The Ordinary Skincare Guide: What Product is Right for Me?

The Ordinary is one of the hottest skincare companies at the moment, and if you’re keen to get on the hype but a little intimidated by their confusing product names then you’ve come to the right place.

But first, a little background, in case you’re just discovering this line. 

The Ordinary is the creation of the late Brandon Truaxe, a Toronto-based entrepreneur who died suddenly in January 2019. His former co-CEO, Nicola Kilner, is currently acting CEO.

Truaxe founded The Ordinary’s parent company, DECIEM, in 2013. There are several other beauty brands under the DECIEM umbrella, including NIODHylamideThe Chemistry Brand and Fountain

Their skincare products are divided into following categories:

  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin C
  • Direct Acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Hydrators and Oils
  • More Molecules
  • Cleansers
  • Suncare

The First Signs of Aging

The Ordinary has an extensive range of anti-aging products, and we say it’s never too early to start with an anti-aging skincare routine!

Dehydrated skin will not only highlight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles but will also speed up the aging process, so keep your skin looking youthful with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. There are many benefits to using hyaluronic acid but it’s mostly known for its water-retaining properties. Hyaluronic acid will keep your skin looking plump and firm, whilst encouraging collagen production.

Vitamin C is another key ingredient when it comes to collagen production so should be incorporated into your routine. The Ordinary has several vitamin-c rich products, but if you’re only at the early stages of aging, we recommend you use a lightweight formula such as The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%. This will not only reduce early signs of aging and keep skin hydrated but will brighten your skin tone.

A mild exfoliator such as The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% will also minimize fine lines by stimulating cell regeneration and targeting age spots. This serum also contains additional hyaluronic acid to lock in any moisture lost during exfoliation.

Retinol is one of the best anti-aging ingredients out there, and The Ordinary has multiple retinol products to choose from! We suggest using a retinol once a day, three times a week if you want to maintain a youthful complexion.

Products For Mature Skin

If you’re further along the aging process, you may expect to pay a small fortune on gold-plated anti-aging skincare products. Thankfully, The Ordinary has plenty to offer in terms of both effective, and affordable skincare.

The peptide serum The Ordinary Buffet targets multiple signs of aging such as wrinkles, uneven skin texture and dehydrated skin for a more youthful complexion. It contains a specifically designed peptide, Matrixyl 3000, which stimulates collagen production and repairs skin. This peptide can also be found in The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA which contains the peptide in high concentrations for maximum benefits.

Alternatively, opt for the infamous anti-aging ingredient Retinol. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% (formerly known as the Advanced Retinoid 2%) contains a high concentration of both pure retinol and a fast-acting retinol derivative to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and to firm loose skin.

Vitamin C is crucial in any anti-aging skincare routine, no matter how far along the process you are. The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F is an oil-based solution which contains a stable vitamin c derivative to brighten skin and reduce signs of aging. The oil based formulation is perfect for those with dry and mature skin.

If you don’t have issues with dry skin, choose The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% which has high concentrations of pure vitamin C.

Dry and Dehydrated Skin Types

The Ordinary have products suitable for both dry and dehydrated skin, which can either rebalance oil levels or rehydrate the skin.

If you have naturally dry skin, your skin struggles to retain moisture in the skin. Water-based products will be ineffective, so you will want to stick to oils to ensure your skin is nourished. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil is perfect for the job as it contains a blend of moisture rich fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants to help nourish and protect the skin.

If your skin is dehydrated, this means you don’t have enough water in your skin which can cause premature aging. Your skin is also more sensitive to outside elements such as UV rays and pollution, so you will want to rehydrate it for a healthier complexion. Hyaluronic acid has incredible water retaining properties so The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 will be a worthy new step in your routine.

You may also want to try The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA which contains a powerful blend of amino acids, fatty acids, hyaluronic acid and other natural ingredients found in your skin to repair and rehydrate your complexion. This lightweight moisturiser offers immediate results without a greasy finish.

Best Exfoliation Products

There are many benefits to exfoliating your skin, including re-texturising uneven skin, counterbalancing pigmentation, and brightening dull looking complexions. Exfoliation can also help blemish-prone skin and those with dry patches. However, manual exfoliation is a thing of the past for The Ordinary as they offer several chemical exfoliants instead, to do the job in a more gentle way.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is an alpha hydroxyl acid which exfoliates the skin for a brighter and smoother look and feel. With regular use, glycolic acid is also known to help reduce the appearance of fine lines. This toning solution contains additional plant extracts and aloe vera to reduce irritation and redness caused by using acids.

If you’d prefer a milder AHA, consider lactic acid. The Ordinary have two different strengths,  The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA, and both work to re-texturise skin and minimise pigmentation. The weaker lactic acid is a perfect choice if you have sensitive skin.

Alternatively, retinol makes for a great exfoliant as it delivers dramatic results. Retinol is known for its anti-aging properties as it reduces the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation spots, however, it is strong especially for sensitive skin. If you are using a retinol simply for exfoliation purposes we recommend The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane.

Products For Sensitive, Blemish-prone And Oily Skin

Some of the products from The Ordinary can be much too strong for sensitive skin due to their high concentrations of active ingredients. However, if you suffer from blemishes or redness, The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is an effective and mild solution.

Products For Brightening Dull Skin

Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients for brightening skin and minimising any discolouration. The Ordinary have four products which are rich in vitamin C so you can enjoy the benefits no matter your skin type. Discover which vitamin C product is best for you by reading our ‘What are the differences between The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Products?‘ guide.

Vitamin C products from The Ordinary:

Dark Under-Eye Circles And Puffiness

Whilst The Ordinary focus predominately on skincare products for the face, they do offer an eye serum. 

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is perfect for those who needs an extra caffeine boost. This serum helps reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles and puffiness.

Best All-rounder

If you’re tempted to dip your toes into the world of The Ordinary but still aren’t sure about what is best for your skin then choose The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

Choosing products from The Ordinary is a bit of a minefield, and it’s hard to know what will and won’t work for your skin. However, once you’ve found the products which compliment your skin, we have no doubts that you will absolutely fall in love with this innovative and affordable brand. Pure active ingredients which deliver seriously good results.

Credits: Alexandra Cox, Adore Beauty.