The Ordinary Skincare Niacinamide Serum Review
This treatment serum from The Ordinary is made with highly effective ingredients, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. In my The Ordinary Post I list my favorite products from the brand, and N+Z is definitely one of them. However, there are some drawbacks for me with this product. The benefits of Niacinamide far outweigh these issues. I love multi-tasking products. Who doesn’t want to use a product that targets multiple skin concerns? Niacinamide is shown to have verifiable results on aging skin, discoloration, compromised skin barrier, and acne prone skin. I believe these results make it suitable for all skin types and can literally benefit anyone with skin! Everyone should use barrier repairing products, if only for prevention. I will explore the benefits of using Niacinamide, what impact this product has on skin, who should be using this serum and what my drawbacks are!
Benefits of Niacinamide
Niacinamide is excellent for acne or blemish-prone skin, but can have benefits for all skin types. While The Ordinary states “(Niacinamide)..is not a treatment for acne,” it is a treatment for the
side effects of acne. Healing the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks caused by acne and helping reduce sebum activity associated with acne are in theory, acne treatments. Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with symptoms of acne also. Of course it has to be used in combination with other acne-fighting products. The addition of Zinc PCA in this serum is to treat production of excess sebum.
The benefits to all other skin types that use Niacinamide is: reducing enlarged pores, brightening skin tone, treating hyperpigmentation, hydrating skin, improving fine lines, wrinkles, and elasticity. It has also been shown in clinical studies to reduce symptoms of rosacea. Niacinamide increases the production of ceramides that protect the skin barrier. This production of ceramides helps strengthen the barrier and can reduce skin sensitivity like redness and blotchiness.
My Experience with Niacinamide
Niacinamide, in my humble opinion, can reduce pore size after ONE use. The very first time I ever used Niacinamide I looked in the mirror the next morning and said “Wooowww!” Maybe a stranger on the street wouldn’t notice, but those of use that study their skin daily, definitely will. I wish that the results I have with Niacinamide and pore size are cumulative, but they aren’t. When used frequently N + Z will keep enlarged pores at bay. However, no matter how often you use it, they will obviously not disappear. More importantly pore size is linked to good old-fashioned genetics. Some people just have large pores…no matter what. I felt as if my results with Niacinamide had plateaued. Frustrated I stopped using Niacinamide products for months. Even though I was using salicylic acid during this time, my enlarged pores returned. Moral to the story: you will be elated with great results at first, then dismayed when you hit a plateau. However, the entire time Niacinamide is working to do its job by keeping pores small(er)!
Can Niacinamide be Used with LAA?
The Ordinary warns about using N + Z in the same routine with Vitamin C products, but only those containing the pure form, L-Ascorbic Acid. The concern is that they can effectively cancel each other out. This subject is debated, even among different skincare brands, as to which guideline to follow. Deciem recommends not using Niacinamide and L-Ascorbic Acid in the same routine. While Paula’s Choice and Drunk Elephant claims they can safely be used together (but obviously not mixed together.) Read Paula’s Choice explanation here. To further explore this topic I recommend you going to Kind of Stephen’s blog, where he explains it much better than I can! Then you can decide for yourself.
Too Good to Be True??
Now that I have discussed all of the multi-tasking benefits of Niacinamide, now it’s time to discuss that drawback. It might be important for some people, it may not be an issue for others. The problem is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% isn’t a very cosmetically elegant formula. You know those serums when applied they glide on like silk and leave a nice, supple feeling to skin? Not this serum. The clear gel feels very lightweight when applying, but the downside is it leaves a tacky feeling to skin. This may not be an issue if another product is layered on top. Another issue is when N+Z is rubbed onto the face, it turns from a clear gel to a white, foamy texture. It really looks like soap! The serum has to be massaged until the product dries down completely for the white foam to disappear. I have read that instead of rubbing the product across the face, some people have had success with patting the product onto skin instead. I definitely thought this issue was something that needed to be mentioned, and your own conclusion can be drawn as to whether to trial this product or not.
I believe Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a very effective product that has many benefits for different skin types. I also predict anyone who wants a boost in their skincare regimen could add a Niacinamide product and be happy with the results. Even if it isn’t The Ordinary’s version of Niacinamide, everyone should try this ingredient at a larger concentration like 5-10%, just to see skin’s response. However, at $5.90, this serum is definitely worth consideration to see the benefits of Niacinamide for yourself!
Full Ingredients List: Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan Gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
Check out Part 1 of my post, “The Ordinary: Beauty Steal or One-Note Products,” for more of my recommendations and favorites from the brand. Post here. Stay tuned for more posts about The Ordinary, including some of their new products! Stay Happy & Beautiful!