First Impressions On An Unordinary Skincare Brand: “The Ordinary”

The Ordinary are perhaps my biggest skincare find of the year. Phrases such as “advanced functional beauty”, glowing reviews online and a low price point make them seem too good to be true. The Ordinary have created a strong online following and loyal customer base globally, setting the bar so high that you have to assume these products are the piece that’s been missing from your skincare routine.


The Ordinary comes from the umbrella brand DECIEM and their ‘About’ page states that their team members specialised in biochemistry and chemistry.

Notedly, as someone who also only uses cruelty-free and / or vegan products, I’ve found that skincare is a very difficult category to fill – but blessedly, The Ordinary are totally vegan and cruelty-free.

Over the last year, I’ve been aiming to improve my own skincare practices. My skin is oily-combination. I am prone to blackheads, whiteheads, irritation, pimples depending on the weather and a classic oily sheen, no matter what setting spray or primer I use. Natural LUSH cleansers and Pixi Glo toners and sprays are used daily, but I wanted to incorporate more ‘chemical’ based products into my routine as my skin issues are stubborn and reoccurring, meaning natural-based products cannot solve them alone.


First hearing of this brand on Twitter, I immediately did some Googling – and since I liked what I read, I then set about buying some for my own testing. The price point really was a huge selling factor for me – skincare gets expensive, yet for the amount of product you get with this brand and the praise they’ve received, it feels like hitting a goldmine.

I’ve been using The Ordinary for just under two weeks now and think it’s time I shared my own first impressions.



The four products I bought each have a different emphasis – improving skin texture, redness, reducing oil build-up, blemish congestion and giving a boost of hydration. I ordered from UK-based site Victoria Health, making them only €1 / €2 more expensive and used Parcel Motel to redeliver them to the Republic of Ireland.

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% – £5.50, €6.40.


Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – £5.90, €6.80.


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA 1% – £5.00, €5.80.


100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil – £9.00, €10.40.


The brand’s website offers technical explanations about each product, stating if the product is free from oil or silicone, is water based and the pH balance. The descriptions also state the uses of the product, the ingredients and even what products to avoid mixing it with.

The detailed information online can lead you to believe that you need several products that all do the same thing. However, before making my purchase, I was lucky enough to visit the new flagship DECIEM store in London that stocks The Ordinary and a sales assistant was able to help me narrow down the overwhelming amount of serums, creams and oils.  Yet, it is comforting to know that The Ordinary covers a wide range of skincare focuses, as there is something suitable for everyone.



The products are quite minimal overall. Serums come in frosted glass bottles with a white dropper, creams in a silver plastic tube and oils in brown glass bottles also with a dropper. The labels feature the brand logo, directions of use, ingredients and when to use the product.

As someone who travels often, I was worried that shoving these into a toiletries bag would damage the droppers on the serums. However, they are excellent quality and survived very well. Overall, the products I have are also quite small so they fit very nicely into luggage. The lids screw tightly on and the tubes click closed.





The two serums I own can be applied in both the AM and PM and the dropper application makes it easy to apply 2 – 4 drops of liquid to your skin. I sanitise my hands and first apply the Niacinamide, focusing one drop per area I feel needs it. I then rub the product into my skin until it is absorbed and repeat the process with the Hyaluronic acid, with emphasis around my chin, forehead, nose and cheeks. This can result in tacky feeling skin.




The Azelaic Acid can also be applied in the AM and PM. I take a grape-sized drop on my fingers and dab it over the problem areas of my skin, before quickly rubbing it in. This particular cream has a very mattifying effect on the skin, so I need to work quickly to ensure it has been applied evenly. Skin feels taunt and smooth afterwards.




I only apply oils once or twice a week in the PM, as my skin does not take too kindly to constant use of any oils. After applying all other skincare, including eye cream, I sparingly use 2 – 3 drops of the Rose Hip Seed oil dotted at random over my skin and rub in. This can cause the products underneath to ball up as the oil permeates the skin, which is also why it is best applied at night. It also causes some redness on my cheeks and takes time to absorb.


As I am using The Ordinary to help with very specific and long-term skin issues, so far I have not seen any clear ‘overnight’ results – which leads me to believe that these products must be used for a sustained period of time. Being aware that blackheads are very difficult to get rid of with oily skin and oversized pores, I wouldn’t dream of using The Ordinary products alone right now. It looks like I’ll need to use them in addition to the rest of my skincare including numerous facemasks.

My skin always feels clean and soft after use and never greasy or overly oil during the daytime.

I did find that together, the products created some redness around my cheekbones where my pores are very noticeable and my nose also. This almost draws more attention to my flawed areas, but I feel this is part of the difficult healing process for my skin. It really won’t be clearing itself up over the space of two weeks, which were filled with travel, work and different environments.



I’ve always crossed my fingers for a miracle with skincare in general. My skin has been a source of great annoyance and affected my self-confidence since my teens. But I really feel that The Ordinary will help in the long run, despite the lack of visible difference at this early stage. The chemicals need time to work, especially on my problem areas.

Coming into the Irish summer, the temperature will fluctuate and the sun, rain and heat will continue to affect my skin issues. I’ll continue to use The Ordinary until I’ve run out of what I have and then perhaps re-order the serum and cream. It really is not a huge loss of money to do so, and maybe I’ll need more than one round to see a difference. I am very willing to do so, and continue to have big hopes for this cruelty-free brand.

I do plan on contacting The Ordinary for advice on how to improve my use of these products too and if they recommend any other products available.



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