The Ordinary is a new skincare line from the brand Deciem. Their approach to skincare is no-frills – no fancy packaging or filler ingredients. Just active ingredients that do what they are supposed to. I was extremely intrigued by this brand, but more so by the price point. These products are very affordable so I jumped on the opportunity to try some products out and here are my thoughts!
Also, I have made an Instagram account to go with this blog so it will be easier to get updates! Follow me there 🙂 @loveneepa
Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
This is an exfoliating serum that is meant to be used during your nighttime routine. Key ingredients include lactic acid (an AHA), hyaluronic acid, and Tasmanian pepperberry. I became interested in this serum when The Ordinary was first starting to really surface in the beauty community. People were wondering whether this would be considered a dupe for the ever popular Good Genes by Sunday Riley because both have lactic acid as the star ingredient. For reference, this contains 10% lactic acid and Good Genes contains around 5%, but Sunday Riley claims that Good Genes has the effectiveness of a 40% lactic acid. That, in my opinion, is very misleading. 40% lactic acid is literally the strength that dermatologists’ use in facial peels…so, just be aware.
Now, back to the serum. I love this stuff. My skin felt incredibly soft after my first use and after a couple uses, I noticed that my skin just looked more glow-y and radiant. I like to use this after I have washed my face and used a toner. I just take a couple drops and lightly rub/pat it into my skin. Because all products from The Ordinary don’t use fragrance, this formula does have a funky, but bearable, smell. It feels a bit sticky to the touch, but since I put this on right before bed, I don’t mind it. My skin feels incredibly smooth the next morning, so you can tell it definitely absorbs into the skin.
This also comes in a lower strength of 5% lactic acid for those of you that are interested in trying it, but are not frequent users of AHA products. I’ve used varying strengths of AHAs for several years now so I felt comfortable going straight for the 10%. I did not experience any stinging because my skin is accustomed to acids, but just be aware that may happen to some new users. A slight stinging sensation is completely normal. It just means that your skin is getting used to the active ingredients in the serum. Overtime, it will go away.
Besides the fact that this serum has a high percentage of lactic acid, I loved that they included hyaluronic acid in it. I usually use a light moisturizer after using this serum to just seal in all the moisture, but honestly this made my face feel hydrated enough that sometimes I would forget to put on moisturizer and it still did not make my face feel dry in the mornings.
Also, this is a great serum to try if you don’t do well with glycolic acid products. Since lactic acid has a bigger molecular size than glycolic acid, it sinks into the skin slower and not quite as deep, making it gentler on the skin.
I highly recommend trying out this serum if you want something to help with dull skin and hyperpigmentation.
Advanced Retinoid 2% (now called Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion)*
Retinoid (and retinol) is one of the few highly recommended and proven ingredients from dermatologists for anti-aging. Though I am not experiencing any signs of aging yet, it is good to start early with prevention. Retinoids are also great for hyperpigmentation and overall brightening so I wanted to give this product a try as a boost to my current skincare routine. I love this. The Advanced Retinoid 2% has 2 different forms of retinoids – solubilized hydroxypinacolone retinoate and pure retinol. This combination by The Ordinary’s standards contains the highest strength of non-prescription retinoids available.
It has the consistency of a milky oil and leaves a slight sheen to the skin upon initial application. I found that this was not at all irritating to my skin and it never dried my skin out. This, like the lactic acid serum, caused me to forgo moisturizer at times because it had such a hydrating feel to it. I liked that my skin felt very plump and soft in the mornings after using this, but since I don’t have any current wrinkles or other signs of aging, I didn’t expect to see very drastic results. More so, I am just glad to find a gentle retinoid (at an effective percentage) to incorporate into my skin care routine. If you are using chemical exfoliant products like glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, etc., I would recommend alternating the nights you use AHAs/BHAs and the nights you use a retinoid/retinol product to avoid irritation. You don’t want to pile on too many strong products and over-exfoliate your skin. The Ordinary has another product – Retinol 1%, a more lightweight version of the Advanced Retinoid 2%. The Retinol 1% is intended for beginners or people that are just looking for a straight-up retinol product. However, even though I have “tougher” skin, I would definitely go straight for the Advanced Retinoid 2% because of how gentle it is. If you do experience any irritation, use it every other day or every couple days and work your way up to daily use. I feel that you will get the best results with the stronger concentration.
*The Ordinary has come out with 5 new versions of retinoids/retinols since the writing of this post.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
If you have heard of the Drunk Elephant Baby Facial…this is being dubbed as the dupe for that. This is a high strength concentration of AHAs and BHA that offers a deep exfoliation to assist with faster skin cell turnover. You use this as a 10 min. mask, 1-2 times a week, to give your skin that extra boost for added radiance.
Key ingredients include: 30% Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (Glycolic/Lactic/Tartaric/Citric), 2% Beta Hydroxyl Acid (Salicylic Acid), Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer, Vitamin B5, Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry.
AHAs help exfoliate the top layer of skin to help deal with hyperpigmentation and dullness, while BHAs go deeper into pores to assist with congestion. The other key ingredients in this peel help with healing and offer antioxidant properties.
When I first heard talk of this peeling solution, I was very excited to try it …because I wanted to feel the burn. That may make me sound crazy, but I love being able to feel a product on my skin. It just makes me think that it’s really working. So, when I tried this for the first time, I was gearing up to dunk my face in cold water to help relieve any stinging after the 10mins had passed. However, I felt nothing. Not even a slight sting. Again, I am a frequent acid/retinoid user so my skin has annoyingly become too accustomed to these types of products overtime. I read many reviews about this peel and watched several demos of people using it where they “felt the burn.” I am just an outlier in this case. That does not mean everyone will have my experience. And, just because I didn’t feel anything, does not mean that it had no effect. These are still high concentrations of active ingredients so they are still working, but in my case, without any irritation or stinging.
Admittedly, I have not used this enough to conclusively say that I love this or say I have seen amazing results. But, if you have wanted to try the Drunk Elephant Baby Facial…I would recommend trying this first. Also, this peeling solution has a 5% higher concentration than the Baby Facial, which comes in at a 25% AHA concentration + 2% BHA concentration, so definitely more bang for your buck here!
Stay tuned for Part 2!