When it comes to affordable skincare, two brands are known for their low-priced yet highly effective products: Good Molecules and The Ordinary.
Each skincare brand brings an impressive selection of skincare products to the table that are formulated with science-backed ingredients.
While they share a similar philosophy, the question in regard to Good Molecules vs The Ordinary is: which brand is better for your skin?
In this blog post, we will delve into a comprehensive comparison of some of the best-selling products from each brand.
This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information. Some Good Molecules products are noted as “(gifted)” below.
Good Molecules vs The Ordinary: The Basics
Both Good Molecules and The Ordinary offer several hero ingredient products, which focus mainly on a single active ingredient to target specific skin concerns.
Both brands emphasize transparency, so you know exactly what is in their products and can make an informed decision about which product should work better for your skin.
It can be argued that Good Molecules goes even further by listing concentrations of not just their hero ingredients but EVERY. SINGLE. INGREDIENT. in many of their products.
While Good Molecules has over 30 products, The Ordinary offers nearly 60 products, so there is more variety with The Ordinary.
One thing is for sure: you won’t be confusing the packaging of each brand. Good Molecules’ packaging is colorful, while The Ordinary is the opposite: black, white, or beige.
All Good Molecules and The Ordinary products are vegan and cruelty-free, which is great!
When it comes to effectiveness and price, there’s no denying that both brands offer quality products at low prices. So, how do some of their best-sellers compare?
Let’s start with two of their very best-selling products:
Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum vs The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
|Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum||The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%|
|Targets||Hyperpigmentation, blemish scars, sunspots||Textural irregularities, dryness, dullness, visible shine, signs of congestion|
|Key Ingredients||3% Cetyl Tranexamate Mesylate, 4% Niacinamide||10% niacinamide, 1% Zinc PCA|
|Size||1 oz.||1 oz.|
Since The Ordinary doesn’t have a tranexamic acid serum at the time I am writing this post, we’ll compare Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum with The Ordinary Niacinamide serum since both contain niacinamide to brighten your skin and improve discoloration.
Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum
Price: $12.00 for 1 oz., or $25 for 2.5 oz.
Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum (gifted) is one of Good Molecules’ best-sellers for a reason: it helps brighten the look of discoloration and reduce uneven skin tone.
The serum contains 4% brightening niacinamide to target hyperpigmentation, acne scars, age spots, sun damage, and other discoloration.
The serum also contains a 3% concentration of the skin-brightening tranexamic acid derivative cetyl tranexamate mesylate.
The lightweight water-based serum absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving behind a soft and smooth complexion.
You have to be consistent, but after several weeks, you should start seeing an improvement in the look of skin discoloration.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Price: $6.00 for 1 oz, $10.80 for 2 oz, and $19.90 for 4 oz.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is one of the brand’s best-sellers, thanks to the high 10% concentration of niacinamide plus 1% Zinc PCA to help reduce the look of blemishes and balance visible sebum activity.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that is a true multi-tasker. It helps to soothe skin, strengthen your skin barrier, smooth fine lines, improve texture, and help with oiliness.
Niacinamide is well-loved by those with acne-prone skin for its ability to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. It’s also known for its skin-brightening properties.
As for zinc, it helps regulate sebum production so your skin won’t look greasy or shiny.
Hyperpigmentation Serum Comparison
While The Ordinary has a higher concentration of niacinamide, which is excellent for balancing oil and helping with acne, my pick for discoloration is Good Molecules since it is specifically formulated to target hyperpigmentation and uses two actives to do so.
As a result, Good Molecules is twice the price of The Ordinary niacinamide. But if you are on a budget, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% might be the better alternative, especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
NOTE: The Ordinary offers other products that target discoloration, including The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA and The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%. So, if one of these niacinamide products doesn’t work for you, there are other options that might work better for your skin.
Good Molecules Glycolic Exfoliating Toner vs The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
|Good Molecules Glycolic Exfoliating Toner||The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution|
|Targets||Texture, dullness, uneven skin tone, dehydration||Signs of aging, dullness, textural irregularities, uneven skin tone|
|Key Ingredients||3.5% glycolic acid, 0.9% galactomyces ferment filtrate||7% glycolic acid|
|Size||4 oz.||8.1 oz.|
Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). It uses chemical exfoliation to break down the bonds holding skin cells together, revealing fresher skin underneath.
Glycolic acid smooths fine lines and helps reduce the appearance of dark spots and acne scars while improving skin texture.
Since glycolic acid has the smallest molecule size of all the AHAs, it penetrates deeper into the skin than other AHAs.
While glycolic acid is very effective at exfoliating and brightening skin tone, it may also cause redness, irritation, and dryness in sensitive skin since it has the smallest molecular weight of all AHAs.
Good Molecules Glycolic Exfoliating Toner
Price: $14.00 for 4 oz.
Good Molecules Glycolic Exfoliating Toner (gifted) contains 3.5% glycolic acid to help exfoliate your skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation while smoothing skin texture.
The toner also contains 0.9% galactomyces ferment filtrate, the yeast-derived active that is the star ingredient in SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, to brighten and smooth your complexion.
The toner also contains 0.2% salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that helps unclog pores and treat acne, plus 0.1% niacinamide to brighten skin tone. Aloe extract helps soothe your skin.
Please note that glycolic acid and all exfoliating acids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so make sure you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Price: $13.00 for 8.1 oz.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution exfoliates and resurfaces your skin.
The toner contains 7% glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that helps to chemically exfoliate your skin by sweeping away dead skin cells.
The solution also contains aloe leaf water for hydration and Tasmanian pepperberry extract to reduce irritation associated with chemical exfoliation.
Panax ginseng root extract is a skin-protective antioxidant that improves blood circulation.
The toner improves uneven skin tone, clarity, and texture over time when used consistently, thanks to the exfoliating properties of glycolic acid.
Glycolic Acid Comparison
When it comes to potency, The Ordinary Glycolic Acid is the better choice since it contains twice as much glycolic acid as Good Molecules.
I have somewhat sensitive skin, though, and The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid can be a little too strong when used frequently, so I tend to reach for Good Molecules Glycolic Exfoliating Toner more often.
So, in this comparison:
- for a more potent exfoliating → The Ordinary
- for a gentler exfoliation → Good Molecules
The Ordinary is $1 less than Good Molecules for twice the amount of product, so if price is a concern, The Ordinary is the better choice.
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum vs The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
|Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum||The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5|
|Targets||Dehydration, loss of firmness||Dryness|
|Key Ingredients||1% hyaluronic acid (2 forms), 3% glycerin||2% hyaluronic acid (4 forms), panthenol|
|Size||1 oz.||1 oz.|
Hyaluronic acid (HA)is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that helps attract moisture to the skin and improves skin elasticity.
HA is an all-star ingredient for dehydrated and dry skin types that need extra hydration, but is suitable for most skin types since all complexions need hydration and moisture.
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Pirce: $6.00 for 1 oz. or $12.00 for 2.5 oz.
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum (gifted) is a hydrating serum that contains 1% sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid.
The simple formula also contains 3% glycerin to moisturize and protect skin.
The serum is lightweight yet provides long-lasting hydration.
This hyaluronic acid serum is great for all skin types since we all need hydration, and it helps restore moisture levels in the skin.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Price: $8.90 for 1 oz., $15.70 for 2 oz, or $28.30 for 4 oz.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a hydrating serum containing 2% hyaluronic acid in low-, medium- and high-molecular-weight molecule sizes.
These HA molecules pair with a next-generation HA crosspolymer to improve skin hydration in multiple layers of your skin.
The serum also contains glycerin and panthenol, also known as pro-vitamin B5, which helps to moisturize and soothe your skin.
Hyaluronic Acid Serum Comparison
While I think Good Molecules hyaluronic acid has a more elegant texture and isn’t as tacky as The Ordinary, The Ordinary contains twice the hyaluronic acid at multiple molecular weights plus pro-vitamin B5.
The Ordinary is a few dollars more, though, so if price is a factor, you might prefer Good Molecules.
Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum vs The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
|Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum||The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%|
|Targets||Breakouts, uneven skin tone, enlarged pores, texture||Textural irregularities, dryness, dullness, visible shine, signs of congestion|
|Key Ingredients||10% niacinamide, 2% glycerin, 1% betaine||10% niacinamide, 1% zinc PCA|
|Size||1 oz.||1 oz.|
Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum
Price: $6.00 for 1 oz, or $12.00 for 2.5 oz.
Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum contains 10% niacinamide to help reduce the appearance of blemishes, pores, and skin discolorations.
This serum helps improve skin texture, smooths fine lines, and evens your skin tone while supporting a healthy skin barrier.
The niacinamide serum also contains 2% moisturizing glycerin and 1% betaine, a natural humectant that helps your skin maintain a healthy moisture balance.
It is suitable for all skin types but is excellent for a combination or oily skin type and acne-prone skin.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Price: $6.00 for 1 oz., $10.80 for 2 oz, or $19.90 for 4 oz.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a serum for blemish-prone skin that contains 10% niacinamide, which helps reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion.
The serum also contains 1% zinc PCA, which helps regulate sebum production on the surface of your skin.
Tamarindus indica seed gum is a polysaccharide that helps reduce water loss and keep your skin looking smooth.
This serum is suitable for all skin types, but like Good Molecules, it is ideal for oily, combination, or acne-prone skin types looking to control oil and reduce breakouts and redness.
Niacinamide Serum Comparison
Both serums contain 10% niacinamide and are priced the same for 1 oz, although The Ordinary offers a slight discount when purchased in larger sizes.
Each contains additional moisturizers, but The Ordinary niacinamide also contains 1% zinc PCA, which helps target excess oil and may be beneficial for oily skin types.
Something in The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum doesn’t agree with my skin, but it is one of their best-sellers, so I’m sure I’m in the small minority of those for whom this serum doesn’t work.
If you have sensitive skin, you might consider Good Molecules. Otherwise, The Ordinary is the ideal choice.
Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm vs The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser (Oil-Based Cleansers)
|Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm||The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser|
|Targets||Congestion, impurities, makeup removal||Cleansing, Dryness|
|Key Ingredients||sea buckthorn oil, camellia oil, and shea butter||squalane|
|Size||2.6 oz||5 oz.|
Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm
Price: $15 for 2.6 oz, or $7.00 for 0.8 oz.
Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm (gifted) is formulated with nourishing oils and emollients to gently remove makeup, dirt, and impurities while hydrating your skin.
The balm is made with sea buckthorn oil, camellia oil, and shea butter (concentrations not disclosed), which are all nourishing, antioxidant-rich ingredients that help protect and hydrate your skin.
Solid at room temperature, this balm cleanser has a smooth texture that melts and turns into an oil when it comes in contact with your skin. It transforms into a milky texture when you add water, allowing it to rinse away easily.
This cleansing balm effectively removes makeup and other impurities without leaving your face feeling tight or dry or leaving a residue. It isn’t super greasy, either.
Suitable for all skin types, this fragrance-free cleansing balm is the ideal oil-based first-step cleanser in a two-step double cleanse.
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
Price: $19.90 for 5 oz. or $9.00 for 1.7 oz.
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is a squalane-based cleanser formulated to gently remove makeup, dirt, and oil while leaving your skin feeling hydrated.
The cleanser is made with plant-derived squalane, an oily substance similar to squalene, which is naturally found in our skin’s sebum. It helps keep the skin hydrated and moisturized.
Squalane is non-comedogenic, so it shouldn’t clog your pores and has a lightweight texture that doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy.
The soap-free cleanser is suitable for all skin types, including normal, combination, dry, oily, or sensitive skin.
This is another cleanser that can be used as the first step of a double cleanse to remove your makeup before following with a water-based cleanser to clean your skin.
Oil-Based Cleanser Comparison
While both cleansers work as a first oil-based cleanse, they have different textures and ingredients.
If you want a traditional cleansing balm that is solid at room temperature and melts into a milky oil-based cleanser, Good Molecules is the best choice.
If you dislike using cleansing balms or prefer a lightweight squalane-based emulsifying cleanser, The Ordinary is the better choice.
I think The Ordinary is a little more versatile than Good Molecules because since it is oil-free, you can use it as your only cleanser without needing to follow up with a water-based cleanse.
Good Molecules Rosewater Daily Cleansing Gel vs The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser (Water-Based Cleansers)
|Good Molecules Rosewater Daily Cleansing Gel||The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser|
|Targets||Dullness, impurities, dehydration||Cleansing, impurities|
|Key Ingredients||5% glycerin, 1% rosewater, 0.1% pineapple extract||decyl glucoside, coco-glucoside|
|Size||4 oz.||5.07 oz.|
Good Molecules Rosewater Daily Cleansing Gel
Price: $12 for 4 oz.
Good Molecules Rosewater Daily Cleansing Gel is a gentle yet effective gel cleanser formulated to remove dirt, oil, makeup, and other impurities from your skin.
This face wash contains 1% rosewater, an antioxidant-rich ingredient that helps soothe and balance your skin. A 5% concentration of glycerin helps keep moisture locked in and supports a healthy skin barrier.
A 0.1% concentration of Pineapple extract purifies and clarifies.
The gel cleanser creates a light foam and uses gentle surfactants to remove dirt and oil, so it won’t leave your skin feeling dry or tight.
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser
Price $12.50 for 5.07 oz.
The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser is a water-based foaming cleanser with a gel-like texture that gently cleanses your skin without stripping away its natural oils.
The cleanser supports a healthy skin barrier and improves skin clarity, texture, and radiance with continued use.
The cleanser has a running gel texture and contains gentle plant-based surfactants on your skin, making it ideal for sensitive skin types.
The face wash also contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your skin from environmental stressors.
Water-Based Cleanser Comparison
Both Good Molecules and The Ordinary offer mild, effective cleansers for those looking to maintain their skin’s natural balance. They both create a light lather that rinses cleanly.
Both cleansers are super gentle, priced similarly, and are ideal for normal, combination, and oily skin types.
I think Good Molecules has the edge because it has a more elegant texture and feel on my skin, and the pump bottle is easier to use.
Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder vs The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder
|Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder||The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder|
|Targets||Dark spots, hyperpigmentation, uneven tone, signs of aging||Dullness, signs of aging, antioxidant support, uneven skin tone|
|Key Ingredients||100% pure l-ascorbic acid||100% pure l-ascorbic acid|
|Size||0.7 oz. (20 g)||0.7 oz. (20 g)|
One of the main benefits of using a vitamin C powder instead of a serum is that the powder won’t oxidize in the same way as water-based vitamin C serums or products.
The vitamin C powder doesn’t actually activate until it is mixed with a liquid or cream like your serum or moisturizer.
Another benefit of vitamin C powders is that you can completely customize the concentration to your specific skin type/needs.
Of course, you should always follow product directions so you don’t overdo it, but vitamin C powders really give you the control to dose your skin with precisely the concentration it needs.
Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder
Price: $8.00 for 0.7 oz. (20 g)
Good Molecules Vitamin C Booster Powder is a vitamin C powder that contains 100% pure l-ascorbic acid, the pure form of vitamin C.
Vitamin C reduces the look of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven tone while minimizing the appearance of the signs of aging and providing antioxidant protection.
This powder is designed to be mixed with serums, moisturizers, or creams to boost their vitamin C content and antioxidant benefits.
This powder is water-soluble, so it should be used with water-based products only.
The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder
Price: $6.40 for 0.7 oz. (20 g)
The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder is a powder form of 100% direct (pure) vitamin C that brightens your skin and helps reduce the look of uneven skin tone.
You get the benefits of pure vitamin C, including its potent antioxidant benefits that protect your skin from free radical damage.
It also helps to smooth the look of wrinkles and fine lines while targeting excess pigmentation and discoloration.
Mix with water-based serums, creams, or moisturizers to create your own customized vitamin C treatment.
Vitamin C Powder Comparison
Even though The Ordinary looks twice the size of Good Molecules, they are exactly the same size.
Both are fine powders that dissolve easily, but The Ordinary has a finer texture that dissolves slightly quicker than Good Molecules.
The Ordinary costs slightly less, too.
Good Molecules Super Peptide Serum vs The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (“Buffet”)
|Good Molecules Super Peptide Serum||The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (“Buffet”)|
|Targets||Premature aging, fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, firmness||Signs of aging, crow’s feet, dryness|
|Key Ingredients||Glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, acetyl hexapeptide-8, acetyl octapeptide-3, copper tripeptide-1||Lactococcus ferment lysate, acetyl hexapeptide-8, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, pentapeptide-18, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, palmitoyl tripeptide-38, dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, acetylarginyltryptophyl diphenylglycine, sodium hyaluronate|
|Size||1 oz.||1 oz.|
Good Molecules Super Peptide Serum
Price: $12.00 for 1 oz.
Good Molecules Super Peptide Serum is an anti-aging peptide serum formulated to target signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and loss of skin elasticity.
The water-based serum contains a blend of peptides and copper tripeptides (concentrations not disclosed) to visibly reduce the signs of aging, hydrate, and nourish your skin.
Copper peptides help improve skin firmness, while acetyl hexapeptide-8 and acetyl octapeptide-3 minimize the look of fine lines caused by repeated facial expressions.
Sodium hyaluronate, the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, and glycerin work together to help your skin stay hydrated and moisturized.
The lightweight, non-sticky texture leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft and doesn’t interfere with makeup either.
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (“Buffet”)
Price: $17.50 for 1 oz. or $30.80 for 2 oz.
Previously known as The Ordinary “Buffet”, The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum combines multiple actives and complexes to address the signs of skin aging, skin dehydration, and dryness.
The serum contains four peptide technologies: SYN-AKE, Matrixyl synthe’6, Matrixyl 3000, and Argirelox peptide.
These peptides target wrinkles and fine lines, crow’s feet, uneven skin texture, and loss of skin elasticity and firmness.
Multiple hyaluronic acid complexes hydrate your skin at different levels for extended hydration, and several amino acids moisturize your skin.
The water-based serum is lightweight and non-sticky. It absorbs quickly into your skin without any greasy residue. The serum is suitable for all skin types.
Peptide Serum Comparison
Both serums are formulated with peptides to address the signs of aging.
While The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum is much pricier than Good Molecules, the higher price is due to the impressive list of active ingredients in the serum.
My pick is the more advanced formula: The Ordinary Multi-Peptpide + HA serum, but if you want the more affordable option, go with Good Molecules.
Good Molecules Overnight Exfoliating Treatment vs The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
|Good Molecules Overnight Exfoliating Treatment||The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution|
|Targets||Texture, congestion, clogged pores, enlarged pores, dullness||Textural irregularities, dullness, uneven skin tone|
|Key Ingredients||8.1% glycolic, 1% lactic acid, and 0.10% salicylic acid||Glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, salicylic acid, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, Tasmannia lanceolata fruit/leaf extract|
|Size||1 oz.||1 oz.|
Good Molecules Overnight Exfoliating Treatment
Price: $6.00 for 1 oz.
Good Molecules Overnight Exfoliating Treatment combines 8.1% glycolic, 1% lactic acid, and 0.10% salicylic acid to help exfoliate your skin and improve the overall texture, tone, and clarity.
The lactic and glycolic acids help brighten your complexion by exfoliating dead skin cells from your skin’s surface.
Salicylic acid penetrates deep into pores to clear them of oil and debris, minimize breakouts, and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.
Good Molecules notes that while it’s suitable for all skin types, Overnight Exfoliating Treatment is particularly good for combination skin.
If you have extra sensitive skin, Good Molecules recommends using it once a week and building from there. Avoid using it more than three times a week.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Price: $9.50 for 1 oz.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a potent rinse-off exfoliating treatment that contains a 30% concentration of alpha hydroxy acids in the form of glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid.
The peel also contains 2% beta hydroxy acid in the form of salicylic acid.
This The Ordinary acid peel helps improve the signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, textural irregularities, and skin dullness while targeting irregular skin texture.
A Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative is included in the formula to reduce the irritation that often comes with acid use. Vitamin B5 aids in healing your skin, while aloe vera soothes and calms your skin.
There are also hydrating ingredients in the solutions: hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer) binds up to five times the amount of water as regular hyaluronic acid.
Black carrot provides skin-protective antioxidant benefits.
Excellent for oily and acne-prone skin, it is only suitable for experienced users of acid exfoliation due to the potent formula.
The treatment has a deep red shade that can look a little strange on your skin, but you only need a small amount to get effective results.
It is important to note that even though it has a serum texture, this is a rinse-off peeling masque, not a leave-on serum.
AHA/BHA Treatment Comparison
Both treatments contain glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. The Ordinary contains additional AHAs, and all The Ordinary key ingredients are at much higher concentrations than Good Molecules.
Good Molecules is formulated to be left on your skin overnight, while The Ordinary is a rinse-off peel that shouldn’t be left on your skin for more than 10 minutes.
The Ordinary is a really potent peel, and I much prefer Good Molecules since it isn’t as harsh on your skin. Only you can decide which one will work best for your skin type and skin concerns.
Good Molecules 1% Retinol Night Oil vs The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
|Good Molecules 1% Retinol Night Oil||The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane|
|Targets||Fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone||Signs of aging, dryness, textural irregularities, uneven skin tone|
|Key Ingredients||73.9% plum oil, 14% rosehip seed oil, 5% jojoba oil, 1% retinol, 0.5% vitamin E||Squalane, jojoba seed oil, 1% retinol, Tomato fruit extract, Rosemary leaf extract|
|Size||0.4 oz.||1 oz.|
Retinol is an anti-aging superstar, but note that it can cause redness and irritation if used in high concentrations like in these two retinol oils.
So be sure to build up your tolerance by starting with lower retinol concentrations and gradually increasing your frequency as your skin adjusts.
Good Molecules 1% Retinol Night Oil
Price: $12.00 for 0.4. oz.
Good Molecules 1% Retinol Night Oil is a 1% retinol oil that also contains 73.9% plum oil, which is filled with omega fatty acids and antioxidant polyphenols.
This high 1% retinol concentration helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines, promote cell turnover, and minimize acne scars and marks and uneven skin tone. It also increases collagen production and boosts skin elasticity and firmness.
The oil also contains 14% rosehip seed oil, which has a high concentration of nourishing fatty acids, including linoleic acid.
Clinical studies have shown that acne sufferers have lower levels of linoleic acid in their skin, so rosehip seed oil may be helpful if you deal with acne.
A 5% concentration of jojoba oil is also included, which prevents moisture loss and helps keep your skin barrier healthy.
A 0.5% concentration of tocopherol (pure vitamin E) offers softening and antioxidant benefits.
The addition of these plant oils to retinol strengthens the skin barrier to help your skin retain moisture without feeling greasy or heavy. The ingredients work together to create healthier, brighter, smoother, and younger-looking skin.
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
Price: $8.90 for 1 oz.
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane is formulated with a potent 1% retinol concentration, the highest retinol concentration of any The Ordinary product.
Retinol is the gold standard in over-the-counter anti-aging treatments. It reduces wrinkles and lines and improves skin texture, clarity, and tone while stimulating collagen production and cell renewal for firmer skin with improved elasticity.
Retinol is paired with squalane, a lightweight, hydrating oily liquid that helps nourish and soften your skin while still being fast-absorbing.
Squalane is a moisturizer that has a similar structure to your own sebum, so it helps lock in moisture and keeps your skin hydrated without feeling greasy.
Squalane is suitable for all skin types, including those with oily and acne-prone skin, as it is non-comedogenic and shouldn’t clog your pores.
The serum also contains jojoba seed oil, a wax ester similar to your skin’s sebum, that is lightweight and doesn’t clog your pores.
Tomato fruit extract and Rosemary leaf extract are added to help protect your skin from environmental stressors and provide antioxidant benefits.
When it comes to choosing between Good Molecules and The Ordinary retinol serums, you really can’t go wrong as long as your skin can tolerate a higher retinol concentration.
The Ordinary does have a lighter feel on your skin due to the high concentration of squalane.
The glaring difference between the two is the size and price. Good Molecules is more expensive at $12 for 0.4 oz. vs. The Ordinary’s $8.90 for 1 oz.
Good Molecules Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel vs The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
|Good Molecules Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel||The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG|
|Targets||Under eye puffiness, dark circles, tired eyes||Dark circles, puffiness|
|Key Ingredients||0.4% Yerba mate extract,|
0.01% caffeine, 0.01% acetyle tetrapeptide-5,
3 forms of hyaluronic acid
|5% caffeine, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate)|
|Size||0.5 oz||1 oz.|
Good Molecules Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel
Price: $6.00 for 0.50 oz.
Good Molecules Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel (gifted) is a lightweight gel eye cream formulated to reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eyes.
It contains 0.4% sustainably grown yerba mate extract that contains antioxidants and polyphenols that protect your skin from environmental damage.
Other ingredients in lower concentrations include three kinds of hyaluronic acid hydrate that smooth the look of fine lines, while caffeine & acetyl tetrapeptide-5 target puffiness and fluid accumulation.
The thick texture feels very hydrating and absorbs quickly into my skin without feeling sticky.
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
Price: $8.90 for 1 oz.
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is a lightweight eye serum formulated to reduce the look of eye contour pigmentation, dark circles, and puffiness.
The water-based serum contains 5% caffeine, a potent antioxidant that stimulates blood flow, and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which contains antioxidants that protect your skin against environmental damage.
The serum also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid to smooth the look of eye bags, wrinkles, and fine lines, and lactic acid, an exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid that can help brighten the look of dark circles.
The watery texture feels lightweight and soothing. If you have dry skin, you may need to follow with an eye cream for added moisture.
Caffeine Eye Serum/Gel Comparison
Good Molecules Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel and The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG are both lightweight eye products that contain caffeine as a key ingredient, although The Ordinary contains a much higher caffeine concentration.
Both eye products aim to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles around the eyes. Both are boosted by skin-protective antioxidants.
The textures are different, so that may be one deciding factor. Good Molecules is a gel texture, while The Ordinary is a serum.
Ounce for ounce, The Ordinary is slightly more affordable.
Good Molecules Lightweight Daily Moisturizer vs The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
|Good Molecules Lightweight Daily Moisturizer||The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA|
|Key Ingredients||3% shea butter, 3% naturally derived silicone alternative, and 1.5% macadamia seed oil||11 amino acids, hyaluronic acid, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, and sodium PCA|
|Size||3.4 oz.||1 oz.|
Good Molecules Lightweight Daily Moisturizer
Price: $12.00 for 3.4 oz.*
Good Molecules Lightweight Daily Moisturizer is a lightweight cream moisturizer that preps your skin for makeup application with its hydrating and smoothing properties.
Previously known as Good Molecules Silicone-Free Priming Moisturizer, this Good Molecules moisturizer contains 3% shea butter, a naturally derived silicone alternative (3% neopentyl glycol diheptanoate), and 1.5% macadamia seed oil to create a hydrated and smooth canvas that’s ready for makeup.
If you don’t like the feel or the heavier, occlusive properties of silicone but like the smooth texture it creates, this creamy moisturizer is the perfect alternative.
This lightweight moisturizer leaves a beautiful finish on the skin and is the ideal daytime moisturizer to help keep makeup in place. You can just skip the primer and use this instead!
*NOTE: The rebrand of this Good Molecules moisturizer changes not only the name but also the size. You now get 3.4 oz. instead of 1.7 oz. for the SAME PRICE! That equates to $3.53/oz.!
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
Price: $6.50 for 1 oz, or $13.50 for 3.4 oz.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that contains Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) plus hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) to help hydrate the skin and improve skin barrier function.
Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs) are natural emollients found in the skin to help keep it hydrated and supple.
Natural Moisturizing Factors and active ingredients in the moisturizer include hydrating hyaluronic acid, 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, and sodium PCA.
This is The Ordinary’s original moisturizer and a The Ordinary best seller, which isn’t surprising since it is formulated to provide non-greasy and immediate hydration that strengthens your skin barrier with continued use.
While suitable for all skin types, I think both moisturizers would be ideal for normal to combination skin.
I prefer the slip, texture, and feel of Good Molecules Lightweight Daily Moisturizer, but The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA contains a more impressive ingredient list for hydration and moisture.
Note that Good Molecules contains oil while The Ordinary is oil-free.
Although Good Molecules is available in only one size (3.4 oz) for $12.00, you can’t beat Good Molecules’ price per ounce.
NOTE: The Ordinary has introduced two more moisturizers to appeal to more skin types. The Ordinary offers the richer Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides (best for dry skin) and the gel formula of Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan (best for combination and oily skin).
The Bottom Line: Good Molecules vs The Ordinary
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. This was not a short post!
So which brand should you choose? It really depends on your skin type and needs.
Both brands are super affordable and offer excellent targeted formulas. I would say The Ordinary products tend to be a little more potent than Good Molecules, but Good Molecules may appeal to some because they are less potent.
I like to mix and match Good Moleluces and The Ordinary products. (For a primer on mixing The Ordinary products, see my post on The Ordinary Conflicts.)
Since both brands are priced so low, you can try several products from both brands for the price of one luxury product.
Thanks for reading (this looong post)!