The hormonal breakout heroes

The hormonal breakout heroes

I have long accepted that my skin will never be free from blemishes and oil-overproduction. It started about a year ago. The greasy T-zone had always been there, but the under-skin bumps on my forehead and red, spotty patches were new. These come up especially around my time of the month and whenever I use a wrong product (hello, over-sensitive skin!). The fact that I no longer had an easy skin type was both a physical and a mental problem for me and it inspired me even more to read into skin care and get to the bottom of the problem.

Today, I finally feel as if I have it under control thanks to lots of patience, a dietary turnover and these two products by The Ordinary: the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. Because they both tackle the same issues and I feel like they work best when teamed up, I decided to combine the two products into one review. If you’re looking for some hormonal breakout warriors, read on!

What it is

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a high-strength potion of vitamins and minerals. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) reduces visible congestion and blemishes, zinc balances the production of sebum (your skin’s oil).

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is a direct acid. I am planning on writing a full blogpost on skin care acids, so stay tuned if you want to know more about that. In short, salicylic acid is beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that penetrates deep into the pores and exfoliates. This makes it a perfect spot treatment while it also improves your skin’s clarity. It also means you have to limit your sun exposure and wear SPF, as the use of BHA makes you more sensitive to the sun.


(full list available)

Who it’s for

These two definitely address a certain skin type: the Niacinamide + Zinc is your best friend if you suffer from oily skin, and combined with the the Salicylic Acid it’s perfect to treat blemish- and acne-prone skin. Frankly, I have never suffered from severe acne, but based on the stories I’ve heard it should work quite well on that too!

I would however not use them when my skin is dehydrated or sensitive, especially not the direct acid. That would be a bit too harsh.

When I use it

Whenever I feel breakouts coming up, so mostly right before and after my period and whenever I have a bad reaction to a product. I prefer using these in the evening, as the formula of both doesn’t do very well under makeup. I use the Niacinamide + Zinc first, all over my face (except for my nose, eyes and mouth area!) and then the Salicylic Acid directly on spots or spotty areas.

Why I like it

  • The combination of the two completely got rid of my under-skin bumps and any other spots
  • The Niacinamide helps to balance my skin’s oil-production without completely stripping it
  • They work really quickly, you get visible results after just one or two uses
  • They’re so cheap (only around 10 euros each!), especially in relation to the effect
  • The packaging is really simple and practical, no-nonsense

What could be better

The formula, as I said, is not ideal. It’s how they keep the price so low, but it also counteracts with makeup and sometimes with other products. You can also not use the Niacinamide together with any Vitamin C product, because it would affect both their effectivity, but of course there’s nothing The Ordinary can do about that 🙂

About The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a British brand owned by Deciem (or “The Abnormal Beauty Company”). Deciem has three skin care brands: Niod, Hylamide and The Ordinary, listed in decreasing order of luxuriousness and price. They are all skin care lines that focus on clinical formulas.

With its offer of retinoids, direct acids, oils and more straightforward products, The Ordinary is known to be a very humble and no-nonsense brand. They have very specific products for any skin type and any concern, at a very low price rate.

All their products are cruelty-free and are not sold in China.

You can find The Ordinary in Belgium on ASOS or the British website Cult Beauty (but they’re very often sold out!).

Want to stay updated for more skin care recommendations? Follow me on Instagram for daily posts.