The Ordinary Review - The Dermatology Review

The Ordinary Review

Skin Care Reviews

09.28.18AD DISCLOSURE

The story behind The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a popular skin care brand under the global beauty brand, Deciem’s, umbrella. Created to offer effective, clinical solutions at an affordable price tag, The Ordinary features a cohesive collection of treatments to meet the most common skin care needs. Since its launch, The Ordinary has gained a loyal customer base of users who not only love The Ordinary skin care products, but also appreciate the brand’s commitment to transparency.

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2020?

The Ordinary Review

The Ordinary’s founding philosophy is “clinical formulations with integrity”. For them, this means skin care treatments that provide solutions to real needs while maintaining open communication and honesty at all stages of their operations. From a brand standpoint, The Ordinary skin care products are manufactured and distributed from its home base in Toronto, Canada by a team of dedicated chemists in order to avoid outsourcing product development. Each of their formulations is simple, containing only a few ingredients including one or two actives, and leaving out additives, fillers, fragrance, and dyes. Even The Ordinary packaging is minimal with straightforward names that describe exactly what the product is without any extra fluff or deceptive details. This approach to skin care has enabled The Ordinary to become one of the most popular (and affordable) skin care brands on the market today.

The Ordinary Skincare Guide

The Ordinary offers results-driven products at affordable prices – what’s not to love? One problem with The Ordinary skin care products is that if you don’t know your alpha lipoic acid from your hyaluronic acid, choosing a product may become overwhelming. In order to help you out, we’ve created The Ordinary Skincare Guide, which highlights 12 of the most popular products by The Ordinary and the key ingredients. 

  1. The Ordinary Buffet
    First up is The Ordinary Buffet. Pretty interesting name, right? According to the brand, the name of this formula was inspired by some brands referring to their expensive products offering combinations of these technologies as a “buffet”, distastefully comparing such products to buffets that offer various kinds of food in one sitting. Inside The Ordinary Buffet is a comprehensive array of studied peptide technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once.
  2. The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
    Another best selling product is The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane (other available strengths include 0.5% and 1% retinol). Inside this formula you’ll find pure retinol combined with squalane, as well as other emollients like caprylic/capric triglyceride and jojoba oil. If you have not used high-strength retinol formulas in the past, the brand strongly recommends that you start your retinol regimen with The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane and adjust to higher strengths of Retinol 0.5% in Squalane and Retinol 1% in Squalane as your skin builds tolerance.  
  3. The Ordinary Peeling Solution
    The Ordinary Peeling Solution is a 10 minute exfoliating facial that should only be used by experienced users of acid exfoliation. It is said to offer deep exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes, as well as improve skin radiance, texture, and signs of aging. The formula contains 30% alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), including glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acid. The Ordinary Peeling Solution also contains 2% salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that further enhances exfoliation while also helping to reduce blemishes. The Ordinary Peeling Solution is also called “The Ordinary Red Serum” because the product is blood red due to the inclusion of a Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative that helps reduce irritation associated with acid use. 
  4. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
    The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% includes a high concentration of niacinamide, the amide form of vitamin B3, as the key ingredient. Niacinamide is a multi-tasking ingredient that provides numerous benefits to the skin. For instance, niacinamide is well known as a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. In addition, studies have shown that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% also includes the zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA) to balance the look of oily skin. 
  5. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
    One of the brand’s most popular vitamin C products is The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. This product is a water-free suspension of 23% L-Ascorbic Acid powder. Since this is a very high concentration of vitamin C, a very strong tingling but non-irritating sensation is expected during the first 1 to 2 weeks of use until the skin’s tolerance to such high exposure is elevated. With continued use, The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension is said to brighten the skin tone and reduce the appearance of signs of aging.
  6. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
    The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a lightweight cream-gel system that offers a high concentration of azelaic acid in order to brighten the skin tone while visibly improving the evenness of skin texture and reducing the look of blemishes. Azelaic acid normalizes the shedding of skin cells and opens the follicle while also preventing the growth of acne bacteria. The result is fewer comedones (pimples). Azelaic acid also acts as an effective antioxidant. 
  7. The Ordinary Lactic Acid
    The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA is a high strength lactic acid superficial peeling formulation. Lactic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that has the ability to exfoliate the skin, stimulate the skin’s natural regeneration process, and help the skin to retain moisture. Lactic acid is particularly beneficial for those with sensitive skin because it provides gentler exfoliation than other AHAs, such as glycolic acid. It works by breaking down keratin, a protein that acts as a glue to keep skin cells together. By dissolving keratin, lactic acid helps to exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells, leaving skin looking brighter with a more even tone. 
  8. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
    The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight hyaluronic acid, as well as a next-generation hyaluronic acid crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for multi-depth hydration. Hyaluronic acid is an exceptional ingredient for adding hydration to the skin. It draws in moisture from the environment and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. To further enhance skin hydration, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 contains panthenol (provitamin B5), which is a highly effective humectant. 
  9. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
    The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution offers mild exfoliation in order to improve skin radiance, clarity, and texture. The key ingredient is glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates the skin, improves skin hydration, and helps to reduce signs of aging. The Ordinary Toner also contains a Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use.
  10. The Ordinary Rosehip Oil
    The Ordinary Rosehip Oil contains only one ingredient: 100% pure organic Rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil. Rosehip oil contains provitamin A, mostly as beta carotene. Beta carotene has the ability to increase cell turnover and promote regeneration in the outer layers of the skin. Over time, this can help even out skin tone and add a “glow” to the skin. All-trans retinoic acid (a vitamin A acid), another important component of rosehip oil, stimulates cellular regeneration and collagen production within the skin. This improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The Ordinary Rosehip Oil can also help soothe the skin and calm inflammation thanks to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is known to improve the skin’s barrier function.
  11. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
    The Ordinary Moisturizer contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid. All of these components are Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs), which are elements that keep the outer layer of the skin protected and well-hydrated. Due to all of the various NMFs in this formula, The Ordinary Moisturizer offers non-greasy hydration for all skin types.
  12. The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
    The final best selling product we’d like to discuss is The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, which is meant to help exfoliate the inside walls of pores to fight the appearance of blemishes. With continued use, this solution is said to promote better visible skin clarity. Of note, this solution does contain a high concentration of witch hazel, which can cause skin irritation for some people.

The Ordinary Review

What are the key ingredients in The Ordinary products?

After reading about the best selling products by The Ordinary, you may be wondering what exactly ingredients like peptides, retinol, squalane, and salicylic acid can do for your skin. Below we’ll give you a brief description of each of the key ingredients used in the best selling products by The Ordinary. 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

Many of The Ordinary skin care products contain AHAs because this group of ingredients provides numerous benefits to the skin. The primary benefit of AHAs is their ability to exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the stratum corneum) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, brighter skin and a more even complexion. AHAs are also known to increase skin hydration and stimulate collagen synthesis. 

Vitamin C

The Ordinary has an entire portfolio of vitamin C products that includes various vitamin C derivatives, such as ascorbyl glucoside, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ethylated ascorbic acid, and more. Using various derivatives of ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) allows this ingredient to be used with a variety of ingredients and still remain stable. But all vitamin C derivatives are converted to ascorbic acid once they are absorbed into the skin. Ascorbic acid is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin against free radical damage. This is important because the harmful effects of free radicals occur as direct chemical alterations of the cellular DNA, the cell membrane, and cellular proteins, including collagen. Damaged collagen manifests as signs of premature skin aging, including wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin. Ascorbic acid not only protects collagen from free radical damage, but also stimulates the synthesis of new collagen in the skin. By increasing the amount of collagen in the skin, signs of aging will be diminished and the skin will appear more firm.

Peptides

Several of The Ordinary skin care products include multiple peptide technologies, one being the Matrixyl 3000 complex. 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. Another technology is 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.

The Ordinary Buffet also contains a unique peptide complex called 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. Relistase peptide complex in The Ordinary Buffet is designed to increase skin firmness and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by inhibiting the enzyme elastase. The final peptide complex in The Ordinary Buffet is ARGIRELOX peptide complex (with acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18). ARGIRELOX fights expression wrinkles by attenuating muscle contraction in the pre-synaptic pathway.

Retinol 

The Ordinary retinol products are ideal for those dealing with signs of aging since retinol is clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores. Retinol provides all of these benefits by first being converted to retinoic acid (its active form) after being absorbed into the skin. Then, retinoic acid interacts with the retinoic acid (RAR) and retinoid X receptors (RXR) located in the nucleus of the cell. These nuclear receptors increase the production of procollagen and function to block the release of inflammatory mediators. Finally, retinol functions as an antioxidant and helps the skin combat free radicals.

Squalane

The Ordinary includes squalane in several of their product formulations because it is a very effective emollient. Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that mimics squalene, a natural compound in your skin that plays an important role in lubrication and protection. Squalane helps to replenish and strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier. 

Salicylic Acid

The final key ingredient we’d like to talk about is salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that works by softening and dissolving keratin, a protein found in the skin that acts as a “glue” to keep cells together. This allows salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and slough off dead skin cells. Salicylic acid also has the ability to penetrate deep into pores, where it helps to loosen clogs and allows oil to flow out more freely. Thus, salicylic acid is known to break down blackheads and whiteheads.

Where are The Ordinary products sold?

The Ordinary skin care products 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 reviews

Since its debut in the skin care industry, The Ordinary has received glowing reviews from users and experts alike. The most popular The Ordinary reviews focus on the brand’s effective formulations and affordability. It is common to find customers comparing The Ordinary skin care solutions to some of the most well known and respected skin care brands as comparable and more affordable. Other The Ordinary reviews appreciate the detail the brand takes in explaining their products, ingredients, and the science behind why they work well for the skin. This helps customers feel informed about their skin care purchases and further exemplifies The Ordinary’s mission to provide clinical skin care solutions with integrity.

Negative The Ordinary reviews are mostly from customers who experienced reactions to these products, such as skin irritation and breakouts. To prevent this from happening, the brand recommends following The Ordinary Patch Test Guide. Patch tests are an easy way to help predict if you will have a negative initial reaction to a new product. It is recommended to perform a patch test before incorporating a new product into your routine. In The Ordinary Patch Test Guide, the brand has outlined a general method for conducting your own patch test based on the type of product.

What are some alternatives to The Ordinary?

If you’ve tried products by The Ordinary and weren’t happy with the results, we’d like to recommend an alternative for you to consider. As far as peptide serums go, we’d say Formulyst’s Anti-Wrinkle Peptide Serum is truly one of the best. This serum stands out from others on the market because it combines six rejuvenating peptides to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, this formula contains hydrating ingredients like glycerin, chondrus crispus extract, and sodium hyaluronate. All of these ingredients draw moisture into the skin in order to maintain hydration while simultaneously giving the skin a more plump appearance. Ultimately, Formulyst’s Anti-Wrinkle Peptide Serum helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – leaving skin looking and feeling smoother, stronger, and radiantly more youthful.

THE BEST SKIN CARE LINES 2020

1

Formulyst

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. Many of the Formulyst’s products harness the power of plant and citrus extracts as well as gold-standard workhorses such as retinol. Read More
2

Advanced Dermatology

The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. This award-winning system can help diminish wrinkle appearance, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, fade away redness, even out skin tone and improve the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. Some of the standout products in this line include the Super Youth Serum, Complete Age Defense and Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment. Read More

The Ordinary Vitamin C

When it comes to vitamin C, there are a few companies that inherently get it right. The Ordinary Vitamin C collection is one of them. Known for their quality products and affordable price tags, The Ordinary Vitamin C is a line of skincare products that deliver the benefits this particular...

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid Review

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA offers superficial dermal peeling with mandelic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Mandelic acid acid exfoliates the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the top layers of skin) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, brighter skin. Mandelic acid is considered to provide gentle exfoliation because its molecular weight (152.1 daltons) is larger than other alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid is 76.0 daltons, for example). This larger size allows mandelic acid to penetrate the skin more slowly which in turn makes it very gentle and suitable for all skin types, including the most sensitive skin. Mandelic acid also has the ability to stimulate collagen production, which firms the skin and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA also includes sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, which is a modified form of hyaluronic acid (HA). Attaching hyaluronic acid to a polymer structure keeps it within the skin’s uppermost layers longer, allowing for enhanced hydration.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors HA

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors is currently the only moisturizer offered from this breakout beauty brand. Despite having a serum for almost every skin concern out there, the brand has continued to keep their moisturizers surprisingly minimal. And this all has to do with their approach. The idea behind the Ordinary is using a combination of active ingredient based serums to do the majority of the work, while finishing off with a super simple moisturizer to seal everything and protect your skin. This is exactly what the Natural Moisturizing Factors moisturizer offers. Natural Moisturizing Factors, or NMF is a term within skincare that encompasses the three major compounds that make up your natural moisture barrier. This includes fatty acids, ceramides and cholesterol, though there are a few others that play supporting roles. Unlike most moisturizers, The Ordinary’s moisturizer contains all of them, along with hyaluronic acid, to ensure that you’re getting every compound that your skin and skin barrier needs to function optimally.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser Review

Of one of the newest releases from breakout brand, The Ordinary, has been the Ordinary Squalane Cleanser. This is the first cleanser that has been released from the brand, although the parent company, Deciem, does have a few different cleansing options. As the name would suggest, this cleanser relies heavily on the benefits of squalane. Because of this, this product is actually capable of acting as both your first and second step cleanser in one. As a gel to oil formula, the formula transforms on contact with the skin to gently but effectively remove makeup. The emulsifiers in this product also allow for this oil-rich cleanser to rinse cleanly from the skin, so there’s no need to worry about a greasy residue. Since squalane has such a low comedogenic rating and is tolerated so well, we’d recommend this product to most skin types who are looking for a multi-purpose cleanser that cleans without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10 Review

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10 is one of the many different vitamin C options that The Ordinary has to offer. But how do you differentiate between these options? Well, the first step is to understand the active. Vitamin C as a whole is an extremely unstable ingredient to formulate with. This has lead skincare experts to develop a whole range of derivatives that offer many of the same benefits of vitamin C without as many of the formulating drawbacks. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is an excellent example of this practice at work. While the ordinary do offer a pure vitamin C product, its in an entirely silicone base to preserve the integrity of this ingredient. This can lead users to feel more irritated, and the formulas consistency to be less cosmetically elegant. So the brand also offers products like the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10 serum. With 10% MAP, this formula is much more low maintenance as easy to blend into the skin without risking irritation. Plus, at a lower percentage, this product makes a great beginner friendly vitamin C serum.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Argireline Review

The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10% is a lightweight anti-aging serum formulated with 10% ARGIRELINE™ peptide complex, a proprietary solution of acetyl hexapeptide-8. Acetyl hexapeptide-8 is a six amino acid peptide and is a fragment of SNAP-25 (a substrate of botulinum toxin). It works by limiting the ability of neurotransmitters to activate movement in your facial muscles, for example, when forming facial expressions such as smiling or frowning. By inhibiting the nerves that cause facial muscles to contract, subtle facial expressions are limited and wrinkles are subsequently reduced. Controlled studies have shown that ARGIRELINE™ improves the appearance of facial areas prone to developing dynamic folds, including around the eyes and in the forehead area. The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10% is a water-based formula because studies have shown that the water content of formulations does impact the utility level of topical ARGIRELINE™. Specifically, higher water content results in better utility.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Matrixyl Review

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA is a high strength peptide formulation that features two generations of Matrixyl™ (Matrixyl™ 3000 and Matrixyl™ synthe’6™) at a combined concentration of 10% by weight. The Matrixyl™ 3000 peptide complex 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. The Matrixyl™ synthe’6™ peptide complex with palmitoyl tripeptide-38 is derived from the tripeptide KMK that is 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.

Both peptide complexes are combined in a specialized hyaluronic acid delivery system. Hyaluronic acid is 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. Hyaluronic acid can help to improve moisture retention and may help other ingredients to perform better. Overall, The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA is a high strength peptide formulation that can help to reduce the look of static and dynamic wrinkles.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Review

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid is a highly-stable, water-free solution that contains a 2% concentration of an advanced retinoid active complex called Granactive Retinoid. Granactive Retinoid is a solubilized system of hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a highly-advanced form of retinoid which is an ester of all-trans retinoic acid. The advantage of hydroxypinacolone retinoate is that unlike other retinoic acid derivatives, it does not need to be converted to retinoic acid to work. Rather, it binds directly to the retinoid receptors of the skin cells. Hydroxypinacolone retinoate is said to provide the same benefits of retinol, but without the irritation. Thus, this ingredient should be able to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid must not be used in conjunction with other retinoids including retinol or retinoic acid. Furthermore, it’s important to limit sun exposure when using this product as retinoids can make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation.

In addition to hydroxypinacolone retinoate, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid contains several ingredients to help moisture and soothe the skin. For instance, both bisabolol and jojoba seed oil are known to help calm inflammation and provide soothing effects. Jojoba seed oil is also known to strengthen the skin’s barrier and help prevent transepidermal water loss. Another ingredient in The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid that helps to replenish the skin is squalane. Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that mimics squalene (note the e) that is naturally found within the skin, resulting in softer and better hydrated skin.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Review

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is a treatment solution that is said to help exfoliate the inside walls of pores to fight the appearance of blemishes and for better visible skin clarity with continued use. Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that works by softening and dissolving keratin, a protein found in the skin that acts as a “glue” to keep cells together. This allows salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and slough off dead skin cells. Salicylic acid also has the ability to penetrate deep into pores, where it helps to loosen clogs and allows oil to flow out more freely. Thus, salicylic acid is known to break down blackheads and whiteheads.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution also contains Hamamelis Virginiana (witch hazel) leaf water, which is a source of several types of antioxidants, including tannins. The leaf contains 3 to 10% tannins, mainly gallotannins. Tannins are phenolic compounds rich in hydroxy residues that impart astringent properties, resulting in a constricting and drying effect when applied to the skin. They work by cross-linking with proteins in skin known as keratins, creating an invisible film that can temporarily degrease skin, tighten and tone the skin, and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. Witch hazel is also well known for easing inflammation and soothing sensitive skin.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Lactic Acid Review

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA is a high strength lactic acid superficial peeling formulation. Lactic acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that has the ability to exfoliate the skin, stimulate the skin’s natural regeneration process, and help the skin to retain moisture. Lactic acid is particularly beneficial for those with sensitive skin because it provides gentler exfoliation than other AHAs, such as glycolic acid. It works by breaking down keratin, a protein that acts as a glue to keep skin cells together. By dissolving keratin, lactic acid helps to exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells, leaving skin looking brighter with a more even tone.

Lactic acid is also a powerful humectant. A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract and retain the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into or beneath the surface. Another type of humectant in The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA is sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid. Humectants improve moisture retention and may also help other topical skin care ingredients to perform better. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA also features a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use. Since The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA uses a high strength AHA, this product may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. It is recommended to use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Review

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a hydration support formula with ultra-pure, vegan hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is 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. However, the molecular size of hyaluronic acid determines its depth of delivery in the skin. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight hyaluronic acid, as well as a next-generation hyaluronic acid crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for multi-depth hydration and visible plumping.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is supported with the addition of panthenol, the alcohol form of pantothenic acid, commonly known as vitamin B5. Panthenol functions as a very effective humectant. A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract and retain the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into or beneath the surface. Humectants improve moisture retention and may also help other topical skin care ingredients to perform better. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 can be used in both the morning and evening before your moisturizer.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution Review

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is a light-textured formula that is said to reduce the appearance of eye contour pigmentation and of puffiness. This solution contains an extremely high 5% concentration of caffeine. Caffeine is often used in eye products because it is a natural stimulant that can cause vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessels). This aids in reducing the amount of blood that accumulates under the eyes (a major factor that contributes to dark circles). Additionally, vasoconstriction can firm the skin due to the removal of excess fluids and possible stimulation of the lymphatic drainage system. Thus, the caffeine in The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG may help to reduce dark circles and puffiness.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is supplemented with highly-purified Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (EGCG), a type of polyphenol found in green tea leaves. EGCG is a potent antioxidant that can protect the skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. In addition, independent studies have shown that topical use of each of caffeine and EGCG can help reduce looks of puffiness and of dark circles in the eye contour. A final key ingredient in The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid a type of glycosaminoglycan (sugar molecule) that attracts moisture from the environment and draws that moisture into the skin’s upper layers. Hyaluronic acid will hydrate the delicate skin around the eye and provide temporary anti-aging effects.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Review

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid is a daily-use toning solution that contains 7% glycolic acid. This product offers mild exfoliation to improve skin texture, radiance, and clarity. It can be used by all skin types, however, it should not be used on sensitive, peeling, or compromised skin. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that has a small molecular weight, which means it can penetrate the skin very easily. It exerts anti-inflammatory, keratolytic, and antioxidant effects, and functions as both an exfoliator and a moisturizer. Glycolic acid exfoliates the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the stratum corneum) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, more radiant skin.

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid also contains a Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative and Aloe Vera leaf water to help reduce irritation associated with acid use. This formula can also help brighten skin because it contains Panax Ginseng root extract. Ginseng has the ability to inhibit melanogenesis, the production of melanin pigments that creates undesirable dark spots on skin. Lastly, The Ordinary Glycolic Acid has a pH of approximately 3.6 in order to maintain an ideal balance between salt and acidity, maximizing effectiveness of the acid and reducing irritation.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Review

Ordinary is by far one of the most popular brands to have hit the mainstream market in the last two years. Known for their no frills packaging, rock bottom prices and active-ingredient focused formulas, this brand appeals to those who know a little bit about the science behind skincare. One of the key formulations that is becoming more and more popular overtime is The Ordinary Azelaic Acid. Azelaic acid, unlike other acids in skincare like lactic and glycolic, does not actually exfoliate the skin. Instead, Azelaic Acid does almost the opposite action, but taking down redness and swelling in the skin. This includes the redness that affects those with rosacea, as well as the inflammation in acne blemishes. At a 10% concentration, The Ordinary azelaic acid is one of the few highly concentrated Azelaic acid products that are available over the counter. Previously, this ingredient was almost exclusively prescribed at a 20% concentration for those with rosacea by dermatologists, even though it's perfectly safe and often easier to incorporate into your routine than ingredients like retinol, at lower concentrations.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Review

If you’re looking for an easy to incorporate alternative to harsher multi-purpose actives like retinol, alpha arbutin may be the perfect option for you. The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin is one of the few options on the market that offers a 2% alpha arbutin serum over the counter, at a reasonable price. Alpha arbutin is most well known for its ability to treat hyperpigmentation as well as minor breakouts by brightening and evening out skin tone. Like many other products in The Ordinary’s product range, this serum features an incredibly minimal ingredient list, which consists of just 13 ingredients. Most of the ingredients, besides the 2% alpha arbutin, are mostly included to create the base of this product, and act mainly as solvents, preservatives or lightweight hydrators. The only thing to keep in mind with this product is that alpha arbutin can become deactivated incredibly easily if the formula is not properly pH balanced. In order to combat this, The Ordinary has been very careful to formulate this product with an exact pH of 4.7.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Niacinamide Review

One of the most well known products from the Ordinary, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, has been on the receiving end of an incredibly amount of hype in the last year. But what makes this product such a fan favorite? While Niacinamide has now become a fairly common ingredient to find in skin care products, The Ordinary was one of the first to release a dedicated niacinamide serum that contained such a high percentage of the active ingredient, and is still one of the highest percentages of niacinamide you can find over the counter. But what makes this product stand out the most is how well these products have been formulated to let the active ingredients shine. For example, this formula only has 11 ingredients, and niacinamide and zinc are the second and the fourth on the list. The rest of these ingredients have been included mostly as texture enhancers, solvents and gentle preservatives. This means less chance for a reaction, as well as more opportunity to see exactly how these ingredients work for your skin specifically. Niacinamide and zinc have both been shown to help decrease inflammatory acne as well as act as a preventative measure to keep new blemishes from forming.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Buffet Review

The Ordinary Buffet is a peptide serum that combines a comprehensive array of studied technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once. One technology is Matrixyl™ 3000 peptide complex, which 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. Another technology is 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.

The Ordinary Buffet also contains SYN™-AKE peptide complex, 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. Relistase peptide complex in The Ordinary Buffet is designed to increase skin firmness and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by inhibiting the enzyme elastase. The final peptide complex in The Ordinary Buffet is ARGIRELOX™ peptide complex (with acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18). ARGIRELOX™ fights expression wrinkles by attenuating muscle contraction in the pre-synaptic pathway. Lastly, The Ordinary Buffet contains a probiotic complex (with lactococcus lactis lysate) 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%.

INGREDIENTS

The Ordinary Peeling Solution Review

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is an AHA/BHA solution that is said to offer deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution contains 30% alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), including glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acid. AHAs exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the stratum corneum) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, brighter skin and a more even complexion.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution also contains 2% salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that works by softening and dissolving keratin, a protein found in the skin that acts as a “glue” to keep cells together. This allows salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and slough off dead skin cells. Salicylic acid also has the ability to penetrate deep into pores, where it helps to loosen clogs and allows oil to flow out more freely. Thus, salicylic acid is known to break down blackheads and whiteheads. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution also features a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use. Other key ingredients in The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution include a crosspolymer form of hyaluronic acid for comfort, panthenol (vitamin B5) to assist healing and hydration, and black carrot as an antioxidant.

INGREDIENTS

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