How to Use The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / Honayst

Nothing gets the skincare obsessives at Honayst HQ going quite like a new launch from The Ordinary, and the latest from the brand is no exception. We all know and love the brand’s iconic Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2% serum – in fact, it’s a bestseller due to its multiple benefits for multiple skin types and concerns. Whether your skin is dry or oily, scarred or blemish-prone, you can benefit from a little niacinamide in your skincare routine, so when the brand announced that they’d be launching a powder alternative (with the ability to customise the strength of the ingredient) we immediately cleared space on our bathroom shelves.

While offering high-performance products with minimal ingredients and affordable prices is part of the appeal of The Ordinary, admittedly the brand can feel a little overwhelming at times, and so we always like to do our research before we delve into a new product. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Niacinamide Powder.

What does The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder do?

Niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3) is an active ingredient that has multiple benefits for skin, ranging from balancing sebum and strengthening the skin barrier through to targeting enlarged pores, irregular skin texture, and excessive shine.

What’s inside the Niacinamide Powder?

Straight up, 100% niacinamide in its purest form. This allows for the niacinamide to easily dissolve within any water-based serums or creams.

How do you use the Niacinamide Powder?

Using the spoon provided, mix a quarter of a scoop of powder with a water- based treatment in the palm of your hand (it needs the water to dissolve). Once the powder has fully dissolved, apply to your face. The powder can be used in the morning and/or evening, and should be applied after cleaning and before moisturising.

What’s the difference between the Niacinamide Powder and The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum?

The powder offers a DIY experience, so you can customise the strength of the niacinamide based on your personal needs and requirements, whereas the serum has a pre-determined strength of 10%. The powder also allows you to combine niacinamide with other beneficial ingredients (see below) so you can address multiple skin concerns at once. The serum is already formulated with zinc, so is not 100% niacinamide – the powder is the most direct form.

When should it not be used? Does it have any contraindications?

The Niacinamide Powder should never be used with a product that has a non- water-based formula or a pH below 5 or above 7. Especially, it should never be combined with a vitamin C or direct acid (such as AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs). If these ingredients are part of your routine, they should be applied at different times of day (e.g. niacinamide in the morning, and vitamin C or direct acids in the evening).

Who is it suitable for and who is it not suitable for?

Niacinamide is beneficial to multiple skin types and concerns but particularly those who experience oily skin symptoms, like dehydration, exposed pores, and excess sebum. If you’ve never used the ingredient before, we’d recommend starting with the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2% serum, but if you’re confident that the ingredient works for you and you feel comfortable with some skincare DIY give the powder a try.

What pH is the Niacinamide Powder?

Niacinamide has a neutral pH of between 5 and 7, sitting in the middle of the acidic and alkaline portions of the pH scale.

Is the Niacinamide Powder safe to use?

Because it has a neutral pH, niacinamide is well tolerated by sensitive skin. However, due to its powder form and the fact that it’s customisable, it’s important to follow brand guidance when using this product to ensure safe use. Although niacinamide is a neutral ingredient, if it were mixed with a solution that had a very high or very low pH, this could cause issues.

What can I mix with the Niacinamide Powder?

You can mix the Niacinamide Powder with any non-conflicting water-based solution (such as creams or serums) that has a pH between 5.1 and 7. Options available within The Ordinary’s products are Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Natural Moisturising Factors +HA, Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%, Matrixyl 10% + HA, and Agirilene Solution 10%. You could also try mixing it with your hand cream to target pigmentation or with your body lotion to reduce inflammation.