Photography & Words: Zoe London
If you haven’t already heard of The Ordinary, I can’t wait to tell you more.
Now it looks rather scientific in it’s packaging, and that’s because it is. It’s a bit confusing to navigate or find out more about, so I find the best way to look at The Ordinary, is to really target specific requirements that you’re after. Lets first start with the honest truth – in my opinion, The Ordinary is absolutely revolutionising skincare. It’s really the first mass market brand to take the core, key ingredients of skincare and sell them at not much above cost price. The prices of these items are unreal, when you bear in mind high end skincare brands can use a fraction of the same ingredient but mark it up often into the hundreds. If you want to read more about why and how they can do this, I’d recommend Caroline Hirons’ post here, as it explains it all in an interview with the founder, far better than I could.
I’m gonna start with a couple of staples in mine and George’s Ordinary collection – not all is photographed, but a few have become casualties of lost boxes moving home (ugh, yup, we still have boxes. How do two people accumulate so much stuff?)
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – £5.90
Hyaluronic Acid is naturally in the skin, but by using it on the surface you can keep skin plump and hydrated. I would say this product is by far mine and George’s most used out of our Ordinary stash, as you can use it morning and night before your daily moisturiser. It also has Vitamin B5 which helps to enhance the surface hydration, and I find if I use it overnight before my moisturiser it makes me look more awake, more brighter – due to my skin being more hydrated over night.
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution – £4.20
For targeted spot fighting.
When my friends ask me for help with acne or just pesky singular spots, the one product I always recommend is The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid. Why? Well, it’s just £4.20 – honestly, still not over that? – and it works as an exfoliant to help banish spots for good. Now, this isn’t something I’d put all over my face every single day, but I apply it targeted to the area as I see a spot coming, and when it’s arrived on the skin to quickly minimise it’s visibility, and zap it sooner. It works every single time. It’s not a medicine, and it’s not necessarily a long term solution for extensive or persistent acne, but it definitely is an amazing solution for breakouts. It’s worth noting that as with all exfoliating acids, you should wear additional sun protection on your skin, and generally only apply at night time rather than in the AM before the day has started if you know you’ll be in direct sunlight. I could not recommend this product enough! You need it in your skincare arsenal.
Serum Foundation – £5.70
The Ordinary isn’t just about skincare though, last year they launched two foundations to the range. The foundations were highly anticipated, with one of the biggest waiting lists I’ve ever heard of! I finally managed to get hold of one on my visit to the Covent Garden store back in December. I highly recommend you pop into one of their stores, by the way. Not only is it much easier to swatch the foundations that way, but their staff are so friendly and knowledgeable. When the science stuff is getting a bit much, they’ll be able to help you find the right product you need!
Anyway, back to the foundation. I was hoping this would be a good foundation for those ‘no makeup makeup’ days and it definitely is. It’s quite a sheer foundation, and it doesn’t build up massively either. If you’re a beauty blender user like me, you’ll find a lot of the coverage does get lost when applying with the blender, so you may need to switch to gently buffing it in with a dense brush, or patting it on skin with fingers. I really like the finish of the foundation, although I found when not set with setting spray it did get a little dewy/oiler looking on me during the day than I’d like. For me it’s not an everyday replacement for my beloved NYX Total Control Drop Foundation, but it is such a good foundation for the price. I can’t think of many other foundations that cost £5 that are cruelty free, vegan, oil free and this good!
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane – £7.80
For anti ageing and cell renewal.
When Kim Kardashian raves about this product, you know it’s good. Celebrity endorsements aside, you’d be really tough pushed to find another Retinoid for anything close to this price, and that’s why it captured my attention. Retinol is Vitamin A in pure form, and it can combat wrinkles, signs of ageing and encouraging cell renewal at a super fast speed. Use this in the PM before bed and before any heavy moisture treatments, and I’ve found lovely results with this so far. I’m keen to fight as much of the signs of ageing as soon as possible, so I’ve started using this quite religiously, and I hope it pays off in time for the wedding! I just can’t get over how cheap it is!
Well those are currently some of my stand out products from The Ordinary, and I’m so happy to have found it. I’m so on board with their skincare for the mass market, that works, and doesn’t cost the Earth model – it’s about time someone shook up the beauty industry in this way. As Brandon mentioned in his interview with Caroline Hirons, the vitamin industry wouldn’t get away with selling the pure vitamin at a huge mark up, so it’s about time that skincare doesn’t either.
I’d love to know you thoughts on The Ordinary. It’s parent company Deciem has loads of other brands too that I use and love, so as well as revisiting this in a few months with some new Ordinary products, I’d happily share my favourite Deciem brand products too? I really like to try and test out skincare, this Hyaluronic Acid is actually the second one we’ve owned as we used the first one up and that’s why I feel confident enough to recommend it.
I’m no skincare expert but I am super fascinated by skincare, and willing to learn about anything that will take good care of my skin going forward. Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you’d like to see some more posts on The Ordinary!