This New Skincare Brand Offers Insane Formulas For Less Than $20


the ordinary skincare review

Last year something groundbreaking took the skincare industry by storm, a company that decided it would sell high-performing products for unbelievable drugstore prices… Meet our new best friend, The Ordinary! Owned by renowned parent brand Deciem (owners of Niod and the Chemistry Brand) they make “clinical formulations with integrity” – a skincare range that packs some of the most advanced ingredients into ordinarily designed bottles at affordable prices – between $8 to $15. Yes, please!

It’s basically fuss-free formulas that work, but they offer active ingredients and solutions you would normally only see in high-end skincare products, like retinol, glycolic acid toners, AHA peels, and high-percentage vitamin C formulas. And no, this isn’t a sponsored post, we just feel it’s our duty to help you get the best beauty!

It’s not just that The Ordinary’s formulas make amazing skincare accessible to a whole new audience, but that it has some really unique products that you won’t see with your usual skincare brands. We’ve been testing tons of these products since November, so to help you explore the world of The Ordinary better, we’ve broken down our fav skin-changing products:

THE SMOOTHING TONER: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, $12.50

Great for: Dull/ oily/ textured/ combo/ acne-prone skin
Avoid if you have: sensitive/ dry skin

Glycolic acid

What it is: A toner with a 7% concentrate of glycolic acid – an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin by dissolving dead skin cells that can block pores and make skin look dull.

What it does: We noticed a big difference in the tone and texture of our skin and a reduction in blackheads.

How to use it: It can be used every day in the evening after cleansing, but we only feel we need to use it three to five times a week. We wouldn’t recommend using this after you’ve exfoliated as this may irritate new skin.

The bottle is huge, so this will last you at least six months! Shop it here.

THE ULTIMATE HYDRATOR: Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5, $10.90

Great for: EVERYONE

Hyaluronic Acid

What it is: This majorly hydrating formula penetrates deeply using hyaluronic acid at three different molecular weights to hydrate your skin at different levels. Vitamin B5 also enhances surface moisture levels for all-day hydration.

What it does: Where do we begin? If your skin is oily, this will do wonders for you! Oily skin often lacks moisture, as the less moisture there is present in your skin, the more sebum and oil your skin creates to lubricate it. Hyaluronic acid is also the ingredient used in fillers to smooth out wrinkles as it holds 1000 times its weight in water, plumping and smoothing fine lines in the skin, which is why it’s excellent for dry skin too.

How to use it: Apply this after toning, before your moisturizer, or if you’re in a hurry, you can combine it with your moisturizer. It’s perfect for am and pm. It does leave a shiny finish, so if you’re not a makeup wearer, you may want to use powder or a BB cream to tone it down.

The Ordinary’s sister company, Niod, has a more advanced formula with 15 types of HA instead of three, the Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, $40, but we found it had a very strong chemical fragrance that made it unpleasant to use. We also saw such a big difference with The Ordinary’s HA formula, why spend more? Shop it here.

THE MAJOR EXFOLIATOR: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, $12.30

Great for: Acne-prone/ textured/ normal/ combination skin
Avoid if you have: Sensitive/ very dry skin

AHA peel

What it is: A chemical exfoliator that uses glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric AHAs, and Salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin for a deep cleanse.

What it does: The formula cleans deep into pores and helps soften blemishes, fine lines, and scarring. The result is glowing, brighter skin that feels incredibly soft.

How to use it: This potent formula only needs to be used once a week, max! Use it in the evening, and make sure not to wet your face beforehand, as this will increase absorption of the product – gently rub the solution onto your skin and leave a layer on your skin as a mask for no more than 10 minutes!

We love what this does to our skin, and we know you will too! Shop it here.

THE SKIN PERFECTOR: Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane, $14.70

Great for: Mature/ normal/ combination/ dry skin/ pigmentation
Avoid if you have: Sensitive skin

Granactive retinoid

What it is: This boasts two amazing ingredients, squalane oil – a deeply nourishing and hydrating oil – and granactive retinoid – a high strength, low irritation form of retinol.

What it does: This retinoid formula suspended in squalane helps to soften fine lines, improve pigmentation, and speed up skin cell turnover.

How to use: Apply in the evening after moisturizing.

If you’re new to retinol or don’t need the intense results retinol offers, this formula is the perfect way to try the amazing effects of retinol without the irritation that it can give. Shop it here. You can also try the slightly stronger version of this formula with 5% Granactive Retinoid here.

THE BEAUTIFYING OIL: 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil, $16.90

Great for: Dry/ mature/ normal/ combination skin/ pigmentation/ scarring

Rose hip seed
What it is: This nourishing miracle oil is packed with brightening vitamin C and bursting with antioxidants.

What it does: Rosehip oil deeply hydrates, helps combat dark circles and gives you glowing skin. Its omega-rich structure helps with skin repair and regeneration, so it’s a great face oil for fading acne scars and pigmentation.

How to use it: We love using this after moisturizing in the evening, but it’s also light enough to use during the day if you have dry or normal skin. Just allow 15 minutes to let it sink in before makeup application.

Considering buying this from other brands would normally cost twice the price, The Ordinary’s Rosehip Seed Oil is ideal. Shop it here.

The ordinary has tons of amazing formulas; we also love their 100% Plant Derived Squalane, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (for acne-prone and oily skin), and the Salicylic Acid 2% formula (to keep pimples and blemishes at bay). Let us know if you guys have tried it and which ones you want to try in the comments below.