Skincare Review: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

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!

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Have not scrubbed the polish off my cuticles but this colour is awesome is it not?!

 

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 🙂

Sample Rundown: I don’t get many samples

  1. Innisfree Green Tea Seed serum:

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I didn’t like the Enriched Orchid Cream (review), from another Innisfree line, so I didn’t have that high hopes. Seriously, all Innisfree products are insanely fragranced. Maybe I’m just used to CosRX’s non fragranced stuff, but holy shit this fragrance is so strong. It’s not unpleasant, but I don’t want to put perfume on my face

It does seem reasonably effective – my skin seemed a lot smoother and nicer when I was using it, but I was using it when my skincare routine was barebones with only the Galactomyces essence (which tells you how long I’ve been writing this post…) I didn’t try it for very long, of course. 2 sample sachets lasted me about 3 days with day and night use, but it did seem quite nice. It’s rather slippery and siliconey but it did seem to have lasting hydration effects, which is definitely more than I can say about the Orchid cream. It’s also fairly affordable – you can buy it here [affiliate] for $43,90 for TWO 80ml bottles, or $23,90 for one, which seems like a pretty good deal to me for a ton of serum! I would consider this if my hands ever felt an itching to try new serums.

2. Innisfree Green Tea Seed cream:

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Holy shit this is so fragranced. After being used to CosRX’s very nicely unfragranced Rice Mask, this is a bit overpowering. It is also super siliconey, and pills up a bit if I’ve applied too much stuff underneath. I don’t find that it moisturizes that well either. At least it didn’t give me a film on my face like the horrible Orchid cream. Overall, a solid meh. Just in case you still want to buy it, you can find it here for $21.90 plus shipping. Personally, I would recommend the CosRX masks as moisturizer instead.

3. Dr Belmeur Daily Repair Foam Cleanser

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This was also super fragranced, which was not great, but it was quite low foaming, which was good. I feel like it cleansed my skin well without leaving residue, but also not leaving it tight. However I did get a couple of rather deep pimples in the couple of days I was using this wash – not sure if it was entirely due to this wash, or just three consecutive 12 hour work days and the wrong time of the month. I think the whole Dr Belmeur line is very cute (reminds me of like, Dutch milkmaids, but one whose a practicing doctor? Idk) but The Face Shop has a long history of meh skincare products, so…. It’s available for $11.89 from my bae Roseroseshop which I buy all my Korean shit from, not too bad a product to try out.

4. Danahan Silky Radiance BB Cream in 23

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If Sulwhasoo was the queen of traditional Korean skincare, Danahan must be one of the imperial consorts, assuming Korean royal court worked like all the Chinese ones in the dramas I watched in my childhood. My 2 sachets are in 23, which is the colour I prefer in Korean terms because I’m more scared of the bald eagle effect than having a slightly darker face. It also has SPF 30 which you know means almost nothing to me.

This is a super thick BB cream. It’s so thick that it’s difficult to spread with fingers and I had to use a brush, which left streaks that I had to blend further with my fingers… not a good start. After that, it didn’t look too bad, although it does look rather heavy. I’ve also not been using a face primer recently, and I felt like this didn’t cover up my pores as beautifully as my other foundations. It also looked a bit heavier than what I’m used to, but it does have more coverage than say, my Koh Gen Do 213.

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L-R Koh Gen Do Aqua 213, The Saem Tip Perfection concealer in 1.5, Danahan BB Cream in 23

You can see it’s much more neutral than the super olive 213, and it doesn’t have much of a grey cast. Overall, it’s a bit too neutral/pink for my face, and too dark, but passable.

I think it’s alright…? You might want to try it if you want to feel like a fancy traditional Korean. It’s not a bad product, but perhaps not what I’m used to (and I’m very finicky about shade matches.) You can get 40ml of the BB cream and a free gel cleanser for $30.69 from Roseroseshop.

Skincare review: The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Time for the next installment on The Ordinary!

Alpha Arbutin is something that I definitely wanted to get, because who doesn’t want brightening and pigmentation fading? Arbutin is a key ingredient in many Asian skincare brands, but in here it is in a more powerful form Alpha Arbutin, and in a very high 2% concentration. The question is, does it work?

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My little girl’s grapes, just because.

Continue reading “Skincare review: The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA”

Skincare Review: Update on Retinoid 2%!

So I did promise that I would do an update in mid April, and here we are!

I am happy to say that I am right and my skin has cleared up lots. I only get my regular hormonal once a month freak out, and I would say they are a bit less horrible than usual. I get much less whiteheads and clogs in general, and almost no giant inflamed pimples (except those stupid deep hormonal ones once a month.)

Although my acne did stop being full blown before I started using the retinoid, I was having a LOT of texture on my chin, which is totally visible even after foundation and concealer.

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24th Feb timestamp, right before I started using the retinoid.

Continue reading “Skincare Review: Update on Retinoid 2%!”

Skincare Review: The Ordinary 100% Organic Rosehip oil and how it changed my make up routine

This is the next installment in my series of The Ordinary reviews. This also happens to be something that helped me totally overhaul my make up routine, so sit up guys!

Rosehip oil is known for many skin-supporting functions. It is high in linoleic acid, which means it’s not greasy, and can even help acne. You can read Lab Muffin’s post for more information. In short, low linoleic levels may cause acne, so using rosehip oil can help to balance your skin and reduce the proliferation of bacteria. Its high linoleic acid content means that it’s also not ‘greasy’ feeling as most oils.

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Stunning natural lighting is everything.

Continue reading “Skincare Review: The Ordinary 100% Organic Rosehip oil and how it changed my make up routine”

Skincare Review: The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%

This is the product I was the most excited for from The Ordinary. As you know, I had rather bad hormonal acne on my chin for about 6 months. Although somehow it went away by itself and I don’t have huge cystic acne there like I used to, I still have very clogged pores there and a fair bit of texture. It bothers me for sure. So I was hoping Retinoid would wipe it clean and make my skin baby smooth again.

EDIT: Update as promised here, with before and after photos!

Sorry for the blurry pic! Also, HOW FANTASTIC IS MY NAIL COLOUR.

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Continue reading “Skincare Review: The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%”