The Ordinary Review - The Dermatology Review

The Ordinary Review

Skin Care Reviews

09.28.18 AD DISCLOSURE

The Ordinary is a popular skincare 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, appreciate the brand’s commitment to transparency.

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.

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2019?

The Ordinary Deciem Ingredients List

Vitamins & Retinoids: The products that are found within The Ordinary vitamins and retinoids section are designed to help reduce the signs of age by diminishing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and even sun damage. Most of these The Ordinary skin care treatments are designed to be used after cleansing the skin and before applying your oils or creams. Most can be used in morning and/or evening skincare regimens.

Antioxidants: The Ordinary has a number of skin care products with antioxidants as the featured ingredient. Some of the antioxidants harnessed in these The Ordinary skin care products included ferulic acid and resveratrol. These The Ordinary products are designed to provide the skin with key antioxidant benefits like protecting skin against environmental free radicals, improving the appearance of the skin, and supporting healthy skin function.

Direct Acids: The products that are found in The Ordinary Direct Acids section are designed to help improve the appearance of the skin. From helping to reduce inflammation to improving clarity, there are a number of acids in this The Ordinary skin care section. Most of these The Ordinary skin care treatments should be applied in the evening after cleansing, however, there are some The Ordinary Direct Acids, like the Alpha Lipoic Acid, which should only be used a few times a week.

Hydrators & Oils: Some of the most popular The Ordinary products can be found in their Hydrators and Oils section. These The Ordinary skincare products include 100% cold pressed oils to nourish and hydrate the skin like The Ordinary Virgin Marula Oil and Moroccan Argan oil. Other products within this The Ordinary skincare section are designed to prep the skin before makeup application like The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer. Each these The Ordinary products should be applied after your retinoids and acids and before makeup.

More Molecules: The More Molecules section of The Ordinary skincare contains some of the brand’s most powerful and innovative products. Popular choices like The Ordinary “Buffet” are home to potent clinical formulations designed to dramatically transform the appearance of the skin and fight the signs of age. Most of the items within this The Ordinary collection can be used in your morning and evening skincare routines, after cleansing and before Hydrators and Oils.

Popular The Ordinary Skin Care Products

The Ordinary is most known for its various skincare serums and treatments. And at first glance, it’s easy to see why. Within The Ordinary skincare collection, there are a number of serums, treatments, and supporting items for every skin type and skin concern. The Ordinary skincare products are divided into multiple sections including vitamins and retinoids, direct acids, hydrators & oils, molecules, and most recently the addition of foundation. While The Ordinary skin care products are designed to be user-friendly, the full list can be a bit overwhelming at first. The Ordinary regimen guide you can choose the best products for your skin routine but, here are a couple of the most popular The Ordinary products for those new to the brand.

The Ordinary Foundation: The newest additions to The Ordinary skin care portfolio is The Ordinary Serum Foundation and The Ordinary Coverage Foundation. The Ordinary Serum Foundation is an innovative foundation that offers a lightweight medium coverage with a natural matte finish. It is designed to apply like a serum, however, the addition of rich pigments incorporated using The Ordinary’s proprietary suspension technology allows the foundation to help even the skin tone and minimize the appearance of imperfections. The Ordinary Coverage Foundation is the full coverage foundation offered by the brand that provides a smooth finish without the cakey look that many full coverage foundations leave behind. The Ordinary Coverage foundation has a creamy texture that applies with ease and feels light on the skin. It utilizes a high concentration of pigments in the same proprietary suspension technology used in The Ordinary Serum Foundation.

Each of The Ordinary Foundations contains an impressive 21 shade options that are meticulously categorized for optimal matching. The Ordinary foundations are divided based on skin tone with categories for light, medium, and dark complexions. They are then detailed by undertones indicating cool, neutral, and warm undertones. And finally, select The Ordinary foundations include notations based on silver or gold highlights within the foundation. The Ordinary foundations can be used individually or mixed together adding a layer of versatility to the line.

The Ordinary Retinol: The Ordinary has a line of retinols that have become a popular solution for affordable skin care. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is used in many anti-aging skin care products for its ability to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, smooth wrinkles, reverse damage caused by environmental stressors, and support the skin cell regeneration process. Currently, The Ordinary carries three retinols with varying concentrations. The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane contains 1% pure retinol, while The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane contains 0.5%, and The Ordinary 0.2% in Squalane contains 0.2%. Due to the high likelihood of irritation caused by retinol including peeling, itching, and inflamed skin, when beginning a retinol regimen, start with the lower retinol concentrations to minimize irritation and help the skin build tolerance to the powerful skin care ingredient.

The Ordinary “Buffet”: The Ordinary “Buffet” is serum with a complex formulation designed to fight the signs of age in skin. This The Ordinary serum houses a number of peptides and amino acids that can solve a host of anti-aging concerns. Specifically, the Buffet The Ordinary serum helps to hydrate, moisturize, and protect the skin. It’s also packed with a number of antioxidants which is essential for effective anti-aging skincare. The Ordinary reviews regarding this serum aren’t as positive as the primer but it is still one of the line’s most popular products. Many The Ordinary reviews appreciate the beneficial ingredients and affordable price point when it comes to the serum. However, there are a number of The Ordinary reviews that have noted being less than impressed with the serum’s effectiveness.

The Ordinary Reviews

Since its introduction into the beauty market, 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.

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The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Review

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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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