The Ordinary products are anything but ORDINARY!


Hello to all my fellow skincare junkies!!!

If you’re into skincare then I know you must have heard of The Ordinary by now. I think it was one of the most hyped up skincare brands in 2016 and the hype is yet to die down. If you’re wondering why they were so hyped up it’s because they offer top notch ingredients, in no-frills packaging at affordable prices. And by affordable I mean, less than US$10!!!

When I first visited their website I was very overwhelmed because they are ‘science-y’  when discussing their products. To be quite frank, shopping on The Ordinary’s website is pretty annoying when you are not familiar with skincare and the ingredients. But thankfully they do have a regimen guide [thats how I was able to maneuver my way around the site] which helped to simplify my shopping process a bit. Nonetheless, because of the price point of these products, it was VERY tempting to buy everything from The Ordinary’s website. But I had to practice some self control and only buy enough products to create a morning & nighttime regimen for myself.

After using these babies for a little over 3 months, there are some things I would totally avoid  and others I would consider giving another go. I do wonder a bit about the quality of the ingredients we’re getting and whether they’ve gone through appropriate testing based on the price point. But at the end of the day, any skincare lover would be impressed by their concept of affordable, ingredient-focused products! The prices are just too good NOT to give them a try. I mean, if they don’t work at least there won’t be a big dent in your pocket, right?!

Okay, so the big question is whether or not The Ordinary’s products actually live up to the hype. Before diving into my mini review, please keep in mind that everyone’s skin reacts differently. So what didn’t work for my skin, may work wonders for yours and vice versa. Now that we cleared that up, lets get started.


Before going through each product, here are a few things that stood out across all products I picked up:

  • A little product go a long way
  • All products are vegan and cruelty free
  • Neutral scent
  • Clean, simple, minimalistic packaging
  • The products absorb well into the skin
  • The products mix well with other skincare or makeup products

The products I’ve been using from The Ordinary:

  • Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
  • Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
  • Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
  • Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone
  • Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
  • 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
  • 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
  • Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
  • AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The following verdicts were after 3+ months of continued use:


Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

The Ordinary claims that this under eye serum helps to prevent dark circles and puffiness.

Results: The serum is non-greasy and thin, making it absorb instantly. But it leaves my under eye area feeling ‘tight’. After the first week of using this product my under eye skin felt less hydrated normal which lead me be to believe the Caffeine Solution wasn’t moisturizing enough for my under eyes. So I began using a moisturizing eye cream on top of the caffeine solution to counteract the dryness.

Caffeine is great for constricting blood vessels *temporarily*. When caffeine is used topically it helps to reduce inflammation and since there is caffeine in the serum, I did see less puffiness whenever I used it in the mornings. But the reduction of my under eye puffiness wasn’t anything dramatic that would make me want to buy this back in an instant. As for the prevention of dark circles…ZERO CHANGE! I will keep whats left of this product on reserve, for those mornings I need some help with a little de-puffing but I definitely will not be repurchasing.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid is a serum that provides deep hydration for more youthful skin.

Results: I still don’t know how I feel about this one. This hyaluronic acid definitely provides intense hydration but it did not offer any more hydration than my regular moisturizer. Additionally, hyaluronic acid is an ingredient that is pretty much found in most hydrating moisturizers. For that reason I will not be repurchasing.

Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is a moisturizer that offers a protective barrier against surface hydration loss.

Results: Like the hyaluronic acid, I don’t know how I feel about this little guy. The product isn’t WOW but it’s just okay. It’s very lightweight which makes it lovely to wear during the summer months and also under makeup. I think normal to oily skin types will like this as a lightweight moisturizer but if you have dry skin, definitely skip this one.

If you’re wondering whether I’ll repurchase, the answer is no. I have far too many moisturizers [even from the drugstore] that provide more hydration to my skin and are still lightweight.


Advanced Retinoid 2%

The Advanced Reinoid reduces acne while decreasing the signs of aging without being as irritating as typical retinal treatments.

Results: I’ve been using prescription retinols on my skin for years, so I figured why not give The Ordinary’s version a try. There was absolutely no irritation as promised. After a few weeks of using this retinoid, my skin had a glow to it but I did not see any improvement in my blemishes.

By month three on this retinoid my cheeks felt congested and I also was having texture issues. I’ve completely used up this retinoid and instead of repurchasing this product back, I went and saw my dermatologist who put me back on my prescription strength retinol. Though this particular products is highly recommended by skincare experts, I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing.

Vitamin C Suspension

The Ordinary claims that their Vitamin C suspension will help reverse multiple signs of skin ageing while brightening the skin when applied topically.

Results: I’m always willing to try anything that will make my skin glow. But unfortunately this was a big bust! Before purchasing, I saw other reviewers complain about the grainy texture and stinging sensation, but I completely ignored this because of that low price point US$5.80! But they were right!

I did not like the gritty texture when applying to my face and to make matters worst, it STINGS!!! And the stinging feeling did not go away in my case. After applying my regular moisturizer and SPF and waiting a good 15 minutes before proceeding to foundation, my skin was still stinging. No matter how many different ways I tried using this it still stung my face every time.

I definitely will not be repurchasing this and I will stick to other Vitamin C serums that I’ve used in the past and my skin loved [Banish, Drunk Elephant, Ole Henriksen].

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

The Ordinary’s Rose Hip Seed Oil is both organic and cold-pressed. It targets signs of photo-ageing, supports healthy skin and several other skin conditions.

Results: The ordinary has quite a few different oils in their line [Marula, Aragan and Rose Hip Seed Oil] but I personally went with the Rose Hip Seed Oil to use as a supporting oil in my skincare regimen. My only problem…I’m not a fan of applying oils to my skin. Not because they don’t work, because they do. But because I just don’t like how it feels on my skin. Nonetheless, I was ready to add a new oil into my regimen. I figured I’d only use it as a part of my nighttime routine so my focus would be on going to sleep as opposed to the feeling of the oil against my skin.

To my surprise, the oil absorbed so well into my skin to the point I barely even noticed it. It didn’t make my already oily skin feel more oily but instead left it feeling very hydrated. After three months of using this oil, I can definitely say that I have a great appreciation for rose hip seed oil. I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this oil right now but I definitely see myself buying this again in the future. Two Thumbs up!


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90)

Niacinamide which is Vitamin B, helps to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion on the skin.

Results: I was highly disappointed by this product. If you’ve been following my most recent blog posts, then you know I recently went and got a microdermabrasion treatment because my skin was congested. If this product lived up to its claims then I would have never had to go to the dermatologist to get a microdermabrasion in the first place. The texture of the Niacinamide was superb and it absorbed well into my skin, but those are the only positives I have to say about this product.

While I wanted to love this product, as I’ve heard nothing but positive things about the benefits of niacinamide, particularly for it’s ability to control oil and reduce skin blemishes and pores. It did no such thing for me. Thumbs DOWN⇓

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

This treatment brightens the skin, reduces the look of blemishes, and promotes an even tone and texture. It also fades hyperpigmentation and reduces the redness associated with rosacea.

Results: The first few weeks of using this baby was amazing. It was like heaven in a bottle! My skin looked bright and SMOOTH! Unfortunately after using for roughly a month my skin somehow rejected it. The moment it would touch my skin, my face felt like it was on fire! The burning sensation would not go away either. I wasn’t ready to give up on the Azelaic Suspension so easily so I decided to give my skin a break for two weeks before trying it again. Unfortunately once I applied it to my skin, my skin started to burn.

I still can’t quite figure out what exactly happened but my skin loved it in the beginning and hated it in the end. Long story short, I will not be repurchasing.

100% Plant Derived Squalane

100% squalane hydrates and restores a soft, supple texture to all skin types (including acne-prone). It prevents moisture loss with regular use.

Results: This was another product that promised improved texture but unfortunately I didn’t see much of a difference in my skin texture. Squalane is also an oil, and we all know how I feel about oils on my skin…I just can’t stand how it feels. And this one I definitely felt on my skin.

Initially I tried adding Squalane to my A.M. routine but I did not like how it just sat on my skin. The texture is runny and it smoothed onto my skin well but a thin layer remained on my skin even after hours of wear. Because Squalane is so raved about I wanted to give it another try. So I opted to use it as the last step to my PM skincare routine and I gotta admit, I woke up with moisturized, supple skin that didn’t look oily! YAY! But with regards to texture differences, there was NO DIFFERENCE! That said, I’m on the fence about this product. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I do recommend it for those with dry to normal skin types but I personally don’t plan on repurchasing.


AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This treatment exfoliates at multiple levels in the skin to fight acne and restore an even, radiant tone. It also smooths the skin’s texture and reduces the look of fine lines with regular use.

Results: This chemical peel is really no joke! If you have issues with blackheads and congestion this may be the answer to all your skincare problems. But if you have sensitive skin like I do then BEWARE!!! This will STING & BURN! Typically the stinging sensation goes away after a minute or so but it lasted the entire 10 minutes for me.

I did this with two of my girlfriends and they got through the stinging sensation quite easily. One of my girlfriends even mentioned that it felt like a slight tingle and not a sting. Me on the other hand…I personally have very sensitive skin, so when I applied this to my skin the burning and stinging was unbearable. It felt like someone was tattooing my entire face at once! Nonetheless, I stuck through it for the recommended 10 minutes. Though my skin was very flushed it felt smooth, soft and it was glowing. I was very impressed.

Unfortunately I don’t intend to go through that sort of pain again, so I gave my girlfriend who had minimal sensation and loved her results my bottle of the AHA 30% +BHA 2% Peeling Solution. If my skin was not so sensitive I would definitely give this baby two thumbs up, so I do recommend this product. But use with caution and use once weekly and no more than the recommended 10 minutes.

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

This treatment resurfaces the skin to promote a bright, even tone and a smooth, soft texture

Results: This little guy works but I suggest not using as recommended straight away if you have sensitive skin or not well practiced in chemical exfoliation. After using The Ordinary’s Peeling Solution I was very hesitant to try any other chemical exfoliant. But I was told this was a much gentler solution, so I decided to give it a go. Instead of leaving it on all night as recommended, I used it like a mask on my first few uses. I left it on for 30 minutes, then rinsed off with cool water and followed with my moisturizer like normal. After doing this twice weekly for a month and still reaping pretty decent results of softer skin I finally left it on over night.

As per usual I felt a minor tingling sensation but it subsided after a few minutes of wear. The following morning, my complexion looked bright and by the end of month two using this, the dark spots on my face were fading. The texture is tacky but it spreads easily nonetheless. It also has a weird smell but the scent doesn’t linger thankfully.  If you’re skin is highly sensitive like mine is, then I suggest starting with the Lactic Acid before even considering the Peeling Solution.


Though The Ordinary’s products are far from being Ordinary, some of their products are not exact dupes for what you would receive from your high end skincare options that contain additional beneficial skincare ingredients at clinical strengths. But the prices also reflects this.

All in all I rate The Ordinary 3.5 out of 5 starts and I feel confident in also recommending this brand, providing expectations are kept realistic. You don’t get super fancy packaging and promises of guaranteed results like many other skincare lines, but at this price point, there’s something any skincare guru can find from The Ordinary to add to their existing routine.

So to sum up, these are the products I most recommend based on my personal results:

  • Rose Hip Seed Oil
  • 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
  • Advanced Retioid
  • AHA + BHA Peeling Solution
  • Lactic Acid

I hope this has helped you in your purchasing decisions. I’d love to hear what you think! Talk Soon. Nuff Love, Natasha ♥

Have you tried anything from The Ordinary? 

Which products have worked / not worked for you?

1 Comment

  1. Brittany
    October 30, 2017 / 8:51 am

    Tasha I swear I wanted to love this brand so much but it didn’t do much for me either. The only combination from the line that worked well to control oil was the Moisturizing factor with HA and the Silicone Primer…but if i don’t layer them, on their own, they do nothing. Tsk tsk.