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I know that The Ordinary has become a pretty darned popular brand.  They’re all over the internet, with people singing their praises (and their founder’s erratic and rather odd posting on their Instagram account), and over the past year I’ve tried a decent amount of their products, and really grown to love the brand.  Their slogan, ‘Clinical Formulations with Integrity’, and the fact that they try to bring effective products at affordable prices really grab a lot of attention world wide.  The brand is cruelty free, is free from a list of nasties, and has been the recipient of many different beauty awards.

Basically, beauty products that WORK, that are AFFORDABLE, and that are GOOD for you.  What’s not to love, right?

I originally planned to do a post on my collection of products from the brand, but then I recalled there are a few products of theirs I’ve used, loved and finished.  I wanted to give them a mention as well, to give you a bit of a guide in case you decide to make a purchase from the brand, and need some assistance.  I’ll talk you through the good, the ok and the downright bad products I’ve tried.



Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

This is a relatively new addition to my collection.  I’d previously been a bit meh about salicylic acid, and figured it was for younger skin types or just to add to the occasional spot.  Then I was sent a Boost! Clear skin serum to try out and realised the benefits of salicylic acid for my skin – you can read that post HERE.

Salicylic acid is a BHA, and exfoliates the skin and the inside walls of pores.  It’s therefore fabulous for problematic skin prone to breakouts or blackheads.

You can apply this solution to the individual spots to clear them up, or you can apply it to the whole face to maintain clarity.  I found that with the Boost! Clear serum, my skin purged and then cleared up so beautifully, plus when I used a pore strip (a naughty, guilty pleasure of mine), so much gunk came out – more than usual, because the salicylic acid loosened everything up.

I haven’t seen a great improvement from this offering from The Ordinary, but I am currently having a horrific breakout.  I’m either going through some hormonal episode (not unlikely right now), or I’m going through a purge again, where the serum is drawing out all the nasties in my skin and if I persist with it, it’ll eventually clear up.  I have been using this serum almost daily, either in the morning or at night, so it is a possibility.  However, the Boost! Clear serum didn’t take THIS long to come right.

Would I repurchase this?

Probably not.  I’d rather repurchase the Boost! Clear serum, as I’ve finished an entire bottle of that and I thoroughly enjoyed using it.  This one I’m a bit meh about.



Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Probably my favourite product from the brand, this hydrating serum has become a holy grail for me.  It firmly cemented into my brain that my skin craves hyaluronic acid, and that I have to permanently have it in my routine!  I’ve mentioned this product so many times here on the blog, and on social media.

Hyaluronic acid attracts up to 1000 times it’s weight in water, so it’s the king of hydration – something my skin really lacks, particularly around my chin and my nose.  I apply this every single day – sometimes twice a day – and either use it all over my face if it’s feeling super parched, or just on my problem areas if my skin is behaving.

I know that some people have found this ‘pills’ on the skin or that makeup doesn’t apply nicely on top, but I’ve never had this problem at all.  If you use avoid using too much product, and give it a few minutes to fully sink in before you move on to your moisturiser, you shouldn’t have a problem at all.  I avoid the pilling by only using a max of 3 drops (just a little more than 1 drop if I’m only using it on targeted areas).  Then, I pat into into my skin, add a spritz of face mist, and proceed to moisturising my body.  By the time I’m done it should have sunk in, and I can pop my day cream on top!

Would I repurchase?

Yes – this is either my 3rd or 4th bottle, I’ve actually lost count.



Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

While I may be 32 years old, I’m still pretty new into the retinol scene.  I’ve only used the dr.dermal MicroRetinol 5 Rich Repair and this product from The Ordinary!  Both are incredibly gentle formulations, that have not irritated my skin in the slightest.  The most reaction I’ve ever had from these was a mild flaking of the skin the day after I’ve used it, or if I’ve used it on days too close together, my skin has flaked a bit more and been a tad sensitive.

While I’ve enjoyed using this serum, I really don’t like the scent of it.  The dr.dermal offering has a much more pleasant, spa-like scent.  I also feel that it’s perhaps too gentle for me – it’s number 2 in The Ordinary’s step up system to gradually introduce your skin to retinol, as it’s high strength of granactive retinoid (a retinoid complex) but very little to no irritation.  I had used a bottle of the dr.dermal previously, so I feel my skin was perhaps already a bit adjusted to a stronger retinol?

Would I repurchase?

If I do repurchase a retinol offering from The Ordinary, it will probably be the Retinol 0.5% in Squalane, which is their second highest strength.  The Ordinary retinols are incredibly affordable, especially for an active that is usually much higher in price.  Either that, or I’ll stick to my dr.dermal MicroRetinol 5 Rich Repair.



AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

I shared a mini review on this little gem on my Instagram HERE.

It’s a 10 minute exfoliating mask that contains a blend of alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, tartaric, lactic and citric) and beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid) to exfoliate the skin, leaving it clearer, softer, smoother and more radiant.  While the AHA’s exfoliate the surface of the skin, the BHA exfoliates inside the pores, leaving your skin cleaner and clearer overall.

This product is also supposedly a dupe for the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, which costs $80!  This product is raved about, so anything that’s a dupe for what is basically a 10 minute facial, and costs less than $15 is a win for me.  Plus, The Ordinary Peeling Solution is dark red, and looks like fresh blood.  When you’ve applied it to your face, it looks like you’ve smeared blood all over your face – I’ve frightened Hubs more times than I can count with this product haha!

Would I repurchase?

Yes, I think this is a great weekly addition to my skincare routine.  I don’t even use it every week, I must get more consistent and plan to use this either on a Sunday or a Monday night.



Coverage Foundation

The second makeup product I’ve tried from the brand, I knew I wanted to try out one of their foundations.  The Ordinary has two different foundation formulas.  The Coverage Foundation is a lightweight, non-oily cream formula that spreads easily and provides full coverage due to high pigment levels, without the heavy feeling of a full coverage foundation.  They also have a Serum Foundation, which feels like a serum on the skin, yet offers a medium coverage, semi-matte finish.

I tried this formula 4 times, before giving up on it.  I do not think this is suitable for oily skins, and it really should be marketed towards a specific skin type.  It feels oily on first contact, and within an hour my skin starts to look very shiny and feel greasy.  I tried this out with different primers and I set it with powder – nothing made a difference.

I know another blogger who had an identical experience to me, and another who loves it and has the same skin type as me, so I think it’s very dependent on your individual wants and needs when it comes to makeup.  If you get a chance to purchase on Cult Beauty when they have free international shipping on the brand (something that happens quite often), give it a go as it is very affordable.

Would you repurchase?

No – I think it isn’t fabulous for oilier skin types, but I do think a dry skin would love it.



100% Plant-Derived Squalane

I picked this up with my very first bottle of the HA serum, and I still have about half a bottle left.  I like to use a facial oil at least 3 times a week in winter, and once or twice in the summer at night, as I do feel that my skin benefits from this.

Squalane is a fantastic surface hydrator, and can help prevent your skin from losing additional moisture too.  It’s also non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores) and is suited for use by all skin types.  This is basically a very light, oily product that absorbs quickly by the skin.  According to the packaging and site, you can also use this product on your hair to prevent breakage, increase shine and provide added heat protection.

I tried this product on my hair twice, and then put that idea to rest completely.  It left my hair feeling heavy, coated and completely disgusting, no matter how little I used.  On the face, however, it’s a really lovely, light facial oil that doesn’t leave you feeling like a complete grease ball.  A great starter-oil, if you will.  It’s also a fabulous oil to use in conjunction with a jade roller, as it really does sink in with the use of the roller.

Would I repurchase?

I don’t think so to be honest.  This one bottle has lasted me so long, and while I do enjoy it, I don’t enjoy it quite as much as some of my other facial oils, like the Nikel Evening Primrose Oil.



Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

My first vitamin C product from The Ordinary (and first vitamin C product ever, and which I mention below) was definitely more impressive than this one, but I’ve still found an improvement in my skin when I use this.

Much like the retinols, The Ordinary also has a variety of vitmain C products that vary in strength formula and irritation.  This product is of a very high strength, and therefore is the most likely to cause stinging.

I don’t feel any stinging when I use it though, as my skin is pretty much used to vitamin C in skincare now.  It’s a little gritty feeling, and in a hyaluronic acid suspension, but you get used to the grit, as it vanishes once you’ve pressed it into your skin.  I love the results though – the vitamin C leaves my skin brighter, more even-toned and more youthful.

Would I repurchase?

I think I’d probably repurchase the other vitamin C I tried from The Ordinary next time.



These are the products I’ve tried and used up from the brand.  Read on to see if I plan on repurchasing any of them at some point!


High-Adherence Silicone Primer

My second makeup product I’ve tried from the brand, this one was a much better experience than the foundation.  In fact, it’s the silicone primer that gradually got me into using silicones in my primers!  I was so anti them before hand, as I felt they were far too slippy and could ‘pill’ if not applied properly.  What I like about this one, is that it’s a blurring and mattifying primer that ALSO hydrates!

I actually cut open the tube and scraped product out.

Would I repurchase?

Yes!  I’ve been trying to work my way through some other primers first, as I’ve spent good money on them.  Once I’ve finished up at least one whole primer, this will be on my shopping list.



Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

This is the other vitamin C serum I mentioned above.  It has a higher percentage of vitamin C in it, and it’s based in silicone.

While I was a bit meh about the formula being in silicone, once I got used to using it (pressing it into my skin, not rubbing), I really enjoyed it.  Sure, it felt a bit gritty too, but once it was applied that feeling went away.

I also found I saw results faster with this than the other offering from The Ordinary I’ve tried.

Would I repurchase?

Yes!  Another product I want to get again, when I’ve worked my way through my other two vitamin C products.



Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This is a non-greasy hydrating moisturiser that has no scent and no dyes.  It’s very basic, but does exactly what it says on the box.

The formula is packed with tons of different ingredients that hydrate and are naturally present in the skin, and it really does keep the outer layer of your skin hydrated.

It’s also incredibly affordable, and I now see that you can also buy a 100ml tube, which intrigues me even more – so few facial moisturisers come in such large sizes!

If you’re looking for a super basic daily moisturiser, this is probably your best bet.  It won’t irritate, it won’t make your skin feel clogged or greasy.  It is vegan friendly, cruelty free, and free from gluten, nuts, alcohol, water, oil and silicone.

Would you repurchase?

I’ve lately been opting for options I can buy locally, but I definitely think I’d like to get my hands on a 100ml tube.  It’s basic, but it’s good.



And there you have it – my thoughts on all the products I’ve tried from the brand!  I do want to try more from the brand.  These products from The Ordinary are on my wishlist: –


What are you keen to try from the brand?




Beauty and Lifestyle blogger, wine addict and all-round lover of all things beautiful and sparkly!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Candice

    I can’t wait to try the ordinary products I bought

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