I see skincare as a long term investment and therefore am willing to pay that bit more for high quality ingredients with proven effects. Over the past few years I have become really interested in a few particular ingredients that I know deliver results for my skin type and have focussed the products I purchase around these elements of skincare. My ears pricked up therefore when there was talk of a new skincare range being brought out last year that promised these high quality ingredients that were on my skincare radar at high street friendly price points.
The Ordinary, a skincare range produced by it’s parent company Deciem (aptly named as the Abnormal Beauty Company), promised a simplified approach to skincare that would deliver active ingredients in a format accessible to those not working in the industry. Whilst, in my opinion it has achieved this, there are still a huge amount of products to navigate between so I thought I’d highlight 3 of my favourites which contain active ingredients I know my skin loves; Hyaluronic Acid, AHA’s and Retinol.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% – This little bottle of translucent liquid contains one of my all time favourite skin care ingredients. Hyaluronic Acid has been such a game changer in the field of skincare over the past few years as the industry finally woke up to the fact that there is a significant difference between ‘dry’ and ‘dehydrated’ skin. It’s a common misconception that if you have combination or oily skin then your skin doesn’t need moisture, whilst in fact many combination skin types are severely dehydrated and in need of an injection of moisture. This is where Hyaluronic Acid comes into its own. Layered under other products, such as moisturiser, it has the ability to retain over 1000 times its own weight in water making it the perfect ‘cushion’ that skin needs to retain a bouncy, filled out appearance. Put simply this product is the equivalent of an espresso in the morning for skin, a daily pick me up that other products will cling to and benefit from its inclusion in your routine. At £5.90 its also a total steal!
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution– on the other end of the spectrum is this gem of a face mask which is my go to ‘my skin needs some serious attention’ product. I would caution that if you are new to using Alpha Hydroxy Acid products on your face (Glycolic/Lactic etc) then this may not be the product for you given the high strength of the active ingredients contained within, but for regular users of products which contain acids (think Pixi Glow Tonic/Alpha H Liquid Gold) then follow the guidelines carefully and reap the results! This is a leave on 10 minute mask which, given its blood red appearance, will make you look Dracula-esque! There is some tingling on application, and I wouldn’t recommend going beyond the 10 minutes, but used last thing at night my skin in the morning is glowing and smooth, with any blemishes noticeably reduced. I use this about once a fortnight to really kickstart the overturn of skin cells on my face, often layered with a nourishing face oil afterwards to help soothe. At £6.30 this is an absolute bargain compared with other AHA/BHA peeling products and lasts months given that it’s not a daily use product.
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane – The biggest hype around The Ordinary has been the bringing of affordable Retinol products to the market, previously only available at much higher price points or on prescription. Retinol is its simplest form is a Vitamin A derived product, found most commonly in products marketed as ‘Anti Ageing’, due to its ability to increase cell turnover and encourage the production of collagen within the skin. It has rightly earned its status as a ‘wonder ingredient’ due to proven results in the appearance of fine lines, skin tone and dullness for those people concerned about these skin issues (myself included being now firmly in the ‘mid thirties’ category!) The Ordinary offer a starter point to Retinol in the form of its Retinoid products, which are a lesser strength option to pure Retinol, and as such much less likely to cause irritation (which is the number one concern when using Retinol). The Retinoid products are contained in the base of Squalane Oil which is nourishing and hydrating for the skin and offers the perfect pairing of active ingredients whilst also feeling like you are treating your skin. If you are totally new to Retinol then I would advise starting with this 2% Retinoid every other night and see how your skin tolerates it. (Don’t forget SPF the next day). You can quickly build up to every night for several months and then start to work your way up to one of the pure Retinol products (also in Squalane oil). I’ve recently upgraded to the 1% Retinol at night time and my skin is loving it! All the Retinoid and Retinol products are insanely affordable, with none of then being over the £10 mark, which compared to other Retinol products on the market is crazy!
Hopefully this has helped you navigate some of the most popular products within The Ordinary range. I’d love to know which ones you’ve tried and what your experience with them has been.