Over the last two years, I’ve been on a bit of a skincare kick. Admittedly, a lot of it was from getting sucked in to the Skincare Addiction Subreddit and it led me down a bit of a garden path before I settled on a reasonable daily routine that seemed to work for me.
I’ve been quite happily using a good mix of products, from drugstore to high end but after going on a budget earlier this year (I’m saving up for a Hawaiian getaway next year!) I’ve been looking for some cheaper yet effective options to throw in my routine in place of some of the more expensive brands that I’ve been using or lusting over – yes, Sunday Riley, I’m looking at you.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the brand, The Ordinary is a child brand of Deciem, a skincare company which has been operating since 2013. They were founded on the principle of doing everything others don’t do and with brands like Hylamide and NIOD under their umbrella I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job of that so far.
They launched earlier this year and it seemed like it would be hard to get the product in Australia at first and a lot of people jumped on the hype train hard, so a lot of the products were constantly out of stock and still are, even now.
However, when I saw that Beautylish were now stocking the brand and I wanted to order a few other things, I thought I’d throw in a couple of products so I got the free shipping – I picked up the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, the 100% Plant-Derived Squalane and the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. All up, including fees for currency conversion I think it cost me around $35 for all three products. A few weeks later, I picked up the Advanced Retinoid 2% from a buy/swap/sell page on Facebook.
I’ve been using these products now, almost daily since the beginning of May and I’ve posted a few times about them on Instagram, but really wanted to give them a few good months of use before I passed judgement. As you can see, I went for products which really promote moisturising, because it’s getting cold here and with the heater on constantly, my skin does dry out a little and is prone to flakiness.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
I use this after applying my toner and BHA exfoliator at night. It’s a thick, clear liquid formulation and three to five drops is sufficient to cover my entire face and neck. I’ve tried a number of Hyaluronic Acid products before which I didn’t like, but this one seems less sticky and it sinks in reasonably quickly. I usually wait around two or three minutes before I proceed on to my next step in my nightly routine and that seems long enough.
I do feel like this serum has made my skin plumper and smoother and I will re-purchase this over looking for a more expensive serum because it’s a product that does something but I can’t justify spending more than what I paid for this given it’s not a “miracle worker” product.
100% Plant-Derived Squalane
The Ordinary’s site says that “Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that is found naturally in the skin. It has very high emollience, is an exceptional hydrator and can prevent ongoing loss of hydration that impairs dermal suppleness.”
I bought it because I had read reviews that it was really good for helping with very dry areas on the skin, which for me is my under eyes and chapped lips. I apply this after the HA serum and I use around two to three drops a night which is concentrated on the under eyes and lips and then what ever is left on my hands gets gently patted in to my skin elsewhere.
I really like this! It’s an oil so it feels very thick but it sinks in really quickly. I usually leave it for ten minutes before I pop on my moisturiser and I notice the next day if I haven’t used it because I wake up with such soft and plumped skin! I think I will use this as my main evening moisturiser once it starts to heat up but I will try another oil such as argan or rosehip oil once this runs out to see if there are any differences.
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
I am 100% ehh on this. It’s a moisturiser and it does what it says, I guess. My holy grail moisturiser is the La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat but it’s expensive for how much you get so I wanted to try to see if I could find a cheaper option that provided moisture but didn’t turn my face in to an oil slick.
This moisturiser feels nice and smooths on easily but it just kind of sits on my face. I’ve tried under oil, over oil and no oil and it feels the same. I won’t be repurchasing this again because I just don’t feel like I get anything from it, unlike the LRP moisturiser which does provide moisture and mattifies my skin at the same time.
Advanced Retinoid 2%
This is the stand out product of the line so far for me. I picked this up for $2.50 from a buy/swap/sell group because someone had used a quarter of the bottle and didn’t like the smell. Speaking of which, it does smell like dirty oil but it dissipates quickly so I’m not too fussed over it. I use this on a clean, dry face with no other products applied. I started off once a week to make sure I didn’t get a bad reaction from going too hard, too quickly and have worked my way up to using on alternate nights.
Retinol and it’s derivatives are an anti-aging product and I was hoping I could target some of my laugh lines on my forehead. This product is never going to be as effective as a prescribed version of Retinol but it does an absolutely visible fine job at softening those lines and helping with some pigmentation on my cheeks.
It’s really important to remember if you are using a retinoid product that you use sunscreen every day because it increases photo sensitivity, which I suspect has been a good thing for me as I was not *gasp* a regular sunscreen user previously.
I’ll definitely be repurchasing this, even if I do have to pay the full $18 for it!
I am keen to start trying more of the products, especially their acid exfoliators and peels, as well as their primers and foundations once they are back in stock. I’ll be sure to review them as and when I get them!
Have you tried any of the products from The Ordinary? What are your favourites?