Around 7 months ago I delved massively into The Ordinary skincare range.
My gateway products were the serums. After using those for a few months and loving the results, I wanted to see more of what The Ordinary has to offer. The beauty of The Ordinary is that it is entirely achievable to explore the range, as most items are just £6 a pop. To date, I have around 16 products from the range. I am currently using around 9 products and the rest I have yet to introduce.
The complicated bit is that unless you are extremely au fait with your skincare terms, knowing what to buy from The Ordinary involves a bit of research, as everything is labelled by it’s generic active ingredient.
On first glance, The Ordinary skincare range can look rather scientific and confusing. But if you break it down in terms of groupings, there are really only around 4 ‘groups’ of products: anti-aging, hydration, brightening, and balancing skin tone / pigmentation. Within those groups, there may seem like a whole lot of products to choose from, but mainly it’s just different strengths of the same or similar active ingredients. And that, in a nutshell, is The Ordinary simplified.
This blog post is going to focus on the products that I am currently using, but if you are interested in a deeper dive into The Ordinary, I have made a video where I explain 9 products from The Ordinary, and I also discuss which products from The Ordinary are on my list to try next.
Ascorbyl Glucoside solution 12%
I have been using this Vitamin C serum for 6 months and it is now a staple part of my skincare routine. If you aren’t already sticking some Vitamin C on your face – DO IT. It will brighten your skin, reduce signs of ageing, and give you a healthy glow. Since I’ve been using this product, I’ve noticed I’m reaching for my foundation less and less.
I started using this serum at the same time as the Ascorbyl Glucoside 12%. Buffet is one of the most expensive products from The Ordinary, coming in at £12. But it is a power house serum, combining a cocktail of Matrxyl complexes (Matryxyl being an anti-wrinkle ingredient) in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. If that means nothing to you, it’s basically a really great all-rounder for anti-ageing. I am onto my second bottle of Buffet and I can’t see it moving from my Skincare favourites for a long time.
Niacinamide 10% and zinc 1%
I bought this product to tackle the redness and pigmentation left over from the hormonal cystic acne I was experiencing before my PCOS diagnosis. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. It is also known for it’s skin brightening properties. So far, I’ve not noticed an amazing difference, but I have only been using the product for around 6 weeks which I know is not long enough to judge just yet.
Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane
I bought Granactive Retinoid 5% purely because I haven’t explored any anti-aging products yet. But I figured 33 was a good year to start. I don’t have many wrinkles, but I am JUST starting to get a few around my eyes, and I notice the skin around my eyes is slightly more crinkly when I smile. There are lots of different strengths of the retinol / retinoid products from The Ordinary – I won’t go into it in this post, but if you want to her more about that, I explain why I chose this particular one, and which I want to try next, in my video.
To be honest, I feel with the anti-aging properties of both the Buffet serum and the Vitamin C serums, both of which are in my current skincare routine, adding the retinoid might be slightly overkill, as I’m just at the first wrinkles stage and the serums alone seemed to have made a big difference with that.
Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a highly potent antioxidant and can restore a renewed skin appearance, improving visible skin texture and tone. If you read the reviews, a LOT of people rave about this product and it’s instant effects. I’ve been using the Alpha Lipoic Acid 2-3 times per week as instructed for the last 6 weeks, and I’ll continue to use it and see what happens. However, Unlike lots of reviewers, I have to say that I haven’t noticed a visible effect by the next morning and I’m not sure I’ll be buying another bottle when this one runs out.
Vitamin C Suspension 30%
After falling in love with and swiftly running out of The Ordinary’s Vitamin C product: Ascrobyl Glucoside 12%, I decided to up the Vitamin C strength with my next purchase and go for the more potent 30% Vitamin C Suspension. Unlike the 23% version, which lots of people have reported to be gritty, the 30% vitamin C is a grit-free cream. As soon as I apply it, my skin instantly feels baby-soft. My only complaint is that I’ve used up my tube VERY quickly as the cream does not spread as easily as the water-based Ascorbyl Glucoside 12%.
When it comes to re-ordering, I’m currently undecided as to whether to go for the 30% suspension or the 12% serum. But I’ll probably re-order both, as they both have their uses: I like that the water-based 12% can be easily blended with other products from The Ordinary to create a serum cocktail, and I can still reap the benefits of the higher potency 30% by using it on top.
Which order to use these products from The Ordinary
Now, here comes the tricky part. Going crazy with purchases from The Ordinary can immediately feel like too many cogs in the wheel. There are certain products that can’t be used in conjunction with with other products, and certain products that are best applied at night time. I had to write myself a little instruction sheet to keep track of my skincare regimen.
There are conflicting reports on whether you should or should not apply Vitamin C products at the same time as Retinol and retinoid products. I’ve found compelling arguments for both, and can’t seem to find a definitive answer though google. I’ve gone with the regimen guide on The Ordinary’s website, which suggests there is no conflict. Hence why I apply my Vitamin C at the same time as my retinoid (sometimes I apply one in the early evening and one in the late evening just to leave some space between products).
Note: With most of these products you’ll likely start to notice a difference within a couple of weeks. But don’t forget that it takes up to 3 months of regular use before you will start to see the full effects of a new skincare product. This is to do with the amount of time it takes to penetrate the deeper layers of skin tissue – so don’t be too quick to write off a skincare product!
My verdict on The Ordinary skincare
The Ordinary are pretty unbeatable when it comes to price. For example, every other vitamin C product I’ve looked at has been at least £30+. Being able to buy a £6 bottle of something which I KNOW works wonders for my skin and that I will want to have in stock for daily use, is life changing.
Similarly, serums are normally so expensive, but The Ordinary make it affordable, even if you are combining 3 of their serums together, as I often do. Once you get past the hurdle of needing to know which products do what, The Ordinary is a range that will get you great results without needing to spend the big bucks on high end skincare.
The hard, blister-like spot / cyst on my nose that had been outstaying its welcome for at least a year or two has significantly reduced in size since I introduced these new products into my skincare routine. A month or two more and I think it will be gone completely, despite previously thinking it was here to stay forever. I don’t know what exactly the spot was, or what exactly has made it disappear, but the only change has been the new skincare products I’ve been using. So that has been an unexpected benefit!
My skin has changed dramatically since using The Ordinary. My complexion is much clearer, my skin looks healthy enough to forgo foundation if I want to. My formerly sallow, pale skin is now glowing. I don’t actually equate this with The Ordinary, more just the introduction of serums, and discovering which active ingredients were missing from my skincare routine. But The Ordinary has certainly provided me with the cheapest way of getting there.
If you’d like to watch my video where I explain and review 9 products from The Ordinary, you can view it below: