The ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder: Should you buy or not?

The ordinary 100% Niacinamide powder for face

After the success of 100% L-ascorbic acid powder, The ordinary has recently launched 100 % Niacinamide powder too. Their Niacinamide serum has been a hit so far. And seems like the powder is going to be too. But the question remains: is the ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder worth the hype?

In this article, I will show you some pros and cons of the ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder and then you can decide whether you should buy it or not? Ready??


1. The ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder has no preservatives

Most of the serums and moisturizers have water as their solvent. The problem with the water-based product is it can act as a medium for microorganisms like bacteria and mold.

As a result, a good number is preservatives are used in product formulations to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold that can destroy the product.

water based products are full of preservatives
Water based products need preservatives to prevent microorganism growth.

The problem is preservatives are not so kind to the skin. A major reason behind contact dermatitis is found to be harsh preservatives. Not only that, preservatives can also cause contact urticaria and skin irritation in sensitive skin. Two of the most controversial preservatives are parabens and triclosan which have been banned by many brands due to their adverse effect on the skin.

But in the case of powder, there is no reason to add preservatives cause there is no water. As a result, any skin type including sensitive can use it. Its manufacturing is also simple which (positively) affects its cost too.

The powder form also has a great shelf-life itself. It is more stable compared to the product formulation and can last a long time without any change in the composition.

In addition, products with less water take less energy to manufacture and distribute so it is eco-friendly too. In simple words, it’s a win-win.

The ordinary 100% niacinamide powder is eco friendly
Powder skincare are getting more famous recently as they are eco friendly too

So from this perspective, the ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder gets one point for being eco and skin-friendly.

2. The ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder is highly customizable

Have you ever felt the desire to customize your own skincare products? I bet you did cause layering just gets too confusing sometimes.

That’s another advantage of the ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder. It allows you to customize your skincare routine according to your wish.

You can add the powder to your existing water-based serums/creams and viola, you are done. The order of layering products can get overwhelming sometimes. I find it hard to remember too and keep forgetting which product comes after what.

The ordinary 100% niacinamide powder can be mixed with any water based serum
You can just mix the powder with any water-based cream or serums and you are ready to go! Photo: Photo by Anastasiia Ostapovych on Unsplash

But in case of the ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder, you can just mix the powder into your water-based serum/cream, whenever you need an extra boost. And the best part? You don’t have to memorize the layering order too.

And as you are adding the ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder into a product which your skin is already familiar with, the chances of skin reaction are less also.

3. The ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder is cost-friendly

I know the ordinary is already known for its affordability. But in case of the ordinary 100% Niacinamide powder, they went overboard.

One of the benefits of powdered skincare products is cost-effectiveness. For example: if you buy a serum for 25$ for 15ml serum you can use it 30-45 days. But the ordinary 100 % Niacinamide powder (20g) costs only 5.80 C$ and will go for more than 2 months roughly (depending on how often you use it!)

On top of that, the formulated creams/serums contain a small percentage of the active ingredient with a large amount of solvent vehicles such as water/vegetable oil. The solvent takes up the bulk of the product. This makes the formulated serums less concentrated/potent and effective than the powder ones.

So the ordinary 100% Niacinamide powder provides a more effective result than the formulated one. And you don’t even have to spend a fortune.

The ordinary 100% niacinamide powder can save your money
The powder is not only eco-friendly but cost-friendly too. Photo: Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

You get a point for that the ordinary 100% Niacinamide powder! Good job!


1. The concentration of 100% of Niacinamide can be misleading

Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin B3 that acts as an antioxidant. It was also found that Niacinamide can improve epidermal barrier function and acts as an anti-aging agent by improving elasticity.

It has so many skin benefits I agree.

But wait…just because Niacinamide has so many benefits, doesn’t mean you have to flood your skin with it. Sometimes people think if they put a stronger percentage of active on the skin, it will bring the best results. WRONG!

In several studies, it was found that 2.55% Niacinamide is enough to provide all the benefits in the skin including reducing wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and dehydration as well.

In fact, using a higher percentage of Niacinamide might irritate your skin. And if you are someone with sensitive skin, it’s better to stay in the lower percentage range.

Usually, when you buy any serum or cream with Niacinamide, they mention the percentage of the active in the label. It makes life so much easier.

But as the ordinary 100% Niacinamide is in its 100% pure powder form, you really have to do the math to find out how much to take from the jar to have a 5%, 2%, or 3% concentration of the Niacinamide. And the brand did not put any clear instructions for that either.

The irony is that you are mixing the active powder with a water-based serum/cream but you barely have any idea what concentration you are using on your face, which is scary if you have a damaged barrier or sensitive skin.

Using powder active often leads to confusion as the conc is not known
Although you are mixing the powder you really don’t know the concentration.

So 100% of Niacinamide sounds really good from a marketing perspective. But when you think about it, it gets more confusing for you and your skin.

2. Mixing the 100% Niacinamide powder with other products can go wrong

I know, few paragraphs above I mentioned that the powder is highly customizable which is a benefit. But it can be a disadvantage too.

Mixing actives can be overwhelming and I know a lot of you struggle with it. To be honest, I struggle too. That’s why I try to keep my skincare routine as simple as possible.

For the 100% Niacinamide powder from the ordinary to work, they mentioned it clearly in their website that it can only be paired with water-based serums and creams.

As Niacinamide needs a pH between 5.1 and 7.0 to function, you have to mix the 100% Niacinamide powder with water-based formulations which are only in that range too. Otherwise, things might not work accordingly. They also put a list of the water-based products of their brand which will go well with the powder. Handy, I know!

The ordinary 100% niacinamide powder can be inactive due to the presence of other ingredients in the formulation
Mixing with other formulations sometimes can backfire and reduce the effectiveness of the active

But, in the real world, you will not use this powder only with their products. Some people like me, do like to mix different serums or creams from different brands. In that case, every time you have to be careful with what you are mixing the 100% powder with.

And sometimes it might happen that the Niacinamide might become inactive due to the interference of other ingredients in the formulation you are mixing the powder with.

In this scenario you are left with two options: either have a skincare regimen completely based on the recommended products from the ordinary to ensure the powder is effective. Or, if you want to try different brands, skip this 100% Niacinamide powder cause who wants to put so much effort to read every label for a powder!

I don’t know about you, but if I have to act like a Chemist 24/7 to use something, I usually skip those! Simpler, the better!

3. Getting the right quantity of the 100% Niacinamide powder can be tricky

One downside of the powder serums is that the quantity can be different for different persons. And trust me when I say this: the right quantity is the key to the effectiveness of any powder skincare.

In the mixing instructions of the 100% Niacinamide powder, the ordinary mentioned, you have to mix a quarter scoop of the spoon of the powder with a water-based serum before applying it on your face. And that is a problem.

To make a proper product formulation, a formulation Chemist calculates and measures all the ingredients precisely. Sometimes two or three times in a row. A slight difference in the ingredient amount can change the whole concentration as well as the effectiveness of the ingredient. Thus measuring the precise weight is very important.

The weight of the powder has to be on point
A precise weighing is very important for precise concentration. Photo: Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

However, in this case, you are the Chemist. And you are measuring the active i.e 100% Niacinamide powder. You don’t have a fancy weight machine, just a spoon. The chances of error occurrence are quite high (unless you own a lab) which can mess up the final concentration of the active ingredient. And your skin might pay the price.

As the powdered products are quite potent, a slight change in the weighing can change the concentration and can do more harm than good to your skin.

Now the question is: should you buy the ordinary 100% Niacinamide powder?

Should you buy the product or not?
Should you buy the 100% Niacinamide powder or not?

That totally depends on you. The 100% Niacinamide powder serum does come with some extra benefits but it has its downside too. But one thing is sure, knowing the right concentration of the 100% Niacinamide is very important if you have sensitive/irritated skin as high concentration might cause a reaction. So if you are someone with a damaged skin barrier or have never used any percentage of Niacinamide before: you should really think twice before buying this product.

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If you are into natural skincare, you can check my article about how to use Konjac sponge here.

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  1. Juliana

    I have super sensitive skin so it’s super important that I get long product reviews like this in my hands before purchasing something I’m wary of. Thank you!
    Juliana /

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