The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Review

Hello lovely ladies,

Since we are reviewing “The Ordinary” products, I thought why not share a couple of more reviews for products from this brand. So, today’s review is another skincare product – this one is their Niacinamide and Zinc cream. I was super excited to pick this but it kind of went into the backburner because there were so many other things to try. I had picked up a handful of their products in one go, in November-December, I think, and then added a few more over time, this year. Since it is all skincare, it took me time to test each product out because I could not try 2-3 things at one time, else I would not be able to pin-point the product if something reacted to my skin or if something gave amazing result. So, it did take me time reaching to this product, but when I finally started using, it didn’t take me much time to form an opinion on this product. So, let us find out more about The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc Review

Product Description:
Improve the look of acne, enlarged pores, oily skin, and more with this vitamin and mineral serum. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a water-based serum with niacinamide (vitamin B3) and zinc. This treatment reduces the appearance of blemishes, redness, enlarged pores, uneven tone, and oily skin. It promotes clearer, brighter, and smoother skin while balancing sebum production. Size: 30 ml
pH: 5.5-6.5. Cruelty-free. Vegan. Oil-free. Silicone-free.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc ingredient details

Key Ingredients:
Niacinamide: a vitamin that brightens and reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion
Zinc PCA: a mineral that helps control oil production.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc ingredients

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How To Use:
Apply a small amount to your face in the morning and at night before oils, moisturizers, and creams. This product should not be used at the same time as treatments containing pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
USD 12.90 for 30 ml.

My Experience with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%:

My standard skin type information – I have oily to combination skin which gets dull and dehydrated very easily due to my lousy eating habits, my horrid sleeping patterns and (let’s face it) my age!!!!). Also, I deal with sun spots, periodic acne, and with the scars left over from previous ones! I discussed regarding the brand in detail when I reviewed their Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%. If you wish to read my detailed thoughts on the subject, please do check that review. I will get on with today’s review – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.

The Ordinary products

Quickly first – What is Niacinamide and what role does Niacinamide and Zinc play in skincare?

Niacinamide is a powerful anti-oxidant – it is basically Vitamin B3 and forms a part of our daily diet. But applied topically, it has been scientifically proven to:
Improve the skin’s barrier protection by reducing the epidermal water loss – increasing skin hydration.
Works on hyperpigmentation. Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, and skin elasticity. Inhibits the production of sebum. Reduction in pore size.  Zinc is a mineral which has some scientific research behind it as anti-inflammatory, reduction in production of hormones which result in sebum production.

So, basically, this product is targeted towards people who have congested skin, hyperpigmentation and oily skin.

Finally, let us discuss the product.

Packaging:  Unlike the other products that have been reviewed by me which had a tube packaging, this one comes packaged in a frosted glass bottle with a dropper dispenser. This is keeping in mind the texture of this product which is more of a liquid, gel-type consistency. A dropper applicator allows you to control the amount of product being dispensed conveniently. The bottle comes packaged in a cardboard box. It is a pretty fuss-free packaging. There is no tamper-proof seal on the packaging; however, I do appreciate that the usage instruction is mentioned on the bottle itself too, not just the outer cardboard box.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc bottle

Texture: The texture of the product is liquid with gel-like consistency. It is easy to dispense 3-4 drops with the dispenser onto your fingers. It is fairly lightweight and gets easily absorbed by the skin. However, initially, as you start spreading the product with your fingers – there seems to be slight foaming which disperses quickly as the product starts sinking into the skin. Post the product disappearing into the skin, it leaves a tacky feeling on the surface. Not as tacky as an eye primer can be but you can still feel that there was something applied to the skin. It takes about 10 minutes for this feeling to subside post which your skin will feel like skin, without any residue whatsoever.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc details on the bottle

Application: Considering that I apply this product in the night, right after my cleansing routine (I ditched my acid toner while testing this product in order to evaluate its efficacy) – and layer it with more emollient products like my night-time moisturizer/oil/combo – the tackiness does not really bother me. However, if you chose to use it in the AM, you might want to wait for a few minutes for the product to settle before you layer on anything else.

Efficacy: In order to evaluate the efficacy, let us look at the claims made by the brand towards the effectiveness of the product.

As per the website, the product:

  • Reduce appearance of skin blemishes (hyperpigmentation).
  • Reduce congestion.
  • Regulate sebum production

As per the cardboard box that the product comes in, the product visibly – regulates sebum, minimizes pores.

I am a bit unclear as to the reason for the variance in the claims. Let us see if the product lives up to all these. When I started using this product, I had already stopped using acids (both as toner and as treatment) because I was testing other products from this line. I wanted to see their efficacy and not be influenced by the results of chemical exfoliation which acids were giving me. The product that I was testing before this was azelaic acid suspension (which I have reviewed earlier). Post using azelaic acid, my skin seemed to be at a good place, so I had my doubts if I would be able to see much visible difference with this. As a couple of days went by before I even paid attention to my face and the first thing which struck me was the “significant” decrease in pigmentation. Considering that I have been using acids for a decent amount of time and then the azelaic acid, the hyperpigmentation on my skin had greatly improved. But using this niacinamide just accelerated the improvement so much! It was like my skin cleared on steroids! I was amazed. Specifically, there is this one age spot which has been bothering me for some time, and I felt that faded away remarkably. I am hoping that with continued usage, I would actually be able to get rid of it totally. Over a more prolonged use, I felt pores looked smaller in the morning. No, they did not magically vanish and I did not expect them to either. I felt my skin to be behaving much better than usual and it seemed more clear and balanced. Did it significantly reduce sebum production, that I cannot say. Yes, my face isn’t an oil slick in the morning anymore. It definitely feels more balanced, but through the day, I still do get oiliness, which may well be related to my diet and the humidity levels in my location.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc dropper

Will I continue using this formulation? Yes, for sure. I am astounded by the quality of improvement it gave my skin and would definitely like to continue using it.

Also, the brand has clearly provided contraindications and suggested avoiding the use of niacinamide with Vitamin C as used together, they can cancel the efficacy of each other. There is certain research that contradicts this and it is suggested that stable formulation of both products used together can be very beneficial. However, when it comes to skincare, I would like to err on the side of caution. So, since I use my Drunk Elephant Vitamin C in the morning, I use niacinamide in the evening.

The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc swatch on hand

Another thing – the brand has clearly stated that though Niacinamide and Zinc may indirectly impact acne (congestion-related acne) – this product is not a treatment product for acne. Instead, they have suggested alternate products which categorically target acne.

Fragrance: It has a chemical smell – no added fragrance.

To sum this up for you:

Pros of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%:

  • High concentration of Niacinamide – at 10%.
  • An excellent antioxidant.
  • A stable formulation.
  • Remarkable change in reduction of hyperpigmentation.
  • Slight reduction in pore size.
  • More regulated and well-behaved skin texture.
  • Clearer skin tone.
  • Results visible fairly quickly.
  • Did not break me out.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Free from unnecessary additives like colour and fragrance.
  • Cruelty free.
  • Vegan.
  • Can be used AM or PM.
  • I did not experience any piling.

Cons of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%:

  • Nothing at all.

IMBB Rating:

Like the Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid suspension, this one too is a keeper. This will definitely continue to be a part of my skincare routine and i would love to see results over an extended period of time. I recommend this whole-heartedly to everyone who is struggling with hyperpigmentation, should definitely try it. Some scars may take longer to heal than others, but the results are significant and undeniable.

Disclaimer – All the ingredient-related information has been derived from online resources.

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
The Ordinary Buffet Multi-Technology Peptide Serum


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