Fantastic acne treatment: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and Alpha Arbutin 2%+ HA review

So I decided to finally talk about what I believe is the most effective acne treatment I have tried to date. These two are from The Ordinary and I thought it would be best to talk about them together as each of them do different things but at the same time complement each other. I call them The Ordinary ‘duo’ as I use them together. I waited to finish up both products to be able to review them properly.


In my quest against acne I have tried a ton of things since I was a teenager. Even though I found some products that worked (like La Roche Posay Effaclar) none of them were as quick to clear up the spots and blemishes on my skin like this one. The Effaclar did not agree with my rosacea towards the end of me using it. I don’t have such problems with these.

So let’s take a look at the Niacinamide 10%  + Zinc 1% first. This is a product specifically made for blemished acne prone skin. It claims to balance out the sebum in your skin, but surprisingly it also says neither of the two components are a treatment for acne. Now I have no clue what that is all about as I have to say it did make my mild hormonal acne disappear in the space of 2 weeks, using it twice a day morning and night. I have never used anything before that gave results this quick. And this is from a product that claims that is not a treatment for acne. I think it is. I have experimented with topical zinc before but that was only in a spray format (Serozinc by  La Roche Posay). The consistency of this is a light watery gel formulation which takes a little bit to sink in, I’d say about 2 minutes. It does not irritate my rosacea, however if I have any open wounds (i.e scratched spots) on my face then it will sting momentarily. The good thing is that you can put it under makeup and it will not ball up, given that you have waited for it to sink in properly. The feel of it on the skin after complete absorption is silky. So I am very happy with this product. 5 stars!!

Now let’s look at the other wonder product Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. This is marketed as a product that helps with the look of spots and hyper-pigmentation. Now I have not got hyper-pigmentation as I am only 33 (that will come later I bet…) however I have got acne scars that i have noticed are not going away as easily as they used to. I guess it has something to do with aging, the skin is no longer able to heal as quickly as before. Alpha Arbutin is meant to help fade scars and I can confidently say it does that amazingly. It is harder to pinpoint the time frame required to heal the acne scars as everyone’s skin heals at a different rate and depending on age. I guess if you are really young you won’t need this, unless your skin is prone to scarring. All that said this has definitely sped up the healing process. I have done a little research and apparently this molecule is commonly used in skin whitening products, plus it has the ability to help redness. I have not noticed a change in my rosacea since using this, but then not every red face is red for the same reason. This product also contains Hyaluronic Acid that will lightly hydrate your face and enhance the effects of the Arbutin. This one also needs a couple of minutes to fully sink in and I only use it on areas of my face that have scars.

In conclusion the combination of these 2 products have helped get my face in order. It is easy to use as it comes in dropper bottles (most Ordinary products do) and that helps in dispensing the right amount of product. I use a pea sized amount of Niacinamide + Zinc on each side of my face and on my forehead. If you are like me and you like layering your skincare or you are into Korean beauty then this would work well with other products. The price point is also amazing. If you are buying in the UK none of these will cost you more than £7. I have already repurchased both products and I think that is rather extraOrdinary.


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