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Updated on June 07, 2024

Overview

What they are

These products are both vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe . They have a total of 4 ingredients in common

Cool Features

They both contain niacinamide

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for fighting acne, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing and dark spots

Free From

They both do not contain any oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Garnier Light Complete Vitamin C Serum
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Facial Treatment
Canadian Brand Canada

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients
ph level
5.75

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
Light Complete Vitamin C Serum
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Alcohol Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol comes in many different forms. Different types of alcohol will have different effects on skin. This ingredient is usually an astringent alcohol.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Dipropylene Glycol Masking, Solvent

Dipropylene Glycol is a synthetically created stabilizer and solvent. It is a part of the glycol class in the alcohol family.

Disliked Full details ->
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Peg-7 Humectant, Solvent
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-7 isn't fungal acne safe.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid Buffering

We don't have a description for Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid.

Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane belongs to the siloxanes and silicones classes. It is synthetically created and has a waxy composition.

Disliked Full details ->
3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon 5 Benefits

You might know this ingredient as Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a more stable version of ascorbic acid.

Isononyl Isononanoate Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Isononyl Isononanoate is a synthetic skin-conditioner and texture enhancer. It is created from nonanoic acid, a fatty acid found in cocoa and lavender oil.

BHA Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

This BHA stands for butylated hydroxyanisole. If you are looking for the beta-hydroxy acid, aka as Salicylic Acid, click here.

Linalool Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Geraniol Perfuming, Tonic
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Geraniol is used to add fragrance/parfum to a product. It is the main component of citronellol. It is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Parfum Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Sodium Citrate Buffering, Masking

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Phenylethyl Resorcinol Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Phenylethyl Resorcinol is an antioxidant.

Adenosine Skin Conditioning
Helps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
2 Benefits

Adenosine is in every living organism. It is one of four components in nucleic acids that helps store our DNA.

Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate Emulsion Stabilising

Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate is a polymer made from ammonium salts. It helps add stability and texture to a product.

Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Limonene Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Hydrogenated Lecithin Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Hydrogenated Lecithin is created from the hydrogenation of lecithin. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between molecule hydrogen and another element.

Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Citrus Limon Fruit Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning
May cause irritation Icon
May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Citrus Limon Fruit Extract comes from lemons. While lemon extract is exfoliating and antimicrobial, it can also cause skin sensitivity.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Citrus Junos Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

Citrus Junos Fruit Extract comes from the Citrus Junos tree, or the Yuzu plant.

Disliked Full details ->
Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Maltodextrin Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

Acetyl Trifluoromethylphenyl Valylglycine Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Acetyl Trifluoromethylphenyl Valylglycine.

Unknown Full details ->
Oxothiazolidinecarboxylic Acid Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Oxothiazolidinecarboxylic Acid.

Unknown Full details ->
Benzyl Salicylate Perfuming, UV Absorber
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Benzyl Salicylate is a solvent and fragrance additive. It is an ester of benzyl alcohol and salicylic acid. This ingredient can be naturally found in some plants and plant extracts.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Benzyl Alcohol Perfuming, Preservative, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance IconPreservative IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon FragranceFragrance Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 6 Concerns

Benzyl Alcohol is most commonly used as a preservative. It also has a subtle, sweet smell. Small amounts of Benzyl Alcohol is not irritating and safe to use in skincare products. Most Benzyl Alcohol is derived from fruits such as apricots.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

Zinc PCA Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Good for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
2 Benefits

Zinc PCA (or "zinc salt") differs slightly from zinc itself. PCA stands for pyrrolidone carboxylic acid. However, Zinc PCA comes from zinc.

Dimethyl Isosorbide Solvent

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum Emulsion Stabilising

Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum is from the seeds of Tamarindus indica. It is more commonly known as tamarind.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Isoceteth-20 Emulsifying
May cause irritation Icon
May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Isoceteth-20 comes from Isocetyl Alcohol. It is an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ethoxydiglycol Humectant, Solvent
0 / 0

Ethoxydiglycol is a synthetic solvent.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Chlorphenesin Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative. It helps protect a product against bacteria in order to extend shelf life. In most cases, Chlorphenesin is paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol.

Disliked Full details ->

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Smoothing
Loved

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

It is known to treat acne by reducing inflammation. It also helps fade dark-spots and strengthen the skin by promoting the growth of the ceramide barrier.

Other benefits include smoothing wrinkles and minimizing redness.

The cherry on top? Niacinamide can also help build keratin, a protein that keeps skin firm.

When incorporating niacinamide into your routine, look out for concentration amounts. Typically, 5% niacinamide provides benefits such as fading dark spots. However, if you have sensitive skin, it is better to begin with a smaller concentration.

Niacinamide can be mixed with other ingredients to boost benefits. For instance, it has shown to be effective when used with copper, folic acid, and zinc to treat acne.

Learn more about Niacinamide
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these two products.

Light Complete Vitamin C Serum
14
3
16
2
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
4
3
4
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

146 Routines
77% use in am
23% use in pm
96% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
10,630 Routines
49% use in am
51% use in pm
95% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Garnier Light Complete Vitamin C Serum 35 ingredients

2.5 /5
from 4 ratings
Hydrating (2) Broke Me Out (2) Heavy (1)
horaceon's avatar

horaceon

6 months ago · Oily Skin
Review

broke out my oily acne-prone face. the cream version is better when getting rid of dark spots; i suggest never to use vit c with fresh acne.

Isya's avatar

Isya

6 months ago · Combination Skin
Review

[Oily skin] This product breaks me out so bad even though I do not have acne-prone skin. It only takes around a few days for me to stop using it.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 11 ingredients

3.4 /5
from 128 ratings
Great Value (14) Irritating (12) Broke Me Out (11)
Clover's avatar

Clover

7 months ago · Dry Skin
Review

Gotta give credit where credit is due
WOW… lot of people ganging up on this incredibly affordable/popular serum. I understand the criticisms, but...

Gotta give credit where credit is due
WOW… lot of people ganging up on this incredibly affordable/popular serum. I understand the criticisms, but personally I don’t believe the intensity is warranted. For so many people this was the start of their skincare journey; it certainly was mine! And because I had never used ingredients like niacinamide or zinc on my face before, of course I noticed an incredible improvement in regards to my acne and skin tone evenness. This is a good serum to start with. No, you don’t need 10% strength (2%-5% works well) and for some that 10% can be irritating. However most people can handle 10% just fine so it’s not something many need worry about. The formulation isn’t elegant and sometimes it gets frothy or pills when you try to rub this in— BUT this is $6! You can’t really beat The Ordinary’s prices, and for some people $6 is all they can afford to spend on skincare so this is a good affordable option.
If you already have effective products with niacinamide in your routine, you do not need to add this in because it won’t really do anything for you. But if you’re just washing your face with something like dish soap then of course this will make an incredible difference. You’ll probably move on from it eventually, but it’s an effective place to start. Wishing everyone the best on their skincare journey. <3

AshN.'s avatar

AshN.

3 months ago · Oily Skin
Review

(Tried Jan 2021) This was actually the product that made me realize that my skin does not mix with Niacinamide (especially at high concentrations...

(Tried Jan 2021) This was actually the product that made me realize that my skin does not mix with Niacinamide (especially at high concentrations because I can usually tolerate it at %4/less or when it isn't a primary ingredient). I tested it on my wrist and a small patch on my cheek to check, and I had hives in both areas. I wouldn't want to give this a poor rating solely on the account of my allergic reaction as I'm sure it works for many others.