I confess: Before my beauty writing colleagues mentioned their desire to try products of Indie brand, Deciem, I never even knew about The Ordinary. But the thrill was palpable as they discussed shipping the stuff to Manila and, yes, there was a little bit of FOMO on my part. When I heard that they were stocking up from a local reseller, I was in! I got only 2 products to start with, the first being The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (USD 9.8).
Quick Specs: 30 ml ; made in Canada
I did a thorough check of The Ordinary’s selection, and I opted for niacinamide after reading about its anti-inflammatory and sebum-control properties. For someone with combination-dry skin, my T-zone can be a little volatile, so why not? I also checked out the regimen guide for The Ordinary, and I’m hoping to build up my collection to be able to follow their example regiment for pigmentation problems.
As the name suggests, the packaging and presentation are ordinary in the sense that there aren’t any elaborate designs or advertisements. (Doesn’t it remind you of Muji?) The literature on the box and bottle is as straightforward as possible. Most of the serums are contained in frosted or amber glass bottles with droppers, while the others are packaged in tubes. I find that the dropper and the consistency of the product go well together, so handling the niacinamide serum isn’t a messy experience. I also like how the serums in this range can be layered over each other and under other skincare products, as long as the suggested order on the regimen guide is used.
The somewhat cloudy water-based gel formula absorbs quickly and fully, drying with just a slight tackiness to the touch. The scent (or lack of fragrance thereof) reminds me of pen ink refills, I kid you not. After over two weeks of use, I notice that my skin has become less oily, particularly appreciated when it comes to the T-zone. However, daily use all over the face (on cheeks, in particular) has caused incidences of dry patches. Because of that, I’ve had to scale back the regularity of use to only twice or thrice a week and follow up the niacinamide + zinc with a richer moisturizer. Then it acts as a special treatment serum for days when my skin feels gunky.
Verdict: Even though I can’t use this daily, it doesn’t hurt to have “maintenance” skincare products around for extra boosts from time to time. I am currently alternating this with another The Ordinary product that is also meant as targeted skincare. Review on that coming soon!