Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Review

The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a great introduction to both The Ordinary brand and niacinamide as an ingredient. When companies throw around jargon like niacinamide, retinoids, vitamin C, extract this, extract that, the first thing that comes to mind is all the dollar signs it will cost. With this little bottle of serum, I was able to try a new specialty skincare ingredient without the worries of having spent an obscene amount of money on something that won't play well with my skin.

*This post is mainly based on my experience with the product after about 1.5 month of use—which is around how long a bottle lasted me and my brother when applying it once daily.

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% packaging

Deciem's description:

pH 5.50-6.50, water-free, alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, & cruelty-free

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.

Contraindications: If topical Vitamin C is used as part of skincare, it should be applied at alternate times with this formula (ideally Vitamin C in the PM and this formula in the AM). Otherwise, Niacinamide can affect integrity of pure-form Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid).

Note: While Niacinamide and Zinc PCA reduce the look of blemishes and balance visible sebum activity, neither is a treatment for acne. For persistent acne-related conditions, we recommend the use of Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Retinoic Acid. We do not recommend the use of Salicylic Acid. This formulation can be used alongside acne treatments if desired for added visible skin benefits.

Apply to entire face morning and evening before heavier creams.


Deciem (30ml): USD $5.90

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% flat lay

I first saw this brand sprinkled throughout the Explore section of Instagram. I didn't pay much attention to it until Liah Yoo made a video on treating acne scars; it piqued my interest but didn't make me want to actively search it up. I just assumed it would be an expensive product and clicked away. C'mon the packaging and name makes it seem kind of fancy and clinical. Plus, I try not to click on everything YouTubers recommend so I don't overspend and hoard. It wasn't until Liah's follow-up The Ordinary review video, with "Best Skincare Under $10?!" in its title, did I become a tad obsessed and wanted to learn more about the brand and its products.

The Ordinary offers a ton of specialized products. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% stood out to me because Deciem markets this primarily for skin blemishes, congestion, and oiliness. Then a bunch of YouTubers and blogs noted it for being most beneficial to acne scarring and pores amongst a whole list of other concerns; all sounded like skin issues I have and wouldn't mind treating/preventing.

Benefits of topical niacinamide

→Good for acne, psoriasis, & rosacea

Reduces clogged pores
→Therefore improves oil production & the appearance of large pores

Stimulates cell renewal
→Evens skin tone (sallowness & dullness)
→Improves skin texture
→Reduces blotchiness & hyperpigmentation
→Repairs sun damaged skin

Increases production of collagen & ceramides
→Strengthens skin barrier
→Prevents moisture loss & dryness
→Feels more hydrated, soft, & supple
→Good for anti-aging (fine lines), skin elasticity

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% pipette


Like with a majority of The Ordinary's products, the niacinamide serum comes in a glass bottle with a  dropper. It allows for very precise control of how much product to dispense. If I could change something about the packaging it would definitely be the pipette; it doesn't reach the bottom of the bottle so getting the remaining product was a challenge. Deciem/The Ordinary, please source a pipette that is slightly longer and tapered towards one side!

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% swatch

Color, Texture, Finish, & Scent

The serum has no scent and no color. It is a viscose liquid, almost gel-like, that is easy to spread. Application of the serum can be tricky. If it isn't rubbed in properly and instead let to sink in on its own, the serum will dry out and leave white streaks. If it is rubbed in too rigorously it also leaves a white film. I like to lightly rub it in and then pat it down to help absorption. I have read that some people experience pilling but I have not.

How I Apply

I am not any more liberal with the serum just because it is an inexpensive product; if I was then it would completely defeat the point of it being affordable in the sense that I would go through a bottle way too quickly. Effective products should work even if a minimal amount is applied. I do use this to treat more areas (i.e. applying to neck versus not) but I would not dispense more serum per area than necessary.

With that being said, I have used this in two ways: apply ~1-2 drops per area on the forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, and neck (which comes out to be almost 1 pipette of product per use) or mix 3-4 drops with my moisturizer or oil.

Somehow I was able to persuade my teenage brother to test the product too. At the time, the both of us applied it at night only and directly onto our skin. When using the serum this way, one bottle seems to last about a month or so between the two of us. If using twice daily for 1 person, it'll probably last 1 month as well. If used once daily for 1 person then perhaps closer to 2 months. If mixed only a little with a cream or oil, it will obviously last much longer.

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% before after

Just my guess on what kind of acne I have via observation. I haven't been professionally assessed by a derm.

Have more pustules (pus-filled pimples), blackheads, whiteheads, and some papules (inflamed red acne with no pus).

Only applied at night after cleansing and toner/essence but before moisturizer.

lavlilacs Deciem The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% brother before after

Again, this is just my guess on his condition from observation. He usually doesn't give a darn about his acne so he has also never been assessed professionally. I wish I had taken true "Before serum" and "After serum" photos but I didn't. To be completely transparent about it, the pics are of him after a month's nightly use versus a month without after he got fed up with my nonsense. His acne condition, prior to using the serum, looked more or less like the right photo, possibly a little worse.

Has more papules than pustules, sometimes has cysts (deeper rooted, large, painful acne with pus). He also has a lot of blackheads and whiteheads.

Only applied at night without any other skincare products and only cleanses face with water.

Thoughts & Recommendations

Neither of us experienced irritations from using the serum. We didn't do a patch test nor did we slowly build up our routine. The main benefit common to the both of us is a reduction of inflammation amongst red bumps. Over the course of the month, the bumps seem to subdue faster compared to before using niacinamide. Since my brother has a higher concentration of red acne than I do, he looks to have had drastically better results. However, it didn't seem like the niacinamide is stopping new acne from emerging—just that whatever came up the serum would help to make it less severe and recover a little faster. I think this is what Deciem meant when they say niacinamide will "reduce the look of blemishes" rather than be a treatment for acne.

I benefitted more than my brother from niacinamide's declogging abilities. My skin feels a lot smoother and looks less congested (especially from whiteheads in the chin area). There is also a big difference in my facial congestions when I applied the Niacinamide 10% serum directly and when I mixed it with my moisturizer. Direct application is, of course, more effective.

My skin concerns aren't 100% fixed, heck it doesn't even look that much different without the photos. I would say it seems comparably better than before I used the serum though. My pores do not look smaller per say; they do feel a little more clear (I tested this without exfoliating). I am hoping the appearance of my pores will improve with continued use. As of right now, I cannot attest to how helpful it is for the oilies since my skin hasn't adjusted to the hotter & more humid weather yet.

One and a half months is definitely not enough time to see results for scars, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. Given the skin concerns the serum has been helpful for already and the great price point, I am not hesitant at all to continue using and repurchasing it. I may up the dosage to both day and night application or I might continue the current nightly routine and look to add toners/essences/moisturizers formulated with niacinamide. If I do end up purchasing it again and see better results for hyperpigmentation, skin tone, and fine lines I will most likely share an updated post.

Etude House BeBe Foot Mask

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask Review

There isn't much left to say, without being overly repetitive, about the state of my feet when I don't give it any tendering loving care in the form of acid peels. FYI I shared an in-depth explanation in The Face Shop's Smile Foot Peeling review.

Long story short! My feet skin gets very tough very quickly. The Face Shop's version is considerably more affordable when compared to the ever-so-popular Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel (~$10s versus ~$20s). Yet I couldn't help but wonder if there were even cheaper but effective versions on the market, which is how I found Etude House's BeBe Foot Mask.

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask packaging - Korean and English ingredients, description, and directions

Etude House's description:

Easy and comfortable foot care sheet that makes sleek and clean feet with the effect of removing keratin, relaxing the foot odor and others by wearing it.

1. Slip on foot sheets. (Each sheet is double layered)
2. Cut along enclosed pouch’s dotted line and pour contents into foot sheet.
3. Wait 1~1 hr 30 minutes atfer wearing sheet for solution to absorb into skin.
4. Atef r a certain amount of time, take sheet off, wash off remaining solution and dry feet thoroughly.
5. After 4~6 days, the dead skin cells will naturally peel off. Do not peel with hands.
6. Wait 2 weeks until dead skin cells completely peel off for smooth and clean feet.

1. For external use only.
2. Avoid contact with eyes.
3. Keep out of reach of children.
4. Discontinue use if signs of irritation and/or rash appear.


Etude House (international): USD $9.10
Etude House (Korean retail): ₩7,000
Amazon: USD $7-9 (varies)
BB Cosmetic: USD $6.79
Cosmetic-love: USD $9.38

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask - Before and After

Why did it take me 3 years to discover that other Korean road shop beauty brands (The Face Shop, Etude House, the SAEM, Holika Holika, etc.) also sell their own versions of the foot peeling mask? I guess I mentally decided to just stick with the one brand that I have tried and saw results with to play it safe. Formulations probably aren't that much different from one shop to another...but you never know if even the slightest things will affect the effectiveness of the product or cause sensitivities.

I am glad to say that Etude House's BeBe Foot Mask does indeed work just as well as The Face Shop's Smile Foot Peel for me and costs a few dollars (and won) less. With the rate I need to use these babies, every few dollars less per mask adds up.

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask box contents


There isn't a whole lot different between Etude House's version and The Face Shop's: both peeling serums comes in a foot-shaped pouch and have plastic booties. The biggest distinction between the two are the former requires tying a knot to secure the bootie and the latter uses a sticker.

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask socks

Like TFS' bootie, this one also had two layers. The outer layer is made of plastic and the inner one is made of a cloth-like material.

The instructions are identical. Clean feet. Slip on booties. Pour serum into each bootie. Wait for 60-90 minutes. Remove bootie. Rinse off serum. Wait for the peeling to commence.


The ingredients are more or less the same as well; both have alcohol, water, lactic acid, sodium lactate, glycerin, and glycolic acid as the main components—only the order differs. Etude House and The Face Shop use salicylic acid but EH's lists the ingredient higher meaning the amount of the acid they use is potentially larger in comparison to TFS's formulation. The rest of the ingredients found are various plant and flower extracts.

Color & Scent

The serum is colorless and relatively odorless (maybe slightly artificially fruity). I didn't experience any sensitivity to all the acids.

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask progression of peeling

Day 1

Soaked my feet for 30 minutes in water prior to soaking it for 90 minutes in the peeling serum.

Day 2

Saw no changes. Didn't do any extra soaking.

Day 3

Still did not do any extra soaking. Started to see some peeling around the toes after a shower.

Day 4

Drenched my feet for a few hours while washing a car in flip flops. Skin started to really slough off just from it rubbing against the shoes. Didn't physically peel off any skin myself. Had to sleep with socks on.

Day 5

Skin continued to peel and shed. Socks were necessary 24/7.

Day 6

Impatience took over—began to manually peel off skin that looked likely to detach soon on its own. Did not forcibly remove any that were clearly not ready.

Day 7

Old skin on the bottom of my foot nearly finished peeling. Skin on top and on the sides of my feet needed a little help; rubbed it off with my hands in the shower. Deeper callouses on my heels remained.

Day 8

Peeling completed. Scrubbed heels with a pumice stone in the shower and was able to file and smooth down quite a bit of the deeper & tougher stuff. Feet were baby smooth.

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask with soaking and abrasion from shoes

Thoughts & Recommendations

I am not sure if it was due to Etude House's formulation or the wet feet & flip flops combo, but this is the first time I have had actual skin peeling off in a layer. Of all the times I have used The Face Shop's version, my skin came off in flakes and it could not be peeled off in any capacity.

Regardless, I can say for sure that having wet feet does help loosen and soften the dead skin a great deal. Abrasion from walking further loosens and separates the dead skin from the soles. Even if there is no time in the day to sit and soak your feet in water for 30 minutes every day, keeping the bottoms of your feet in the shallow water while showering for even 10-15 minutes helps a lot.

lavlilacs Etude House BeBe Foot Mask - after peel, close up of heel

While the BeBe Foot Mask wasn't tough enough to tackle the most stubborn cracks on the heels and balls of my feet, it did a damn great job at breaking down and loosening other thick skin my soles developed over the last few months. The flakes came off in multiple layers in areas where the skin was thickest.

Which one I would repurchase all depends on whichever is cheaper at the time, how urgently I need it, and what the availability is at the (e-)shop. Etude House's foot peel and The Face Shop's foot peel work similarly enough that I would gladly pick up either or; they are one-in-the-same to me in terms of efforts required and results returned.

tria Hair Removal Laser 4X & SmoothStart Calming Gel - 6 Months

It is more than safe to say that I gave the tria Hair Removal Laser 4X a fair trial with 6 months of bi-weekly usage. Even tria claims there would be visible results after just 3 months of lasering. I gave my pits, stache, and knuckles double the attention and received varying degrees of results in return.

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 24 Weeks

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 26 Weeks, 6 months

Click to see the progression of hair loss: 1 month. 2 months. 3 months. 4 months. 5 months.

Do take my observations with a grain of salt. Everyone's skin and hair are different. Heck, even on my own body the hairs on different areas are not one in the same. My knuckle and arm hairs are thin and wispy. My armpit hairs are thick and course. My mustache hairs are thin & short and thick & long depending on which section of my upper lip it grows out from.

With that being said, I have come to the definite conclusion that the tria Hair Removal Laser works best on thicker, darker, and coarser hair. I won't say that it is completely ineffective towards thinner and lighter hairs; I just didn't see as noticeable results in the same treatment period.

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 24 Weeks Closeup

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 26 Weeks, 6 months Closeup

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 2 Weeks Closeup

Upper lips.

Case in point 1. There are minimal differences between the photo taken 2 weeks after my first lasering and two weeks after my thirteenth lasering. Maybe there are some hairs that haven't regrown. But on the whole, most of the stache hairs are still very much present. My biggest hope was to at least not see the longer wisps at the corner of my mouth. But alas, those continue to grow back a little longer every week that I don't shave them.

tria Hair Removal Laser Knuckle Hair 24 Weeks

tria Hair Removal Laser Knuckle Hair 26 Weeks, 6 months

tria Hair Removal Laser Knuckle Hair 2 Weeks

Knuckle hairs.

Case in point 2. Like I've mentioned this before, these hairs aren't my top priority when it comes to hair removal. The strands don't bother me if it's there. If the lasering could rid them, cool. If not, cool too.

These hairs are much thinner and lighter when compared those on my upper lip. I had a difficult time trying to laser this area because the surface is small compared to the laser's nozzle and the hairs don't all grow on the flattest part of the knuckle. Both reasons gave the device a tough time trying to detect the hairs and to activate the lasering.

tria Hair Removal Laser Armpits Hair 24 Weeks

tria Hair Removal Laser Armpits Hair 26 Weeks, 6 months

tria Hair Removal Laser Armpits Hair 2 Weeks


The success story of the journey. True to their words, I definitely saw the most drastic results within the first 3 months of using the device on the pits. I was floored by the number of armpit hairs that didn't sprout back after just 1 month of zapping. 2 months in and there was only about a quarter of the original amount of thick pit hairs left. 3 months in however was when things started to stagnate. 6 months later, a few stragglers are still left behind; those few strands of hair seem very persistent despite after half a year of trying to literally destroy them at their roots.

Few hairs remain but the time it takes for them to grow back after each shave is much longer than before. My pits also do not feel unbearably itchy when the regrowth occurs. I have also noticed fewer in-grown hairs over the half year that I have been lasering and shaving instead of plucking.

Half-Year Conclusion

The tria Hair Removal Laser is truly an investment device in terms of cost and time dedication needed. Using this device is considerably cheaper than having to pay professionals up to thousands of dollars per session. Both require the same commitment to multiple sessions while the tria has one flat cost and unlimited usage.

Worth it just for the time I save by not plucking each individual armpit hair with tweezers manually. I am aware that epilating, waxing, and shaving are much faster options. But the preparation & cleanup time and other frustrations (in-growns, stubbles, itchiness, etc.) with those methods aren't as ideal.

Worth it for the cost when compared to professional services. If comparing to prices of other at-home hair removal options mentioned earlier, it cannot even be placed in the same league.

I haven't had any professional treatment done so I don't know what the size of those laser's treatment window is, but the biggest gripe I have with the tria is its small laser window. Zapping larger areas like the pits is a pain since the device does start to feel heavy after using one-handed for a while. I can't even imagine trying to tackle larger spaces like the arms, legs, and chest. I guess the good thing with a smaller treatment window is that it allows for precision and targeting of smaller regions without needing to buy a separate smaller device.

The SmootStart Calming Gel doesn't do the best job as a consumer-friendly numbing cream of sorts, it did help psychologically to know there is a slight barrier between my skin and the laser. While I am always tempted to slather on a thick layer of it prior to the zapping session, I found that this action only hinders the devices from being able to sense the skin and hair properly.

Now that I have used the laser for half a year, I am declaring my mustache, knuckles, and armpits to be laser-free for at least 3 to 6 months to see whether or not any of the current results revert. I have read that while the laser does stop existing hair follicles from producing hairs, it doesn't mean new hair follicles won't develop. Here's to hoping the changes aren't too drastic!