Hi, I’m back (I hope) but I don’t think I will be posting that much as I’m running quite a few projects on the side, but at least I’m here with this post!
This is one of the most popular products made by The Ordinary, and with good reason. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) has long been a star ingredient in Korean skincare, which is why you can see it in nearly everything Korean. However, those Korean products tend to include it in miniscule to minor amounts (say, <2%) whereas this serum has it at a super high 10%. Zinc is also frequently used as an anti-inflammatory soothing agent, such as in baby diaper rash cream.
Niacinamide is said to reduce congestion and blemishes, as well as being a powerful brightener. With continued use, it supposedly balances sebum production for overall reduction in acne. For me, other products with some Niacinamide such as the CosRX Galactomyces Essence, have helped to calm my skin down and reduce appearance of pores as well. I was excited to try this as a more potent version of Niacinamide!
The ingredient list of this is super short:
Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan Gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
As you can see, this is a water based serum with lots of niacinamide, pentylene glycol which is a penetration enhancer, zinc, and some thickeners and preservatives. There’s very little else in this besides what is advertised, which is what I have come to expect from The Ordinary.
In the dropper, this is kind of cloudy, but squeezed onto the hand it is basically clear. However, I think due to the thickeners, people have reported pilling up a bit for them. This has never been an issue in the night time, but I do find that if I use it in the morning and apply sunscreen and foundation after, I sometimes find white bits on my face. But I haven’t had it happen recently at all, so maybe I was just using too many silicones at that time!
It has frequently been said that niacinamide and L-ascorbic acid (the most potent form of Vit C) shouldn’t be used together, but Kind of Stephen (kind of) debunks that. Having personally experienced some of the flushing and hotness described that occurs when you mix the two, I would personally not use Vit C products and this together, but you could if you’re less sensitive.
As this serum is fairly thick, one thing I like to do is to mix it into my COSRX Galactomyces Essence mentioned above, as that is very watery and it helps the serum be easier to spread. It can be used on it’s own too though, without issues.
I think it’s a great serum and I especially love to use it when my skin is very congested and inflamed (like around shark week.) It helps to soothe my skin and I do notice the congestion reducing. Also my pores are practically invisible most days, so it does help in that regard. My skin is definitely brighter and clearer after so many months of usage of this higher %, rather than just the amount available in the Galactomyces essence. I think this is like a workhorse serum – you won’t see incredible benefits (unlike the Advanced Retinoid) but with daily use the effects are visible over the long term.
Overall, I really like this serum and it’s also at a great price point. I may even stop buying the Galactomyces essence and use this by itself 🙂