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If you are even remotely into skincare, chances are you’ve come across the brand The Ordinary. They’re well known for having super affordable, super-effective products, hence their tagline “Clinical Formulations with Integrity.”
What I love most about the brand is that because their products are at such a great price point, it’s a great way for skincare beginners to try out different ingredients and find what works for them. It’s also available at many retailers, including Ulta, so it’s easily accessible. I’ve been using their products on and off for the past four or so years, mixing them in with high and low products in my skincare routine.
And while most skincare enthusiasts love The Ordinary (I’m one of them!) there are a few products that, in my opinion, are not so great.
If you’ve been considering purchasing some products from this brand, keep reading to learn more about my six favorite The Ordinary products and why I love them, as well as a few I would never repurchase!
THE BEST THE ORDINARY SKINCARE PRODUCTS
If you haven’t heard, Niacinamide is great for acne and pores. I like this serum because I’ve seen a noticeable improvement in the appearance of my pores when using consistently. One downside is it can foam up a little, so make sure you let it dry before applying another product on top. And never use it with a vitamin c serum, because the two ingredients can counteract each other.
Some people love their HA serum, but in my opinion, this one is way better. The HA serum is waaay too sticky and I am not a fan. This one, however, is a lightweight alternative, formulated with “exopolysaccharides from skin-friendly marine bacteria, Hawaiian red algae, glycoproteins from Antarctic marine sources, micro-filtered blue-green algae and several health-supporting amino acids”. It smells a little funky but I love it! It’s great for an added boost of hydration. Tip: Apply this on wet skin for best results.
Maybe you’ve seen her all over Tik Tok or Youtube, the facial peel that turns your face a scary blood-red color. That would be this product! The red color comes from Tasmanian pepperberry and Black Carrot, two of the ingredients. This is a great weekly peel for anyone looking to unclog pores and help with scarring. It has a powerhouse blend of AHAs and BHA, which are chemical exfoliants, to leave your skin clear and glowing.
!HUGE WARNING: This can sting and burn your skin, so you need to be extremely careful when using it. I am not a dermatologist or esthetician, but if you have extremely sensitive or dry skin I would not recommend using this product.
I always cleanse it off my skin with a cleanser so it won’t leave any residue. And if you are new to using acids, you really need to build up a tolerance to this product. I wouldn’t use it for more than 5 or 6 minutes to start. Also, make sure you wear sunscreen (every single day) but especially after the mornings after using this product because the acids increase your skin sensitivity. And sunburn is not fun.
This is a great AHA for anyone looking to get into chemical exfoliation that has combo/oily skin and wants to clear away dead skin cells and reveal a glowing complexion. (If you have drier skin, lactic acid might be better for you.) Start slowly, use every other night, or every two nights. If it burns, wash it off right away and try diluting with water. I also love using this product on my chest and neck for glowing skin. P.S. Use on your armpits after showering and say goodbye to ingrown hairs. Thank me later.
If you don’t like silicones you won’t like this product, sorry! I’m not a huge fan of silicones, but I really wanted to try Azelaic Acid because I’ve heard a lot of great things about the ingredient being good for redness, acne, and dark spots. My biggest tip for this product is to make sure you use it right – apply as the last step of your routine. Since it has silicones, if you put it on before other products they won’t be able to penetrate the silicone – making your other products useless. So put this on after your moisturizer/oil for best results. Why do I like it? I notice less acne when using this product and smoother skin.
Alpha Arbutin is another ingredient I’ve heard great things about for its lightning abilities on dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This formula is easy to incorporate into your skincare routine and has HA for extra hydration. I like to mix it in with my vitamin c serum or into moisturizer.
THE WORST THE ORDINARY SKINCARE PRODUCTS
This is technically the brand’s only offered moisturizer, but in my opinion, it falls short. I never felt like my skin was fully hydrated when using this and it kind of has a weird texture – super thick, but not moisturizing. It might be better suited for the summer or when you don’t need as much moisture in the skin, but I wasn’t a huge fan of this and probably wouldn’t repurchase.
I don’t like this at all, but I know some people think it’s the best HA serum ever! Personally, I find this to be way too sticky, and it foams up a lot. (Foaming meaning it turns white and “foams” up when applied with other products on top or bottom)
Also, a lot of people use HA incorrectly, which is so drying for your skin. HA attracts moisture, so if it’s applied to dry skin in a dry climate, it’s going to draw the moisture from your skin, not to it. You need to apply this on wet skin for it to effective. I recommend using an essence or facial mist to wet the skin before applying.
This is one of the more expensive products in their range, at $14.80.
I don’t understand this product if we’re being honest. It’s supposed to help with aging and has a buffet (hence the name) of multiple anti-aging ingredients, like peptides. I felt like this broke me out and I don’t think it did anything. I know some people love this product though, so YMMV.
Noooooo. Just no.
This is the worst they have to offer, in my opinion. Not only is the formula not user friendly (if you don’t mix it with HA or a HA moisturizer it has a horrible texture) but it also broke me out. The texture is a gritty, almost sandpaper-like formula. The brand recommends mixing it with a HA serum, but even when doing that it still kept that gritty texture. I’m not a fan of this and would never recommend or purchase. Maybe you had a different experience!
Have you tried The Ordinary? Do you think the products are effective? Let me know your must-haves from the brand below!
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