What Do You Think of The Ordinary?

There’s been a buzz around skincare brand The Ordinary since it launched last year. They offer no frills “clinical technologies” at low cost, with the aim of improving price integrity in skincare. You can get most products for under a tenner and last week I finally jumped on the beauty bandwagon and placed an order.

The very first time I checked out The Ordinary website, I was so baffled by the long chemical names of the products, I clicked away pretty sharpish. I’ve only upgraded from a basic three-step routine relatively recently, so all the jargon was a mystery to me. Even the explanations of each product were as clear as mud. Unless you’re a beauty geek, you really need to research the ingredients and find the ones that are right for your skin type. Luckily there are lots of reviews around.

Thanks to a hugely helpful post by Victoria on Bois de Jasmin, I felt a little more confident. I did a bit more reading and tried again. This time I purchased Buffet, Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F (see what I mean about the names?) and 100% Plant Derived Squalane. All of these seemed suitable for my combination skin with dry patches.


My Routine


‘Buffet’ is a serum containing a number of peptides which I apply in the morning after cleansing, in the hope it will increase my skin’s collagen. I love it and find it a dream to apply.

I follow this with Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F, which is a Vitamin C serum for brightening the skin. The Ordinary offer four different Vitamin C serums and this is what confused me the most. They do have a guide but it still uses a lot of technical language. In the end I plumped for Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F because it combines high potency with a very low risk of stinging.

The consistency turned out to be quite watery even though it’s a light oil. Next time I’ll go for the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate which is a light cream formulation with a very low risk of stinging and medium potency.

Next is a couple of drops from my Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster. In time I’ll be replacing it with The Ordinary’s version seeing as it’s  a whopping £38 cheaper!

Everywhere except my t-zone, I apply the Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA which is a non-greasy, easily absorbed moisturiser with added hyaluronic acid which has a comforting feel.

For sunscreen and its make-up priming properties, I finish with Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30.


In the evening after cleansing and toning, I use the Buffet serum again followed by Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster and Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. But again, once the Paula’s Choice product runs out I’ll switch to The Ordinary’s Advanced Retinoid 2%.

Lastly, I apply the 100% Plant Derived Squalane to try and combat the patches of lizard skin on my cheek and neck which I’m thoroughly fed-up with. When I’ve used it up I’ll try one of the number of plant oils (probably the 100% Cold Pressed Virgin Marula) to see if that gives a better result. I finish my evening routine with Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA.



The Ordinary’s “apothecary chic” packaging.


I want to try the Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% as a weekly exfoliating treatment but feel nervous about the fact it’s described a “peeling formulation”. If you’ve tried this direct acid, please let me know in the comments.

Apart from the Vitamin C Suspension 23% and the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, you can use any combination of products as long as you apply the water based formulas before the oil based formulas (there is a table that tells you which are which). However, they recommend using no more than 3 serums at any one time.

Obviously I haven’t used the products long enough to review them, but overall I’m impressed with those I’ve tried so far. They are easy to apply and I’ve had no adverse reactions. What I’d love to hear about is your experience.

Have you tried anything from The Ordinary? Do you have advice to offer? If possible, please share how you combine your products.






Filed under Beauty Review

26 responses to “What Do You Think of The Ordinary?

  1. Been seeing a lot of these lately. I am most interested to try out their sunscreen. Thanks for sharing some info about their products. Surely, this brand is anything but ordinary. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First I read about this brand in Victoria’s blog and was thinking about trying it. Then later i came across another extensive review of the brand – for the life of me I can’t remember who it was but I remember that I trusted the source, and she wasn’t that impressed with the brand – so I kind of lost interest. In general, I’m currently lost skincare-wise: I can’t scientifically prove it yet but it seems that the more I try – things with good reviews, recommended or even prescribed by a doctor, the worse my skin gets. I’m being insistent, and now I’m going through a set of Paula’s Chose’s products but I do not know what I’ll do next. I will be curious to hear what you think about these products once you use them for a while.


    • Oh Undina! I am obsessed with skincare (it’s my jam!) – pick my brain, pick my brain!! Lol! I understand how funny and stupid that sounds but remember that feeling the first few times when a perfume civilian (Tara’s words!) asked you for perfume recommendations (or showed an interest in niche perfume)- I suddenly got that feeling. (Though obviously you are no skincare civilian!). If you don’t mind my asking – What are your current skincare steps? And what kind of skin do you generally have? I know many people who’ve had great luck with Paula’s choice so maybe that will still work for you? I’ve also heard great things about The Ordinary though I’ve been more tempted by the NIOD line. I have some basic skincare steps I follow and switch in different products in each category depending on my skin needs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ok – I seemed to have logged in using the wrong account – this me – Lavanya..:) and I meant – ask me, ask me (not pick my brain which sounds, I don’t know, you know..:))


      • That’s good of you, Lavanya. Individual concerns are so important and I know my skin’s needs do change throughout the year – especially since I passed 40 – so swapping products in and out of your routine makes sense to me.


    • Undina, I’m sorry to hear not only have the new products you’ve tried not made things better, but have actually seemed to have made them worst. That’s frustrating and disheartening. I hope Paula’s Choice works for you. I do still love their products. Otherwise hopefully our Lavanya can steer you in the right direction.


  3. I heard about The Ordinary through you and Val, and though I haven’t tried anything yet, I am looking forward to doing so. In the last year, following the onset of eyelid eczema (and in other areas of my face), I massively pared back my skincare regime, the complexity and sheer variety of which may have been a trigger for the allergies I developed. This was on my derm specialist doctor’s advice and just because my skin was telling me to itself.

    Seemingly retinoids and acids are a big no-no for those prone to eczema, but peptides are well tolerated, and I still dabble in these with my Cerave night lotion. So I hope to gradually increase the sophistication of my regime, which is now laughably basic, but mostly benign. That said, it’s hayfever season, so am a bit worse at this time of year. And spotty, though the seasonal Lindt bunnies may have something to do with that.

    PS You have no lizard skin that I have ever seen! 😉


    • Did you see The Ordinary have a range of plant-based oils that could be good for you? Since my skin developed its lizard patches BHAs are too harsh. Hopefully a lactic acid will work okay. I’ve only been using the 1% Retinol in targeted areas.


  4. Lady Jane Grey

    I had very good experience w ascorbic acid, used it for years – I might try Ordinary’s version (I’d swear AA was keeping my skin so “bouncy” – sadly, it doesn’t last for ever…). Hyaluronic acid is a tricky thing, because most of the products out there use a far too hign molecular size, which cannot be absorbed by our skin – I have to check, how Ordinary solved that problem.
    I’ve never heard about Ordinary, am off to study them – thank you, T. !


  5. Hi Tara!
    Yea…. that’s way more confusing than I can cope with right now. Baby steps for me. I feel like I’ve achieved something on nights when I *don’t* fall asleep with makeup on, let alone going through xyz stages taking it off! Hehe
    xx Tina G


    • Haha. I know. I’m better in the morning even though I’m rushed for time. In the evening I just want to get it over so I can fall into bed.
      I’m all for baby steps.


  6. Have not tried this brand. Must look out for it. Sounds great! R


  7. I am so glad you have reviewed this new skincare of The Ordinary. It is interesting, didn’t know about the sizes of the molecules and the skin not being able to absorb that in. It’s the fun in the trying out new and reasonable priced skincare as well. Sometimes just washing the day off my face is just the best feeling at night, dab on some scent…


    • Honestly Anna Maria, it makes such a difference. I’m going to do a brief post about it but in the end I went for the NIOD hyaluronic acid (also by DECIEM) because it has 12 different sized molecules and it has TRANSFORMED my depressingly dry patches of skin. I hope you can access the products Down Under, or will be able to soon.
      I know what you mean about that feeling of washing off the day. I’ve realised it’s all part of self-care.


  8. Pingback: Fun in London with Val the Cookie Queen | A Bottled Rose

  9. I tried out some products form Deciem and now i’m really interested in them. I think we will hear so much more from the diferent brands in the future. I tried out the acid peeling from The Ordinary and really would recomment it! It’s great for when you have trouble skin.
    – x Lisa (getfreefalling.com)


  10. Pingback: My Dehydrated Skin Saver – Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex by NIOD | A Bottled Rose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.