Have you been looking for a budget-friendly skincare? After a few months of use, here is my honest The Ordinary skincare review. This post contains affiliate links.
Gen Z knows what’s up.
I stopped in Ulta and bought 10 or so products from The Ordinary for about $75. This was quite a bit cheaper than when I bought the full Dime Beauty skincare system a few months before so I was intrigued how they’d compare. Could an $8 serum really be any good?
Even if they weren’t, at least I loved the way they looked on my bathroom counter. A+ for minimalist design and neutral packaging.
At the checkout counter, the cute Gen Z girl said she almost exclusively used Ordinary products for her skin (which was looking great…but she was probably 20 years old).
My Experience Using The Orindary’s Skincare Products:
Overall, I’m super happy with my purchase from The Ordinary. I will definitely buy something again. I really like their serums. They seem to work pretty much as well as other brands 2-4 times their price. With The Ordinary products, I layer serums (in part because they are so inexpensive and in part because most of them only have 1 ingredient).
My One Complaint:
My one problem with the Orindary is that it is hard to figure out which products to get and what order to use them. They assume you already know what you need. The labels are exactly what the products are.
It took me a second to figure out what products to use when and why. There is a spot on the website that walks you through how to use the products but, unless you’re a beauty expert, it isn’t super straightforward to figure out in-store.
Will I repurchase?
Yes, for sure. These are solid products at a very good price point. If you are looking to bulk up your skincare routine, this is a great way to spend your money.
You don’t always get the same “luxury experience” with The Ordinary that you get from paying more for other brands. This means the packaging isn’t as luxe and the products may not feel or smell as nice.
In my experience, though, most of the products work just as well as things priced 2-3 times more. So, yes, I will absolutely buy The Ordinary products again.
Favorite skincare products from The Ordinary
Here’s what I bought initially and have used for the last few months.
Glycolipid Cream Cleanser:
This is a solid cream cleanser. it is gentle and does the job. It is a good consistency and has no fragrance or smell. I would absolutely repurchase this.
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA:
This a solid, run-of-the-mill, moisturizer. It layers fine under my makeup. It isn’t very thick for an overnight moisturizer but, if you are using all the serums before bed, you don’t need anything more than this.
I don’t love the consistency of this one but it works for my skin. It has a white cast when you first apply it and takes a second to absorb into the skin (you can see the white cast in the picture above). Once it does, the white cast is gone. I won’t repurchase this one.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% and B5
This is a very solid hyaluronic acid for the price. Here’s what I like:
- The consistency is good. It doesn’t feel quite as luxurious as the Dime Hyaluronic Acid but it is much cheaper and works just as well. I put two pictures below that help show the consistency. Can you see how it isn’t too runny? It doesn’t immediately drip down my face before I can rub it in.
- You can use it morning and/or night.
I will absolutely buy this one again. It looks good under my makeup (although I skip this one and use Merit’s “Better Skin Serum” as a primer when wearing real foundation).
Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
This is a caffeinated eye serum to reduce redness, puffiness, and dark circles.
My biggest complaint is that the dropper method isn’t as easy to apply. I prefer a standard eye cream just because it is easier to apply.
100% Plant-Derived Squalene
Squalene is really good at sinking into your skin and locking in moisture. It’s like a shield that fights off dryness.
I layer this one with one of the other serums in the evening or after my weekly exfoliating for added moisture. I would repurchase this.
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
A great Niacinamide serum has been on my list for a while and this one fits the bill. Niacinamide is like a multitasker for your skin. It helps repair your skin’s DNA and reduces redness. It also helps make your skin stronger and more bouncy by boosting collagen and ceramides.
I struggle with redness and, when I am diligent about applying this regularly, I can see a difference.
I will absolutely buy the Niacinamide from The Ordinary again.
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
There are so many documented benefits of using Rose Hip Seed oil so I needed to try this one. I don’t love the consistency as much as the Niacinamide or Hyaluronic acid.
This is a yellow color and a little oily. But, here are the benefits of rosehip seed oil (and I can get over any aversion to oily serums for these):
- exfoliates and brightens skin
- boost collagen production
- reduce inflammation
- protect against sun damage
- reduce hyperpigmentation
- boosts immunity
I will absolutely buy this one again.
A bit more about the ordinary as a brand
On my to-try list:
- Soothing and Barrier Support Serum: Tretinoin does a number on my skin barrier when I am re-starting the product or using it too aggressively. This looks like the perfect thing to use to help.
- Multi-peptide Eye Serum
- Buffet Peptide Serum: I like that this has a little bit of everything in one serum. If I’m traveling and can’t bring it all with me (or I just don’t have it in me to do a 5 step skincare routine), this seems like it would be the go-to.
Ordinary Skincare FAQ
The Ordinary keeps it simple and affordable in two ways. First, their products have fewer ingredients, each serving a specific purpose. Unlike some brands, they don’t mix in extra stuff for a more rounded formula. For example, their Salicylic Acids and Retinoids have less fancy extras like anti-irritants compared to Paula’s Choice. They don’t spend loads on researching complex formulas; instead, they focus on straightforward ones with simple actives.
Second, they’re not big on fancy branding and marketing. They save money by selling directly online and not being in many stores. While big names like Dior and Skinceuticals charge more for brand prestige, The Ordinary challenges that. They show you don’t have to break the bank for effective skincare.
The Ordinary products are cruelty-free. They’ve made it clear that they don’t test their finished products or ingredients on animals, and they extend this policy to their suppliers and third parties. Plus, they don’t sell their products in places where animal testing is mandatory by law. As of November 4, 2023, you can trust that The Ordinary is committed to cruelty-free practices.
Of all the Ordinary products I’ve tried, here are the best ones:
-Rose Hip Oil
I bought all my Ordinary products in-store at Ulta. I found them on a hubcap.
You can also purchase directly from The Ordinary’s site and shop some of their products on Amazon.