If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’re definitely aware that one of things I’m constantly looking for is affordable and effective skincare products. And when it comes to scoring against our pre-determined set of criteria, The Ordinary happens to fit the bill perfectly. The brand is comprised of clinically proven formulations — all retailing for $20 or less. Read on for our recommendations on 5 skincare must-haves from The Ordinary.
The Ordinary: why we love it?
When you click on The Ordinary’s website, you’ll find all the product listings with an easy-to-understand explanation for each product. The brand also tells you what each product contains, in terms of ingredients, its concentration and further details on how to use the products in your routine. By focusing on just one or two ingredients in each product, it aims to deliver targeted results at minimal price.
5 Skincare Must-Haves from The Ordinary (Part One)
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydration Support Formula
Why we love it?
Hyaluronic acid is a major component of the extra-cellular matrix of the basal kertinocytes (the framework in which our skin cells sit). One molecule of hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. For this reason, its also termed as the ‘moisture magnet’.
This, in fact is one of the most affordable HA serums in the market. With an oil-free formula and a light texture, it contains a high concentration of both high and low-molecular weight HA and vitamin B5. A combination that will not only keep your skin fully nourished, but also well hydrated.
Who should use it: Suitable for all skin types, but especially for those with dry, dehydrated and ageing skin.
Check out our article on hyaluronic acid and some of our top recommendations here.
The Ordinary Retinol Serum 0.5% in Squalane
Why we love it?
This is a high-strength retinoid formulated in an oil base. What works best here is that the consistency is both thin and light. All you need is just 2-3 drops to massage it all over your face, neck and décolleté. The squalene base makes it very easy to spread and absorb into the skin, without feeling any greasiness. For those who are new to retinoids, I would advice start at a lower concentration. In fact, the same brand has a 0.2% concentration specifically for people who have not used retinoids before or those who are very sensitive to it.
Disclaimer: Make sure you use a broad spectrum high-SPF sunscreen every morning. This is because retinoids are known to increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Also, it is best to avoid retinoids during pregnancy.
Read all about retinoids, the different concentrations, types and how to use it in your skincare routine here.
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Why we love it?
Here’s another all-rounder ingredient that works great for all skin types. Niacinamide (aka as vitamin B3) functions in several ways. It not only plays a key role in normalizing sebum production, but also helps fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and soothe redness. In addition, it helps boost your skin’s hydration level. An impressive resume for a skincare ingredient, I must say?
If you have combination to oily, or acne-prone skin, this serum is something you might want to invest on. This serum is both lightweight and comfortable to use. On consistent use, it improves your skin texture and you can even use it as a spot treatment.
Just dab a tiny bit of the serum directly on the zit and by morning, you’ll see a noticeable difference.
Product combinations to avoid: When you’re using niacinamide, you might want to alternate the use of your vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and AHAs/BHAs. This is because when niacinamide is used together with alpha hydroxy acids (i.e. glycolic, lactic), nicotinic acid is produced. This transformation may result in skin flushing and potential irritation. To prevent this, I’d recommend you alternate its use and work out a way to accommodate the two products between your AM and PM routines. Alternatively, give yourself 30 minutes between the two products.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil
Why we love it?
We’ve previously talked about the benefits of adding rosehip seed oil to your beauty routine, which you can read here. This one is cold-pressed, which means that using this method, they are able to extract more valuable phytochemicals from the rose hips. It’s worth mentioning that the oil has a distinctive ‘nutty’ smell—which somewhat reminds me of flax oil. But this never really bothered me, in fact, its something you’ll get used to eventually. Over time, I find that pigmentation (scars) fades much more quickly, and that my skin looks more radiant and it feels super moisturized and plump.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution
Why we love it?
While in theory, almost all skin types could potentially benefit from using acid based toners, it is important to see how your skin reacts to it. Remember, what might work for me, may or may not work in the same manner for your skin.
Having said that, as a long time acid toner user, I don’t feel any tingling or stinging sensation with this product. But if you’re using it for the first time, there’s a chance you’ll notice it. This typically lasts for a few seconds. Introduce this to your routine gradually, but if you feel that the formula is too strong for you, please do not discard the product. Here’s what you can do instead. Use it on your elbows, knees or on areas that have thick, dry skin with patchy pigmentation. Because of its exfoliating properties, it also works great for reducing ingrown hair on your arms and legs.
Also, when comparing between this and Pixi’s Glow Tonic, The Ordinary’s formula has 2% higher concentration of glycolic acid.
Caution: Since it is formulated at considerably lower pH (3.5), it is best if you use it on clean, but dry skin. Also, make sure you use SUNSCREEN, as AHAs can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
Does your routine include any products from this brand? What are your favourite serums? Also, make sure you bookmark this page for part two of 5 skincare must-haves from The Ordinary!
For best advice, always consult your dermatologist. They will gather your medical history to determine whether you’re genetically predisposed to acne, or identify if there’s an underlying condition, such as PCOS, or if you are overweight, allergic, etc.