My Skin Tips

The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum: In-Depth Review

The Ordinary Niacinamide serum is an affordable skincare gem that rivals luxury products. Discover its impact on skin, key ingredients, pros and cons.
The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum: In-Depth Review

Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but some affordable skin care products can be as good as luxurious ones. This became crystal clear to me when I first used The Ordinary Niacinamide serum. It provides a remarkable effect of glassy, flawless skin right after application and makes you addicted (in a good way) to endless compliments. I’ve been familiar with this product for several years and remain a loyal customer. Let’s see what makes this serum stand out and explore any potential drawbacks.

Packaging, Bottle, and Dropper

Packaging: The first thing that caught my eye was the packaging. Recently, I've become intrigued by what makes me favor one type of cosmetic packaging over another. It struck me that it's often about the associations they bring to mind. The Ordinary's packaging is minimalist yet impactful, radiating a sense of chic professionalism. It reminds me of the type of skincare products you might find in a dermatologist's office.

Bottle: Upon opening the box, you're greeted with the serum in a recyclable glass vial, a nod to sustainability. The bottle's see-through design is particularly handy, allowing you to keep an eye on the remaining amount of the product. Consistency in design is evident, as the bottle's label echoes the box's minimalist aesthetic, eliminating the need to retain the box for product information.

Dropper: The dropper mechanism presents a dual aspect. It's beneficial in preventing direct skin contact, thereby reducing potential contamination. However, its design falls short in reaching the very bottom of the bottle, posing a challenge in utilizing the serum completely.

Key Ingredients Review

The list of ingredients is short and modest but highly effective. Of course, niacinamide and zinc are the real stars of this formula. I’ve never used them in such a pair before, but the practice has shown – together, they work perfectly!


Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin with multiple benefits. It regulates sebum production, minimizes red blotchiness, treats hyperpigmentation, and reduces fine lines. Many skincare fans love this ingredient because it suits any skin type and rarely causes adverse reactions.

Zinc PCA

Zinc PCA is an essential micronutrient needed for the normal function of the skin. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, this component is especially beneficial for inflammatory acne, eczema, and rosacea. It is also known as a potent soothing agent that can alleviate skin irritation and reduce itching. Zinc is mostly safe for any skin type, even the most sensitive and acne-prone.

My Personal Experience

First off, a bit about me - I'm a 30-year-old woman with a healthy lifestyle and combination skin, characterized by slightly enlarged pores. Blackheads do make occasional appearances in my T-zone, but regular extractions help me keep them at bay. As someone deeply passionate about skincare, I'm always on the hunt for the ideal mix of cosmetic ingredients, which is how The Ordinary Niacinamide serum caught my attention.

I've found that using this serum in my nighttime routine works best for me. My application method is straightforward. Following a thorough cleanse and tone, I apply a small amount of the serum to each area of my face, gently patting it in with my fingertips. I allow it to sink in before applying a moisturizer, which helps seal in all the beneficial ingredients.

After consistently using the serum for a month, I noticed a significant reduction in the oily sheen on my T-zone. My pores appear somewhat smaller, likely because my sebaceous glands are less active. Blackheads are still present, but they're now less noticeable and mainly confined to my nose.

The overall texture and tone of my skin have improved so much that I've started to wear less makeup. As for wrinkles, I didn’t see much change, but they were quite minimal to begin with. The most remarkable effect was the rapid fading of my post-acne marks, much quicker than I've experienced before. Interestingly, I didn’t experience any skin purging with this serum, though I know it's a common concern for many.

Pros of The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum

  • Science-Backed Formula: The Ordinary Niacinamide serum is rooted in scientific research, ensuring its effectiveness.
  • Compatibility: Acts like a versatile friend in your skincare routine, mixing well with almost all cosmetic ingredients, except vitamin C.
  • Multifunctional: Addresses a variety of skin concerns:
    • Reduces breakouts
    • Lightens dark spots
    • Evens out skin texture
    • Controls excess oil
  • Instant Effect: Provides an immediate glassy and luminous effect to the skin.
  • Affordability: Priced reasonably, making it accessible for everyone to try.

Cons of The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum

  • Lack of Expiration Information: The bottle doesn't feature a printed expiration date or a PAO (Period After Opening) symbol.
    • Approximate shelf life is three months, but clearer labeling would be more reassuring.
  • Application Challenge:
    • The serum dries quickly, which can make spreading it evenly a bit difficult.
    • Requires some practice and adjustment in application technique.

Final Verdict

This product has truly won me over with its effective results. Given its moderate strength of niacinamide, it's ideal for people with normal, combination, or oily skin, particularly if you're tackling issues like pigmentation, redness, or uneven skin texture. For those with dry, sensitive, or rosacea-prone skin, opting for a serum with a lower concentration of niacinamide (in the 2-5% range) might be better. Overall, the positives of this serum significantly outweigh the minor inconveniences, making it a fantastic value for its incredibly affordable price.

About the author
Mari Bash

All Beauty in One Digest

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