I’ve written about products from DECIEM’s NIOD and Hylamide ranges before, but The Ordinary is the line that everyone’s excited about because it’s so goddamn cheap (like, ten New Zealand dollars per bottle). The whole vibe of the Ordinary is offering single-ingredient-focus formulas that can be layered and coordinated into a routine that addresses your skin’s specific concerns.
The entire point of marketing is to tell people what outcomes and benefits a product will give them, and that’s one of the places where The Ordinary are saving their money. The challenge with their ingredient-focus concept for a lot of people is knowing which products to choose. I feel like I have a pretty sound grip on what skincare ingredients are and what they do, but it took me a while of navigating their website and doing some extra research before I decided on the products I wanted to try.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, ~$10.60 NZD
Interestingly, Brandon Truaxe, the dude behind DECIEM, isn’t a fan of chemical exfoliants and peels, but they have a lactic acid product in their range because that’s what people want. Well, you have to admire the hustle! Personally I really like lactic acid (and other chemical exfoliants, as I’m sure you know) and was keen to try a formulation with a high concentration and at a suitable pH.
After only a few days of daily use at bedtime (warning: work up to daily use if you’re not used to using AHAs) I noticed my skin was smoother in texture, but honestly I notice that after regular use of any AHA or retinol, I’m just not usually very good at maintaining the routine.
This formulation has glycerin third in the ingredients list, and it feels super moisturising in that slimy way. You might love that or hate that, but when I wash my face in the morning I can feel its texture still, and that at least makes me know it’s sticking around.
The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, ~$12.40 NZD
Alpha Arbutin is a skin-lightening ingredient, so while you might find it in questionable skin-bleaching creams, it’s meant to be a safer and gentler alternative to hydroxyquinone. I chose to buy this serum because I’ve noticed pigmentation (sun-spots) developing below my eyes. I alternate between applying it all over and applying it directly to the areas I want to fade, because I don’t want to lighten my skin all over.
Alpha Arbutin is usually plant-derived and is proven to reduce pigmentation. I haven’t used it long enough to see any impressive effects but I have read that you need to be using it at least 2–3 months before you see any effects, which makes sense as the pigmentation develops deep within the skin, not directly on the surface.
I’ll be writing more about Vitamin C in general soon, but I picked this up because I was curious about the water-free solution. Vitamin C isn’t stable in the presence of water, so a formula with no water means it will stay effective longer.
The texture in general is a little weird, as the Vitamin C ‘suspension’ takes the form of L-Ascorbic acid powder in a squalane base, and you can feel the powder on your skin as you rub it in. The Ordinary warns that you will feel tingling once you first start using this lotion, until you build up tolerance, but I didn’t notice anything beyond a slight warming sensation.
Vitamin C is meant to be anti-aging and fading pigmentation or uneven skintone, and over time I’ll hopefully see improvement in those areas, but nothing visible yet.
Each of these The Ordinary formulas also contain hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is super hydrating, which we should all know by now, but also apparently “supports [the active ingredient] for enhanced delivery”. The addition of hyaluronic acid is never a bad thing, in my eyes, so no harm no foul.
I bought my The Ordinary products from ASOS, because if you hit $30 (or thereabouts) you get free shipping to New Zealand. I had a look at a few sites that sell the brand and that seemed to be the best deal I could find.
Have you guys tried any The Ordinary products? What should I try next?