Table of Contents
- 1 Review: The Inkey List Niacinamide
- 2 Review: The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum
This post will be comparing The Inkey List Niacinamide with The Ordinary Niacinamide serums.
The other day, I wrote a post on the 6 Best Drugstore Niacinamide Serums. I also recently compiled another list of Niacinamide serums as some of the Best Acne Treatments. Based on both posts, it occurred to me that The Inkey List and The Ordinary happen to be the most affordable. So, I’ve decided to pitch them together to see which performs better outside their prices.
I also recently introduced the Inkey List Niacinamide to my PM routine which I use with Retinol and I just had to put this post up before I exhausted it.
If you’re not familiar with Niacinamide, it is a multi-functional ingredient also known as Vitamin B3 which a lot of brands jumped on in 2020. It felt like every brand and their sister wanted to push out a Niacinamide serum. In the end, we’re all working around with skincare routines packed with some percentage of Niacinamide. Check any of your moisturizers or serums, there is mostly going to be Niacinamide somewhere in the ingredient list.
As with all of my comparison reviews, I’ll be comparing these products side by side with the aim of helping you make an informed decision before purchasing. My criteria for reviewing them will be based on the following;
- Ingredient List
- Texture, Consistency & Fragrance
- Availability, Price & Size
Review: The Inkey List Niacinamide
For those that are not quite aware of the benefits of Niacinamide, it is a multi-functional ingredient particularly for those with oily acne-prone skin. It helps to minimize enlarged pores and regulate sebum production. If your skin is uncontrollable oily, you’re probably due for a Niacinamide serum in your skincare routine.
Niacinamide is also amazing for hyperpigmentation. It is most effective when paired with other ingredients such as Alpha Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Tranexamic Acid and Vitamin C derivatives to fade dark spots. When paired with Retinol, it helps to buffer any irritation and side effects.
As you can see, Niacinamide is a must-have in any skincare routine. But does it necessarily have to be a dedicated serum? We’ll find out shortly.
If you’re not familiar with The Inkey List, they are the newest single-ingredient brand on the block that is currently giving The Ordinary Skincare a run for its money. While the competition is definitely there, I don’t think they are quite as popular as The Ordinary just yet. So far, I’ve used The Inkey List Beta Hydroxy Acid and Tumeric Moisturizer. The trick is to pick and choose across both brands.
While I do not like to be fixated on ingredient lists, I also like to knowledgable about what I’m buying and putting on my face. This Niacinamide serum has;
- 10% Niacinamide
- 1% Hyaluronic Acid
It is alcohol, fragrance, essential-oil and cruelty-free. While 10% is still pretty high as studies have shown Niacinamide to equally be as effective at 2-5%, this is a solid formulation.
Texture, Consistency & Fragrance
This has a cloudy gel texture with a fluid consistency. As a result of being formulated with just the right amount of Hyaluronic Acid, it is not sticky and doesn’t pill. It is honestly a joy to layer under lighter water-based toners and essences as it glides on very smoothly.
Availability, Price & Size
My biggest issue with The Inkey List serums is the packaging for their serums. I’ve used three of them and the quantity honestly feels like a scam. This made me realize that 30ml is not the same 30ml across brands. At $7, it makes it more expensive than The Ordinary at $5.90.
While The Ordinary seems to last for a while, The Inkey List finishes up quickly which I think is worth noting. Plus it doesn’t help that the serums come in opaque plastic bottles so you can’t really see how much you have left at any given time.
In terms of cosmetic elegance, the formulation is really great. It is hydrating and doesn’t sting even if I apply too much. This I think is a result of soothing ingredients like Allantoin and Panthenol. Anytime I notice that I wake up with enlarged pores, I use it in my PM routine and it disappears in a couple of days.
For someone with dry acne-prone skin, I can’t really speak on its effectiveness with oil control but I believe it will also do a decent job based on my experience with it.
Will I repurchase? Not really. I’m currently looking to try other Niacinamide serums to use and review.
Review: The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum
Chances are you are familiar with The Ordinary Skincare which is why you’re here. Fun Fact: Did you know that The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum is one of their best selling products? It’s no surprise because it really can be a game-changing product for those with oily acne-prone skin particularly if your skin agrees with it.
Based on the general consus, this is a hit or miss product. Your skin can either like it or not if you’re patient enough to find a way around its shortcomings.
The Ordinary was the first brand to spearhead the single ingredient wave. They’re also responsible for popularizing products with high active ingredients including this Niacinamide Serum. I have a feeling that if this serum was 5%, we won’t have as many high percentage Niacinamide serums in the market. It goes without saying that the two key ingredients in this serum are;
- 10% Niacinamide
- 1% Zinc PCA
That’s it. There is no soothing or calming ingredient like Allantoin or Panthenol to buffer the effects of Zinc which is why it stings a lot for some people. It is as raw as they come. For those that are not familiar with Zinc, it helps to supercharge the Niacinamide in regulating sebum production. In theory, this is amazing for those with oily skin. For the rest of us, not so much. It might only just irritate our skin further.
Asides from that, it is alcohol, essential oil, fragrance and cruelty free.
Texture, Consistency and Fragrance
This also comes in a lightweight transparent gel texture with a sticky consistency which a lot of people can’t stand. As a result of this less than elegant formulation, this product tends to pill if it is not layered correctly. Which is a damn shame because not a lot of people have the luxury of layering toners and essences before serums. My advice especially if you strictly follow a routine from The Ordinary is to layer it on damp skin or under a watery serum.
Availability, Price & Size
For $5.90, you get a 30ml product that can last between 6weeks to 3 months depending on how often you use it. If you ask me, this is way more bang for your buck than The Inkey List Niacinamide.
While a lot of people had different issues with this serum, I thought it was decent. Obviously, it is not the best formulation but because of my well-rounded skincare routines which prioritize hydration before serums, I had no issue whatsoever. It didn’t pill because I always layer it under toners and essences. Plus it also didn’t sting and the high percentage didn’t affect me so much because my toners and essences usually have soothing ingredients.
It definetly boils down to your skin and how it reacts to it.
In conclusion, these two Niacinamide serums are quite similar yet different. It depends on your skin type and what skin concern you’re trying to treat.
If you have dry acne-prone skin with pigmentation, I’ll prefer you to go for The Inkey List Niacinamide. That way your skin is not unnecessarily triggered by the Zinc. But if you have oily acne-prone skin that is calling for help, The Ordinary Niacinamide should be your new best friend. There is a reason why it is popular and best-seller globally.