Glossier Super Pure vs The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc Serum

Glossier Super Pure vs The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc Serum
Glossier Super Pure vs The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc Serum

Serums. Serums. They seem to be my new “thing.”

Glossier Super Pure vs The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc Serum

Glossier Super Pure vs The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc Serum

Glossier Super Pure vs The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc Serum

Never have I ever tested out as many serums as I have in the past 6 months, and I’m not complaining. Two serums that are very similar in terms of main ingredients, but very different in terms of price point are: Glossier’s Super Pure [Available hereand The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum [Available here] . 

Both serums contain niacinamide, aka Vitamin B3, which helps reduce the look of blemishes and congestion. And zinc PCA, a synthetic skin conditioning agent that has anti aging benefits, moisturizes, and regulates sebum production. Plus, it’s supposed to help treat acne.

I’ve never been blessed by the gods and given the gift of flawless skin. I also [thankfully] haven’t suffered with severe acne. But, the occasional mountain does like to move onto my face (especially when Aunt Flow comes to visit) so both of these main ingredients are something my skin needs. And they’re something my skin loves oh so dearly.

For testing purposes, I applied The Ordinary serum on one side of my face, and Glossier’s on the other to see if there really was a difference. At first, I was a little biased toward The Ordinary’s serum because of the price point. And, the fact that the texture is more what I consider “serumy.” Like that thicker, slippy texture– you know what I’m talking about? So I honestly wasn’t expecting to like the Glossier one as much since it’s thinner.

So how do they compare?

Both of these left my skin dewy and hydrated, but Super Pure was a bit more hydrating. And, it made my skin a little more soft, smooth, and supple. I know this because every night for a week I would ask my sister (who had no idea I was doing this) which side of my face looked better. She would always pick the right side of my face where I applied Super Pure because it looked more hydrated and dewy. The Ordinary’s serum took longer to absorb into the skin, and it made my skin feel a little tacky for a few minutes until it dried.

Another thing to note about The Ordinary’s serum is that you can’t layer it. One time I applied too much, and it dried white and crusty on my skin. I freaked out and thought it had messed up my skin. But, luckily it didn’t, and the crustiness washed away. Just don’t get too serum happy and apply more than you need.

I like that you get more product (1 oz) with The Ordinary serum, and it’s a fraction of the cost. Plus, they tell you the percentage of each ingredient you’re getting in the bottle. And that’s always nice to know. Glossier gives you half the product, it’s more expensive, and they don’t disclose ingredient percentages.

Another thing to note is they don’t have the exact same ingredients. Other than water, Niacinamide, and Zinc PCA, their ingredients are different. Super Pure includes honeysuckle flower extract, which is supposed to be soothing, and it has some antioxidant benefits. The Ordiinary’s Niacinamide and Zinc Serum contains tamarindus indicus seed extract, which is a skin conditioning humectant so it draws moisture from the air into your skin.

Let me just break it to you…

Neither serum zapped pimples away overnight like I was hoping they would– naive me. In fact, they both worked the same in terms of blemish fighting. Even though they didn’t get rid of pimples instantaneously, they did help speed up the process. Especially when trying to get rid of the scars that blemishes can leave behind.

So which one should you buy?

Honestly– you can’t go wrong with either. It comes down to how much you’re willing to pay, if you prefer one brand over the other, how you feel about consistency, and ingredient transparency/ disclosure. Glossier Super Pure is a bit more hydrating, and it makes your skin dewier. So that’s another factor to consider. Personally, I’ll probably stock up on both because #skincarejunkie. But, if price is the biggest concern, then go with The Ordinary because it is really nice and a lovely alternative.

P.S. you can shop through my page to get 20% off your first Glossier order!

Have you tried either? Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below!

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Shop Glossier here; Shop The Ordinary here.


  • I’ve been testing some The Ordinary serums and I’m quite impressed. Still can’t get over the price tag! How do they do it? Even the packaging is beautiful and super nice.

  • This Zinc serum was part of my order from The Ordinary, but I haven’t tried it yet. It’s hard to beat the price tag on The Ordinary, and it’s nice to have a reasonable dupe for those who can’t afford the Glossier one (like me for now lol).

    Jenn │ Beauty by Jellybean

    • Haha I agree. They have another dupe for their hyaluronic acid + B5 serum too!

  • Sigh I’m dwindling down to the end of my Super Pure and I have been going back and forth on whether or not to repurchase or try The Ordinary’s offering. I’m not a huge fan of products that take time to dry down so that does put me off a bit. But at the same time it’s so cheap that I don’t even mind picking it up just to try…sigh I’m sure the skincare junkie in me will just end up getting both 😂

    Cindy |

    • Hahah I can’t wait to see if you get it and how you like it! The dry down time of The Ordinary serum isn’t so bad so hopefully that doesn’t turn you off from it!

  • Great comparisons! I really like The Ordinary’s serum. I’m already on my second bottle, haha. I wouldn’t mind trying Glossier’s serum though! Sounds really nice :)

    Nicole | The Glam Surge

    • I’m almost finished with my bottle from The Ordinary. Will definitely be getting another ;)

  • Such a great post. Thank you for this comparison, it’s always great to know where we can save our money and where not. :)

    Michelle Morchella

  • Every time I drop by your blog, my Glossier wish list just grows and grows Nida!!! I tried The Ordinary version and it did nothing for me sadly, and yes, I really didn’t like that it took so long to absorb. xxx
    Sal | UmmBaby Beauty

    • Haha sorry for enabling :p. Hopefully they start shipping internationally soon so you can try them out, and perhaps the Glossier serum will work better for you!

  • Great post ! I’ve been testing some The Ordinary serums and I really like it !
    Thanks for the comparison !
    Have a great start to your week !

    • Thanks for stopping by :). Which serums have you tried from them? I’m itching to make another order soon.

  • Brenda Brooks

    Thanks for sharing!! I’ve never used serums honestly, but I’ve always wanted to try it out :)

    Live. Laugh. Love. & Make Up

  • Sam

    I was actually debating about getting Glossier’s serums, especially since I saw you can get all 3 for $65 but I had to talk myself out of it because I already have waaay too much skincare stuff to get through. I didn’t know The Ordinary was so affordable though! I think it’ll be a great purchase to get me into serums.

    Sam | My Beauty Cloud

    • Definitely check out The Ordinary if you’re getting into serums! They’re a great price. I hope you test them out!

  • Thanks for sharing. I was just looking for a serum and I was going to buy the SKII ones, but they are so expensive. I’m going to have to try this one out!

  • Great comparison! I’ve been absent from the Glossier serum party but I’m curious to try them!

    Advaita | Blush Canvas

  • I’ve been really wanting to try Glossier, but unfortunately they don’t ship to the UK. I’m loving my The Ordinary buys though, they’re my favourite thing right now

    19 by Chance | 1415

    • Ooh what did you pick up? Hopefully Glossier starts shipping internationally because they’ve been hinting at it for ages.

  • I’ve been loving serums at the moment too! Great comparison!! :)

  • I’ve heard so much about The Ordinary! They kind of just exploded recently all over social media and me being me, I’m probably going to end up with a haul from them :P I would love to try Glossier, although they don’t ship to Australia (been waiting for like 3 years hahaha). Love this post! Have an amazing day Nida xx

    Imogen /

    • Hopefully you won’t have to wait much longer lol! They’ve been hinting at international shipping for ages now so hopefully 2017 is the year! I can’t wait to see what you get from The Ordinary if you do end up trying them out! xx

  • I’m so curious about the Glossier supers but I don’t like how they don’t publish the percentage of their active ingredients :( I’ve had good luck with the ordinary one so I’ll probably be sticking to it since it’s so much more affordable and I know what’s in it ;) Thanks for the comparison, Nida!

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

    • I wish Glossier disclosed the percentage of their actives too! I think that’s why The Ordinary became so popular. Everyone loves transparency.

  • Samileen

    I’m in love with my Ordinary serum. However the little tacky feel can get a little annoying sometimes, but I can totally surpass it for the results it gives my skin. I’m loving my skincare routine and the Ordinary serums have been working wonderfully well for my dry skin.

    Great review and comparison.

    Saman || Beautydetour

    • I agree, the tacky feeling can be a little off putting, but it does work so it’s worth it. I’m glad they’re working out for you, girly.

  • I’m so glad you don’t think there’s too much between them as I’ve wanted to try Super Pure for a while but without international shipping Glossier is too much of a pain to get in the UK! Definitely going to give The Ordinary a go now instead!

  • Thanks Nida for such an honest review, I loved how you wore both of these on different cheeks! I also do the same technique but with make-up products to see how they wear. Loved this post!

    Naya //

    • It comes in handy to really see the difference! Glad you liked it babe :). P.S. I hope you’re doing okay. I know losing a pet is so hard. Hugs xx

      • Thanks a lot Nida, I am slowly getting back to my usual routine. Hoping that work will distract me a little. Appreciate your sweet words and support! xx

  • Hm interesting thoughts on the Glossier serum! I’ve gone through two bottles of The Ordinary, and I think it does boost the overall health of my skin, but the texture is too thick and sticky for me. But it’s so. dang. cheap.

    Camilla |

    • I agree. The more I use other serums, the less I like the texture of The Ordinary serums, but they do work and they’re so inexpensive.