Learning to Be Ordinary

May 29, 2020

The Ordinary was a skincare brand I became familiar with through YouTube. I was intrigued by the simplicity and transparency of the active ingredients in some of their products as well as their affordable price point. A couple months ago I decided to bite and ordered some products I could see myself integrating into my daily routine.

The first was the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. I didn't become big on toners until I made the choice to stop washing my face in the morning. This might sound crazy to some, but I have found that just rinsing my face with water and then toning in the morning has helped the oil production of my skin tremendously. This may not work for everyone, but I have found that this works for me.

I have tried Pixi's Glow Tonic which has 5% glycolic acid and Ren's Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Toner. Both I think are comparable at different price points to The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% toner. I like that The Ordinary's toner is unscented. Something that can be harsh on sensitive skin like a toner can increase irritation when scented. I can tell a difference in my skin texture straight away after using this. The glycolic acid in this toner is meant to mildly exfoliate and it definitely does. After using this toner, my skin feels soft and smooth and my moisturizer and makeup applies nicely on top. I have been using some reusable cotton pads with this well which has helped reduce my single use waste like regular cotton pads or cotton balls!

The next product I tried was the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. This product has a cult following, specifically on TikTok and has been compared to Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial™ 25% AHA + 2% BHA Mask. This product is an acid. It contains glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid to promote exfoliation and improve the look of blemishes and pores. Since this is a fairly harsh product I would advise to do a patch test to make sure your skin can handle it. The smell is pretty strong and the color is a vibrant red that makes it easy to see where you have applied the product.

I have been using this peeling solution once a week for about a month and a half now. I use it only at night and for the recommended 10 minutes. IT MAKES MY FACE SO SOFT HOLY COW. I have found that I look forward to using this product every week because I can truly tell with the immediate results, how much it has helped my skin. I have found that my pores appear smaller and the texture of my skin seems smoother the morning after I use this peeling solution. I make sure to also use sunscreen the morning after I use this product as the active ingredients in it can cause increased sun sensitivity.

I think I was most excited to try the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. I have been looking to get into a vitamin c serum to help brighten up my skin. The Ordinary has a great vitamin c guide that I followed to pick out a serum that would best meet my needs. I chose to go with this formula as it did not have any silicones in it and I felt like I could mix it in with a face oil or moisturizer.

This serum is pretty grainy and did tingle some when I first applied it. There is no doubt that this is a potent serum. Once I figured out the ratio of mixing it in with my moisturizer, I found that I liked the product quite a bit. I can tell that it has brightened my face some in the past month or so of using it every other night. It does absorb quickly, but I would highly recommend finding a water based moisturizer to mix it in with! This will help with the gritty texture and absorption.

The last product I tried was the Retinol 0.5% in Squalane. Retinol is a very popular active ingredient in anti-aging products. It can help reduce wrinkles and some say it helps with acne. Retinol can take up to 12 weeks to work so it is important to be consistent with application and use. I have been using this product for about 6 weeks. I treat it as a facial oil and apply it on days I do not use the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. I apply it after my serums and water based moisturizer. I tap the product into my skin and then go over it with a facial roller. I find that using a facial roller with oily products helps with the absorption into my skin and saves me from feeling like I have product just sitting on my face.

Overall I enjoyed all of The Ordinary products I purchased. They all retail individually under $10 which is great for products with active ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid. I would advise not using too many products at one time and using The Ordinary's FAQ page if you want to combine products.

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