The Ordinary Skincare Review

The Ordinary Skincare Range Is Really Rather Revolutionary

These are the four The Ordinary skincare products I’ve been using for the past six weeks: “Buffet”, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

[Click here for reviews of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%, Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion and Salicylic Acid 2% Solution]

For me, The Ordinary is like a dream come true.

You may have noticed that I have a mild addiction to great passion for high-end makeup, which leaves skincare just a small portion of my beauty budget. Problem is that I know how important it is to take good care of your skin, so I could never just use cheap drugstore products with unsatisfying ingredient lists. Which means, I often end up breaking my budget.

OOPS. 💸💸💸

So, when I heard that DECIEM had launched The Ordinary, a range of skincare products containing clinically proven ingredients that retail for under a tenner, I felt like my silent prayers had been answered.

I immediately did a little research and the first things that struck me about The Ordinary were:

  • No absurd claims or marketing frills
  • No obscure proprietary blends
  • No unnecessary (and potentially irritating) fragrances
  • Active ingredients at high concentrations
  • £4.90 – £14.90 price range


Now, the only problem with The Ordinary is that product names are not exactly user-friendly… Like, no one I know outside the beauty blogging world would know what to do with the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA or the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, for instance.

Despite I’m by no means a skincare expert, I probably know a little more than the average person, so today I want to share my knowledge with you to make sure you don’t miss out on this incredible range. Let’s have a closer look at the products from The Ordinary I’ve been using for the past six weeks!

The Ordinary Skincare ReviewAll four The Ordinary products I’m currently using have a very lightweight, watery consistency, and come in a 30-ml glass bottle with a pipette

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% – High Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula (£5)

Use to: fight blemishes, fade hyperpigmentation

Niacinamide seems to me a little like a miraculous, do-it-all ingredient. It’s an antioxidant (which means it fights skin-aging free radicals), it reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion, and helps fade hyperpigmentation.

The formula also contains 1% Zinc, which, according to the brand, “balances visible aspects of sebum activity”.

After using The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% for six weeks, I’m happy to report that the breakouts I had around my jawline over the past few months now seem to be gone. I don’t know if it’s just down to this product (I’ve also been using the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid and Resist 1% Retinol Booster), but I’ll definitely keep using it.

You don’t change a winning team, right?

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA – Serum (£7)

Use to: fade hyperpigmentation

I’m using The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA (as well as Niacinamide 10% and Paula’s Choice Resist 1% Retinol Booster) to try and fade the annoying dark spots blemishes like to leave behind. I always find it pretty hard to precisely assess the results of this type of treatments, but since in this product alpha arbutin is used at a high 2% concentration (versus a standard concentration of 1%) and the pH of the formula is supposed to be the most suitable to minimize the degradation of its active ingredient, I’m really hopeful it’s going to work.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – A Hydration Support Formula With Ultra-Pure, Vegan Hyaluronic Acid (£5.90)

Use to: tackle dehydrated skin

Since hyaluronic acid can attract and retain up to 1000 times its weight in water, it’s a great ingredient to keep the skin hydrated. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5uses three forms of HA with varying molecular weights, as well as an HA crosspolymer, to offer multi-depth hydration”. The formula is enriched with vitamin B5 (panthenol), which also enhances surface hydration.

I’ve been using this serum AM and PM around my eyes (the only area in my face that is dry and dehydrated) before going in with my usual eye cream, and I have to say I’m really happy with the results.

The Ordinary “Buffet” – Multi-Technology Peptide Serum (£12.70)

Use to: reduce premature skin aging

Peptides are fragments of proteins, which are the building blocks of the skin. Without peptides, the skin loses firmness and wrinkles appear, so hopefully applying a peptide-rich serum helps prevent that.

I use The Ordinary “Buffet” in the morning (followed by Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA) and find it is enough to keep my oily skin nicely hydrated all day long. If you have dry skin, you may want to add a thicker cream or an oil on top.

What I love the most about The Ordinary (besides the beyond reasonable price range) is that you can customize your skincare regimen based on your actual skin concerns, so don’t be afraid to layer your products, if you want to tackle different issues (according to The Ordinary Regimen Guide you shouldn’t use more than three serum formulations in a single regimen, though).

No matter your budget or skin concern, you’ll be sure to find something for you within this range. I feel like I can’t recommend it highly enough! From the exceptionally high level of actives to the incredibly low price tag, nothing about The Ordinary is really ordinary.

Maybe it should’ve been called… “The Revolutionary”? 😉

[Click here for reviews of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%, Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion and Salicylic Acid 2% Solution]

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  • Reply
    Michelle Morchella
    December 7, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    I’m starting be really curious about these products. Sounds like they really and the price? Awesome.

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      December 8, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      I’m so happy to have found them!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    This is the third post I read for the Ordinary products and this is a sign that I must try them. And I cannot believe how affordable these products are!


  • Reply
    December 8, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Did you use them on your own or mix them in with i.e. your moisturizer? I have read both so far, curious how you do it.
    And these are on my list to try next year, they sure do sound like a dream come true.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      December 8, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      I personally layer them. The Buffet is an anti-aging and hydrating serum (peptides + hyaluronic acid) and I apply it all over my face and neck. Then I layer the Niacinamide all over, and the Alpha Arbutin mainly around my jawline and chin where I have the most dark spots.
      I don’t use any moisturizer. I use an oil at night after the Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Booster (which I use on its own).

  • Reply
    December 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I can’t seem to decide which products I want to try first. I have couple of products in the basket but I know I want to add more so yeah… 3 of these products are on my basket. How effective is the buffet? Can you see any changes on your skin?

    Ela BellaWorld

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      December 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Not really, apart from it being nicely hydrated, but honestly, I don’t think you can ever see any tangible results from anti-aging products, because I don’t think any product can reverse aging and make lines that are already there disappear. I use them mainly as prevention.
      If you like using an oil at night, you may wanna get their rosehip oil. I’m planning on getting it when I finish the oils I’m using at the moment.

  • Reply
    Caterina Sosso
    December 9, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Il packaging bianco e minimal <3

  • Reply
    Shireen L. Platt
    December 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    I am using the Retinoid, Niacimanide and Lactic Acid but I am planning to purchase the HA serum soon. My skin is getting so dry and I need to use something to keep the dry patches at bay.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  • Reply
    The Makeup Train
    December 9, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Oooh, you’re talking my language! I LOVE hearing about amazing skincare brands!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    I’m so pleased to hear you’ve been left impressed by these products! You’re totally right about the names being hard to relate and/or understand for those not clued up on such things (myself included), though I have to admit I’m really intrigued by the range now 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  • Reply
    Kiss & Make-up
    December 11, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    True, the names are a bit tongue-twisty, but everything sounds SO impressive! And the names kinda help with that, haha. I’m soooooooo tempted to try this brand! Hopefully it’ll be easy to get my hands on soon.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Thanks for the review!! I’ve been debating to get The Buffet and I think I will! There’s SO many things I want and I love, LOVE the price range and packaging for The Ordinary!

    Macarons and Mischief

  • Reply
    December 13, 2016 at 8:15 am

    I think i’ve heard about this brand before… But am not a fan of trying out differs products cos of skin irritation.
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC?
    Please let me know on my blog and I will follow back as soon as possible!

    Glowyshoes’s blog

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  • Reply
    May 3, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Hi Carol,

    Thanks for this post! I know I am late to the party and the comments, but just wanted to check with you – where did you order your products from? Did you do it directly from The Ordinary website or from any other EU retailers (I am also based in the EU)? I am just about to order similar products as you did, but I am a bit concerned about any additional customs/fees that might be applied if I order directly from The Ordinary (I suppose the ship from Canada?). Any view on that would help a lot. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Carol in a
      May 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Kitty! There are several EU retailers carrying The Ordinary products. I purchased mine on Victoria Health (UK) (, but now you can also find them on ASOS (UK), BeautyBay (UK) and Maquillalia (Spain).

      • Reply
        May 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        Thanks a lot for your reply, this helps a lot! I think I might just go for the same stockist as you then. There will be a lot of The Ordinary products coming my way soon then, very soon 🙂 🙂

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