The Ordinary Buffet Review



What is The Ordinary Buffet?

“Buffet” is a pretty interesting name for a skin care product, right? According to The Ordinary, the name of this formula was inspired by some brands referring to their expensive products offering combinations of technologies as a “buffet”, distastefully comparing such products to buffets that offer various kinds of food in one sitting. The Ordinary Buffet formula combines a comprehensive array of studied technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once. In this review, we’ll discuss the key ingredients in this product, how to use it, The Ordinary Buffet reviews from real customers, and more. 

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What Are The Key Ingredients in The Ordinary Buffet?

The key ingredients — or “technologies” as the brand calls them — in The Ordinary Buffet include Matrixyl 3000, Matrixyl synthe’6, SYN-AKE, Argirelox, and a probiotic complex. All of these technologies are formulated in a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. The total concentration of these technologies in the formula by weight is 25.1%. Let’s discuss each of these key ingredients so that you’ll know exactly what they can do for your skin. 

Matrixyl 3000 is a combination of the matrikines palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. Matrikines are messenger peptides that provide anti-aging benefits by signaling to cells to produce more collagen. A similar technology is the Matrixyl synthe’6 peptide complex with palmitoyl tripeptide-38, a peptide derived from the tripeptide KMK naturally found in collagen VI and laminin. In-vitro studies have found palmitoyl tripeptide-38 to have a matrikine-like effect that stimulates the synthesis of collagen I, II, IV, fibronectin, hyaluronic acid, and laminin 5.

Another peptide complex in The Ordinary Buffet is SYN-AKE, a synthetic peptide that mimics the effects of the peptide Waglerin 1. Waglerin 1 is a component of the venom found in the Temple Viper, a poisonous snake native to southeast Asia. SYN-AKE peptide complex works by reducing muscular contractions in the face and reduces cell movement; thereby keeping the skin smooth. 

The final peptide complex in The Ordinary Buffet is Argirelox peptide complex (with acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18). Similar to the SYN-AKE peptide complex, Argirelox helps to prevent the formation of expression wrinkles by modulating the release of neurotransmitters that induce muscle contraction. 

The probiotic complex in The Ordinary Buffet is lactococcus ferment lysate, which is obtained from the gram-positive bacteria, Lactococcus lactis. Probiotics include various strains of helpful bacteria that collaborate with your skin to restore the skin’s microbiome. The microbiome is a population of many types of bacteria (over 10,000 different species) that are both good and bad. When there’s more bad bacteria than good, skin conditions like acne, sensitive skin, and bumpy, uneven skin texture can develop. Thus, the probiotic complex in The Ordinary Buffet can help to keep the microbiome balanced and maintain healthy skin. 

These key ingredients are in a base of 11 amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in the body. For example, amino acids make up the collagen in your skin, and they are also found in the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF). According to an article by Practical Dermatology, The NMF is composed principally of free amino acids, and various derivatives of these amino acids such as PCA, urocanic acid, and inorganic salts, sugars, as well as lactic acid and urea. All of these substances work together to keep the skin’s surface intact, supple, and hydrated. The NMF can become depleted as we age, and also from routine exposure to sensitizing ingredients like drying cleansing agents and denatured alcohol. The result is visibly dry, tight-feeling, flaky skin. Therefore, using skin care products that replenish the components of the NMF — such as the amino acids in The Ordinary Buffet — can help to maintain skin hydration.

There are two hyaluronic acid complexes in The Ordinary Buffet: sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer and sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, a type of glycosaminoglycan (sugar molecule) that attracts moisture from the environment and draws that moisture into the skin’s upper layers. In fact, hyaluronic acid has the ability to attract and hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Therefore, this ingredient can help to improve skin hydration while also giving the skin a plump, youthful look.

How to Use The Ordinary Buffet

After cleansing, apply The Ordinary Buffet to the entire face in the morning and in the evening. If irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised.

Where is The Ordinary Buffet Sold?

The Ordinary Buffet and other skin care products by The Ordinary are sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party sellers like Amazon, Ulta, and Sephora. The brand has a store locator and list of authorized retailers on their website.

What is The Ordinary Return Policy?

All Deciem brands, including The Ordinary, offer a 365-day full refund policy.

Is The Ordinary Cruelty Free?

The Ordinary is cruelty free. DECIEM and The Ordinary do not test on animals and do not ask others to do so. For this reason, none of their brands or products are sold in stores or conventional retailers in mainland China, since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes.

The Ordinary Buffet Reviews

The Ordinary Buffet reviews on the brand’s website are mostly positive, with the product receiving an average of 8.3 out of 10 stars after more than 300 customer reviews.

Positive reviews for The Ordinary Buffet mention that it is great for reducing fine lines and improving skin texture. Many reviews also mention that it hydrates well and that it has a pleasant texture. For example, one review says, “I have been using Buffet for about a year and I truly cannot speak highly enough of this product. I have very sensitive skin that tends towards dry and I like in a super humid climate. I use Buffet in the morning and night after toner and before moisturizer. Buffet has helped to noticeably reduce fine lines and it makes the overall texture of my skin feel dreamy. I use it on my face, neck, and backs of my hands. I’m 31!”

However, there are a handful of negative reviews for The Ordinary Buffet, mostly from customers who experienced reactions after using this product, such as rashes and dry skin. For example, one review says, “I have dry and eczema prone skin – very sensitive. This one was a total disaster on my skin. Immediately felt dry and tight and left red dry patches around my mouth and eyes. The daily set was ok on my skin – but sadly have not found any great match yet with the other products.”

What Are Some Alternatives to The Ordinary Buffet?

Overall, we think that The Ordinary Buffet is formulated well, and the formula contains an excellent combination of peptides complexes that should help to reduce and prevent signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. But if you’re looking for an all-in-one serum that not only helps with fine lines and wrinkles, but also improves the look of dark spots and uneven skin tone, we’d recommend Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate.

Similar to The Ordinary Buffet, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Concentrate contains the peptide complex Matrixyl 3000 in order to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen. This multi-tasking serum also includes natural ingredients like squalane, green tea, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which provide powerful antioxidant activity to protect the skin against environmental free radicals that are known to degrade collagen. In addition, vitamin C is well-known to help fade dark spots and promote a brighter complexion. Overall, Formulyst Anti-Aging Concentrate is a multi-tasking serum that is formulated to help promote the five signs of youth – radiance, elasticity, firmness, skin tone and smoothness.

Another Formulyst product that can help to improve uneven skin tone while also providing many other anti-aging benefits is the Double Defence Serum. What’s unique about the Double Defence Serum is that it contains a form of retinol (hydroxypinacolone retinoate) that provides the same benefits of retinol, but without the irritation. Thus, this ingredient will help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores. Formulyst’s Double Defence Serum is also packed with many other beneficial ingredients, including caffeine, squalane, alpha-arbutin, an innovative vitamin C derivative, and more. Overall, the Double Defence Serum can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, leaving you with youthful-looking skin that’s visually smoother, firmer and more even.

There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that is effective and safe. Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.

Practical Dermatology “Understanding the Role of Natural Moisturizing Factor in Skin Hydration” Joseph Fowler, MD, FAAD July 2012



Carrot & Stick

Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare. What does this mean? It perfectly balances the power of plants with innovative science, offering the best of both worlds. Read More


The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Read More

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