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Brand Review: The Ordinary. My Favourite Products from The Ordinary and How to Choose Yours

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

The Brand: The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a pioneering brand in the space of skincare serums and actives. It's under the umbrella of DECIEM which are focused on materials chemistry - hence giving it such a straight-forward approach to skincare.

The Ordinary are well known for being 'to the point' when it comes to skincare ingredients.

Their philosophy is that if you need a cosmetic ingredient, you shouldn't look for a cream or lotion which contains your active ingredient alongside a heavy price point. The brand provides active ingredients with no unnecessary additives, allow you to have a truly custom skincare routine catered to your specific needs.

The company has 7 ingredient types, which tackle everything from exfoliation, repairing the skin barrier and replenishing nutrients.

I won't be sharing the ingredients list go these products, but please go check them out if you are interested.


  • Buffet

  • Argireline Solution 10%

  • "Buffet" + Copper Peptides 1%

  • Matrixes 10% + HA

  • Amino Acids + B5

What are peptides?

Peptides are nothing more than proteins. There are so many proteins that are naturally found on our skin, and some which can help your skin with certain skincare concerns.


An all-rounder when it comes to peptide skincare. It reduces the signs of ageing and works by giving the skin all the nutrients it needs to re-generate itself. Restores radiance to the skin, and leaves it feeling nourished.

"Buffet" + Copper Peptides 1%:

The same as the Buffet mentioned above, however the addition of the copper peptides help with textural damage, battle blemishing as well as evening out the skin tone - all by nourishing the skin.

Argireline Solution 10%:

This product works by inhibiting muscle movement which leads to the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles - especially around the eyes and forehead.

Matrixes 10% + HA:

THE anti-ageing serum which reduces the signs of ageing and improves collagen production - leaving your skin looking youthful for even longer!

Amino Acids + B5:

Infused with a complex of Amino Acids, D-Panthenol and pro-Vitamin B5, the nourishing formula helps to support the natural barrier function by replenishing high levels of moisture and improving elasticity.


  • AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling Solution

  • Lactic Acid 10% + HA

  • Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

  • Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

What are exfoliants/toners?

Toners are weaker version of exfoliants which may contain some skin-tightening and serum ingredients. Exfoliants are products designed to remove dirt, sebum and other impurities from our skin and remove dead skin cells. Exfoliants/toners do this by breaking down the top layer of the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) which leaves a new - fresh layer of the skin.

AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling Solution:

The combination of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) leave the skin radiant, with pores unclogged and even toned.

The AHAs remove dead skin cells on the surface, whereas the BHAs delve deeper into the pores to remove any dirt.

Lactic Acid 10% + HA:

This exfoliator is slightly less abrasive to the skin, and is suitable for even everyday use. It only contains AHAs, therefore removes dead skin cells from the top layer of the epidermis. Helps with radiance and an even skin tone.

Mandelic Acid 10% + HA:

Removes dead skin cells from the stratum corneum (oldest, most top layer of the skin). This formula is much gentler than other listed above as the molecular weight is larger, and therefore unable to penetrate through the deeper laters of the skin.

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution:

The most gentle of the exfoliating/toning products. At a lower concentration, this AHA provides gentle exfoliation alongside some levels of hydration with its Aloe Vera extract. Daily use can help to even skin tones and unclog pores.


  • Pycnogenol 5%

  • EUK 134 0.1%

  • Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are molecules who are capable of accepting a free radical. Free radicals occur when photos from the sun break apart bonds and split a pair of electrons into two free radical. These interact with other molecules, making them unstable and cause ageing in the skin.

Pycnogenol 5%:

Pycnogenol 5% binds to collagen and elastin, protecting them from free radical damage and enzymatic degradation. It can also restore oxidised vitamin C to its active form again. Helps maintain healthy levels of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin.

EUK 134 0.1%:

This product neutralises free radicals, hence preventing the inhibition of collagen and elastin production. Keeping the skin healthy, and allowing it to naturally regenerate.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG:

This formula contains a high concentration of caffeine and green tea extract which decrease puffiness and dark circle under the eyes. The high natural anti-oxidant levels help with keeping your skin healthy for longer.


  • Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

What are acids?

Most acids you find in cosmetic products are exfoliants, however this product is not in the exfoliating/toning category, because they do not carry out those functions. It is actually a humectant which brings moistures into cells.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5:

This product actually features three types of hyaluronic acid. These acids work on all layers of the epidermis to bring hydration into and on to the skin. The skin appears visibly more plump and deeply hydrated.


  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

  • Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

  • Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F

  • Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

  • Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution

What are vitamins?

Vitamins are essential nutrients which regulate the physiological functions of the skin and body. They come in many different forms and all have specific properties.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%:

Vitamin B3, or as it's better known as in skincare: niacinamide regulates sebum production. The zinc also helps fight against hyperpigmentation and evens out the skin tone.

Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%:

The combination of Vitamin C and Arbutin make for the best brightening serum out there. They work to brighten the complexion and dark spots under the eyes, as well as reducing signs of ageing.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F:

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is the oil-based derivative of vitamin C which helps with discolouration and pigmentation. It is less abrasive and provides the skin with essential fatty acids with the addition of vitamin F.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%:

Now this is the water-based derivative of vitamin C - it is less potent than the classic l-ascorbic acid. Still provides antioxidant and anti-ageing effects and is a healthy blend of ingredients.

Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution:

This is the most stable form of vitamin C - with it's high potency and water-free formula is provides the radiance you have already heard about and evens out skin tones.


  • Retinol 0.5% in Squalane

What are retinoids?

Retinoids are a family of molecules derived from vitamin A. They are well known for increasing cell turn over, hence being great at anti-ageing and preventing acne breakouts.

Retinol 0.5% in Squalane:

Because of it's ability to increase cell turn-over, it reduces fine lines and wrinkles, brightens the skin, unclog pores - and is generally an amazing all-rounder. However it can be irritating to sensitive skin.


  • "B" Oil

What are oils?

Oils are ingredients which nourish the skin with their nutrients and form a barrier to the external environment which keeps the skin hydrated.

"B" Oil:

This light-weight oil formula contains Brazil nut, argan and rosehip oil which help rejuvenate the skin and support healthy skin barrier function. This provides an incredibly healthy glow.

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