This $6 Acne Serum Has Been In My Skincare Routine for Three Years
It helps minimize breakouts and control excess oil.
Living in New York for almost seven years has taught me not to get too attached to anything. I've moved apartments multiple times within the same year, and I've sadly seen neighborhood cafes and shops come and go.
The same goes for my skincare routine. I switch up products based on my skin's current situation and how it's changing as I get older. And adult hormonal acne is the one concern that's stuck with me through every move and birthday since I've been in New York.
Throughout the years, I've tried dozens of acne-focused skincare products. And while it took a prescription to treatment to solve my major breakout issues, I still get mild acne from time to time, primarily in my T-zone where I'm a bit oily. Well, until I started using The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum.
While I've been a long-time fan of The Ordinary, I had never tried this particular serum until one of my friends in my group text told me it fixed her "oily ass face." Like most of the brand's products, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is under $10. I was sold.
Together, the high concentration of 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc reduces blemishes, congestion in pores, and helps control excess oil. The serum can be used morning and night, but I include it in my p.m. skincare routine.
The ingredients play nice with other actives, and I use my retinol serum immediately afterwards without any issues.
To shop: $6; sephora.com
After about a week of using it, I stopped getting random pimples and my face was less oily when I woke up in the morning. Since then, I've used this serum every night for the past three years with the same results. And when face masks became my most-used accessory, it still helped prevent and control maskne.
I checked in Dr. Michele Green, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist in N.Y.C. to find out what makes this ingredient pairing so effective.
"Niacinamide can contribute to reducing the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores while combating the effects of environmental factors that can harm the skin such as sunlight, pollutants, and free radicals," Dr. Green says. "It also helps to improve the skin's protective barrier, keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and nourished. This ingredient has a calming and brightening effect on the skin, helping to improve overall tone and texture while calming breakouts and controlling excess sebum and oil production."
As for zinc, Dr. Green says it's an anti-inflammatory that can help with oil control.
"Using zinc can also boost skin's natural collagen production and help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. This combination is great for helping to achieve a brightened, even, clear complexion," she adds.
VIDEO: Salicylic Acid vs Benzoyl Peroxide: Which Should I Use To Treat My Acne?
Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe I'm imagining it, but I get the odd pimple and my skin is noticeably more greasy if I run out of this serum before I have a chance to order a restock.
And this is why Sephora needs a reoccurring subscription option.
Good to Go used to be the column where we'd share the beauty products we can't travel without. But while travel's off the table, we'll be focusing on products that make us feel good in quarantine. This month, why I'm obsessed with The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum.