The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc

Hey besties! I’ve got to say that The Ordinary is kinda crushing the skincare game for me right now. In terms of effectiveness and price, the brand has got it down. The Ordinary’s 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc serum has been touted by the skincare community as an acne clearing holy grail, so as an acne-prone student on a budget, I absolutely had to try it.


The Ordinary says this is a “A high-strength vitamin-and-mineral blemish formula with 10 percent pure niacinamide and one percent zinc PCA.” They also highlight Niacinamide and Zinc as the star ingredients: “Niacinamide (vitamin B3) reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10 percent concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc PCA to balance visible aspects of sebum activity. This product is vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without alcohol, silicone, nuts, gluten, and fragrance.

One thing I love about The Ordinary is the simple ingredient lists. They keep it effective, maximizing the bang for your buck. They truly revolutionized the skincare field and I strongly believe that similar brands like The Inkey List have a similar pull for the same reasons. However, this does mean that the average consumer has to understand what exactly the ingredients do—they can’t just blindly purchase a product based off the name. That’s why I kind of love The Ordinary and what they’ve done in the product description here.


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

Suuuuch a mouthful right?? Kidding. But seriously, I really, really love this ingredient list. It’s so beautifully crafted like a delicious recipe. Every single ingredient is critical to the composition of this product, and not a single one can be taken away. First, we have water to slightly dilute the concentration of the product. Next, we have a 10% concentration of our BEAUTIFUL niacinamide, which helps reduce blemishes and brighten the skin tone. Pentylene Glycol is a synthetic humectant, so it helps to moisturize the skin. We also have 1% Zinc PCA in here, which helps regulate excess sebum activity. Don’t underestimate that 1%, it works so effectively and is half the reason I love, love, love this product. Next is Dimethyl Isosorbide, which just helps loosen the formula so it’s not too thick. Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum is a polysaccharide that leaves the skin velvety and smooth. I can 100% feel the effects of this ingredient. Xanthan gum has a lot of ingredient uses, but its main use is likely for the product texture and formulation. Isoceteth-20 is an emulsifier that helps incorporate hydrophobic and hydrophyllic elements together. Ethoxydiglycol is just a solvent, meaning that it helps carry the important products, ultimately improving the function, penetration, and texture of the overall product. Phenoxyethanol is the product’s preservative and is classified to be of moderate concern by the EWG, since it is classified as an irritant and potentially toxic, having adverse effects on the central and peripheral nervous system. However, it definitely depends on the dosage, and even though I’m not ecstatic with the EWG rating, Phenoxyethanol is at the bottom of the ingredients list, so it has a pretty low concentration. Similarly, Chlorphenesin is also a preservative that helps prevent bacteria contamination. It is rated as fairly concerning by the EWG and has been reported to cause allergic dermatitis in human studies. (Allergic dermatitis is basically when you put a substance that you are allergic to on your skin, and it triggers an immune reaction induced rash on your skin. It is also an immunosuppressant according to animal and in vitro testing. This is why it’s important to spot test every product!

If you got through that dense chunk, MWAH, lots of kisses and appreciation for you. However, if you just want the TL;DR (which is very fair), the ingredients list is short, and contains ingredients that super effective at reducing blemishes, brightening the skin, regulating sebum production, and leaving the skin texture smooth and velvety. However, the product does contain two ingredients, Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin which may be irritating to the skin, but since it is at the bottom of the list, and therefore, the product does not contain a lot of it, I am not extremely concerned about it. Just remember to always patch test!

Price: The price is actually pretty unanimous across several retailers! So just choose which one has free shipping or is easily accessible to you!

Sephora: (Free Shipping Above $50)

30 mL for $5.90

60 mL for $10.60


30 mL for $5.90 (Not Including Shipping)

The Ordinary: (Free Shipping Above $25)

30 mL for $5.90

60 mL for $10.60

Super viscous so a little goes a long way!

The Run-Down:

Overall, I simply cannot express how much I love this product. From the price point to the effects, (which are clearly due to the effective and simple ingredient list), this whole product experience is just incredible. From the first use, I could feel the Zinc kicking in and reducing my excess sebum production. I also loved the velvety feel that the Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum contributed. It made my skin feel like other products absorbed so much better. (It also weirdly helped my eyebrow makeup look better and stay on longer) After using for a few weeks, my skin visibly cleared. Even though I still got breakouts, my skin definitely would have been worse without the Niacinamide. I will definitely be keeping this product on my shelf. At the very least, it’s convinced me of my love for Niacinamide, Zinc, and Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum. The only thing I would be wary of is the Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin. Just make sure to patch test before using and you should be fine!

Pros and Cons:


  • Effective at reducing sebum and blemishes
  • Budget friendly price point
  • Fragrance Free


  • Contains Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin

Who Should Use:

The Ordinary says this is a product for all skin types and I could definitely see how that’s true. If you have acne, and especially if you have excess sebum, this product is a game changer.

Rating: ⭐

4.5/5 Stars

I couldn’t find a half star, but you get the point. I absolutely adore this product, but I decided to take of 0.5 stars for the inclusion of Phenoxyethanol and Chlorphenesin. However, I feel as though it’s really not a problem as long as you patch test!

Thanks for reading this post! If you enjoyed it, please leave a like, comment, or share this with your friends. If you want to see more, join the email notification list on the right! Until next time ❤ …


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