The Ordinary Brand Concept
The Ordinary is an affordable skincare brand under the Deciem group that has rocked the skincare market in the past year with its wide offering of single ingredient skincare products. The Ordinary is a self-proclaimed “pioneer” in “clinical formulas with integrity”–whatever that means. Their bio, and really all of the descriptions on their website, are a bit odd. It gives me major we just discovered what a thesaurus is vibes. Despite the pretension in their prose, The Ordinary is generally a humble company. By offering such a wide variety of actives and ingredients at such low prices they’ve democratized skincare and made it available to the masses. All of that said, the abundance of products on their website and the somewhat lacking descriptions of what the products are used for can be incredibly confusing. Especially so if one doesn’t have any prior knowledge about individual skincare ingredients. I’ve tried out a decent amount of their products and below I’ll be talking about the objective best products they offer, the just alright for me but maybe amazing for someone else products, and the products I think are universally garbage.
Best of The Ordinary
Buffet $14.80 this is the most expensive product that The Ordinary sells. It’s also, in my opinion, one of the best and completely worth the price (which isn’t expensive at all compared to other companies). The Buffet is the only Ordinary product that differs from their standard single ingredient product; it is a complex blend of active ingredients meant to plump, brighten, and tighten the skin. When I first tried this product I felt that I might be younger than the target demographic. I don’t have wrinkles and my skin is still young and taught. I was so wrong, this product does wonders for my skin. I think any age can benefit from some tightening. It lifts the face in such a flattering way. 4.5/5
Serum Foundation $6.70–This foundation was so anticipated it had a 25,000 person wait list! Like most people, I was desperate to get my hands on a foundation that cost $7 and came in so many shades with dedicated undertones. My skin is notoriously hard to match with drugstore foundations, it’s like yellow doesn’t exist to drugstore companies. I chose the serum foundation over the High Coverage Foundation because I prefer a light-medium coverage. I think this foundation is a really great dupe to the NARS All Day Luminous Foundation $49. Both are very thin liquids with intense pigment density. This foundation applies beautifully over the High-Spreadability Fluid Primer $7.90 and doesn’t look cakey on the skin as long as you prep. I’m not sure this would be the best for oilier skin types, but if you have normal-dry skin it gives a beautiful satin finish with a light amount of luminosity. 4.5/5
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% $7.90 my mom actually got me hooked on this one. Azelaic Acid is a compound that is naturally produced by yeast on grains. It works to brighten and even out skintone. The Ordinary offers this product at a 10% concentration, which is very high, inside a light gel-based cream. If you suffer from eczema or just have a lot of redness, this is such a great product to use in the morning. Often during winter I will wake up with blotchy red skin. When that happens I use this as a primer for my makeup and it really helps to calm down the redness. 4.5/5 because it’s not incredibly hydrating.
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil $9.80 (not pictured) when I repurchase this item it will be my third time owning this product. Rose Hip Oil is incredible for hydrating, brightening, and fading spots left behind from acne. This one from The Ordinary is so rich and luxurious on the skin without being heavy or greasy. It sinks in quickly and is my favorite to use after a clay mask for some hydration. It’s important that your Rose Hip Oil is cold-pressed and in a dark glass jar. I totally messed mine up, which you can see in this post, so I need to repurchase. I’ve been without it for about 2 months now and despite owning other oils I still crave the feeling this one gives my skin. 5/5.
Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% replaced my Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drops $22 review here. While I do love the Klairs serum, Vitamin C is most effective in a powdered state. When Vitamin C is mixed with liquid is begins to degrade. This product is probably the most controversial product from The Ordinary. I think that all the people who dislike it are using it wrong, which is fair because The Ordinary’s website gives no indication of the proper way to apply this product. The best way to apply this product is to mix it into a serum, preferably a hyaluronic acid serum. The HA Spheres 2% in the product stand for hyaluronic acid, so mixing it with more hyaluronic acid is the best way, in my opinion, to apply this. 5/5
The “Just Okay’s” of The Ordinary
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution $7.20 if you have sensitive skin avoid this one. I think all skin types should be using some form of acid exfoliator, but this particular offering is incredibly harsh and drying. My skin is used to AHA’s and BHA’s and it still couldn’t tolerate this product. It’s a damn shame because I loved walking around looking like I had blood all over my face. 3/5
High-Spreadability Fluid Primer $7.90 one of the very first posts I wrote on this blog was about this product. I gave it a 5/5 at the time, but I’m sad to say my opinion has changed over time. I don’t hate it. I think it’s a decent primer, but its very finicky over certain moisturizers I use. It was great during summer because I wasn’t using a rich cream, but now that it’s colder out I find it pills over heavier moisturizers. For that reason I think oily-skin types will still love this product, but drier skinned people should probably avoid it. 2/5 dry skin | 4/5 oily skin.
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $5.90 (not pictured) is a good product for dry acne-prone skin if you don’t use it all the time. I found this drying with daily use. It works to regulate sebum as well as control acne, so if you don’t have much sebum in the first place it can be a bit much. Again, this is probably a daily use item for oilier skin types. It’s also way cheaper than the Glossier Super Pure $28–who wont tell % of actives in their serums (the reason I refuse to purchase them).
Worst of The Ordinary
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution 15ml $4.90 30ml $5.30 this didn’t work for me at all. I didn’t even attempt to use this all over my face, I only used it as a spot treatment. Even that didn’t help my skin from becoming cracked, red, dry, and irritated. When I used this on a spot I found that the post-pimple red spot was much more pronounced and took longer to fade. 1/5
My The Ordinary Wishlist
Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG $6.70 I am desperate to try this out but I don’t need anything else from them right now and I’m not down to pay shipping on a $7 item. I am very interested to know if it really does work on dark circles so if anyone here has tried this please comment below and let me know your experience.
EUK 134 .1% $8.80 is a strongly concentrated antioxidant that The Ordinary claims visibly reduces redness and protects against UV damage. I’m down for both of those and all the reviews I have seen rave about this.
What are your favorite The Ordinary Products? Let me know down below and have a great weekend babes!