January 6, 2017

[Review] The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1% Blemish Serum

It’s been a couple of months now since The Ordinary hit the scene and wowed us all with their staggeringly low prices. I picked up a few things when they were first released, and now after testing them for a couple of months, I’m finally ready to review them. Is The Ordinary an awesome steal or a total bust? Let’s find out!

My Skin

Combo, acne-prone, clog-prone

Since my skin is so prone to breakouts, I also suffer from a lot of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which isn’t helped at all by the fact that I still pop my pimples even though I know I shouldn’t.


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


  • Niacinamide: helps to fade hyperpigmentation and speed healing
  • Zinc: reduces sebum, which in turn can prevent blemishes, also reduces inflammation and scarring


Frosted glass bottle with a dropper. Functional, efficient, and attractive. Well-designed, with the exception that it’s not very travel-friendly or clumsy-person friendly.

Other Product Notes:

Scent: None
Texture: Slightly thicker than water and a bit slippery, the closest comparison I can think of is coconut water.
Absorbency: Absorbs fairly quickly, about 30 seconds to a minute.
Caution: Don’t use with a Vitamin C product as Niacinamide and Zinc don’t play well together, it can cause the skin to flush and become overly warm. If you want to use both in your routine, use one in the a.m. and the other in the p.m.

My Experience:

It took me a while to see results from this serum, which is why I’ve held off on reviewing it for so long. In the last couple of weeks though, I’ve noticed a major difference in the amount of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in my skin. It’s way less red than usual, though I can still tell I have some scarring if I look closely. It’s not been making my scars disappear completely (yet, I believe over time they’ll fade completely), but it has been making them a lighter pink than their usual bright red. Early on in my use of this serum, I also noticed it seemed to make my blemishes heal a tiny bit faster once they got to the dried out stage. It’s nothing miraculous by any means, but it is worth mentioning in my opinion. By way of comparison, I feel like the CosRx Master Pimple Patches make my blemishes heal faster than this does. I haven’t noticed this effecting my sebum levels at all, positively or negatively. It hasn’t dried out my skin or irritated it in any way, and it doesn’t sting on application. Be careful not to over-apply this, because if you put on a thick layer and it doesn’t absorb all the way, it tends to get a little sticky and pill off. Other than the fact that the packaging is breakable (it’s thick glass, so it could probably survive a minor fall but not, like, being thrown around by baggage handlers at the airport), I have nothing negative to say about the product. It took a while to see results, but now that I have, I’m quite pleased with it, especially considering the price. It’s definitely worth giving it a try if you’re looking for something to treat hyperpigmentation and/or you regularly deal with acne.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1% Blemish Serum can be found here for $5.90 (1 oz)
Have you tried anything from The Ordinary so far? Anything from the line you want me to try? Let me know in the comments down below!
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Thanks for reading!
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