What is ordinary niacinamide and how to use it? Complete Step by Step Guide

The Ordinary is a low-cost skincare line that prioritises using effective ingredients. Most items may be included in your regular skincare routine with no effort. The Niacinamide Ordinary 10% and Zinc 1% combination is one of The Ordinary’s most popular products. Have you heard that The Ordinary also sells niacinamide in powder form? These niacinamide products have a high ingredient concentration, allowing for rapid improvement.

The serum is marketed as a B vitamin (especially B3) that can treat acne and dark spots. In addition to lowering the look of acne scars and wrinkles, large pores, and uneven skin tone, it can also reduce the appearance of these issues (including fading dark spots). The strangest thing is that I found it most effective in reducing something it doesn’t even claim to the darkness under my eyes. Read on for my forthright opinion.

In today’s review of The Ordinary’s niacinamide products, I’ll share my impressions of both the 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc and the 100% Niacinamide Powder formulations.

Benefits of Niacinamide

Niacinamide, made from vitamin B3, is one of my favourite skincare ingredients because it helps the skin in many ways.

  • It Controls oil production and soothes acne-prone skin with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It helps make pores appear smaller.
  • It reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots, evens skin tone, and is effective against melasma by inhibiting the synthesis of melanin (pigment).
  • Increases collagen synthesis in addition to involucrin, filaggrin, and keratin, all of which contribute to more plump, wrinkle-free skin.
  • Improves rosacea and skin barrier function by increasing ceramide synthesis.
  • Boosts the renewal of skin cells and facilitates their removal through exfoliation, resulting in a smoother, younger-looking face.
  • Protects skin from sunburn and oxidative stress thanks to its antioxidant properties.

Niacinamide is very popular because it works well to treat several skin problems, such as visible signs of aging, uneven skin tone, and a weakened skin barrier.

What do you think of The Ordinary’s niacinamide offerings, then? Even though we know that The Ordinary’s products are cheap, we want to know what makes their niacinamide formulas work so well.

Side Effects of Niacinamide

The calming and skin-beneficial effects of niacinamide are well-known. Niacinamide, whether applied locally or consumed orally, may cause flushing in certain individuals. Results from studies on niacin-induced flushing suggest that tolerance develops rapidly. An excess of free niacin in niacinamide triggers this flushing. Niacin is known to trigger this kind of reaction. However, the specially refined grades of this chemical utilized by Paula’s Choice Skincare are extremely unlikely to do so.

Do you need niacinamide to see improvements?

Murphy-Rose says that to get rid of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, you should mix niacinamide with other skin-lightening compounds like kojic acid, which comes from the fermentation of mushrooms and rice and is a synthetic form of the amino acid lysine.

Niacinamide, kojic acid, and tranexamic acid are a powerful trio for treating hyperpigmentation, and they’re all found in SkinCeuticals’ Hyperpigmentation Defense, a dark spot corrector. Engelman likes the golden kiwi fruit better than the liquorice root in the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Niacinamide Blemish Serum. The liquorice root makes the skin look brighter, and the golden kiwi fruit gives the skin vitamin C.

Murphy-Rose suggests using a mineral-based sunscreen first thing in the morning. She says that for the best sun protection, you should use a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, like EltaMD UV Clear.

Engelman goes into more detail about each of these, explaining how combining niacinamides with peptides, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid will improve results even more.

  • Peptides are short chains that are integral in developing the proteins that make up the skin. When applied topically, peptides encourage cells to increase collagen formation, among other beneficial effects.
  • Ceramides are lipid molecules that are waxy and are found naturally between skin cells. The skin’s lipid layer keeps in moisture and protects the skin from pollution, germs, and other invaders. The lipid layer can be upset by environmental factors.
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a powerful skin moisturizer because it can absorb and store 1,000 times its weight in water. It forms a barrier that locks in moisture and enhances the skin’s texture. As you age, your skin loses moisture and elasticity, but using this product regularly can help stop that from happening.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The combination of 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA) in this best-selling serum can control how much oil is made.

  • The recipe has a healthy amount of niacinamide (10%) to make skin flaws and congestion look less noticeable.
  • Niacinamide serum from The Ordinary isn’t meant to cure acne, and the company recommends using benzoyl peroxide and retinoic acid instead.

Acne sufferers can also benefit from using salicylic acid in their treatment regimen. Still, many people who have tried and liked this serum say that it has made a big difference in their acne, skin texture, and the size of their pores.

It has been shown that clindamycin (in the form of a 1% gel) and niacinamide (in the form of a 4% gel) are just as good at treating acne. It works wonders to keep oil at bay all day long and, with continued use, even enhances the skin’s texture.

This serum, like all of The Ordinary’s other products, does not contain any ingredients that come from animals.


  • Water (Aqua)
  • Niacinamide
  • Pentylene Glycol
  • Zinc PCA
  • Dimethyl Isosorbide
  • Tamarindus indica Seed gum 
  • Xanthan gum
  • Isoceteth-20
  • Ethoxydiglycol
  • Phenoxyethanol 
  • Chlorphenesin

How To Use

Since The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum is water-based, it should be put on the face in the morning and evening after cleansing and toning but before moisturizer and other heavier creams.

Niacinamide is safe to use with other skincare actives, but its effectiveness can be lessened if used with very strong actives. The company warns that its niacinamide serum can’t be used with vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid and ethylated l-ascorbic acid) products.

For best results, use this niacinamide serum at least 15–30 minutes after washing your face and before applying any direct acids, such as glycolic or lactic acid.

Always perform a patch test on a small skin area before using a new facial skin care product for the first time.


With so much acclaim, I did not doubt that The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% would become one of my go-to beauty aids. Upon application, the product irritates my already-vulnerable skin.

Although the redness fades after a few minutes, I would rather use a niacinamide (like this one) that doesn’t cause skin irritation.

Customers of The Ordinary gush about how much they love this niacinamide serum and how it has helped them with everything from breakouts to pimples to scarring from acne (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).

This serum successfully reduced the appearance of my pores and kept oil at bay all day. It helps control oil production in my t-zone, where I have combination skin.

Lucky for me, The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder, another highly powerful niacinamide product, doesn’t bother my skin.

The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder

Niacinamide powder designed specifically for topical use is what you’ll find in The Ordinary’s 100% Niacinamide Powder. It helps with shine, pore size, and uneven skin texture.

How To Use

The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder must be combined with a non-conflicting, water-based product with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0. In the palm of your hand, combine a quarter of the offered scoop with the good base product. And use it on your face in the morning and at night.

According to The Ordinary, 0.05 g of niacinamide can be found in 1/4 of a scoop of the powder. So, a 10-15% concentration will be made by mixing 0.05 g with four drops of the non-conflicting base.

The Ordinary warns against using this niacinamide powder alongside topical vitamin C preparations (such as l-ascorbic acid, ethylated l-ascorbic acid, and vitamin C derivatives). This powder should not be used with any exfoliating acids that are applied directly.


For that reason, when The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder came out, I did not hesitate to get it because niacinamide is one of my favourite nutrients. It’s great that you can customize your skincare routine by combining it with various other products.

I like to mix the powder with a serum that has matrixyl 3000, like The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (which used to be called The Ordinary “Buffet”), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, or The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid.

Mixing the fine-grained powder with serum or moisturizer doesn’t clump or change the consistency.

While a quarter of a scoop seems like a lot, it’s quite challenging to measure. If The Ordinary had come with a scoop that was the right size, it would have made things a lot easier. However, you should read that it is approximately 1/4 the size of the scoop’s spherical bottom.

I use the powder less than other niacinamide products because it needs more work. But I like how customisable the powder is and how it only uses natural, healthy ingredients.

The shine, appearance of pores, and overall texture of the skin can all be improved using The Ordinary’s 100% Niacinamide Powder.

Including niacinamide in your skincare routine is easy if you don’t mind doing extra work.

Which is better: the ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Powder or the ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder?

It’s all about how you feel about it. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a good choice if you need a niacinamide serum that has already been mixed.

You should go with The Ordinary’s 100% Niacinamide Powder if you want to tailor your niacinamide experience and are okay with spending additional time blending it with your favourite serums and moisturizers.


About how long does it take for niacinamide to work?

After 2–4 weeks of twice-daily use, you should see a difference. Constant practice is necessary for steady development.

While you should expect gradual improvement in the outcomes, achieving “poreless” skin is unrealistic. No cream or lotion can do that. You can expect your pores to look smaller, your skin tone to become more even, fine lines and wrinkles to fade, and your skin to look healthy.

Adding niacinamide to your skincare routine is something you should do immediately. This highly useful B vitamin has many topical effects that make the skin look healthier, younger, and brighter. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the skin is just as important as any other good skin care product. This ensures that the skin-saving benefits of niacinamide and other ingredients are maximised.

Is regular niacinamide effective for acne?

By stopping oil production, either The Ordinary’s Niacinamide Serum or Niacinamide Powder can help with acne and outbreaks. In addition to minimizing pores and bolstering the skin barrier, these things can help keep acne at bay.

Is ordinary niacinamide effective against acne scars?

When taken regularly over time, niacinamide products from The Ordinary can reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, especially post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne.

Can retinol be used with niacinamide?

The Ordinary’s Niacinamide Serum is safe to use alongside retinol. When using retinol or other retinoids, which can irritate the skin, niacinamide can be helpful because it helps strengthen the skin’s barrier and reduces inflammation.

Can hyaluronic acid be combined with niacinamide?

The ordinary niacinamide serum and powder can be used with hyaluronic acid. I love adding The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum and The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder to my skincare routine to help fight aging and control oil.


Niacinamide is a skincare ingredient that helps the skin in many ways and should be a part of almost everyone’s skincare routine. Niacinamide products from The Ordinary are a great way to help fade the look of hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and acne.

These skin care products with niacinamide are especially good for dry, oily, or acne-prone skin. Combine with the Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension (10%) to fight acne even more effectively!

Niacinamide serum from The Ordinary is a fan favourite, but remember their niacinamide powder. The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder is a cheap and effective option, especially if you have time to mix it daily.