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This review contains PR samples° and affiliate links* Seeing as I have just cracked open my second bottle of the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide Serum, it is high time for me to give you a full review of this amazingly gentle alternative to The Ordinary’s 10% Niacinamide Serum!
As many of you know, The Ordinary and I have a tempestuous relationship: I have tried many of their products by now, but in all honesty, very few have managed to wow me the way they wow so many other skinfluencers and consumers. Most of their actives are too strong for me or, as was the case with their salicylic acid solution, didn’t really have an effect on my skin for some reason. I like their lactic acid and mandelic acid peels, but hated every single vitamin C product that I tried from them.
And, well, I also really didn’t get blown away by their super popular 10% Niacinamide and 1% Zinc serum, which I know has some truly enthusiastic fans. I gave it a long, long time to wow me – emptied three whole bottles of the stuff! – but in all honesty, it never did much of anything for my skin, and long-term seemed to dry me out. Plus, I find the formula to be too sticky and uncomfortable to apply.
Now, as a big fan of niacinamide and its pore-refining, brightening and sebum-combatting properties, I really did want to love that famous The Ordinary nia serum, and thus was excited to see that one of my favourite indie skincare brands, Geek & Gorgeous, had come out with an alternative product: The Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide Serum, which has a very similar ingredient list, but a – in my eyes – far superior formula.
Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide Serum: Well, What’s So Great about Niacinamide then?
I feel like I’ve been singing the praises of niacinamide for as long as I’ve been writing about beauty, which by now has been for quite a while! It’s such a versatile skincare ingredient that works well for a variety of skin types and skin concerns.
So, here is what you need to know: niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3 (or niacin). Used in skincare, it can do an impressive number of things: niacinamide helps with redness issues thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, reduces excess sebum, gently brightens skin and thus helps with hyperpigmentation issues, and is even said to improve the appearance of large pores. Now, it cannot “shrink” pores, because pores cannot shrink as such, they basically just appear larger when they are filled with excess “gunk” such as sebum, or as we age and lose skin firmness (sigh) pores kind of “stretch out, so to speak.
As a general rule, niacinamide is well-tolerated even by people with rosacea or sensitive skin, though as with all ingredients, some people react badly to it, especially in higher dosages. The “sweet spot” for niacinamide formulations is said to be around 5%, so all those high dosage serums with 10, 15 or even 20% are actually meant to be diluted with other products. Some people do fine with high dosages and can use these booster serums undiluted, but just be aware that using a lot of niacinamide, every day, might make your skin become sensitised, so just be careful when you first experiment with strong dosages and see how your skin reacts.
Both the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb Serum as well as The Ordinary Niacinamide Serum also contain Zinc PCA, which is great for blemish-prone skin due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Now, if you have dry skin, just be mindful of the fact that zinc can be a bit drying for very sensitive skin types, so again I would advise to use these types of high potency serums mixed into other, hydrating products if you notice the drying effect too much.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide Serum:
“Aqua (water), Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Zinc PCA, Sarcosine, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.”
For comparison’s sake, here is the list of ingredients for The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zin 1% Serum:
“Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.”
You can see that they are quite similar, but the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb has added sarcosine, another great ingredient if you struggle with oily skin and pore issues, as it’s said to help reduce sebum. All Geek & Gorgeous products are free from any drying alcohols and fragrance of any kind including essential oils, which I personally am not opposed to, but I know many of you prefer your skincare fragrance-free. If you want to read more about the brand Geek & Gorgeous, make sure to check out the very first review I ever wrote about them.
Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide Serum: Why I Love It so Much!
I was actually a bit nervous using B-Bomb for the first time, precisely because of my not so stellar experiences with The Ordinary’s nia serum. Now, it wasn’t all terrible or skin-destroying, just to be clear – however, I just felt that after prolonged use even in diluted form, the formula for some reason made my skin feel weirdly taut/dehydrated, while at the same time not actually showing any improvements whatsoever. I know niacinamide works exceptionally well for my skin, since I’ve long been a massive fan of the amazing Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask with 5% niacinamide, which does a splendid job brightening my dull complexion. So, it clearly wasn’t the star ingredient that was the problem here!
So, I used B-Bomb a bit cautiously, adding about three drops to my evening hydrating serum of choice. Straight away I noticed a big difference in the way the formula felt: while The Ordinary’s Niacinamide Serum feels very sticky to me and kind of glue-like, the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb Serum is a lot runnier and spreads much easier on the skin. It also doesn’t feel sticky, at all, and doesn’t leave that same, odd film on the skin that I feel is a problem with a number of The Ordinary formulas.
As for any dryness from using B-Bomb, oh pretty much every day for the past 3ish months – none whatsoever! I have stuck to my regime of mixing 3 drops to a hydrating, water-based serum dilligently, and never had any issues at all. And: B-Bomb works, you guys! I have seen definite improvements in regards to oiliness and redness issues, which is just so great.
People must think by now that Geek & Gorgeous pays me to fangirl over their products (not that paid sponsorships are anything bad and I’m always happy to partner with awesome brands, BUT I would tell you if that was the case!) – I swear, I just really love the brand from the bottom of my heart.
The formula of B-Bomb is a pleasant, watery serum that blends in well with other gels and doesn’t have the same unpleasant stickiness as its main competitor, and I have seen noticeable improvements to my skin. I can’t say for sure that it helps with my pore issues, but it absolutely works as a great anti-inflammatory and overall brightening treatment.
Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide Serum: Final Thoughts on This Beauty Gem
My favourite evening ritual is my skincare routine, no doubt, and the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb with 10% Niacinamide Serum has become a constant companion pretty much every night, and even sometimes in my AM routine as well, especially right before my period, when my skin is oilier and more redness-prone.
I use a couple of simple, hydrating serums on rotation both mornings and evenings, and just mix my three drops of B-Bomb into the watery gels. If you are looking for a simple and affordable hydrating serum, I can recommend the Geek & Gorgeous HA5 Rich Serum* with five types of hyaluronic acid – I have reviewed these before on the blog. But, any HA serum will work, or of course you can try using B-Bomb undiluted if you know your skin can handle it. Or, if you aren’t a fan of hyaluronic acid, I can highly recommend the HA-free Kosmetic Immunity Beta Glucan Recovery Serum. Up to you!
If you, like me, didn’t get on well with other high dosage niacinamide serums and are looking for an affordable, well-formulated 10% niacinamide serum, then this may be the one for you – it sure is for me, and we are inseparable for now!
You can purchase the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide Serum* via the Geek & Gorgeous web shop, which delivers to most countries worldwide, including the US and of course most of Europe. The 30ml bottle costs 8.50€, which is about 10$. Oh, and while you are there… Their new, equally affordable Jelly Joker Cleanser* is currently blowing my MIND! Review to follow soon-ish, promised.
Let me know in the comments: Do you use any niacinamide products in your routine?
Take care guys, and stay safe!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by a brand or shop – I am not obligated to write this blog article, was not paid for the article, and my opinions are entirely my own.
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!!!