The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1% Reviews: Before/After 6 months

It’s so unexpected! Not only did I finish this serum from The Ordinary in record time, but I searched all over the Internet to find the second bottle, deep in Nicaragua’s countryside. For someone who changes cosmetics regularly, I find it hard to believe it myself. That’s when I knew I had to tell you about it.

This post is NOT sponsored

I succumbed to the call of The Ordinary products after my trip to the United States. It’s still easier to have the products in front of your eyes and especially to have a brand advisor. They have a store in New York and it is as minimalist as the ingredient list of the products at The Ordinary.

The Ordinary, what is it?

It is a brand known for its high concentration of active ingredients in its products – without the high price tag that goes with it.

Thus, you can have access to peeling, moisturizing, skin barrier repair products… to the star ingredients of facial care – for less than 10€

Product names sum up just about everything inside the product – which makes names a bit long, but for fanatics who like to analyze labels, it’s the grail

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This serum is the only product I have tested at The Ordinary. Since then, I’ve tested a lot of them but it’s still my favorite.

It’s one of the bestsellers and having seen the effects of niacinamide in another overpriced product, I thought I’d better buy a serum with niacinamide as the main ingredient.

Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin of B3, ultra moisturizing. It improves the barrier function of the skin by stimulating the synthesis of lipids, limiting water loss and fighting against dryness. It stimulates the production of collagen (reduces wrinkles), has an anti-inflammatory effect (against acne), decreases and regulates the production of melanin (superb for spots). In addition, this serum contains 1% Zinc – an ingredient I love. Zinc suits me particularly well and helps in the fight against unsightly pimples.

Ingredients : Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

The Price

5,90€ for 30ml or 10,6€ for 60ml.
I know, it’s so cheap that it becomes suspicious. But that’s the philosophy of the brand!

Packaging & Texture

I don’t like its packaging. This is my second bottle so I can say that it comes from the packaging and not because my serum has a very rare manufacturing defect. If the bottle is made of glass, the cap is made of cheap plastic. And both don’t plug well. There is no risk of leakage, but you have to be careful every time you close it. In addition, the product always leaves a white residue on the bottle that isn’t super glamorous.

The liquid is viscous and smells like metal. On the other hand, it penetrates very well into the skin, and the fresh side is pleasant.
I use it as a serum and unfortunately, if you spread a cream on top of it, you have to choose THE cream that suits it well; because with some creams, it’s fluffy.

Update May 2020 : I just bought the new 60ml bottle, it’s also made of glass but we still have this problem with the plastic cap.

left: 30ml, right 60ml


May he be forgiven for all these faults. Because in terms of efficiency, I rate it 10/10. If I don’t have any more pimples even before and during my period, it’s thanks to this product.

I told you that it improves the skin barrier function, well, I have scientific proof that my skin barrier has improved. I did a skin scan at the institute and within a year, they saw on the machine that I had fewer “holes” in my skin.

Concerning the buttons, I show you a before/after picture to illustrate what I’m talking about. You should know that these results were also obtained thanks to other products like Foreo, SkinCeuticals, Mario Badescu… but The Ordinary is one of the products that gave the most “wow” effect.

before/after – 6 months

As I knew it? Well, when I finished the first bottle, I didn’t do anything. I was in Nicaragua, I was too lazy to look for a replacement. And 2 weeks later, the pimples came back. I had to find a second bottle of ASAP – in Nicaragua it wasn’t easy – and once the serum was applied to my skin, the pimples disappeared again and my beautiful skin was back. Phew.

Recently, because of the lockdown, I ran out of stock and was too lazy to buy a new one, thinking that since I wasn’t going out, I would be OK. Unfortunately it was obvious: I need this serum, all the time.

I don’t see the appearance of pimples as a sign of dependance. Rather, it is related to the mechanism of hormonal pimples. Hormonal pimples are caused by an excess of sebum, and The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% helps to regulate it effectively. As a result, I ordered my 3rd bottle, in 60ml this time, so I won’t have to order it too often.

Why is this serum so effective?

Because it limits the excess of sebum. No excess sebum, no pimples. It’s as simple as that.

This is also the criticism that can be made of it, especially on combination skin – because there are areas where there is no need to limit sebum production – and by using this serum, some areas may appear drier. Therefore, it is important to know your skin and use the serum only on the areas that need it. In this case, I now only use it as a preventative measure – on areas that are at risk of sprouting, such as BEFORE my period and areas with large pores. The effect on enlarged pores is amazing, but the effect isn’t long-lasting, i.e. as soon as you stop using it, the pores look big again. I use it daily with another moisturizing serum, Clarins’ one and only anti-thirsty serum (Sephora link, Marionnaud link)

However, I advise you to test it before using it – because some people have had problems purging (i.e. they had more buttons when using it than before). Basically, it’s make-or-break. But for 5.9€, it’s worth a try, really! Do a test patch before and use just 2 drops for the whole face. Start by using it every other day, then if it goes well, you can use it up to 2 times a day like me.

Update September 2020: For people whose skin does not like this serum, be aware that the main cause is the Zinc present in this product. That’s why the brand has released the “niacinamide” powder version, simply mix it with your serum. You just have to make sure that your serum does not contain Vitamin C, and that its pH is below 5

Where to buy?

  • You can buy it from France (Belgium, Luxemburg… well, from Europe) on their official website here (the 60ml version is now sold on their website) : the price is the same as in the US : 5,90€, you don’t pay any customs fees because they are sent from England (4,99€ delivery, or free delivery from 25€ purchase).
    • covid update: I placed an order on the site on Sunday, May 10, 2020, the package was dispatched on Thursday, May 14 and I received it at home (the doorbell rang) on Monday, May 18.
  • You can also buy it at Sephora France (Sephora link) (only online and not in stores)
  • Amazon also sells them but at a higher price (Amazon link)

Anh est toujours très occupée à profiter de jolies choses, et à fabriquer de petites bricoles de ses propres mains. **** Hi, my name is Anh. I am a Vietnamese-French DIY passionate, beauty lover and cosmetic tester.

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