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Here's everything you need to know about using cheap as chips skincare line The Ordinary

It’s complicated.

THESE DAYS, SKINCARE has become a ritualistic feat of epic proportions.

Gone are the days of giving a cloth a run under hot water and slapping it on your, eh, slap. We’re after getting very fancy altogether with our lotions and potions, don’t you know?!


However, with the territory comes a lot of confusion, particularly with certain cult skincare lines. One such brand that’s been drumming a lot of hype, but also left plenty of people scratching their heads is The Ordinary.

the-ordinary Beautylish Beautylish

What is it?

The Ordinary, under the DECIEM brand umbrella, claim to offer “clinical formulations with integrity”.

Essentially, it’s no fuss skincare delivered on a budget, hence why the packaging is so basic. The company skimps on packaging, scents and excess ingredients to pack in as many live ones as possible.

Products from The Ordinary line are also vegan and cruelty-free, as well as being free of parabens, sulphates and mineral oil.

Excluding their makeup range, The Ordinary carries 29 different acids, oils, vitamins and retinoids, with more products currently in development.

Ok, but what does it do?

What doesn’t it do is probably the more appropriate question – The Ordinary carries products which target blemishes, discolouration, hyper-pigmentation, dryness, wrinkles … The list goes on.


The buzz the line has generated is down to the fact that there is something for every skin type available.

Which brings us to the next question …

What should I be using then?

Because the ingredients in The Ordinary are so active and so concentrated, it’s recommended that you undergo a consultation with a dermatologist first.

That way, you’ll know exactly what your skin type is and what problem areas you should be focusing on.

The Ordinary do include some sample regimens for you, if you’re stuck – you can read them here.

Also, let it be noted that The Ordinary encourages you use water-based products before oil-based ones – so for example, slap your toner etc on first before you go lashing on any creams.

Here’s a very basic breakdown of key products for three common skin types – there are further bi-weekly treatments but we’re to keep confusion at bay today.

For acne-prone skin

(We’re talking persistent critters here, not the occasional spot).

In the morning, use: Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (€4.99) with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (€5.90)

The-Ordinary---Salicylic-Acid-2-Solution---15ml__93919.1488902630.420.420 The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2%

the-ordinary-niacinamide-10-zinc-1-by-the-ordinary-842 The Ordinary Niacinamide 10%+ Zinc 1%

In the evening, use: Retinol 1% (€6.70)

image The Ordinary Retinol 1%

Salicylic acid works as an almost internal exfoliator, breaking down your pore walls from within. The solution also contains witch hazel, which removes excess oil from the skin.

Essentially, Niacinamide is a super potion of high-strength vitamin that helps to reduce the appearance of spots and congestion. You can mix these bad boys together, or use separately to treat individual blemishes too.

Retinol works by communicating with skin cells, increasing skin cell turnover and collagen production. It’s also a doozie for targeting pigmentation caused by sun exposure.

Retinol should be used with care – to avoid any initial irritation, dilute it with your own favourite cream or serum (that doesn’t already contain retinol, obviously).

For dry skin

All the moisture! These are the products for when your skin is looking like a thirstier guy than Iasc.

Or Lord Voldemort.

In the morning, use: Hyaluronic Acid 2% (€6.80) or Natural Moisturising Factors + HA (€5.80) 

the-ordinary-hyaluronic-acid-2-b5-by-the-ordinary-cfd The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%

the-ordinary-natural-moisturizing-factors-ha-by-the-ordinary-0a4 The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA

In the evening, use: Hyaluronic Acid 2% (€6.80) AND Natural Moisturising Factors + HA (€5.80)

Despite costing less than €7, The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% has proven itself to be formidable when it comes to providing hydration. You’re getting three types for your money to ensure maximum penetration (no innuendos, please). Make sure you use it before other creams.

The moisturiser will you give you immediate hydration without living you feeling like a slimeball. Apply it after any other serums you might be using!

This combo also works a treat for those with sensitive skin, just FYI.

For oily skin

Greasier than Groundskeeper Willie on the hunt for grease thieves?


In the morning, use: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% with Natural Moisturising Factors + HA

In the evening, use: Salicylic Acid 2% Solution with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

As well as being a vitamin powerhouse, Niacinamide reduces congestion and balances sebum production in skin – perfect for oily mots.

Need to know more?

Makeup artist and YouTuber Wayne Goss has previously given the skinny on his favourite products from The Ordinary.

He has bucket loads of experience, and it was his own skin issues as a teenager that inspired him to pursue a career in makeup artistry.

Wayne Goss / YouTube

If you’re looking for something more in-depth and brutally honest, YouTuber Stephanie Nicole has a great video which goes reviews a whopping 22 products.

As she doesn’t do YouTube full time, she tends to cut the shite with her reviews, so you know her word is good.

Stephanie Nicole / YouTube