Deciem Review Series - The Ordinary - Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - First Impressions

Welcome back to my review series!  Today, I'm going to give my initial thoughts on the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% from The Ordinary.

To start with, I'd like to talk about the purpose of this particular offering from The Ordinary and why you might like to try this kind of product.  This formula is aimed specifically at those with blemish prone and oily skin (that's me!), it's claims are that it reduces the appearance of blemishes and congestion. The zinc content is also purported to reduce visible sebum activity, which should result in a less oily appearance, for all of the oily girls and guys out there.  Sounds awesome, right?  Well...yes and no.  If you'd like to know why, please read on.

I'd like to note, as with previous reviews, that I have an acne prone, oily but also maturing complexion. I also have somewhat sensitive skin, though which ingredients will 'set me off' can be a little unpredictable.  With that in mind, here's my first impressions.

As in my earlier The Ordinary serum reviews, the packaging is right up my alley - a frosted glass bottle with dropper; minimalist, chic and stylish.  It's also practical, as the product is quite liquid.  This is labelled as a 'High Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula', which is delivered in a serum formulation.  It has a similar look to the Matrixyl serum, a clear and slightly runny liquid; the feel on application is also nearly identical.....that's where the likeness ends, however.  The Niacinamide has none of the moisturising feel that the Matrixyl has, in fact, it sets down quite matte and has an almost 'dry' feeling about it. I think that's to be expected, given it's claims and purpose.

I have seen a few reports on social media about this product actually breaking them out, though thankfully that hasn't been the case for me.  I'd like to note, however, that I also haven't noticed an appreciable difference in the appearance of congestion or blemishes as yet.  To be fair, I keep that particular aspect of my skincare locked down pretty darn hard with benzoyl peroxide treatment, so there's not really a huge issue with congestion and blemishes at present.  When you've suffered from acneic skin for as long as I have, a little prevention is preferable to a boatload of cure!  On a high note, I have noticed a decrease in t-zone shine, so that's a quite nice benefit of this product.

Now, for the bad stuff.  Yep, there are a couple of things that are taking the shine off this formula for me, I'm afraid.  The first is that this product has to be used separately from any Vitamin C products, as it interferes with them.  Not a deal breaker, of course - but it means working out your routine to keep these guys separated.  As I'd noted previously, I moved my Vitamin C from AM to PM, because of some significant pilling issues.  So hey, I thought, no problem!  I'll just use my Niacinamide in the AM.  Leading into the other issue......

Pilling.  Ladies and gentlemen - this one is next level.  Seriously.  And the kicker is, the first couple of times I used it, it seemed ok.  I was really impressed, thinking - hey, this has worked out great.   I have no idea what happened, but even with trying multiple combinations, using products in a different order, changing everything else, sunscreen, moisturiser, even toner - nope.   It still turns into a big, flaky, pilly mess.  It's like face dandruff.  And when I don't use it - no pilling.  So, there's been another change around and I'm using it in the PM.  I've used up all of my The Ordinary Vit C, so I've moved my other (non-pilling) Vitamin C serum to my AM routine.  Though, I actually have to make sure I wash my face and neck really well now in the morning, to remove any traces of the Niacinamide, or I'll *still* get pilling.  Pretty crazy, huh?

In conclusion, I believe that there are definitely some benefits to be had from using this product, particularly if you're on the oily side.  I do love a bit of mattification, for sure.  However, I have to say that for me, I feel that the negatives outweigh the positives, at least short term.  What's the point of a mattifying, oil controlling effect, if the extreme pilling makes it unwearable for daytime?  I don't really require nighttime oil control, to be honest.  I *may* change my mind, if I see a significant difference in blemish appearance in the longer term, but at this stage, while I will continue to use this product, I don't believe I'll repurchase it.  Instead, I have my eye on the Azelaic Acid Suspension, another product that can improve the appearance of blemishes, but also offers a brightening effect - and can be used in conjunction with Vitamin C.

I hope that this review has been of some use, stay tuned for the next in the series!


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