I've always wondered if the more expensive the skincare, the better it is. Trust be told, my skin is quite reactive, which can be a challenge when testing out products. If you want to know if a product is irritating, I'm pretty sure my skin will tell you in 0.87 seconds.
So when I read about the brand The Ordinary online, I was intrigued. Actives, acids and serums for less than a tube of drugstore mascara? Nah...can't be. And even if it was so cheap, there must be some reason why. Lesser quality ingredients? Subpar packaging? Lacking customer services? Well, my first couple of weeks with the products, I can tell you it's a hard no on all those fronts.
And I'm pleasantly surprised.
At first, I found the website a bit confusing and tricky when trying to identify my needs. I mean, sure I'm in my late(r) 30's, but I wasn't really looking for wrinkle treatment. Prevention...sure. But not necessarily treatment. For me, I'm looking for something that can keep my adulthood breakouts at bay, not irritate my skin, and furthermore, work kindly with the products I already have and love.
It took some time to go through their site, www.theordinary.com, but I finally decided on 5 bottles (yes, 5...cause they are so dang inexpensive AND free shipping over $25CAD... and I'm brutally cheap when it comes to shipping). So I ordered the following:
The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum ($5.90, theordinary.com) really is a great, non-irritating product. While it won't help to control breakouts, it will help to minimize the appearance of blemishes, as well as pooling of sebum on the skin's surface. What I noticed while using it was, that while I still had the occasional breakout, it healed exponentially faster than when I hadn't used it. For example, a typical blemish for me could last 10-14 days. I would start treating from the moment I could feel it brewing, but it would be too late. I'd just wait it out.
While using this serum, I've noticed that blemishes are fewer and far between, and take less time to disappear (on average, 3-4 days). Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, also has the following perks:
- Helps to improve acne
- Reduces inflammation and redness
- Can help to treat melasma and discolouration
- Can help to boost elasticity and improve wrinkles
When I first applied the serum to my skin, it's gel-like formula dried down a bit too much for my liking. I think I was expecting a luxurious, silky formula, whereas this felt a bit like an acne gel. But I plopped my favourite moisturizer on top - Sonia Roselli's Water Balm and whammo - plump and happy skin!
The other product I was just having a fit over to try was the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG ($6.70, theordinary.com). It mentions on their site that it reduces the appearance of eye contour pigmentation (fancy way of saying dark circles) and puffiness. Right below that, it really puts reality in check with their disclaimers about how it wont work miracles with hollowness or fat deposits, which is great that they point that out. Managing expectations - I respect that!
Did you know that caffeine can help with the appearance of cellulite? I did. And now I want a bathtub sized container to soak in...
Another fun fact is that caffeine inside the body makes us hyper and agitated, but used on the outside in serums and lotions does the opposite - more calming, soothing effect.
I absolutely ADORE this serum - feels lovely on, doesn't smell offensive and works beautifully with my Water Balm. I use this just to treat the eye area before and then tap my WB on after. I've noticed a *big* difference in my undereye circles, and given the fact that I've used many of eye creams and gels over the years, this one will be a staple for a long time to come.
The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution ($4.90, theordinary.com) is a handy little gel to put directly on those unsightly spots to help speed along their healing. I've found it non-irritating, not overly drying and I've used it in conjunction with everything else I've listed here. Win!
I'm excited to try out the other formulas that I purchased but I wanted to go easy on the trials because a) my skin will freak out and b) it's only fair to let these products shine on their own - I need to know which is doing what! But for anyone that is needing extra moisture and lipids to their skin, I'm sure the Hyaluronic Acid and Rose Hip Oil with be great additions to the majority of people's regimes.
And while I'm fawning over my new products, can I actually just say that I love the packaging? Clean and effective - even the box is lovely (I still have them all... I'm weird like that). I still don't understand how I can get actives and acids for the price of a Frappucino, but hey, I ain't complaining! I have four of their new foundations on order (2 of their Coverage Foundations, and two of the Serum Foundations), and I cannot wait to try them!
If you've been wondering about The Ordinary's product line, seriously, don't hesitate. Not only are they Canadian made, shipped from Toronto, they also have a return policy that is the bees-knees. Try it - they don't disappoint!
This is not a sponsored post; all products discussed were purchased and opinions are my own.