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Product Comparison

Here's our complete breakdown comparing the ingredients, attributes, and more of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% versus Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% .

Last updated on July 18, 2023. Published on November 22, 2020

Overview

What they are

These products are both vegan, cruelty-free, fungal acne (malassezia) safe, and reef safe . They have a total of 5 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 harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, oils, parabens or sulfates

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

Facial Treatment Canadian Brand Canada
Serum American Brand United States

Facial Treatment

Facial treatments are specially designed to treat a skin concern. Acne treatments and anti-aging products are common examples of facial treatments.

Serum

Serums are highly concentrated with ingredients to provide skin with benefits. They should be used after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Price

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Niacinamide

Benefits

Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing
Reduces Large Pores
Dark Spots
Scar Healing
Acne Fighting (2)
Brightening

Concerns

Irritating

Notable Ingredients

Vitamin E
Niacinamide
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Redness Reducing
Reduces Large Pores
Dark Spots
Scar Healing
Acne Fighting (2)
Brightening (3)
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Ingredients Side-by-side

Ingredients that are highlighted in purple are present in both products.

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Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

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

1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: 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. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% contains this as ingredient number 1.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% contains this as ingredient number 1.

2
What it does: Smoothing
Community Rating: 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

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% contains this as ingredient number 2.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% contains this as ingredient number 2.

3
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

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

It can help reduce redness, regulate sebum, and promote the general healing process of the skin.

Zinc PCA tends to be especially useful for those with oily, acne-prone skin. It's certainly an ingredient worth trying out!

Learn more about Zinc PCA

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% contains this as ingredient number 4.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% contains this as ingredient number 5.

4
What it does: Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% contains this as ingredient number 7.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% contains this as ingredient number 11.

5
What it does: Preservative
Community Rating: 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.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% contains this as ingredient number 10.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% contains this as ingredient number 10.

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

36% are loved or liked
27% have mixed ratings
36% are disliked or very disliked
0% have no rating yet
50% are loved or liked
0% have mixed ratings
44% are disliked or very disliked
6% have no rating yet

Usage

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

When to use

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Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 11 ingredients

3.4 /5
from 126 ratings
Great Value (13) Irritating (12) Doesn't Work (10) Broke Me Out (10) No Scent (10) Sticky (10)
Clover's avatar

Clover

6 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.

2 months ago · Dry 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.

Naturium Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% 16 ingredients

5.0 /5
from 1 rating
Absorbs Well (1) Great Value (1) Light (1) No Scent (1)
MichelleR's avatar

MichelleR

5 months ago · Dry Skin
Review

I really do love this product. The mix of niacinamide and zinc underneath my sunscreen make me feel super protected during the day. Especially...

I really do love this product. The mix of niacinamide and zinc underneath my sunscreen make me feel super protected during the day. Especially since I cannot tolerate Vitamin C as my antioxidant. And this pairs super well with Paula's Choice BHA Gel Exfoliant on days where I'm having acne breakouts. I <3 it here!

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