Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

12:09:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Review

The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a great introduction to both The Ordinary brand and niacinamide as an ingredient. When companies throw around jargon like niacinamide, retinoids, vitamin C, extract this, extract that, the first thing that comes to mind is all the dollar signs it will cost. With this little bottle of serum, I was able to try a new specialty skincare ingredient without the worries of having spent an obscene amount of money on something that won't play well with my skin.

*This post is mainly based on my experience with the product after about 1.5 month of use—which is around how long a bottle lasted me and my brother when applying it once daily.

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% packaging

Deciem's description:

pH 5.50-6.50, water-free, alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, & cruelty-free

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.

Apply to entire face morning and evening before heavier creams.


Serum 30 ml

Deciem: USD $5.90

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% flat lay

I first saw this brand sprinkled throughout the Explore section of Instagram. I didn't pay much attention to it until Liah Yoo made a video on treating acne scars; it piqued my interest but didn't make me want to actively search it up. I just assumed it would be an expensive product and clicked away. C'mon the packaging and name makes it seem kind of fancy and clinical. Plus, I try not to click on everything YouTubers recommend so I don't overspend and hoard. It wasn't until Liah's follow-up The Ordinary review video, with "Best Skincare Under $10?!" in its title, did I become a tad obsessed and wanted to learn more about the brand and its products.

The Ordinary offers a ton of specialized products. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% stood out to me because Deciem markets this primarily for skin blemishes, congestion, and oiliness. Then a bunch of YouTubers and blogs noted it for being most beneficial to acne scarring and pores amongst a whole list of other concerns; all sounded like skin issues I have and wouldn't mind treating/preventing.

Benefits of topical niacinamide

→Good for acne, psoriasis, & rosacea

Reduces clogged pores
→Therefore improves oil production & the appearance of large pores

Stimulates cell renewal
→Evens skin tone (sallowness & dullness)
→Improves skin texture
→Reduces blotchiness & hyperpigmentation
→Repairs sun damaged skin

Increases production of collagen & ceramides
→Strengthens skin barrier
→Prevents moisture loss & dryness
→Feels more hydrated, soft, & supple
→Good for anti-aging (fine lines), skin elasticity

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% pipette


Like with a majority of The Ordinary's products, the niacinamide serum comes in a glass bottle with a  dropper. It allows for very precise control of how much product to dispense. If I could change something about the packaging it would definitely be the pipette; it doesn't reach the bottom of the bottle so getting the remaining product was a challenge. Deciem/The Ordinary, please source a pipette that is slightly longer and tapered towards one side!

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% swatch

Color, Texture, Finish, & Scent

The serum has no scent and no color. It is a viscose liquid, almost gel-like, that is easy to spread. Application of the serum can be tricky. If it isn't rubbed in properly and instead let to sink in on its own, the serum will dry out and leave white streaks. If it is rubbed in too rigorously it also leaves a white film. I like to lightly rub it in and then pat it down to help absorption. I have read that some people experience pilling but I have not.

How I Apply

I am not any more liberal with the serum just because it is an inexpensive product; if I was then it would completely defeat the point of it being affordable in the sense that I would go through a bottle way too quickly. Effective products should work even if a minimal amount is applied. I do use this to treat more areas (i.e. applying to neck versus not) but I would not dispense more serum per area than necessary.

With that being said, I have used this in two ways: apply ~1-2 drops per area on the forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, and neck (which comes out to be almost 1 pipette of product per use) or mix 3-4 drops with my moisturizer or oil.

Somehow I was able to persuade my teenage brother to test the product too. At the time, the both of us applied it at night only and directly onto our skin. When using the serum this way, one bottle seems to last about a month or so between the two of us. If using twice daily for 1 person, it'll probably last 1 month as well. If used once daily for 1 person then perhaps closer to 2 months. If mixed only a little with a cream or oil, it will obviously last much longer.

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% before after

Just my guess on what kind of acne I have via observation. I haven't been professionally assessed by a derm.

Have more pustules (pus-filled pimples), blackheads, whiteheads, and some papules (inflamed red acne with no pus).

Only applied at night after cleansing and toner/essence but before moisturizer.

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% brother before after

Again, this is just my guess on his condition from observation. He usually doesn't give a darn about his acne so he has also never been assessed professionally. I wish I had taken true "Before serum" and "After serum" photos but I didn't. To be completely transparent about it, the pics are of him after a month's nightly use versus a month without after he got fed up with my nonsense. His acne condition, prior to using the serum, looked more or less like the right photo, possibly a little worse.

Has more papules than pustules, sometimes has cysts (deeper rooted, large, painful acne with pus). He also has a lot of blackheads and whiteheads.

Only applied at night without any other skincare products and only cleanses face with water.

Thoughts & Recommendations

Neither of us experienced irritations from using the serum. We didn't do a patch test nor did we slowly build up our routine. The main benefit common to the both of us is a reduction of inflammation amongst red bumps. Over the course of the month, the bumps seem to subdue faster compared to before using niacinamide. Since my brother has a higher concentration of red acne than I do, he looks to have had drastically better results. However, it didn't seem like the niacinamide is stopping new acne from emerging—just that whatever came up the serum would help to make it less severe and recover a little faster. I think this is what Deciem meant when they say niacinamide will "reduce the look of blemishes" rather than be a treatment for acne.

I benefitted more than my brother from niacinamide's declogging abilities. My skin feels a lot smoother and looks less congested (especially from whiteheads in the chin area). There is also a big difference in my facial congestions when I applied the Niacinamide 10% serum directly and when I mixed it with my moisturizer. Direct application is, of course, more effective.

My skin concerns aren't 100% fixed, heck it doesn't even look that much different without the photos. I would say it seems comparably better than before I used the serum though. My pores do not look smaller per say; they do feel a little more clear (I tested this without exfoliating). I am hoping the appearance of my pores will improve with continued use. As of right now, I cannot attest to how helpful it is for the oilies since my skin hasn't adjusted to the hotter & more humid weather yet.

One and a half months is definitely not enough time to see results for scars, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. Given the skin concerns the serum has been helpful for already and the great price point, I am not hesitant at all to continue using and repurchasing it. I may up the dosage to both day and night application or I might continue the current nightly routine and look to add toners/essences/moisturizers formulated with niacinamide. If I do end up purchasing it again and see better results for hyperpigmentation, skin tone, and fine lines I will most likely share an updated post.