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The Ordinary “Buffet” Review

The Ordinary “Buffet” serum is a best-selling skincare product that targets wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. It combines multiple active technologies in one serum, all at a very affordable price. In this post, we’ll look at the formula and product performance in this The Ordinary “Buffet” review.

NOTE: The Ordinary has renamed “Buffet” to The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum to better reflect the ingredients and powerful peptide technologies that address multiple signs of aging at once, including:

  • Reduced look of crow’s feet around your eyes
  • Smoother-looking skin
  • Improved skin elasticity
  • Skin that feels firmer

The formula stays the same. The name is the only change.

So consider this updated post The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum review.

The Ordinary “Buffet”

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So, what’s so great about The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (“Buffet”)? The serum contains many actives, just like the food buffet it is named after. Let’s take a look at the active ingredients in the serum:

The Ordinary “Buffet” (renamed to Multi-Peptide + HA Serum): Key Ingredients

  • Matrixyl 3000 Peptide Complex: This peptide complex contains two peptides: Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7. Per the manufacturer, these peptides help to reduce deep wrinkles and improve skin elasticity, collagen production, and skin tone.
  • Matrixyl Synthe’6 Peptide Complex: Per the manufacturer, this peptide complex, made with palmitoyl tripeptide-38, increases the production of six different components of the skin matrix: collagen I, collagen III, collagen IV, fibronectin, hyaluronic acid and laminin 5. It is supposed to smooth crow’s feet around the eyes and wrinkles, especially on the forehead.
  • SYN-AKE Peptide Complex: Also called dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, this peptide complex consists of a three amino acid peptide, that per the manufacturer, quickly reduces the look of wrinkles and laughter lines.
  • ARGIRELOX Peptide Complex: Contains acetyl hexapeptide-8, and pentapeptide-18, and targets expression wrinkles. It is supposed to provide a Botox-like effect on the skin and improves efficacy when used in conjunction with Botox (Botulinum Toxin Type A).
  • Probiotic Complex: This complex includes lactococcus ferment lysate, a probiotic that comes from Lactococcus lactis bacteria. It is supposed to improve skin barrier function for a healthy complexion.
  • 11 Skin-Friendly Amino Acids: The amino acids included in this serum are glycine, alanine, serine, valine, isoleucine, proline, threonine, histidine, phenylalanine, arginine, and aspartic acid. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins. They hydrate and moisturize the skin. Some may even offer anti-aging wrinkle-fighting benefits.
  • Multiple Hyaluronic Acid Complexes: Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is a cross-linked type of hyaluronic acid that forms a continually hydrating mesh on the skin for better hydration and long-lasting moisture. Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, an active ingredient that hydrates and helps the skin retain water.

The total concentration of these active technologies in “Buffet” serum by weight is 25.1%.

Several active technologies are designed to address the signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines, and loss of skin firmness, as well as to hydrate the skin and support the skin barrier.

But how does the serum perform?

The Ordinary “Buffet” Review

The Ordinary “Buffet” and The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum

The Ordinary “Buffet”, now renamed to The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum, has a mix of some excellent anti-aging peptides that are unheard of at this price level.

After using this serum consistently for a few months, my skin feels firmer, my skin texture is improved, and my skin barrier feels renewed. I really like this formula.

The Ordinary “Buffet” with Dropper

This multi-peptide serum has a clear runny gel-like texture. It is a little tacky once applied to the skin and takes a few minutes to sink in.

This is the only drawback for me, especially if you want to combine or layer “Buffet” with other skincare products.

The Ordinary “Buffet” with Dropper Sampled on Hand

Even though the texture is not the best, this is one of my favorite affordable serums and beats other drugstore peptide serums that I’ve tried.

The Ordinary “Buffet” vs The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%

The Ordinary. "Buffet" and The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%

The Ordinary has a super-charged version of its “Buffet” serum: The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%.

This serum contains all of the same ingredients as “Buffet” plus a 1% concentration of pure Copper Peptides (GHK-Cu (Copper Tripeptide-1)).

This copper peptide has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, plus it helps stimulate collagen and elastin production.

Collagen and elastin are proteins made naturally in the skin, but the skin’s production of these proteins decreases as we age. They are responsible for keeping your skin firm and bouncy.

One other benefit of Copper Tripeptide-1 is that it has wound-healing properties and may even help break down scar tissue.

I’m not sure the concentration would help with acne scars, but it does have some anti-inflammatory benefits.

The inclusion of 1% copper peptides almost doubles the price. A 1 oz bottle of The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum (“Buffet”) is currently $17.50, while “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% is $30.90.

For more details on my experience with “Buffet” + Copper Peptides, please see my The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% review post.

The Ordinary “Buffet” vs Hylamide Subq Skin

The Ordinary “Buffet” and Hylamide Subq Skin

An affordable alternative to The Ordinary “Buffet” comes from a brand, Hylamide, owned by the same parent company as The Ordinary (Deciem).

Hylamide Subq Skin serum has similar wrinkle-fighting and hydration benefits as “Buffet” and even stronger effects against the signs of aging compared to “Buffet” but with a lightweight, non-sticky elegant texture.

For more on how these two serums compare, check out this post on The Ordinary “Buffet” vs Hylamide Subq Skin.

The Ordinary “Buffet” vs The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA

If you are wondering which is better, The Ordinary “Buffet” or The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA, the formulas are similar, but “Buffet” contains more actives:

  • Matrixyl 10% + HA: Contains Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl synthe’6 at a combined concentration of 10% by weight in a hyaluronic acid delivery system.
  • The Ordinary “Buffet”: Also contains Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl synthe’6 and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes plus SYN-AKE Peptide Complex, ARGIRELOX Peptide Complex, a probiotic complex, and 11 amino acids.

The Ordinary “Buffet” is formulated with more actives, but both serums have a similar texture and consistency. I think “Buffet” is the better choice for a complete peptide serum.

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA is currently priced at $10.50, and The Ordinary “Buffet” is $17.50.

Related Posts: The Best The Ordinary Products for Wrinkles and Mature Skin, The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Review

How To Use The Ordinary “Buffet”

You can easily incorporate the Ordinary “Buffet” serum into your skincare routine. Since it is a water-based serum, you should apply it after cleansing and toning, but before oils, creams and sunscreen.

How often should you use The Ordinary “Buffet”? “Buffet” can be used both morning and evening, depending on the other product types (see conflicts below) in your skincare routine.

How To Layer The Ordinary “Buffet”

Apply The Ordinary “Buffet” on clean skin before your moisturizer or oil-based products. If you are layering “Buffet” with other water-based serums, take into consideration product thickness.

You can generally apply water-based serums in order of thinnest to thickest consistency for best absorption and performance. Keep in mind that The Ordinary recommends applying no more than 3 serums in the same skincare routine.

Related Post: How To Layer The Ordinary Products

The Ordinary “Buffet” Conflicts

If you are wondering how to combine The Ordinary “Buffet” with other skincare products, there are a few product types that you should not mix with the Ordinary.

You should not use the Ordinary “Buffet” in the same skincare routine as products containing direct exfoliating acids and pure vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid/ethylated ascorbic acid).

Direct acids (like the alpha-hydroxy acids glycolic acid or lactic acid) and pure vitamin C products are formulated at lower pHs than “Buffet”, which is formulated at a higher pH of 4.5 – 5.5, so combining “Buffet” with these lower pH products may cause degradation of the formulas.

The Ordinary also states that you should not use “Buffet” with Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%
and salicylic acid products.

Related Post: How to Build A Skincare Routine with The Ordinary Products

The Ordinary “Buffet” and Skin Type

The Ordinary “Buffet” is water-based, making it ideal for most skin types. Be sure to patch test before trying “Buffet” for the first time.

The serum is loaded with hydrators, making it effective for dry skin, and is light enough to use by those with oily skin.

If you are wondering if The Ordinary “Buffet” is good for acne or if The Ordinary “Buffet” causes breakouts, it is highly dependent on your unique complexion. For acne-prone skin, these are excellent options from The Ordinary:

What are some alternatives to The Ordinary “Buffet”?

The Ordinary Peptide Serums for Wrinkles

The Ordinary offers other peptide serums, including The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10% (very lightweight) and The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA (discussed above).

For a more elegant product texture, consider SubQ Skin from The Ordinary’s sister company, Hylamide.

Other affordable peptide serums include Good Molecules Super Peptide Serum and The Inkey List Collagen Booster.

Related Post: Good Molecules Skincare Review

Where to Buy The Ordinary “Buffet” (renamed to Multi-Peptide + HA Serum)?

You can purchase The Ordinary Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (formerly known as “Buffet”) on The Ordinary’s website, Ulta, Sephora, and Target in the US.


Can you use The Ordinary “Buffet” and vitamin C together?

The Ordinary does not recommend using “Buffet” with vitamin C, as a breakdown of the formulas may occur, compromising effectiveness if the two are used together. Alternately, you can apply vitamin C and wait about 30 minutes for it to absorb and then apply “Buffet”.

Can you use The Ordinary “Buffet” and retinol together?

Yes, you can use The Ordinary “Buffet” and retinol/retinoids together to get enhanced anti-aging benefits.

Can you use The Ordinary “Buffet” and niacinamide together?

Yes, you can use The Ordinary Buffet and niacinamide together. Both actives will target the signs of aging and offer hydration that supports a healthy skin barrier.

Can The Ordinary “Buffet” be used with glycolic acid?

The Ordinary does not recommend using Buffet with glycolic acid, as they are formulated at different pHs, which, when combined, will compromise the effectiveness of the formulas.

Can The Ordinary “Buffet” be used with alpha arbutin?

Yes, you can use the Ordinary “Buffet” with alpha arbutin for a supercharged duo that targets the signs of aging plus dark spots, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation.

Related Posts: The Inkey List vs The Ordinary, A Complete Guide to The Ordinary Retinol and Retinoid Products

The Ordinary “Buffet” Review: Final Thoughts

While not a magic bullet for all of your skin concerns, The Ordinary “Buffet” is an excellent peptide serum that is available at drugstore prices. Perfect for beginners or seasoned skincare veterans, “Buffet” is a mild serum and should work well for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

An effective non-irritating multi-technology peptide anti-aging serum for under $20? I don’t think you can beat it.

NOTE: For the benefits of anti-aging peptides around your eyes, you can pair Multi-Peptide + HA Serum with The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Eye Serum.

Thanks for reading!

Related The Ordinary Review Posts:


Sunday 11th of September 2022

Hi! since both The ordinary buffet and The ordinary retinol target signs of ageing, which do you think is better at reducing wrinkles/fine lines, fixing uneven tones, increasing collagen production and cell turnover etc.? I don't know which one to get since they're like the same in terms of the benefits..


Friday 4th of November 2022

@Sarah, thank you for your interesting post. Which one should be used first? The buffet or the retinol? Because Im using both together at night. Thank you very much!


Tuesday 13th of September 2022

Hello! Let me preface this by saying that everyone's skin is different, so you may not see the same results as I do, but when comparing retinol to peptides ("Buffet"), I always see quicker results with retinol/retinoids. Keep in mind that retinol can irritate your skin, so there are trade-offs. (I like The Ordinary Granactive Retinoids since they are more gentle on the skin than retinol.) You can use "Buffet" and The Ordinary retinol/retinoids together, so that is also an option. Thanks for reaching out!!


Friday 6th of May 2022

so...when you say 'should not be used together in the same skin care routine,' do you mean not both together in the morning? Can you still use one in the morning and one in the evening?


Monday 5th of September 2022

Yes, you can use one in the morning and one in the evening. For instance, you can use vitamin C in the morning and "Buffet" in the evening. Thanks for reaching out!