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The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Review

Updated: Jan 17

This review might be coming late but I had to get it done because of just how amazing The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum was for my skin. Hydration, sebum control, texture improvement, skin brightening this serum seems to do everything. This product is a real dream come true.

A 30ml bottle of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum on a table with pink flowers

NB: For the sake of this review I'll be referring to this serum throughout the article as The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc.

My Experience With the Ordinary Niacinamide

Appearance and Packaging

This transparent serum comes in a glass drop bottle. I loved the packaging as the drop stopper made it easy to stick to the right dosage of 3 drops.


The serum is a little bit thick but not too sticky and is odorless. It had a cooling effect when I applied it to my face which I really loved and absorbed into the skin rapidly. I have read reviews online of people complaining about the stickiness but honestly, this wasn’t an issue with me.


For a little bit of background information about my skin. I have dry and sensitive skin with discoloration notably around my eyes (dark circles), mouth, chin, and contour of my face. I equally have blemishes from time to time resulting from PMS breakout. I applied 3 drops of the serum every morning and night after my hydrating toner. And it lasted a little bit over 5 months which is quite satisfactory in terms of duration.

This picture was taken on the very first day I started using the serum. You can notice dark areas around my forehead, mouth, under my eyes, and cheekbones

The face of Habiba with pimples and discoloration
before The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum


I started noticing a significant improvement in discoloration after 2 months of religious usage. My skin felt less congested and more hydrated and the regular feeling of dryness I usually experienced was gone. My skin tone appeared more even and more hydrated although the area on my forehead still needs some more work.

These pictures were taken 5 months after I started using the serum and the improvement was just out of this world. My skin tone looks perfect, with no more halo effects or dark circles. You can see how healthy and radiant my skin looked. No blemishes, dark spots, or discoloration whatsoever.

What is Niacinamide?

The star ingredient of this product is Niacinamide. Chances are you may have heard of this product recently as it is one of the most trendy skin care ingredients of the moment. But, what is it? And what does it do for your skin?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that is used in topical products to treat skin disorders such as acne, rosacea, eczema, redness, hyperpigmentation, etc. The reason why this chemical compound is such a buzz ingredient is due to its multiple actions to improve the skin’s texture.

The Science Behind Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a vitamin that is commonly used in skincare products because it has many beneficial effects on the skin. It is a substance that helps in the production of important enzymes in the body, which are involved in various reactions in the skin. These enzymes also have antioxidant properties, which means they can help protect the skin from damage.

In this study, 5% niacinamide applied 2x a day for 12 weeks was found to have many positive effects on the skin, including reducing skin discoloration, dark spots, redness, fine lines wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. It also improves signs of aging around the eyes such as crow's feet and discolorations. Researchers have confirmed that niacinamide is well-tolerated, easy to include in skincare products, and remains stable over time, which makes it an ideal ingredient for these products.

How To Use The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum

This serum is a water-based product as such it should be applied before any oily product in your routine. After cleansing and applying your toner, go in with 3 drops of The Ordinary Niacinamide Zinc serum and gently pat in your skin, on your face neck, and chest area. This serum can be used 2x a day, in the morning and at night. Follow with your oil-based serums or facial moisturizer (a good one is the e.l.f Holy Hydration Face Cream).

Benefits of Niacinamide

  • It has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a suitable treatment for mild to moderate/inflammatory acne.

  • It helps build keratin in the skin, a protein responsible for keeping the skin firm and healthy.

  • It boosts ceramide production for a more functional skin lipid barrier. Ceramides are natural lipids found in the skin that form its protective barrier. Niacinamide helps stabilize the capacity of the skin’s barrier to retain moisture.

  • When applied to the skin, niacinamide helps smooth out wrinkles and protects the skin from photoaging thanks to its antioxidative effect.

  • Niacinamide equally has skin-brightening properties. It is proposed as a treatment for hyperpigmentation disorders such as melasma, dark spots, acne scars, and dark circles.

  • It helps improve skin texture and minimizes redness, blotchiness, yellowing, and aging of the skin.

  • It helps regulate the excess production of oil in the skin. Thanks to its ability to help the skin retain moisture, niacinamide prevents the sebaceous glands from going into overdrive.

  • Niacinamide helps protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays and prevents the formation of tumors in the skin.

  • It is non-irritant and safe to use on all skin types.

The Niacinamide + Zinc combination is great for clearing acne on the skin. Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps control sebum production.

Final Thoughts

The Ordinary clearly understood the assignment when formulating this product. I was dazzled by its effectiveness in such a period of use and I definitely will consider repurchasing this serum.

Although marketed principally for oily skin types its ability to control sebum secretion and help with acne blemishes, I will recommend this serum for all skin types. It is effective for dealing with hyperpigmentation, dehydrated skin, rough and bumpy skin texture, and even skin tone.

For optimal results, I combined this Niacinamide serum with The Ordinary 10% Mandelic Acid + HA serum, The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser, and The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (moisturizer).

Earlier in 2023, I added one other product from The Ordinary to my routine and was very satisfied after about 6 weeks of use. It was their Pycnogenol 5%. It is summarily an anti-oxidant and repairs skin barriers while also fading hyperpigmentation.

Where To Buy The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

FAQs About the Ordinary Niacinamide

What does the Ordinary Niacinamide Do?

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1% is used to brighten the skin, improve skin texture, reduce signs of aging, reduce redness, and reinforce the skin's hydration levels.

Is The Ordinary Niacinamide Good for Acne?

Yes. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% can help decongest pores and regulate sebum production. This helps reduce acne flare-ups and improve acne scars.

Can Retinol Be Used with The Ordinary Niacinamide?

Niacinamide can be paired with retinol safely in the same routine. This combination can help improve skin texture and even the tone out.

Can Hyaluronic Acid Be Used with The Ordinary Niacinamide?

Niacinamide pairs with most skin actives like hyaluronic acid to boost the skin's hydration level.

Is The Ordinary Niacinamide a Serum?

Yes, this product is a clear serum used as a treatment for dull and uneven skin, calms inflammations, and improves skin hydration. It can be used 2x daily, pairs safely with most skin actives, and works for all skin types.

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The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

The Ordinary Squalane is one of the most moisturizing cleansers I have ever used. It also ranks among the best for dry and sensitive skin .


Petra Suh
Petra Suh
Sep 07, 2021

Thank you for your honest review, i suffer acne, darkspots, hyperpigmentation. What else can I add to the ordinary niamcinamide 10% and zinc 1% to have effective

Sep 09, 2021
Replying to

Hey Petra. I am glad my post could help. I will recommend getting a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to help prevent and treat your acne break outs. Check out this post to discover my top 5 cleasers for oily and acne prone skin.

Also i will recommend using adding brightening products in your routine. May be think of getting a spot treatment or brightening toner that contains ingrdients like kojic acid, alpha arbutin, azelaic acid (review coming up) etc.

Finally i will equally advice you to add a retinol (vit A) serum in your routinr help you with hyperpigmentationa and acne. If you will like me to do a full post on hyperpigmentation plus product recommendation just let me…

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