Everything you need to know about The Ordinary skincare line, and how to choose the best formulas for you

This affordable beauty brand is worth the buzz

Any beauty junkie worth their salt will have heard about The Ordinary. It’s the fastest growing beauty brand on ASOS for a start and sells one product every 5.5 SECONDS! Why? Because everything from their sell-out skincare to their #1 foundation is totally affordable and delivers big results.

The Ordinary, have amassed a legion of devoted followers since catapulting their purse-friendly skincare range onto the beauty scene in 2016. A Canadian brand, launched under the Deciem umbrella, they have revolutionised the beauty industry by offering active ingredients at a very affordable price. They achieve their cheap price points by holding back on unnecessary scents and unproven ingredients, and using basic packaging.

With over 30 products to choose from (including THAT foundation), and a naming convention that looks like something from the periodic table though, some of the skincare from The Ordinary can be a bit confusing to anyone without a chemistry degree. So, to make sure you’re really able to get the most out of their products, we thought we’d give you a break down of what everything does, and what YOU need!

View this post on Instagram

(4/5) 🧬 The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5 offers non-greasy hydration support for the maintenance of healthy skin. This product helps to enhance barrier support, elasticity, as well as surface and below-surface hydration while imparting soothing effects.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 💧The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a multi-depth hydration support serum that contains 3 forms of hyaluronic acid with varying molecular weights, alongside Vitamin B5, for multi-depth hydration and enhancement of the look of plump skin. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 🐠 The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics is a lightweight formula containing marine-derived water reservoirs (exopolysaccharides from skin-friendly marine bacteria, Hawaiian red algae, glycoproteins from Antarctic marine sources, and micro-filtered blue-green algae) that attract and hold water, enhancing skin hydration. In comparison to the HA 2% + B5, this formula has a lower viscosity.

A post shared by THE ABNORMAL BEAUTY COMPANY (@deciem) on

What The Ordinary products should you be using?

The Ordinary products for… sensitive skin

In the AM: Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £4.90

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: The best budget HA we’ve tried, this hydrates skin attracting moisture and locking it in. Use before other creams.

Natural Moisturising Factors + HA: Use this after all other serums for immediate hydration that’s non-greasy.

In the PM: 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, £5.50 and Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £4.90

100% Plant-Derived Squalane: Found naturally in the skin, this ups your hydration even more

The Ordinary products for… dry skin

In the AM: Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £4.90

Same as above!

In the PM: Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, AND 00% Plant-Derived Squalane, £5.50 AND Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £4.90 – basically all the moisture!

Twice per week: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £6.30

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: This 10 minute exfoliating treatment that gives a deep down scrub, without damaging the skin. It’s also great for minimising fine lines and wrinkles. *Fine for dry skin but careful if you’ve got sensitive skin. Make sure you use an SPF afterwards!

The Ordinary products for… combating aging and wrinkles

In the AM: Buffet, £12.70 with Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £4.90

Buffet: Apply to the entire face in both the morning and evening, this is jam-packed with ingredients that all help to combat multiple signs of ageing.

In the PM: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, £6.80 with Buffet, £12.70 and Advanced Retinoid 2%, £8

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: This provides a mild exfoliation to help with skin clarity and radiance. Don’t use if you’ve got sensitive skin as it can tingle! And remember to use a SPF afterwards.

Advanced Retinoid 2%: A form of retinol that can help with ageing skin. Don’t use this as an acne treatment though! And as with all retinols, make sure you’re using SPF as they make your skin more UV sensitive.

Twice per week: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £6.30

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: This 10 minute exfoliating treatment that gives a deep down scrub, without damaging the skin. It’s also great for minimising fine lines and wrinkles. *Fine for dry skin but careful if you’ve got sensitive skin. Make sure you use an SPF afterwards!

View this post on Instagram

Retinol and Granactive Retinoid are a lot like siblings. 👯‍♀️⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ They’re part of the same Vitamin A family, and just like siblings, they appear to be similar but are actually quite different. Retinol (the "older" sibling) has been around longer than most of us (since the 1930's), and as such, has been studied very extensively. Retinol is often considered one of the most effective skincare ingredients due to its ability to improve the appearance of multiple skincare concerns, including visible signs of aging and textural irregularities.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣✨ ⁣ The Ordinary offers the pure, waterless form of Retinol in 0.2%, 0.5% and 1% concentrations in a base of Squalane. If you’re an inexperienced user, it’s best to start your regimen with our Retinol 0.2% in Squalane, and then adjust to higher strengths of Retinol 0.5% in Squalane and Retinol 1% in Squalane once your skin has grown tolerant to each formula.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣💪 ⁣ The "younger" sibling, Granactive Retinoid, is a much newer next-generation advanced retinoid active complex which has been shown to target multiple signs of aging, offering the same long-term benefits as retinol, without any of the drawbacks often associated with retinol use. This technology cannot be compared directly with Retinol itself in terms of concentration because they include a different Retinoid molecule, in a similar way that Retinol cannot be compared with Retinoic Acid in terms of concentration. ⁣⁣⁣🔬 ⁣ The Ordinary offers Granactive Retinoid of 2% concentration in a creamy emulsion format, as well as a 2 and 5% concentrations in a hydrating, light Squalane base. Sun protection is particularly important when using retinoids and they may increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV radiation.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ Whether you stick with the tried and true retinol options, or go for the next generation granactive retinoids, both are incredibly effective in the long and short-term. If you have any further questions about these two technologies, please let us know in the comments and we'll be happy to help (as always). 👍

A post shared by THE ABNORMAL BEAUTY COMPANY (@deciem) on

 

The Ordinary products for… problems with pigmentation

In the AM: Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, £7 with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5 and Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F, £14.90

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA: A super concentrated serum that reduces the look of dark spots and hyper-pigmentation

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: This is a high-strength vitamin that helps to reduce the appearance of spots and congestion. It also contains ingredients that help to balance sebum.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F: This is a derivative of Vitamin C that helps to brighten the appearance of skin

In the PM: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, £6.80, with Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, £7 and Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% or Advanced Retinoid 2%, £8

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: This provides a mild exfoliation to help with skin clarity and radiance. Don’t use if you’ve got sensitive skin as it can tingle! And remember to use a SPF afterwards.

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA: same as above!

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%: This brightens skin tone and skin texture. Great for bringing back radiance to dull, blemish prone skin.

Advanced Retinoid 2%: A form of retinol that can help with ageing skin. Don’t use this as an acne treatment though! And as with all retinols, make sure you’re using SPF as they make your skin more UV sensitive.

Twice per week: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £6.30

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: This is a 10 minute exfoliating treatment that gives a deep down scrub, without damaging the skin. It’s also great for minimising fine lines and wrinkles. *Not for use on sensitive skin and use an SPF afterwards!

The Ordinary products for… oily skin

In the AM: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5 with Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £4.90 (if the skin becomes too dry)

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: This is a high-strength vitamin that helps to reduce the appearance of spots and congestion. It also contains ingredients that help to balance sebum.

Natural Moisturising Factors + HA: Use this after all other serums for immediate hydration that’s non-greasy.

In the PM: Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, £3.90 with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution: This helps to exfoliate the inside walls of your pores to help minimise blemishes. It also contains Witch Hazel to keep skin clear and super clean.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: This is a high-strength vitamin that helps to reduce the appearance of spots and congestion. It also contains ingredients that help to balance sebum.

The Ordinary products for… blemishes or congestion

In the AM: Use Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, £3.90 with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5 (same as above)

In the PM: Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, £3.90 with Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, £5.50

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%: This brightens skin tone and skin texture. Great for bringing back radiance to dull, blemish prone skin.

Twice per week: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £6.30

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: This is a 10 minute exfoliating treatment that gives a deep down scrub, without damaging the skin. It’s also great for minimising fine lines and wrinkles. *Not for use on sensitive skin and use an SPF afterwards!

View this post on Instagram

Good morning 🙂 Our cute approach to a 'skincare starter pack' has arrived.⁣ 🤪🙈⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ We have just launched The Ordinary's second set (worldwide) and it includes some of our most well-loved products 🥰.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ The Daily Set includes a set of 3 gentle yet hydrating formulas suitable for all skin types, across all seasons, for daily use, AM and PM (or more if you'd like). If you're just starting out with The Ordinary and are not sure where to begin, The Daily Set is an ideal place to start. The three formulas can be used as a standalone regimen or alongside any of our other products. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ The set includes:⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 🚿 The Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser – a gentle cleansing product formulated to target makeup removal while leaving the skin feeling cleansed, smooth, and moisturized. ⁣Being non-comedogenic and soap-free, this formula cleanses without over-drying the skin. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ 💦 The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum combining low-, medium- and high-molecular weights in addition to an HA crosspolymer to offer multi-depth hydration while promoting the look of plump skin.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 💧 Finally, The Ordinary's Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA – a non-greasy cream formula that offers additional support to NMF (the skin’s very own moisturizing tool, found in the outermost layer of the epidermis) while enhancing surface hydration. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Good things really do come in threes. 😉 (CA$19/US$19/AU$33/£15/€18)⁣ ⁣ P.S., This set is also now exclusively available with @sephora online in the US.

A post shared by THE ABNORMAL BEAUTY COMPANY (@deciem) on

 

The Ordinary products for… persistent acne

In the AM: Use Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, £3.90 with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution: This helps to exfoliate the inside walls of your pores to help minimise blemishes. It also contains witch hazel to keep skin clear and super clean.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: This is a high-strength vitamin that helps to reduce the appearance of spots and congestion. It also contains ingredients that help to balance sebum.

In the PM: Retinol 1%, £5.80

Retinol 1%: This contains 1% pure Retinol, which can reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing. However because this is strong, it’s advised to dilute it with other creams at the start phase to reduce irritation. Plus don’t forget to wear an SPF after!