The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide

I found a post the other day on Reddit, in which the user was confused as to what the hype was re: products from The Ordinary. The concern was that the product — this one, specifically — pilled like crazy. At which point I thought… MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!

I like the company’s mission here, to strip out all the extra junk you don’t need. I appreciate that. But I also don’t understand how that makes this practical for every day use. See, on initial application, this stuff looks lovely — it makes a nice glossy-not-shiny sheen over your skin. Glassy with an “a”, actually, that seems like the best word to use. I like it. It’s odorless, and you apply a few drops with a dropper. A little goes a long way. And I think I picked this one up for $11 — not bad!

But that all comes to a halt after 30 minutes. Suddenly, even without touching your face, the pills start to form everywhere. Your skin just peeeeeeels off. Did you have sunscreen or makeup on? That’s going to come off, too. So I quickly learned that, at minimum, this is not for “going to work” use.

But then I thought… when the heck am I supposed to use this? Either way, it’s going to peel off, and apparently it’s going to peel off anything else I’ve applied as well, including other moisturizers.

And I mean — is the Niacinamide even working? Similar to the Cerave PM, I feel like the initial application does make it appear that my pores have shrunken, due to that glassiness both products create initially. As for any long term effects… I guess I haven’t been using it long enough to tell, but I also cannot fathom how it is useful when it falls off your face after 20 minutes.

I don’t know. I want to repurchase it, I want to love it because everyone else does. But I just… don’t get it. If you have any insight as to what I may be doing wrong, leave me a comment! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 3/5 (that initial glossiness, though!)

Cerave Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum 30 SPF

Cerave Sunscreen 30 SPF

I cut out chemical sunscreens during my cystic acne phase, and only used physical sunscreens, spending many days with white-cast nightmare skin. Now that that part of my life is over, I decided to tip-toe back into the world of chemical sunscreens. My holy grail sunscreen is Its Skin 2pm Sunblock 50spf+, but it ships from Korea, and at present, I can’t find it for cheaper than $25, which is more than I’m willing to spend. So I picked this up in the meantime. I know 30 spf isn’t terribly high by any means, but I don’t intend on using it for scenarios with intense sun.

I’ve been using this for two days straight, and layered it over different moisturizers each day. Goes on fine, no pilling at all, no white cast, felt pretty smooth to the touch. Doesn’t smell like anything, which is fine by me. So from the onset, I liked it! I checked out my face in the office mirror at noon, it looked okay at that point still.

I got out of a big meeting at 3pm and… there it was, the pilling disaster. The sunscreen was clinging to my dry areas, and those parts of my face became a nice, white-ish, peeling goop mess. I’m sure that was a sight to behold for everyone else in that meeting. I’ve always heard that you need to re-apply sunscreens halfway through the day anyway, but I suspect that reapplying would have made the pilling situation 10x worse!

So.. I don’t know what to think. I love the application, but the longevity doesn’t seem to stretch as long as I’d like. I’ll probably keep using it until I can get my hands on something else (and avoid those known dry spots like the plague). I’ve seen the price points range between $8-$14, but it likely won’t be something I’ll repurchase. ~A

(Update, a few weeks later: acne sufferers, SKIP THIS ONE!)

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 2/5

How much I actually like this product: 3/5