The Ordinary skincare line is a brand that I’ve discussed multiple times on this blog. Today I’d like to talk about my experience with the brand and how I use their products in this The Ordinary skincare review.
On the plus side, their products are very specialized and very affordable. But along with these benefits come some drawbacks.
The Ordinary has several products, and it can get confusing when you are trying to decide which products you should use.
I’ll discuss these issues, the products I’ve tried, and all of the anti-aging benefits these products provide in this review on The Ordinary anti-aging skincare products.
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.
The Ordinary Formulations: A Hero Ingredient
Products from The Ordinary center around the idea of a hero ingredient in each product.
Whether you are concerned with acne, anti-aging, dry skin, or oily skin, these products are meant to address your skincare issues one stand-out ingredient at a time.
I think it’s a great way to test a product and see whether or not an ingredient can help your skin.
Mixing The Ordinary Products
Because most of The Ordinary products have a single hero ingredient, you’ll often need to use more than one to treat your skin concerns. Mixing and matching should not be done without being educated on the ingredients.
While it may be overwhelming or confusing to learn about what is in each product and how it works (or doesn’t work) with other products, if you start introducing The Ordinary products slowly into your skincare routine, you can learn about what each product offers your skin one at a time.
The Ordinary Anti-Aging Skincare Review: Affordable Drugstore Pricing
The price. You cannot overlook the price of these products. They are priced at drugstore prices and often cheaper than drugstore prices.
Since I am always on the hunt for anti-aging products, finding an effective acid, vitamin C, or retinoid product for under $10 is fantastic.
Their low and affordable prices allow me to purchase a few or sometimes many products that would be the equivalent of a single luxury skincare product.
NOTE: For complete information on combining The Ordinary products and order of product application, please visit The Ordinary’s website.
For more on The Ordinary skincare routines, please see my post on How to Build A Skincare Routine with The Ordinary Products.
Related Post: The Best The Ordinary Products for Acne Scars
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is a gentle cleanser that is formulated with a pH of 5.50-6.50. The cleanser comes in the form of a white gel-like balm that spreads easily across your skin.
Emulsified sucrose esters dissolve makeup and other impurities. The cleanser is easily washed away with water and a washcloth.
Before applying, you rub it between your palms for 20-30 seconds to change the texture to an oil-like consistency.
While there is no oil in the formula, squalane is in the formula. It’s one of my newest favorite skincare ingredients. Squalane is oil-balancing, moisturizing, non-comedogenic, and helps protect the skin barrier.
I really like the texture of this cleanser since it reminds me of a cleansing balm.
This cleanser works well as a first cleanse, as it dissolves makeup, dirt, and oil.
It pairs well with The Ordinary’s newest cleanser: The Ordinary Glucoside Foaming Cleanser, a water-based cleanser that works well as a second cleanse.
The main drawback for me is the small product size. The 1.7-ounce tube won’t last long, and while it’s inexpensive, you’d need to purchase multiples to reach the size of a typical cleanser.
UPDATE: Luckily, The Ordinary has come out with a larger Squalane Cleanser in a 5.07 oz (150 ml) tube.
The Ordinary Direct Acids
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is a chemical-based skin exfoliant formulated with 7% glycolic acid, amino acids, aloe vera, ginseng, and a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative.
Glycolic acid is the smallest of the alpha-hydroxy acids, meaning that it can reach deeper into the skin to provide exfoliation of dead skin cells. Although with a deeper exfoliation, the potential for irritation increases.
That’s why a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative is included in the formula. This ingredient helps reduce irritation associated with acid use. Ginseng root and aloe vera are also included to calm and soothe the skin.
Glycolic acid is irritating to my skin, so I can only use this formula once in a while.
For those who do not have sensitive skin, this formula is a steal for a large 8.1 oz (240 ml) bottle currently priced at $13.
It has a convenient cone-shaped screw-top lid with a targeted dispensing cap, making it easy to apply to cotton pads without the formula leaking.
Related Post: Hylamide SubQ Skin vs The Ordinary “Buffet”
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA is formulated with a 10% concentration of the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) lactic acid.
Lactic acid molecules are larger than glycolic acid, making the penetration of the ingredient more superficial on the skin’s surface. As a result, it is considered a milder acid and causes less irritation.
Like The Ordinary’s glycolic acid, the formula contains a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to help reduce the irritation and inflammation associated with acid use.
The formula also contains sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, a new generation smaller type of hyaluronic acid that helps skin retain moisture at deeper levels for longer periods of time.
I’ve written about this product in a few other posts because lactic acid happens to be my favorite exfoliating acid.
I’ve tested this product as a skincare alternative for my holy-grail chemical skincare exfoliant Sunday Riley Good Genes.
While it is not exactly the same as Good Genes (I’ve found no other product to be), this is a solid lactic acid serum at a ridiculously cheap price.
It never fails that after I use this product at night, I wake in the morning with smoother, brighter skin and improved skin texture. I love this lactic acid serum!
My skin is somewhat sensitive, but it can tolerate this acid a few times a week.
Please Note: If this 10% lactic acid formula is too strong for your skin, The Ordinary also offers Lactic Acid 5% + HA.
Related Post: How To Use The Ordinary Lactic Acid
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
By far, the most interesting product that I’ve tried in this group is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution.
It contains 30% alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) (glycolic/lactic/tartaric/citric), 2% beta hydroxy acid (BHA) (salicylic acid), hyaluronic acid crosspolymer, vitamin B5, black carrot, and a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative.
Both AHA and BHA acids exfoliate the outer layers of the skin, while BHA also treats congestion and blemishes.
A Tasmanian pepperberry derivative helps reduce irritation associated with acid use, and a crosspolymer form of hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps the skin. Vitamin B5 helps heal the skin, and black carrot acts as an antioxidant.
This is a treatment product that should be applied to dry skin and left on your face for no more than 10 minutes as a mask and then rinsed off with warm water.
This treatment can be used at most bi-weekly. The crazy red color is what stands out most to me.
Once applied, you look like you have a really bad sunburn 🥵, but the color goes away after the peeling solution is removed.
This The Ordinary product is not for sensitive skin. I wanted to give it a try and see if my skin could withstand 10 minutes since I’ve been using acids for a while.
I’ve tried this product a few times, and unfortunately, it irritated and reddened my skin.
It is potent, and while my skin felt baby smooth and my pores looked very refined afterward, the irritation was just too much for my skin.
This is ideal for those who do not have sensitive skin and are looking for an affordable and effective AHA/BHA treatment.
NOTE: The Ordinary notes that you should not use this peel on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin. They recommend using it only if you are an experienced user of acid exfoliation and your skin is not sensitive.
For more details on how to use this product, please see this post: How To Use The Ordinary peeling solution.
What to Use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution
The Best The Ordinary Products for Wrinkles and Mature Skin
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is all about exfoliating and brightening your skin. Azelaic acid occurs naturally in our skin as a product of yeast.
This acid has many skincare benefits, ranging from antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to antibacterial and exfoliation benefits.
Azelaic acid is a favorite of those who have acne-prone skin since it has been found to have an anti-acne effect comparable to tretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin, and oral tetracycline.
It gently exfoliates skin helping to clean out clogged pores and sweep away dead skin cells to reveal a brighter and clearer complexion.
Azelaic acid also goes to work on hyperpigmentation, evens out skin tone, and targets post-acne marks and age spots.
It can even help with melasma since azelaic acid inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin formation. (Melanin is the pigment that gives our skin color.)
Formulated at a pH of 4.00-5.00, The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% contains a high 10% concentration of azelaic acid in a cream-gel formula.
It’s a little thick, so it is a bit tricky and may pill when using with other skincare products and makeup, so I prefer to spot treat areas of concern on my face.
This formula really seems to help with improving my skin texture.
I use it a little more liberally on my décolleté to address dark spots and discoloration. This is a very affordable and unique cream-gel exfoliator.
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA is formulated with 10% mandelic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and has a molecular weight of 152.1 daltons.
If you wonder why this matters, its molecule weight is larger than other AHAs, which slows down penetration, making mandelic acid a more gentle alternative to other AHAs like lactic acid or glycolic acid.
The mandelic acid base is enriched with sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, which can bind even more water than hyaluronic acid, making it an excellent moisturizer.
It also helps to protect the skin barrier by preventing transepidermal water loss. The serum also contains a derivative of Tasmanian pepperberry that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
This acid is a great choice for lightweight and gentle chemical exfoliation. This is perfect for my somewhat sensitive skin type!
I get results similar to lower concentrations of lactic acid. After using this acid, my skin is smoother and brighter with better clarity.
The Ordinary explains that using a concentration higher than 10% would result in an indirect peeling that would be better achieved by using lower glycolic acid concentrations.
If your skin is sensitive, you can even dilute this mandelic acid serum with other treatments until you build a tolerance.
This is a great introductory direct acid at a very affordable price. For more on The Ordinary’s mandelic acid serum, please see my detailed review.
NOTE: Although this acid is water-based, it can feel a bit oily upon application, but the oily feeling dissipates after the product dries.
The Ordinary Vitamin C Treatments
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% is a potent water-free and silicone-free suspension of 23% L-Ascorbic Acid powder. Dehydrated spheres of hyaluronic acid offer additional plumping to the skin.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and provides brightening and anti-aging benefits to the skin. It also stimulates collagen production and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles.
The Ordinary explains that due to the high concentration of vitamin C, you can expect strong tingling during the first few weeks of using the product until you build up a tolerance.
If it is too strong, you can mix it with other creams or serums to dilute it.
Due to the powder in the formula, the product has a gritty feel immediately after application. Those with sensitive skin may have an issue with this vitamin C due to the high concentration of pure ascorbic acid.
Unfortunately, this vitamin C was too strong for my somewhat sensitive skin. It stung my skin so much that I had to wash it off.
This may be a great option for those who don’t have sensitive skin, as it’s a truly concentrated form of vitamin C.
Luckily, I found another vitamin C that worked for my skin which I discuss next.
Related Post: A Guide to The Ordinary Vitamin C Skincare Products
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
Thanks to a helpful reader, I recently tried The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%.
After I discussed my issues with Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% in this post comparing The Ordinary and The Inkey List and The Ordinary, a kind reader commented that she uses Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% without any adverse reactions.
I am happy to say that I have experienced no adverse reactions to this vitamin C product either!
Ascorbyl Glucoside is a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. While it’s much more stable in water and less irritating than potent ascorbic acid treatments, it is not as effective as ascorbic acid.
As you can see, there are trade-offs when it comes to the delivery and efficacy of vitamin C derivatives.
Its thin gel-like formula takes a bit to dry like The Ordinary’s other gel formulas, but it works well with other products and under makeup once it dries.
Since starting this product, my skin seems more refined, and my pores appear a little smaller.
I’m not sure that I can attribute all of those positive changes to this product, but I am glad to have a non-irritating vitamin C product to use on my skin in the mornings.
The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% contains 8% pure vitamin C, or ascorbic acid/l-ascorbic acid, plus 2% alpha arbutin to target stubborn dark spots, discoloration, and uneven skin tone.
It also helps to stimulate collagen production and soften wrinkles and fine lines.
There are only three ingredients in this serum: Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, and Alpha Arbutin.
It’s a water-free stable formula that may feel a little oily upon initial application (until it absorbs) even though there is no oil in the formula. This is due to propanediol which works as a solvent and humectant and has moisturizing properties.
This is my favorite pure vitamin C formula from The Ordinary.
I’ve gotten used to the initial oily feeling upon application as it goes away pretty quickly.
For me, this is the perfect concentration of vitamin C. Not too little, and not so much that my face reddens and starts burning and stinging upon application.
I really like the inclusion of Alpha Arbutin, too. It adds an extra dose of brightening power to work on my hyperpigmentation and post-acne marks.
The serum slightly warms my skin like some other pure vitamin C products. It leaves my face feeling soft and moisturized, and ready for the rest of my skincare routine.
I apply this serum during the day to get antioxidant protection that helps to neutralize free radicals caused by UV rays that can damage skin cells.
The anti-aging benefits, including firmer and smoother skin, are a bonus.
Related Posts: The Best Drugstore Vitamin C Serums, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Review
The Ordinary Retinoids
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2%
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is formulated with a 2% concentration of Granactive Retinoid, which is a complex of solubilized Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR).
HPR is a non-prescription ester of all-trans direct retinoic acid.
This next-generation retinoid is supposed to offer better efficacy than retinol, retinyl palmitate, and most other non-prescription retinoids.
Like vitamin C, The Ordinary offers several different retinoids. Some are low irritation, and some are high irritation with varying strengths.
The secret is to find a retinoid that works for your skin and your skincare routine.
NOTE: If you are new to retinoids, you might want to start slow with low irritation products like this one to see how your skin handles the retinoid.
For more retinoid options, check out my post on affordable drugstore retinol treatments. Better yet, you can avoid retinoids all together and try a product containing bakuchiol.
The texture of this formula is a creamy hydrating
I experience zero irritation with the retinoid, which is monumental for my skin when it comes to retinoids.
I really like the results I see from the consistent use of this retinoid serum.
It’s very gentle, but I’ve started to see some softening of fine lines and improved skin texture, especially in the morning after using this
This retinoid is a winner for me! If you are interested in learning about the rest of The Ordinary’s retinoids, I wrote a post about all six of them:
Related Post: A Complete Guide to The Ordinary Retinol and Retinoid Products
The Ordinary Serums
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% showcases niacinamide in its formula of 10% pure niacinamide and 1% percent zinc PCA.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that provides a long list of benefits for the skin.
It is one of my favorite skincare ingredients because it can help minimize the appearance of pores, reduce redness and irritation, and decrease the look of pigmentation, wrinkles, and dryness.
Niacinamide also increases moisture, supports collagen production, and improves barrier function in the skin.
Zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid is included in the formula to balance visible aspects of sebum activity. Niacinamide can even help with acne and breakouts.
DECIEM, the parent company of The Ordinary, is quick to point out that while this product can help to improve the appearance of blemishes, neither niacinamide nor zinc PCA is meant to treat acne.
This best-selling formula from The Ordinary has a runny gel-like consistency that takes a few minutes to dry. Once dry, it works well with other skincare products and makeup.
This is another product from The Ordinary that is insanely cheap for a stand-out hero ingredient.
Unfortunately for me, there is something in the formula that irritates my skin, so I have not used this product consistently.
Please Note: DECIEM states that niacinamide can compromise the integrity of topical Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid and/or Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid) and suggests that you use them at alternate times of the day (AM/PM).
For instance, you can use niacinamide at night and vitamin C products during the day.
The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA contains a higher concentration of alpha arbutin at 2% (compared to the standard 1%) plus a next-generation form of hyaluronic acid for sustained and deep delivery. This results in better and longer-lasting hydration.
The pH of the formula is 4.9, which is ideal for retaining the stability of alpha arbutin.
Arbutin competitively inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme that stimulates melanin production. It lightens pigmentation and usually works well for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
There are two kinds of arbutin: alpha and beta. Alpha arbutin is considered to be more effective and is more expensive than beta arbutin.
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is slightly thinner than a gel and clear in color. I’ve used it without any irritation.
I haven’t seen visible results from using this product for the last few months, but I’ll continue to use this product to prevent or at least slow down the formation of hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Related Post: The Best The Ordinary Products for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots
The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA
The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA features Matrixyl, a trademarked peptide formulation produced by Sederma Inc.
This serum from The Ordinary combines Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl synthe’6, two generations of Matrixyl, at a combined concentration of 10% by weight in a specialized Hyaluronic Acid delivery system. This product is formulated at a pH of 5.00-6.00.
Peptides provide so many anti-aging benefits. Matrixyl synthe’6 stimulates six skin-rebuilding essentials (collagen I, II, IV, fibronectin, hyaluronic acid, and lamin 5).
Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl synthe’6 help to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which results in a decrease in wrinkles and sagging.
These peptides also help reduce photoaging and improve firmness.
This serum reminds me of other serums from The Ordinary, like The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (formerly known as The Ordinary “Buffet”), in consistency, texture, and feel on the skin.
The tackiness of the formula takes some getting used to.
The secret is finding a few extra minutes to let the formula dry and then applying the rest of your skincare routine. Otherwise, your face may end up feeling sticky.
Besides the time it takes to be absorbed by the skin, this serum is incredibly affordable for a formula that includes heavyweight anti-aging ingredients. This is a definite repurchase for me.
NOTE: Due to the susceptibility of hydrolysis that will compromise the effectiveness of the product, The Ordinary advises not to use peptides in the same routine as direct acids (i.e., alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids), LAA (L-Ascorbic Acid), and ELAA (Ethylated Ascorbic Acid).
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (formerly known as The Ordinary “Buffet”)
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (formerly known as The Ordinary “Buffet”) is an anti-aging skincare serum that pulls out all the stops with a slew of ingredients to target the signs of aging.
Anti-aging actives include Matrixyl 3,000 peptide complex, Matrixyl Synthe-6 peptide complex, SYN-AKE peptide complex, Relistase peptide complex, Argirelox peptide complex, a probiotic complex in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids, and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes.
The Ordinary is not joking around when it comes to powering this anti-aging serum with potent ingredients to treat wrinkles and fine lines, dullness, uneven texture, and dryness.
This peptide serum has a running gel-like texture, and although a bit tacky upon application, it works well with other skincare products.
I love adding a layer of this serum after using retinoids or bakuchiol (a retinol alternative) when my skin needs a little extra anti-aging help in the form of peptides.
This is an excellent all-around anti-aging serum that addresses the signs of aging for a ridiculously affordable price.
NOTE: DECIEM, the parent company of The Ordinary, suggests avoiding using peptides in the same routine as direct acids, LAA (L-Ascorbic Acid), and ELAA (Ethylated Ascorbic Acid) since the effectiveness of the peptides might be compromised.
Since I use vitamin C in the morning, I use The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum at night and also avoid using it at the same time as acid treatments.
Related Post: The Ordinary “Buffet” Review
The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%
The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% has all of the anti-aging technologies of the original “Buffet” serum that I previously discussed, with the addition of 1% pure Copper Peptides.
Copper peptides are anti-inflammatory and can help stimulate collagen production, and also helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity and firmness
The copper peptides in the formula give this serum its bright blue color.
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (formerly known as The Ordinary “Buffet”) is currently priced at $16.80, and “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% is $30.90, so the addition of Copper Peptides nearly doubles the price.
If you want a supercharged Multi-Peptide + HA Serum and want to try copper peptides, I would say this would be a great option for you.
Although I love the fact that there are so many actives in this formula, like a probiotic complex, peptides, amino acids, and multiple hyaluronic acids that address the signs of aging, I haven’t seen a huge difference in my skin using this serum compared to using The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum.
I probably won’t repurchase and just stick with the original The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (“Buffet”) going forward.
The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%
The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% is a potent antioxidant serum combining resveratrol and ferulic acid, two powerful antioxidants.
Since water can make antioxidants unstable, this formula contains no water (or silicones, oils, or alcohol).
In fact, there are only three ingredients in this serum: Propanediol, Resveratrol, Ferulic Acid. Propanediol is derived from corn sugar and acts as a solvent and moisturizer.
Because there is no water in this product, it can feel oily upon application, which goes away once the formula is absorbed.
Ferulic acid has the ability to improve the stability of Vitamin C and helps to improve its photoprotection abilities. That’s why you’ll often see these two ingredients combined in vitamin C serums.
While you can use this serum on its own, I think one of the best ways to use it is to pair it with a vitamin C product for improved antioxidant protection during the day.
The Ordinary suggests mixing a small amount of this serum with The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% or Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone and diluting the mixture with one of The Ordinary oils for a powerhouse antioxidant.
The Ordinary’s high concentration vitamin C suspensions are a bit too strong for my skin, so I prefer to mix this with The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%, which is a water-free formula.
I love getting the strong antioxidant benefits of vitamin C, resveratrol, and ferulic acid when mixing this resveratrol serum with The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%.
I apply these serums during the day under makeup.
The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder
The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder is a unique product in that you create a custom niacinamide solution when you mix this powder with what The Ordinary describes as “non-conflicting technology” to address multiple skin concerns all at the same time.
Niacinamide is one of my favorite skincare ingredients, as it is a multi-tasking all-star that provides multiple benefits for the skin.
It balances sebum production, works to minimize shine and enlarged pores, and works to even skin texture.
Its anti-aging benefits include a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and an improvement in dullness. It also supports the skin barrier and helps repair past skin damage.
How To Use The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder
The powder is water-soluble and will dissolve in water-based creams and serums, as long as the pH of the product it is mixing with is between 5.1 and 7.0.
The Ordinary provides a list of several their products that you can mix with this niacinamide powder formulation, such as:
- Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
- Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
- Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (formerly known as The Ordinary “Buffet”)
- “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%
- Matrixyl 10% + HA
- Argireline Solution 10%
Mix ¼ scoop of The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder with your selected base serum or cream. ¼ scoop of powder is approximately 0.05 g of Niacinamide.
If you mix this much with 4 drops of serum or base, it will yield about a 10-15% concentration of niacinamide.
I mix my best estimation (more on that in a second) of ¼ scoop of the powder with The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, or The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA.
The powder dissolves completely, and the resulting serum applies smoothly. It takes a few minutes to completely dry and does not interfere with other skin care products applied after the serum.
This combination makes a noticeable difference in the size of my pores and my skin texture. I rarely find a product that works so immediately and noticeably.
The powder works much better for my skin than The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.
While I am thrilled with the results, I have difficulty determining what ¼ scoop of the powder is. I really wish The Ordinary simply provided the correct size scoop since this leaves a lot of room for error.
Those with sensitive skin should take note, as you may end up with a more concentrated solution than you would like. Otherwise, I absolutely love this product, from the versatility to the quick results.
Related Post: The Best The Ordinary Skincare Products for Oily & Acne-Prone Skin
The Ordinary Eye Treatment
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is a water-based serum formulated for the eye area that reduces the appearance of eye contour pigmentation and puffiness.
It contains 5% caffeine and highly-purified Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (EGCG) to reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.
EGCG comes from green tea leaves, which are rich in antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage from UV light exposure. It also protects the skin from environmental stressors.
I apply two drops on the palm of my hand and apply with my ring finger under each eye. This solution dries to a soft, slightly tightening finish.
Since this is a serum-like formulation, you may want to add an eye cream on top for more moisture if you have dry skin.
It helps with depuffing my eyes, and I’ve seen a slight improvement in my dark circles, which are difficult to treat.
NOTE: The Ordinary points out that there are some conditions that this solution does not treat, such as hollowness in the eye contour caused by sub-dermal tissues. Fat deposits that cause permanent puffiness also can not be treated by this solution.
Related Post: The Ordinary Foundation, Concealer, and Primer Review
The Ordinary Hydrators
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Hyaluronic Acid is an all-star skin hydrator. The Ordinary uses three different forms of it in their Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.
These different forms of hyaluronic acid (including a next-generation hyaluronic acid cross polymer) have different molecular weights to provide multi-depth hydration and plumping.
Vitamin B5 is included for additional hydration.
This clear thin, runny gel is packaged in a glass bottle with a dropper to control the application of the product.
After it is applied to the skin, the texture is a little tacky and takes a few minutes to dry.
This is a basic product from The Ordinary that does what it is designed to do: hydrate and plump at a very low price.
Related Post: Good Molecules Skincare Review
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is formulated with 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols, sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA, and hyaluronic acid.
It provides non-greasy lasting hydration. It feels lightweight once absorbed, but it’s a little thicker than I expected and takes a little effort to get it to absorb into your skin.
This is a solid moisturizer for a very low price.
I would say it’s a good budget-friendly moisturizer, although it’s not my favorite product from The Ordinary, as I tend to really like their serums with actives like retinol and vitamin C.
Still, everyone should be moisturizing their skin regardless of skin type, so a good miosturizer like this one is a non-negotiable for any skincare routine.
The Ordinary Oils
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is formulated with 100% pure plant-derived squalane and is ECOCERT approved and is a USDA Certified Bio-based Product.
It provides dermal suppleness yet does not leave an oily residue. You can also use squalane on your hair! It offers heat protection, stops moisture loss, and prevents breakage.
Squalene, with an “e”, is naturally found in the skin’s barrier but is unstable for use in skincare, so hydrogen is added, and the result is squalane.
Squalane supports the skin’s natural moisture barrier, minimizing transepidermal water loss.
It’s non-greasy, colorless, odorless, and very stable. Squalane also regulates oil production, making it an appealing moisturizing option for oily skin.
100% Plant-Derived Squalane is my new favorite product from The Ordinary. It is so incredibly lightweight and disappears into my skin so quickly, leaving it moisturized, soft, and smooth.
I use it as the last step in my skincare routine at night, but since it’s so light, sometimes I use it under a moisturizer. I love all of the benefits so much that it’s a new staple in my skincare routine.
Related Post: The Best The Ordinary Products for Dry Skin, A Complete Guide to The Ordinary Face Oils
The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil comes from the kernels of the fruit of the Marula tree. The Ordinary Marula Oil is cold-pressed virgin African Marula Oil that is 100% unrefined.
The oil is teeming with antioxidants and contains mostly oleic acid and linoleic acid plus procyanidin, catechins, and flavonoids.
Like other oils, it hydrates and moisturizes, sealing in the actives underneath when used as the last step of your skincare routine. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this multi-tasking oil.
This oil protects from skin damage caused by free radicals due to exposure to UV rays. It also helps inhibit the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which keep skin looking firm and bouncy.
Amino acids help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to reduce redness and irritation.
You can apply a few drops of the oil to your face or hair daily or as needed. The oil is lightweight, so when you apply it at the end of your skincare routine, it hydrates nicely without feeling too thick or greasy.
It’s really great for the ends of your hair as well. I use just a few drops on my hair to help with split ends.
This oil is so affordable and is an inexpensive alternative to more expensive luxury marula oils, such as this one from Drunk Elephant.
Related Post: Drugstore Skincare Dupes for Best Selling Luxury Skincare Products
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is formulated with cold-pressed and organic 100% pure rosehip seed oil.
It is sustainably sourced and rich in linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and pro-vitamin A. Its high omega fatty acid content is the source of the natural woody scent.
I never knew the multitude of benefits that rosehip seed oil provides for the skin until recently. It not only works as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, but it also has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Plus, it supports collagen formation, helps to improve skin’s elasticity, and can reduce the signs of photo-aging.
This oil is packaged in a UV-protective glass bottle with a dropper. I only need a drop or two of this rich but light oil.
I love using it at night, especially during the cold weather months, to seal in all of the skincare actives underneath. If you want a subtle glow, mix in a drop or two with your foundation or moisturizer.
About The Ordinary
The Ordinary’s tag line is Clinical Formulations with Integrity.
The Ordinary is a brand under the DECIEM umbrella of companies. DECIEM also owns the skincare brands Hylamide and NIOD.
They specialize in materials chemistry and biochemistry in their skincare products and make an effort to communicate with integrity and honesty at fair prices.
All The Ordinary products are cruelty-free and vegan.
The Ordinary Skincare Review: Final Thoughts
My overall feeling is that The Ordinary is anything but ordinary. There are several products available that you can combine to create various The Ordinary regimens for aging skin and mature skin.
Start with The Ordinary products that address your top skin concerns and build a The Ordinary skincare routine around these core products.
While I didn’t love every single product I tried, I am very impressed with their formulations and the prices at which they are sold
If you love skincare, this is definitely a brand to become familiar with. Even if you add a single product here and there into your skincare routine, your skin can benefit from their effective formulations.
My favorites so far are The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion and The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane.
A newer find that I’m enjoying is The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%. I look forward to trying additional retinol and vitamin C products from The Ordinary and will update this post as I try new products.
If you are interested in affordable products for your drugstore skincare routine, be sure to check out the following posts:
Until next time, thanks for reading (this very long post)!
Saturday 31st of December 2022
Hi l am 43 year old and around my eyes full of wrinkles and skin very loss and damage and in my face fine lines suggest for me thanks a lot
Thursday 30th of September 2021
Hi, I am 53. My skin concerns are hyperpigmentation, crow's feet eyes and also general aging like sagging and fine lines at forehead. I just started incorporating The Ordinary products in my skincare AM 1. Vit c suspension 23%+HA (for pigmentation) 2. Hyaluronic Acid (hydration) PM 1. Retinol 0.5% Squalene (aging) Overall my skin texture is softer, more refined and hydrated. But I don't see any improvement with my pigmentation and crow's feet. What should I add to this? Should I add Alpha Arbutin and Buffet? And should I use Ascobic Acid+alpha arbutin.. replacing Vit C suspension 23% and no need to use a separate Alpha Arbutin? This is all so confusing..hard to decipher what to use and when to use. Please advise.
Saturday 2nd of October 2021
I agree that it can be very confusing when trying to build a skincare routine to treat specific skin concerns. It often takes some trial and error until you find something that works for your unique complexion. Keep in mind that you may need to give your current skincare routine more time, as products formulated to treat hyperpigmentation often take months to see results.
To address the signs of aging, I like to use a vitamin C product in the morning and a retinoid in the evening, so you are doing well with your current routine!
You may consider adding alpha arbutin into your skincare routine to see if that is an ingredient that works for your skin. (Personally, I like The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% better than The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% since I have somewhat sensitive skin and the 23% suspension irritates my skin.) I really like "Buffet" for its concentration of firming peptides. "Buffet" works well with retinol products, too, so that might be a good option for your evening skincare routine. Thanks so much for reaching out!
Sunday 7th of February 2021
Could you please tell me which one is the best between matrixyl and buffet for slightly saggy and wrinkled face (21 y/o)
Tuesday 9th of February 2021
Both The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA and The Ordinary "Buffet" are peptide serums. Matrixyl 10% + HA uses a concentrated blend of Matrixyl, Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl synthe'6 to addresses static and dynamic wrinkles plus hyaluronic acid for hydration and plumping. "Buffet" contains Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl synthe'6, plus additional peptides, a Probiotic complex, amino acids, and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes for a total concentration of 25.1% of these actives. I think "Buffet" is the better choice for a more complete anti-aging serum.
Wednesday 18th of November 2020
Hi! I literally bought all of the products that you mentioned but have no idea in which order to use them. Will you please share in which order you use the products and on what days? thank you SO much!!
Wednesday 18th of November 2020
For complete information on combining The Ordinary products and order of product application, please visit The Ordinary's website. You can also read my post on How to Build A Skincare Routine with The Ordinary Products. Most of the products in this post are discussed in that post. Thanks!
Wednesday 11th of November 2020
I have recently bought a bunch of The Ordinary products. I have a few different skin issues. I am 51, so anti-aging is important. I also have hyperpigmentation. My most recent problem is acne, I work in healthcare and wear a mask 9-10 hours a day. Can you tell me products that can help me? And in which order, both a.m. and p.m.? Thanks!
Wednesday 11th of November 2020
Here are some The Ordinary products that address hyperpigmentation, aging and acne: Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% helps balance oil production and also addresses the signs of aging, so you get multiple benefits with this serum. These two serums can be used in the same routine in the morning. Once or twice a week, Salicylic Acid 2% Masque will be helpful for blemish-prone skin. (Be sure to wear sunscreen while using this masque and for a week after.) For aging skin, "Buffet" and Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion applied in that order in the evening will help improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and help firm the skin. Thanks for reaching out!