REVIEW: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - The Moisturizer
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REVIEW: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

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Do you want to improve your skin’s texture? Is your skin oily? Perhaps you want to take care of redness and sensitive skin? With The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% you can achieve all that and more. Niacinamide is a wonderful antioxidant, check how including this serum in your skincare routines can benefit you!


Hello! How are you? It’s been a while since I last published an article on the blog, but those who follow me on Instagram will know that between trips and other things I haven’t had much free time. Today I want to talk about one of my favorite products of The Ordinary (and I know that of many more): Niacinamide 10% + 1% Zinc.


You can get the serum The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% on DECIEM (recommended) and on SkinStore.

You already know that The Ordinary is one of my favorite skincare brands. Their products are effective, inexpensive and do not contain unnecessary ingredients. I have already told you on several posts about other products that I love from this brand, such as the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, which is a perfect solution for those who need to improve hydration, the Caffeine Solution 5% + ECGC, excellent for reducing dark circles, or Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, perfect to help reduce spots. If you have trouble deciding and want to know which products of The Ordinary are the best for your skin you can take a look at this comparison.

Let’s start with the basics: what is niacinamide (vitamin B3)? It is an active that brings three main benefits to your skin: balancing oil levels, improving the tone (reducing pigmentation) and improving skin texture. So if your skin is oily or combination and you are looking to reduce pimples and blackheads, or if you want to get rid of spots, niacinamide is a perfect ingredient for you. In addition, unlike other ingredients that help improve skin tone (such as vitamin C), niacinamide is safe to use throughout the whole year and, generally speaking, is not irritating (although it can irritate the most sensitive skins).

The serum is transparent, slightly whitish. It has a very characteristic smell and a watery texture although a bit thick. When applied, the sensation is pleasant, it spreads well and it’s quickly absorbed. It didn’t leave a sticky sensation for me, but I have read cases of people who felt like that after using it (it should be studied if it is due to the product itself, the rest of their routine, etc.). I have been using it for some time now (including a month of especially intensive use) and I still have about 40% of the product left, so it goes a long way. Applying 3 or 4 drops is enough for an excellent result, you will not need more.

And the most important thing is: is this serum effective? In my case it is VERY effective. Now in summer my skin tends to get more oily and I usually get extra black spots. However, using niacinamide I have noticed much more controlled oil levels and a much smoother texture. In addition, I was getting some tiny spots on the cheekbone and I have managed to control them and make them disappear, so, as you will understand, this serum has become a staple in my summer routines.

For me, the best companion of this serum is another one that helps you keep your skin well hydrated, such as The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. If you are looking to reduce stains effectively you can combine it in winter with a serum with Vitamin C, such as The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution or The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (this one is stronger, I would recommend starting with a softer one like the first). You may have read at some point that vitamin C and niacinamide should not be combined, but the reality is that by combining both you can improve their results and there is no problem in using them together.

In short, this has become one of my favorite summer serums. It is light, it helps me keep excess oil at bay and it is good for reducing spots, what else can you ask for?



I like to use this serum in my morning routines, although you can do it at night (in fact, if you want to combine it with another vitamin C I recommend using them at night). Before using it, you should clean and tone the skin and then spread 3 or 4 drops of product all over the face, massaging gently with the fingertips to make sure it is well absorbed. Then you just have to apply the moisturizer (and sunscreen, if it’s a morning routine) and that’s it.

This graphic aims to help you understand in which part of your skincare routine you should use each product.
You don’t need to do all the steps from this routine (but you should always cleanse, moisturize and use sunscreen).
Remember it’s key to do a patch test every time you consider adding new products to your skincare routine.



Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

You can get the serum The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% on DECIEM (recommended) and on SkinStore.


Does this serum dry out your skin or make new pimples appear?

Keep in mind that this serum includes zinc in its formula, so it may dry your skin. This is usually great for oilier skin types, but if your skin is dry or dehydrated, I’d advise you to check my niacinamide serums comparison, in which I’m sure you’ll find a suitable alternative for your skincare needs.

If this serum causes you an unwanted reaction (itchiness, redness…) or you start getting several pimples, this concentration of niacinamide may be excessive for your skin, so you may use it at a lower frequency or try a lower concentration and see how your skin evolves and, in case you notice it’s too much for you, stop using it.

Besides that, you should know that niacinamide doesn’t cause purging, since it doesn’t accelerate the cell turnover process, so if this reaction I mentioned isn’t caused by frequency of use, your skin may not tolerate the formula or one of its ingredients. In this case, you should contact the manufacturer to make them aware of the situation and, if necessary, they’ll evaluate if they need to reformulate the product.

To avoid future unwanted reactions, don’t forget to do a patch test and include new products to your skincare routines progressively to check how your skin responds to them.


Have you tried any other serum with niacinamide before? What are your key products to help you improve pimples and blackheads? If you have any questions after reading the post, do not hesitate to leave me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible.


If you enjoyed this post and want to continue learning about skincare you should have a look at these two:

Do you want to learn to take better care of your skin? You can see an index of all my informative posts here

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The Moisturizer

I’m Nacho and I’m passionate about skincare. I really enjoy learning and sharing my knowledge about skincare and I read scientific papers so you don’t have to. I want to break stereotypes because I believe skincare has no gender: skin is skin.  


  1. briella

    Hi! I’m currently using The Ordinary Niacinamide and Sunflower Oil, aaand I want to add Vitamin C serum in those two. Would it be okay to use the three together? If yes, how do I layer it? Thanks so much!!

  2. Frodo

    Hi Nacho, thank you for your blog. It is really is helpful. I would just like to know as to when should I use a gel moisturizer if I also use the ordinary niacinamide serum. I’m cleansing first, toner second, this serum, and last would be the gel moisturizer. Can you please advise if my order of usage is correct? Thanks in advance!

  3. Sammy

    Hi. I wanted to know whether this product is safe for using on a 16-year old skin. As well as the as “The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Mask”. Would there be any negative/harmful effects on using it on young skin (16 year old)? For either product.

    • Nacho · The Moisturizer

      Hi Sammy, welcome! 😊

      I think both products could be suitable for a 16-year old, as long as they’re used correctly, thoroughly following the brand’s instructions, but I’d start with the basics: cleansing, moisturizing and using sunscreen on a daily basis, maybe it’s all you need. If you’re thinking about developing a new skincare routine, my post on how to create a skincare routine can be quite helpful for you 😉

      Here you can check a list of all my informative posts, I’m sure you’ll find it useful! 🖤

      Have a nice day,

  4. Kat

    According to what I have read you shouldn’t use niaminade and vitamin C together as thry don’t work good together. Also Vitamin C works better in the AM not the PM.

    • Nacho · The Moisturizer

      Hi Kat, welcome! 😊

      I’d advise you to check my guide on vitamin C, in which I thoroughly explain why niacinamide and vitamin C actually do work well together and why different formulas of vitamin C work better in your AM or PM routines depending on different factors 😉

      Have a nice day,

  5. Kath

    Hi, i’m currently using it now. My current steps are facial cleanser (cosrx) > thayers toner > the ordinary niacinamide serum > nature republic aloe vera soothing gel. is this ok? im using TO for a week now. and im seeing 2/3 pimples. idk if this is purging or what. also, im planning to use toner AND the ordinary only (w/o moisturizer) to test. is it ok? sorry if i have so many questions 😂🤦🏻‍♀️

  6. Meen

    Hi! I am planning on incorporating this product in my routine. However, I am currently using a facial oil (Sunflower Oil) and I am confused which should go first, this serum or the oil? Hoping you could respond. Thank you!

    • Nacho · The Moisturizer

      Hi Meen! Welcome to my blog!

      You should always apply products depending on their density (going from lighter to heavier ones). In this particular case, your should use the niacinamide serum after cleansing and toning, before your moisturizer and the facial oil you mention. If you want to read more about how to properly use your cosmetics I’d recommend you to check this post 😊

      All the best,

      • Meen

        I see. Thank you for responding! Btw, I’m currently reading your posts here in the blog and I find them extremely helpful!👌🏼

        • Nacho · The Moisturizer

          Hi there Meen! 😊

          I’m happy you’re finding my posts so helpful, my main aim is to give you a better understanding on your skin and how to take care of it, so your support means a lot to me. Remember that sharing is caring, so don’t hesitate to show your friends my blog! 😊

          Have a wonderful day,

      • ADITI OZA

        hey , do we need to wash face after using niacinamide 10% + zinc 1% , and how much time do we need to apply it on skin?

        • Nacho · The Moisturizer

          Hi Aditi! 😊

          There’s no need to wash it off, you just apply it after cleansing and toning, right before your moisturizer (and, on your AM routines, your sunscreen). Keep in mind that, in case it was necessary to wash it off, I would specify it on the how to use section (and the brand would state it as well) 😉

          Have a nice day,

  7. MiMi

    Hello Nacho, can this be used with EUK? and if so, do I apply niacinamide first, and then EUK?

    Thanks for your help!


      • Florence

        Hi, I also use both these products but also diluted tea tree oil, and wondered where this would go in the order of application, thanks!

        • Nacho · The Moisturizer

          Hi Florence, welcome to my blog! 😊

          I don’t really like tea tree oil, since it’s pretty harsh with the skin barrier, but in case you want to use it I’d advise you to do it as a spot treatment. This serum should be applied after cleansing and toning, right before your moisturizer (and sunscreen, if you use it in your PM routine) 😉

          All the best,

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