I have been on a bit of a mission recently to finish off my products (provided they don’t cause horrible reactions on me), both skincare and make up because of course, like most beauty bloggers I accumulate fast but don’t use up quick enough. As I finished up a serum by The Ordinary, it occurred to me – I have had these products since September 2016 which means…I’ve had them for a year and still not got round to reviewing them! It happens, I swear. So here we go – a round up of some products I have used from The Ordinary and my thoughts after using them for so long (note: I can see that the range has expanded hugely, so formulas may have been improved upon too).
A bit of background on The Ordinary in case you don’t know.
The skincare brand (and now make up – they have foundations out) is a range that combines top clinical formulations with very VERY affordable prices. The Ordinary belongs to DECIM, who also have Hylamide and NIOD – their ranges o not contain parabens, mineral oil, sulphates and more. They are also cruelty free.
As I mentioned a bit part of this range is the price. It is AFFORDABLE. Like,it is in the Venti Macchiato with soy milk and an extra shot price range. It certainly doesn’t look cheap at all – the box, the design, the bottle all makes it look way more expensive than it is (of course I am not saying that how it looks is more important than the formula, but it certainly conveys a more expensive feel).
So at first I was highly suspicious – how is it that all these serums that traditionally are costly can cost as little as £5?! But here we are and this is what it is. At that price point, most of us can try out a few serums to see what works an it’s quite a good range to layer skincare, if that is your thing.
(This is The Ordinary’s regime guide which I recommend if you are going to layer as it’s quite confusing when faced with such a large range).
Ok so let’s go….
1. (Alpha Arbutin 2%) – £7 from Beauty Bay
I have heard of Arbutin before as it is frequently used in Asian skincare. Arbutin works on pigmentation and dark pots – it is also mixed with hyaluronic acid to deliver the product to eh skin and moisturise. This has a gel like almost jelly like texture which I didn’t have an issue with.
Thoughts on this – it is not that hydrating so I would definitely layer this up. It leaves the skin looking brighter and plump – I even used this on my back where I have some pigmentation and I felt like it made a difference by making the skin peel a little and even out slightly (we’re not talking miracle whitening btw) but it is definitely looking better. I wouldn’t say this is a miracle brightening product but for the price it isn’t bad.
2. Buffet – (£12.70) from Cult Beauty
‘Buffet’ is the serum that has a mixture of things for people who can’t decide and want something that is effective in different areas.
This contains hyaluronic acid and Matrixyl 3000 for anti ageing.
This is another clear thick liquid (it trickles out rather than runs if you turn the bottle over) – and my skin is a little bright the next morning, however I dislike the sticky texture left on the skin after application. I also found this one of the more irritating serums (in terms of causing a slightly burning). For that reason I wouldn’t repurchase.
3. 100% Organic Rose Hip Seed Oil (£9) from Beauty Bay.
Rose Hip Seed oil is a source of vitamins E and C and fatty acids – this is supposed o treat redness, hydrate skin, scars etc. I have the Pai Bio Regenerate Oil which also heavy features Reship Seed but costs £22 in comparison.
Overall though, Rose Hip Seed oil is not my favourite for the face. It is somewhat greasy and I also am not too keen on the smell which is sort of…nutty? I don’t know but I don’t really look forward to using it. However I used this on the body for scarring and I liked it for that, but for my face, I wouldn’t repurchase.
4. Advanced Retinoid 2% (now renamed as Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion) (£8) – Cult Beauty
By far my favourite product out of everything I tried is the Retinol serum which is a milky liquid. I am quite mistrusting of retinals as my skin is sensitive an I have used ones before that have Mae my skin go funny.
I found that this serum was a lovely light texture that sinks in nicely and offers a touch of hydration too. Unlike many of the products I tried, this was not sticky and left no ‘residue’ on the skin, making it light enough to layer. My skin looked brighter and generally smoother. Also one amazing thing this stuff did – I had Millia on one of my eyelids. It had been there for a while and was almost impossible to get out but it started to get on my nerves, SO, I got a pin and pricked it a little. I then applied this serum on top for 2 nights and on the 3rd night, it was completely ready to come out and it did easily with no scar.
5. Niacinamide (£5) – Cult Beauty
My second favourite product of all the ones I tried is Niacinamide. Again, another ingredient I frequently see in Asian skincare.
This ingredient regulates sebum production so can help blemished, oily skin or people like myself who get blocked pores. Again another product I liked using – it has a thick clear gel like texture that I applied on the areas I need it most. I found this did a decent job of regulating those areas and although I didn’t think it helped with my block pores (the way that my Cosrx BHA serum does) this was great of areas I suffer from acne (such as the jawline).
Also importantly it didn’t irritate my skin.
I like this BUT truthfully I have better serums for pore issues and oiliness is not a problem of mine so I wouldn’t repurchase, but if you have oily skin and want to try regulating it, this is one to try.
6. Matrixyl 10% and HA (£9.60) – Cult Beauty
Matrixyl is for anti ageing which is supposed to stimulate collagen syhteisi and triggers skin repair for fine lines and wrinkles.
I found this one very tingly to the point of getting a bit uncomfortable (that’s my British way of saying IT STUNG ME). Also made my skin a bit red. I did think it made my skin look a bit ‘firmer’ or maybe it was just shiner. My big problem is it is sticky and sat on my skin rather uncomfortably which I didn’t like. It is a clear runny liquid and again, had no scent. For that reason this one fell out of favour.
7. Hyaluronic Acid 2% & B5 (£5.90) – Cult Beauty
Finally we have the Hyaluronic Acid. I have tried many many many serums of this type and they vary slightly. This clear gel like serum is scent free and didn’t cause any irritations HOWEVER it is sticky sticky sticky. I could hold my hand against my cheek and it would stick there for a second. I do think it is quite hydrating and if you want an affordable HA then sure, you might like this but I couldn’t bear the sticky texture at all.
The Retinol is by far the best product from the range.
The others were decent but I wouldn’t repurchase any of them apart from the Retinol.
Yes I will be trying more from The Ordinary- I just ordered the Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% and High Spreadability Fluid Primer – it is so cheap that you can definitely try things out with confidence and if it doesn’t work for the face I use it on the body. I won’t go crazy and over tons of products because it gets a tad confusing anyway so maybe just a few things at a time.
Have you tried The Ordinary? Do you have a favourite product?
* Affiliate links in the post