An Honest Review: Is The Ordinary Skincare as Extraordinary As People Say?

I’ve seen a lot on the internet and social media about The Ordinary: touted as a miracle skincare line at an affordable price.

So with lockdown and not much to do, I thought I may as well try a new skin care regime. I purchased a whole lot of The Ordinary products from Adore Beauty.

When I purchased the products online, there was heaps of info on if it was for anti ageing, clearing blemishes or to hydrate skin. But by the time I received my order, I had no idea what half of the products were for.

The annoying thing is there’s long winded names that make them sound fancy, and instructions on the products on how to use, but no information on what it’s for (i.e anti ageing, moisturising, etc).

My problem was that I bought so many products. It seemed like a good idea at the time, as I really wanted to overhaul my skincare with products that are going to make a difference in my skin.

On the other hand, the lazy girl in me wanted something that was a bit more simple…

Apparently the products are named in the particular way because they focus on the key ingredients. That’s cool, but not everyone is a scientist, dermatologist or skincare specialist. It’s a bit ironic that something with ordinary in the brand name makes it sound so complicated and un-ordinary.

Luckily everything is super affordable. That’s definitely a big bonus in my books. A lot of these products are great dupes for the expensive skincare products too. I’m going to include this in my review where I can (but keep in mind when I mention the more expensive product, this is based on my research and I may not have necessarily tried the expensive version).

Whether you’re looking for effective skincare, dupes of expensive products, or looking to overhaul your skincare program, it all comes down to how well the products work…

Here is my honest review of the products I have purchased.

Product Reviews

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Price: $12.90

I bought this having absolutely no idea what the heck this product might be, other than it’s like some water based serum. I must have been sleeping under a rock because it’s apparently the hottest new beauty product.

The benefits are that it penetrates skin to deeply hydrate. It’s suitable for all skin types and is meant to leave skin plump and hydrated.

However, if I used too much product (pretty easy to do) it wold leave dried white marks on my face…it often looked like I had smeared toothpaste on my forehead or cheeks…

I like how this is a good consistency for a moisturising serum type product. It’s definitely water-like and light. It’s also easy to apply with the liquid dropper applicator.

I used this almost every day and really liked this product as an alternative to using moisteriser, or before applying moisteriser. I found it helped keep my skin hydrated, more youthful, and definitely helped my forehead wrinkles not look as deep! It also works well under makeup.

This is definitely my favourite The Ordinary product and is definitely a new addition to my skincare routine.

The only problem was that it went too quickly! Luckily it also comes in a “super sized” version high is 60ml for $23.10. I’ll be getting the bigger version in my next order!

Rating: 9/10

Dupe of: Dr Sebagh Serum Repair Hyaluronic Acid

Squalane Cleanser

Price: $13.90

I had no idea what this “squalane” thing was but after doing research I found its good for moisturising skin. It’s also meant to be good for dissolving makeup and skin impurities without stripping the skin.

When I got this, I’m glad I read the instructions before using it. That’s because I never had a cleanser that doesn’t require adding water to make a foam…

Instead, this product you squeeze out a pea size ball of product In your hand, and rub your hands together until it forms an oily like consistency. Then massage into face and wash off with warm water.

I like this for a quick makeup removing type cleanser, but the first time I used it I had a slight reaction. I broke out in small pimple like bumps all over my cheeks. This was even after doing a patch test on my neck.

Next time I used it, this didn’t happen as badly and the third time there was no reaction at all,

It was definitely good for removing makeup and I don’t mind using it at night time. But It’s not my top choice in cleansers, as I prefer foaming cleansers. I probably wouldn’t buy this again.

Rating: 5/10

Dupe of: no other dupes found – this seems to be a unique type of cleanser.

High- Adherence Silicone Primer

Price: $8.80

This primer is meant to not only prime skin, but also should hydrate and blur imperfections.

I was not going to get this as I’ve tried to stay away from silicone primers recently, but I thought I would give it a try. I’m glad I did as I found I really like this product.

I liked that it left my skin feeling really smooth after I put it on. It definitely felt and looked like it blurred my skin.

Being a silicone primer, it doesn’t really work with all foundations I have, but with other ones it works so well.

I usually have issues with makeup staying on for the whole day around my chin and nose or my makeup going patchy in those areas. With this primer, I found I didn’t have that problem with my M.A.C & Sephora foundations.

I would buy this again, especially as it’s not just the cheapest primer I’ve found, but also effective.

Rating: 9/10

Dupe of: Dermalogica HydraBlur Primer

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

Price: $18.90

I’ve known for a while that Rose Hip oil has great product for any anti-ageing skincare regime. This is because it helps with cellular regeneration. It can also help with UV damaged skin.

It is a heavy treatment though so while it is good for dry or normal skin, it may not be suitable for oily skin (or should be used sparingly).

I love putting this on just before bed as the last thing in my evening routine. I have been using this in place of a night cream since getting The Ordinary products.

While I love using rose hip oil, I feel like it’s just like every other rosehip oil I’ve tried. However, I would still buy this again because it’s great for overnight hydration, fights signs of ageing, and it’s a reasonable price.

Just be careful you don’t spill any on a white shirt: I did and I am finding it pretty difficult to remove!

Rating: 8/10

Dupe of: Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Retinol 0.5% in Squalane

Price: $9.80

Retinol is another anti-ageing product. This is very similar to the Rose Hip oil, but slightly thinner.

Retinol can cause redness or skin reactions though, so it is not recommended for sensitive skin types. That is why The Ordinary does various strengths including 0.2%, 0.5% and 1%. It is recommended to start with the lowest version or retinol and work your way up depending on whether your skin reacts.

I think I must have missed this warning when I purchased the product. Luckily for me I did not have any reaction or redness from this product.

I prefer to use this in the morning, just after I wash my face, in between applying the hyaluronic acid and before moisteriser. It does take a while to settle into the skin so I usually wait a couple of minutes before applying moisteriser and at least 15 minutes before applying makeup.

One thing I noticed was it has a strange smell – like extra virgin olive oil.

Another thing to keep in mind is products containing retinol need to be avoided when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Rating: 8/10

Dupe of: Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinol

Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG

Price: $12.70

This product has a combination of caffeine and green tea. It is a light watery like serum which is meant to be placed on under your eyes and in your eye crease to help reduce puffiness.

I apply it in the morning , especially when I feel tired. I don’t think it makes a huge difference to under my eyes. Even so, it it still nice to have a cooling sensation under your eyes.

The good thing is that you don’t use much product so it will last for a long time.

Rating: 6/10

Dupe of: Clinique Super Energizer Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres

Price: $12.80

This product is supposed to target uneven skin tone by smoothing, tightening and plumping skin. It’s also supposed to reverse multiple signs of ageing. This one also includes hylarunoic acid to make it more of a watery based consistency.

When I took this out of my package, I couldn’t even remember what it is for.

On its own, without using any other products, it seems to make skin appear slightly more brightened and healthy, but I didn’t notice a huge amount of difference in using it.

I probably wouldn’t buy this again as I felt like it’s an unnecessary extra step in an already too complicated skincare routine.

Rating: 5/10

Natural Moisturising Factors + HA

Price: $12.90

I don’t find anything particularly special about this moisteriser. I did like that it is fairly lightweight. It is a little sticky, which is one of my moisteriser dislikes, but it’s not so sticky that I wouldn’t use it.

It comes in a generous size so you don’t have to feel like you should use a tiny amount. But at the same time it’s also a good size to take when travelling as it won’t take up too much space.

I think this product is really good value for money, but I probably wouldn’t buy it again, unless I buy one of The Ordinary’s skincare sets that it is included in.

Rating: 7/10

Overall Review

I do like this brand. There’s a few products I’ll definitely buy again and a few I would skip on next time.

It does take some time to figure out what the products are for and if you actually need to include them in your skincare program. What I really like is it’s great value for money, so even if you’re just trying out a few products it won’t break the budget.

Have you used The Ordinary products? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section!

Bye for now,

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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