To me, skincare products are some of the things that I believe ‘you pay for what you get.’ And I am someone who would not mind paying more for skincare and makeup brands that make quality products. The fact that everything from the Ordinary is under $20 gave me so much doubt, so I wanted to test the products myself. After many hours of browsing their website, I did not only learn so much about their products but also ingredients and beauty regimens suggested by the brand.
I knew about the Ordinary from reading IntoTheGloss top 25 beauty products of 2017, and the Ordinary’s serums won ‘the bargain’ award for their simple, well-priced, well-made formulations. IntoTheGloss is my favorite beauty go-to destination whenever I need a product suggestions and want to know other readers’ opinions about products.
About The Ordinary
‘Clinical formulations with integrity.’
The Ordinary is championing in single-ingredient skincare products, their transparency in product sourcing, production, and integrity. The Ordinary is a brand from DECIEM- an umbrella of many other brands, such as NIOD and Hylamide, that are focused on advanced functional beauty.
According to their website, all DECIEM products across all brands are ‘free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone.’ They do not test on animals nor pay others to do so. They also state that the fact that their products are not available in mainland China due to their requirement on products to be tested on animals. You can also follow them on Instagram which the founder, Brandon, would directly communicate and announce things all by himself there. The company is based out in Canada, by the way!
My skin type:
I have a dry skin type, but it could get super dry or oily in certain areas. My cheeks would get tight and patchy if I don’t put on enough moisturizer. On days when I don’t wear makeup or do not have primers on, my forehead and eyelids are extremely oily. Besides that, I don’t have acne or any specific skin concerns regarding sensitivity or allergy.
My goals with skin care products are to prevent pre-mature lines and wrinkles, to even out skin tone and texture, and to gently exfoliate whenever need be. With my skin type and the mentioned needs in mind, I purchased 5 skincare products from The Ordinary hoping they to perform as claimed! I also purchased a serum foundation which was too cheap for not giving it a try. I will include it at the end of this post as an extra, but for today’s post, I just want to highlight the 5 skincare products that I tried for myself.
My 5 skincare picks from the Ordinary:
The Ordinary has two Lactic acid + HA versions, one is 5% and one is Lactic Acid 10%. I went for a milder formulation since it is an acid, I want to slowly introduce my skin to it.
WHAT IS LACTIC ACID?
Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin. This formulation is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that are often associated with exfoliation. Lactic acid is known for the treatment of dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, fine lines, and wrinkles which ultimately leave your skin appears plumped and radiant. Sunday Riley’s Good Genes is another super popular pricey yet effective product that contains lactic acid as an active exfoliate. So I guess if you want to give a chemical peel product a try that does not break your bank, go for this one!
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isoceteth-20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.
HOW I USE IT: As directed, I only use it at night time. I apply three drops directly on my skin, one on my forehead and one on each cheek, massage it in, and continue with my serum and moisturizer. This product is not supposed to be rinsed off! They suggest mixing it in with other treatments to reduce strength until the skin develops tolerance. I don’t use this every day since I switch exfoliating products constantly according to my skin needs. So far, it has not irritated my skin nor do I experience any ‘vigorous’ exfoliating action that I notice. Perhaps I should have gone for the 10%?
10-Minute Exfoliating Facial
PH 3.5 – 3.7
If you have uneven skin tone, uneven texture, fine lines, wrinkles, or if your skin is dull, look for products that contain active acids like AHA and BHA. One of my favorite skincare brands, Drunk Elephant, has a very popular product called T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial which contains 25% AHA and BHA. And this formulation from the Ordinary contains ~30% BHA and AHA and is effective and suprisingly much cheaper.
As clearly stated in the product information page on the Ordinary website, this formulation contains a very high amount of active acids (~30%). It is called a 10-minute exfoliating facial for a reason, therefore, it must be washed off within 10 minutes! Also note that this is a chemical peel, not a physical exfoliating peel. So please be cautious and ask skin professionals if you have problematic, acne-prone, or sensitive skin.
WHAT ARE AHA AND BHA?
‘Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin’s topmost surface for a brighter and more even appearance. Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) also exfoliate the skin with an extended function to help clear pore congestion.
This combined 32% AHA/BHA solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use. Salicylic Acid further exfoliates inside the pores to target congestion and visible blemishes. The formula also contains a hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer, pro-healing Vitamin B5, antioxidant Black Carrot, and a soothing Tasmanian Pepperberry to make it tolerable by most skin types including sensitive skin.
Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.
HOW I USE IT: I only use it when I feel like my skin feels dry, flaky, and congested. It is suggested to only use it once or twice a week, and I use it very sparingly when I absolutely need it. The berry red color might look scary in person, but I appreciate the effectiveness and the color reminds me to keep an eye on it making sure I wash it off after 10 minutes.
At night, I use 3 drops on my slightly wet face, one on my forehead and one on each cheek, massage it quickly, and time myself for 10 minutes. After that, I rinse it with lukewarm water and go in with my normal nighttime skincare routine. I love how effective this chemical peel is. My skin feels super soft the next day! I always make sure to use sunscreen the next day in the morning. Out of all of the Ordinary products that I purchase, this is my most favorite one! Remember, a little really goes a long way!
HOW I USE IT: I apply three drops after my water-based products aka after toner and serum but before moisturizer. It is clear, scentless, and goes on so lightweight! It adds incredible moisture but doesn’t leave my skin greasy, and I’d use it as a moisturizer on days that I don’t wear makeup. Squalane is definitely a staple oil that I think everyone should have on their skincare shelf.
Ingredients: Rosa Canina Seed Oil.
HOW I USE IT: I love adding this oil right before my moisturizer, and of course after cleansing and serum. Regardless of the distinctive woodsy and almost ‘moldy’ scent, I love how it makes my moisturizer goes on smoothly when applied prior to that. The smell quickly dissipates, and the oil leaves my skin extra moisturized.
The “Buffet’ is also known as the multi-Technology Peptide Serum.
WHAT IS SERUM?
Serum is a skincare product you can apply after cleansing but before moisturizing. It is often water-based or oil-based and is packed with a high concentration of moisturizing ingredients (hyaluronic acid, ceramides, etc) to help the skin retain moisture. It is somewhat similar to essence but does not target specific skin needs or problems and is thicker in consistency and more concentrated inactive ingredients’ in the formulation. If you have acne-prone or more sensitive skin types, please do research prior to purchasing any skincare products, especially serums since they are potent and have powerful ingredients which can irritate your skin. You can read here to find out more product recommendations in terms of serums for different skin types.
in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes.
The only makeup product I’ve picked up from the Ordinary:
(My shade: 2.1 P for a medium with pink undertone)
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FINAL THOUGHTS: Skincare doesn’t have to be expensive.
It is a common belief that ‘what you pay is what you get.’ And I used to be a firm believer of that. Especially skincare, I used to pay $100 for a jar of night moisturizer from Shiseido and was so close to getting a bottle of SK-II essence which costs over $150 just to try it out and see what the buzz is about. Shiseido and SKII are well-known Asian skincare brands that my aunts, uncles, and lots of skincare lovers are loyal to for years. So I trust those brands and believe the price tags that they are selling.
And The Ordinary has proved me wrong here! Their skincare products are simple and effective. The chemical exfoliator will last me years, and I will definitely repurchase the oils. Some products from the Ordinary I have are definitely a hit, and I am pleased with them so far! Skincare does not have to be expensive, indeed, and thanks to everyone who is behind this brand!
Which product would you try? Let me know in the comment section below! Hope you find this post helpful!
Thanks for reading!