin — so if you’re one of them, go for a lower concentration (recommended 2 – 5%). See other niacinamide serums with lower concentration.

How Does It Feel On The Skin?

The ordinary niacinamide serum

At first, when The Ordinary niacinamide serum is applied on the skin it feels soothing, (just like hyaluronic acid) and spreads evenly, but tends to make your skin feel a little-dry after it’s absorbed — due to the fact niacinamide is best suitable for individuals with oily and acne prone skin as it literally regulates sebum (oil) and shrink large visible pores, by so doing, you may feel a slight drying effect when applied on your skin, that’s why it’s recommended to follow up with an oil-free moisturizer afterwards. (I recommend CeraVe moisturizing lotion).

Therefore, to counteract the slight drying effect i ensure to apply CeraVe moisturizing lotion (because it’s oil-free and contains hyaluronic acid + ceramides and peptides). Sometimes I also apply hyaluronic acid serum instead.

Note: Don’t apply too much of The Ordinary niacinamide serum as too much could literally cause excessive dryness or tackiness. 2-3 drops is just ok. A little goes a long way. Ensure to apply a rich moisturizer afterwards.

Also Note: Go for moisturizers suitable for your skin type, these are moisturizers suitable for dry skin, and these are suitable for oily skin

Some people complained they felt a slight sticky sensation after applying The Ordinary niacinamide serum, well, in my own case I never experienced that, because it literally absorbs instantly and leaves no residue behind (except for a tacky finish). Although, skin type differs, therefore results may vary too. However, if you should feel a sticky sensation layering an oil-free moisturizer or hyaluronic acid serum will definitely counteract the effect.

The ordinary niacinamide serum

Note: While applying The Ordinary niacinamide serum you may experience some foaming effect — while on rubbing-motion, that’s absolutely normal you have nothing to worry about. This foaming effect will last for few seconds — if you don’t use too much. Therefore 2-3 drops is just ok (a little goes a long way).

How To Apply.

The Ordinary niacinamide serum is to be applied two times daily (morning & night) for optimum result – according to the brand. And that’s exactly how I’ve been applying the serum.

Ingredients List.

Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin. Learn how to read skincare ingredient lists

What I Like About The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum.

  • Very budget friendly: The fact that this serum is wallet-friendly makes me love it even more.
    Unlike other related niacinamide serums which digs deep into your pocket, The Ordinary niacinamide 10% + zinc 1% serum costs less and very affordable for everyone.
  • Absorbs Quickly: It has a gel-like texture just like hyaluronic acid serum but absorbs almost immediately after applied on the skin – which makes layering other skincare products very convenient and easy. You don’t even need to wait upto a minute before sealing-in with a moisturizer.
  • Regulated Excessive Oil: My excessive oily skin was indeed minimized. Of course this was one of the reasons why I went for this formula. No more greasy-looks and large visible-pores.
  • Minimized Large Visible Pores & Smoothen The Skin: Excessive oily skin leads to enlarged visible-pores due to pores clogged with sebum, blackheads and other pore-clogging residues from comedogenic makeup, sunscreen and skincare products. Niacinamide being a one-stop remedy at shrinking large pores and minimizes excessive sebum production really did its wonders on my skin. At least I now enjoy the privilege of having a smoother looking skin. It also helped dry off little pimples I had on my left-cheek (blemishes).
  • Improved My Complexion: Due to the fact I had uneven skin tone made me give this serum a try and I can testify to its goodness. My large visible pores has drastically reduced, which literally Improved my skin texture and added more shine.
  • Well Packaged: The packaging was not only simply but nicely packaged. Although, there wasn’t any seal. But the lid was tightly covered to avoid spills.
  • Fragrance-Free: Fragrance has been linked to cause Irritations and breakouts. Having a product without fragrance gives you an edge to curtail possible occurrence of irritations. The ordinary niacinamide serum is 100% fragrance-free. Not only that, it’s paraben-free, alcohol-free, silicone-free and cruelty-free too.

What I Dislike About The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum.

  • Took Longer Before Seeing Results: Took 2 weeks to see visible result. At first I thought of giving up, but never relent right? I kept pushing and after a week and 5 days the results can speak for itself.
  • Didn’t Do Much On Pigmentations: I have some left over acne scars on my left-cheek (as a result of blemishes) and since I’ve been using this serum there hasn’t been any massive-visible changes on the spots. However, its appearance was “slightly” reduced.
  • Slightly Drys Out The Skin: The fact that it makes the skin slightly-dry and tight makes it one of its cons, maybe due to high concentration of niacinamide but nevertheless, it can still be counteracted by applying a moisture-rich moisturizer afterwards to rehydrate the skin.

In Conclusion 

If you’re looking to reduce oiliness, shrink enlarged pores, clear blemishes, calm redness and improve your skin tone, then I recommend this serum. However it’s best you patch test before commencing treatment as some skin types won’t tolerate high concentration of niacinamide. After patch testing and you feel this serum is suitable for your skin then don’t forget to follow up with a moisture-rich moisturizer to counteract the skin drying effect as this serum tends to slightly dry out the skin. 

Disclaimer: This review is personal and solely based on my skin’s reaction and experience towards The Ordinary niacinamide 10% + zinc 1% serum. Your experience with this serum might be a whole different story because all skin differs.

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: Should I use a moisturizer after applying The Ordinary niacinamide serum?

A: Yes. In fact the best companion to niacinamide serum is an oil-free moisturizer like hyaluronic acid serum or a lotion containing hyaluronic acid (recommendedCeraVe moisturizing lotion ).

Q: Should I wash off after applying The Ordinary niacinamide serum?

A: No!!. It’s a leave-on formula and shouldn’t be washed off. Leave it on your skin overnight or throughout the day for best results.

Q: Where can I buy The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum?

A: You can buy from – Ulta • Sephora • Cultbeauty

UP NEXT: Target & Fade Even The Most Stubborn Dark Spots With These Alpha Arbutin Serums.


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