The Ordinary Niacinamide – Why We Love This $6 Serum

The Ordinary Niacinamide Review

The Ordinary is a brand that has moved out of cult status and is now firmly mainstream skincare and even beauty with its recent launch of foundations and concealers.

What we love most about The Ordinary is its price point and the quality of its formulations. We are all about not excluding anyone from having the best skin possible based on price. The Ordinary lets nearly anyone access high-quality ingredients at a price that won’t cause financial pain.

This brings us to one of our favourite serums offered by The Ordinary. The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. If you have hyperpigmentation/dark spots, uneven skin tone or enlarged pores then this is the serum for you. So, let’s break down everything about this topical niacinamide.

What Does Niacinamide Do?

Niacinamide, along with other coenzymes, is also known as Vitamin B3. When used on the skin, Vitamin B3 strengthens the epidermal barrier to prevent moisture loss. Niacinamide can also improve the absorption of protein, in particular, keratin.

The keratin protein exists in hair, skin, and nails to strengthen and protect the structure. Niacinamide allows for a higher keratin protein count in the skin for better function and vitality. In addition, the improved moisture content in skin cells helps to keep skin from drying out and losing structural integrity.

Niacinamide has been proven to benefit the skin and even treat some skin disorders. Because of how Vitamin B3 reacts with the epidermal barrier to increase function and protection, using it topically makes the skin clearer and healthier.

The use of Niacinamide to treat facial skin has resulted in many skin benefits, including a reduction of red blotches and pigmented skin spots. Niacinamide also has effective anti-aging properties that reduce yellowing and wrinkles while improving skin elasticity. 

These properties are due to the integration process of Vitamin B3 into skin cells, which provides results in younger-looking skin.

Further testing has proven Niacinamide can control certain sebum levels existing on the face. Depending on the skin type, Niacinamide use reduces sebum excretion or modifies sebum levels on the skin for the overall reduction of facial oils.

Facial cleansers or creams that contain Vitamin B3 often improve skin conditions for people who suffer from facial acne, pigmentary disorders, or epidermal barrier disorders.

The Ordinary uses Niacinamide in various products to help combat common skin issues. Dryness, shiny skin, discoloration, and acne are a few of the problems The Ordinary strives to reduce for many of its customers.

Due to the difference in skin types, Niacinamide can react unpredictably for different people. It is crucial to undergo patch tests before committing to a product to avoid rashes or allergic reactions.

Why Does The Ordinary Add Zinc into the Formula?

The Ordinary uses zinc in its Niacinamide serum to stabilize sebum activity on facial skin. Sebum causes shine, comedonal acne, and inflammatory acne lesions. Most facial products focus on absorbing facial oils, but Zinc within The Ordinary formula modifies sebum production.

Using Zinc helps regulate and modify sebum amounts for people who often struggle with comedonal or inflammatory acne. Regular use diminishes the chance of creating an environment in which comedonal acne and inflammatory acne thrive. Zinc also helps keep debris out of glands for a lesser chance of developing acne.

Niacinamide reduces overall sebum levels or excretion rates when used in a moisturizer. The zinc application regulates the activity to prevent the sebum from manifesting too high or too low. Both are beneficial to those with excessive acne. Zinc, in particular, can help calm inflammatory outbreaks of acne and cause certain strains to become less resistant to treatment.

Though Zinc improves acne-affected skin, it does not necessarily treat the acne itself. Similar to Niacinamide, Zinc prevents blemishes and acne from occurring and can calm rough or inflammatory outbreaks.

With The Ordinary’s Niacinamide and Zinc serum, the zinc quantity is one per cent concentration. This amount helps support and enforce the Niacinamide benefits without overpowering the rest of the serum. 

Too much zinc can strip the face of sebum, leaving it dry and exposed to potential threats. The small amount provided in the serum allows for the zinc benefits without damaging your skin, which is crucial for weekly or everyday use.

The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc Serum

This serum is a blemish formula designed to reduce congestion, blotching, dark spots and acne. When used regularly, it revitalizes skin cells for clearer and healthier-looking skin. This product is vegan and free of oil, alcohol, silicone, nuts, and gluten.

Niacinamide and zinc work together to adjust sebum levels for less oily skin. As the sebum levels are modified, congestion and acne become less of an issue. Due to the sebum-regulating nature of the serum, it can be used alongside other products that primarily treat acne to assist in clearer skin.

The serum’s design is to be well-absorbed for various skin types. It can be applied directly onto the affected areas or patted across the whole face. Trouble spots that consistently resist treatment from other products generally respond better to the serum through direct application. Blotches and reddened areas are smoothed out from regular serum use.

Skin breathes better, moisture is better retained, and irritants are more easily removed with the help of Niacinamide and zinc. The Niacinamide itself is held at a 10% concentration to the zinc’s one percent. 

The zinc supports the Niacinamide, but both concentrations are tempered by a formula of other ingredients. These ingredients allow for a mild experience and easy application to better remove trouble spots with gentleness and care.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Powder

This powder is 100% Niacinamide and works to counteract several skin conditions at once. Because of its effect on sebum activity, the powder tackles shine, irregular skin texture, and enlarged pores. The use of Niacinamide in daily routines results in more uniform, younger-looking skin.

The powder is mixed with any water-based application to have its full effect. When mixed, it will strengthen the skin’s structural integrity and provide the many benefits of Niacinamide without interfering with the primary application, so long as there are no conflicting benefits. The powder works very well with Peptide serums, which are primarily used for anti-aging treatments.

Using a powder form instead of serums is the most effective way to use Niacinamide in topical treatments. There is more potential for exposure to a powdered Niacinamide, even when it has been mixed with another treatment.

A further benefit of using powder instead of serum means it is easier for a person to control the concentration of Niacinamide. If more or less Niacinamide is desired, you can adjust the amount as you mix. Too much or too little Niacinamide depends on the skin type. As everyone’s skin is different, testing the amount is necessary to find the correct usage for your skin.

The Niacinamide powder is one of the few products from The Ordinary that comes with an expiration date. The powder may become less potent after this date transpires.

How to Apply Niacinamide

Niacinamide is for facial use and not for other skin areas.

Two to three drops of the serum are enough to provide coverage for your face. Instead of rubbing, pat the serum into your skin while slightly damp.

To use the powder, first, you must mix it with a water-based treatment for easy application. Which treatment you choose does not matter greatly, but water-based moisturizers or Peptide serums will blend the best. 

When you buy The Ordinary Niacinamide, the product comes with a measuring spoon. Fill one-quarter of the spoon with the Niacinamide powder before mixing. The total amount of the mixture to be used on your face should amount to pea size, or a little larger if you prefer.

It should be applied before heavier creams or makeup. In your routine, it should be applied either once in the morning or evening, or both in the morning and evening. Both versions of Niacinamide should be completely absorbed before applying another product.

Because the serum is a water-based product and the powder needs to be mixed with a water-based product to be applied, both these treatments are most effective when applied before any non-water-based products. Any moisturizer that is not water-based must be applied after the Niacinamide products. 

If you are using both the serum and the powder, you may use them together or separately. If you wish to target a specific aspect of skin trouble, use the product that addresses that issue first.

The serum may ‘from slightly but this disappears almost instantly. A brief stinging sensation is also totally normal. Niacinamide shouldn’t cause ‘purging‘ and it is rare that it causes irritation.

Serum VS Powder

There are many benefits to both The Ordinary’s serum and powder. Comparing the two is an easy way to choose the correct product for your use. Both of these products require patch tests to ensure they will not react poorly with your skin or trigger an allergic reaction.

Niacinamide and Zinc Serum Pros

  • Well-absorbed and works fast
  • Can be used on the neck/shoulder area as well
  • Doesn’t need a large amount
  • Does not expire

Niacinamide and Zinc Serum Cons

  • Can result in residue if not allowed to absorb before applying other products, or if too much is used.
  • Can result in a “purging” period, in which acne might get worse before improvements are visible.
  • Counteracts with vitamin C if used at the same time. If you’re using vitamin C on your face, use it either in the morning/evening and use the niacinamide at the opposite time, evening/ morning

Niacinamide Powder Pros

  • When combined with other treatments, can tackle multiple skin issues at once
  • Amount used can be customized for personal taste
  • Easy to mix with moisturizers
  • Comes with a handy measuring spoon for proper mixing

Niacinamide Powder Cons

  • Not able to premix. Each use requires mixing the powder with an applicable product before you can apply it to your face
  • The expiration date can disrupt a person’s facial cleansing routine
  • Can perhaps leave white residue on your face

Between these two products, the Niacinamide and Zinc Serum is the better choice for reducing skin blemishes and acne. In comparison, the Niacinamide Powder easily controls sebum levels for less shine and clearer skin. 

Though they provide similar services, the serum is quick and easy to use, whereas the powder must always be mixed with another product directly before application. However, the powder can provide more of a blanket beneficial effect, while the serum is specifically designed to reduce sebum levels and oily skin.