Product Review: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum from The Ordinary

I'm not much for following the crowd, but I have to admit that I agree with all of the people who are loving the products from The Ordinary. Great quality, great actives, and such reasonable prices! I've already reviewed their Buffet serum (which is still one of my favorite products), and I've been testing several more over the past few months.

A bottle of Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum from The Ordinary sitting on a wooden table with the product box in the background

(This post may contain affiliate links which were added to make it easier for you to find the items. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). You are free to use the links or not - if you do, I thank you!)

Today, I'm going to talk about their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) appears in a good number of skincare products. It increases ceramide levels and prevents skin from losing water, so an improvement in firmness and elasticity is seen. It can also even out skin tone by decreasing the amount of melanin that reaches the surface of the skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and may even decrease oiliness and acne. This particular formula has added zinc, which also has antioxidant properties and can decrease oiliness. I've used products that contain niacinamide for quite some time, two of which are CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion and Olay Regenerist Fragrance-Free Micro-sculpting Cream.

This serum comes packaged in a one ounce slightly frosted/clear bottle with a dropper top. It is clear/slightly cloudy and has a thin, watery serum consistency. It's also alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum from The Ordinary in the dropper

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan Gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

The directions say to apply to entire face morning and evening before heavier creams. I apply the Niacinamide + Zinc at night only, because I use the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion (with niacinamide) in the morning. The niacinamide serum is the first "active" I apply after cleansing and using Thayer's alcohol-free toner. I leave my hands damp, then place five drops of the product in the palm of one hand, gently rub my hands together to evenly distribute the serum, then apply to my face, neck, and décolleté. I have never experienced any irritation, breakouts, or stinging with this serum. I just posted my updated nighttime skincare routine a few weeks ago, if you want to see the other products I use at night.

Note: There is some controversy about using niacinamide and vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) together. After reading many articles, my personal conclusion is that it's not very likely to cause a problem, and I am okay to use them together. However, you should do your own research to determine what is right for you. I use the Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid serum in the morning, right after cleansing. Then four products later, I apply the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion (which contains niacinamide). In the evening, as I mentioned, the niacinamide serum from The Ordinary is the first product I apply after toner, and I don't use anything with vitamin C.

This is another one of those products that I feel you probably aren't going to see visible changes right away, but over time, you realize "hey...something is different". One of the things that I've noticed after using the product for more than three months is that when I do get a blemish, the hyperpigmentation is so much less. In the past, even a small clogged pore or zit could leave a dark red mark that would linger for 6 months or more. Now, it's not nearly as red and it disappears after a couple of weeks.

Niacinamide is one of the ingredients/skin actives that I feel is a necessary part of my skincare routine. I like this product a lot. It's easy to apply, absorbs quickly, and plays well with all of my other skincare products. For me, the one ounce bottle lasted about 6-8 weeks. And it's less than $10!

A bottle of Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum from The Ordinary lying on a wooden table

Have you tried any of the products from The Ordinary? Let me know which one(s) you love in the comments here or catch me on Instagram or Snapchat.


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