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The ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Review | The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

As I am sitting down typing this post I have woken to find I am faced with a new dreaded skin destroyer. Slightly dramatic Michelle, I hear you say, but when it comes to a pimple on my face I am not talking about a run of the mill pimple that will take a few days to heal. Nope, we are talking a huge swollen lump that is making half my cheek too sore to touch and looks a little like I am growing a second nose!

I have been testing lots of different things lately to keep my skin from doing this as skin care is such an important part of our daily battle of the blemish. So I thought this would be the perfect time to share my review on The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

I have previously reviewed a couple of the products from this range and I will pop the links below if you would like to check them out. I like to try new skin care products one at a time so I can really tell what each one is doing and whether it is actually making any difference over a 4 week period. I also can tell if it is breaking me out or helping them get better.

I have always struggled with cystic acne since I was in my early teens and I have it mostly under control these days but every now and then a large sore lump explodes onto my face to cause me havoc for the next 3 months. No I am not kidding. They just never leave once I get them. They sit under my skin and never come to a head or heal on their own once they are there. I am open to suggestions so if anyone has some ideas on dealing with these frustrating lumps please let me know. Anyway, back to the topic and review.

Company Claims

‘Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated 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.  Contraindications: If topical Vitamin C is used as part of skincare, it should be applied at alternate times with this formula (ideally Vitamin C in the PM and this formula in the AM). Otherwise, Niacinamide can affect integrity of pure-form Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid). 

Note: While Niacinamide and Zinc PCA reduce the look of blemishes and balance visible sebum activity, neither is a treatment for acne. For persistent acne-related conditions, we recommend the use of Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Retinoic Acid. We do not recommend the use of Salicylic Acid. This formulation can be used alongside acne treatments if desired for added visible skin benefits.’


As they claim that it can contradict with Vitamin C, I chose to use this in my night routine only, as I use the ASAP Vitamin C serum every morning. After cleansing and scrubbing at night, I apply The Ordinary Hyularonic Acid +B5 then this one over the top before my prescription Vitamin A cream.

I would like to mention, with regards to the note of contradiction with Vitamin C, I did find other websites claim that this is not an issue and these claims are based on research from the 1960’s. So not being a scientist this left me a little unsure who to  believe.


This serum is very similar to the Hyaluronic Acid + B5 as it is a clear liquid formula so blends in easily and quickly. I do find I need a little more of this than the Hyaluronic serum but you still don’t need very much.

It is easy to dispense with the built in dropper and comes in a frosted white glass bottle with their minimalistic packaging which I love. There is 30 mls of product for $9.90 so great value for money.

Final Thoughts

I have been using this for a while, probably more than a month and I am a little on the fence with it. I really don’t see any difference in my skin. It states on their website it is not a treatment for acne and I have to agree as I really don’t see that it makes any difference to my skin where acne is concerned.

This then created a little confusion for me as to what this is actually good for. As stated: ‘Note: While Niacinamide and Zinc PCA reduce the look of blemishes and balance visible sebum activity, neither is a treatment for acne’. hmm… so is it a little like a vitamin supplement compared to a prescription medication? Is it good for you but not a treatment like a prescription medication is? And as I discovered today, it really hasn’t stopped me getting a new explosion. This made me investigate a little further and do a little more research as to what Niacinamide actually is so I can make a better decision about its usefulness in my routine.

In my research I came across Paula’s Choice website. They state that Niacinamide is a very effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin. These benefits include the ability to visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness, and a weakened skin surface.

As I am wanting to improve all of the above issues with my anti-aging skin routine, I am a little disappointed that I really didn’t see any major improvements in any of these areas. Honestly, I can’t even say there has been any improvement at all. I will continue to use it and see how my skin is at the end of the bottle, but I will probably look into other brands containing Niacinamide to see if in fact it really is a holy grail anti aging ingredient as claimed.

Have you tried this? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below I would love to know. xx


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