The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, yet another popular formulation by The Ordinary; we’ve reviewed our experience with this product as well as included some pointers to maximise effectiveness. Niacinamide has been increasing in popularity in the skincare world due to it’s excellent blemish fighting and sebum regulating activity, great for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

The Product

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% claims to “reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.”. The active ingredients include niacinamide and zinc in an oil-free, alcohol-free solution.

What is Niacinamide?

As with most of The Ordinary’s products, it can be hard to work out the full scope of benefits of the products from just reading the label, so here are the key functions of Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3:

Regulates sebum production: Sebum is the oily secretion produced by your pores through the sebaceous glands, the key function of which is to keep your skin protected and hydrated. Excess sebum however can lead to clogged pores, breakouts, and an oily complexion.

Niacinamide reduces sebum production, and can therefore minimise breakouts, skin oiliness, and also decrease the size of your pores.

Improves skin barrier function: Niacinamide helps to improve the skins natural barrier function, which keeps pollutants out while retaining moisture; thus keeping the skin hydrated. This is especially good for those suffering from flaking/dry skin. Ceramide production is also enhanced by this formula, which are lipids that protect the skin.

Reduces inflammation and skin blemishes: Niacinamide helps to reduce inflammation caused by acne, eczema or other skin conditions, and also reduces the appearance blemishes and skin congestion.

Zinc is also a fantastic ingredient which also helps to combat inflammation and fight acne.

So, how do I use this product?

Apply in the morning and evening. Product should be used on your whole face after cleansing. As this is a serum, it should always be applied prior to any moisturising creams or oil-based products. There are a few ingredients that you shouldn’t mix with niacinamide, read more about the skincare ingredients you should never mix here.

Chemical diagram for Niacinamide

The Results

Following our classic day/week/month review format, here’s what we found:

Day 1: The serum is quite lightweight and sinks right into the skin, it leaves a very slight shine. Would form a good base for foundation. Not much to see here yet though, slightly reduced oiliness around the T-Zone area. I’ll be applying this product twice a day.

Day 7: Having applied this twice a day for a week I notice that my pores are visibly smaller; likely due to the reduced sebum activity. Ensuring I keep a good cleansing and exfoliating routine while using this product has meant my skin is certainly clearer than prior to starting the treatment. There is little sign of redness or blemishes, and my skin tone has improved a little. Still a little oiliness however.

Day 28: The motivation for using this product was the mainly reduced the oiliness around the T-zone and minimise the size of my pores. I have quite enlarged pores which I can attribute to the excessive sebum production around the T-zone area. This product has reduced that significantly, I was a little sceptical on day 7 but these products often take a few weeks to come into full effect.

The Verdict

As with most of Deciem’s range, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Minimised Pores 8/10. My pores are a lot smaller than before, with little to no blackheads.

Reduced Oiliness 8/10. Significantly reduced oil activity, no longer have that ‘shine’ at the end of the day.

Improved Skin Tone 4/10. Independent studies suggest that this product improves skin tone, didn’t see much of that happening myself.

Reduced AcneN/A. Can’t really comment on this one as I don’t really suffer from acne, but judging by the reduced oiliness on my face it likely would. Note that this is not treatment for ongoing acne, you should either be using a BHA formulation or visit a qualified dermatologist.

Get the product here from The Ordinary’s official website.

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