My Obsession with The Ordinary Skincare

My obsession with The Ordinary. What I love and hate about it.

What I love and hate about The Ordinary!


If your anyway into skincare then you've heard of The Ordinary products and the hype around them. They have been making huge waves in the beauty industry since they launched a year ago. When I first read about The Ordinary and saw the prices I thought there had to be a typo and the number was missing a zero. I've come from a beauty background that has a firm belief that you pay for what you get. I've always defended the high prices of skincare (and still do for some products) with the excuse of "how much do you spend on a good bag or shoes? You wear your face every day! You need to invest in it!"  But the more I researched the brand and its products, the more I saw they were the real deal.


The Ordinary is created by Deciem the abnormal beauty company, which have been on my radar for a while, In particular for the Niod product range. Over the past year, the hype about The Ordinary has reached a fever pitch! You can barely open a magazine or read a beauty blog without hearing about the brand. Leading to them being sold out on every website! I think I waited over a month for some of my products to arrive.


The brand describes themselves as

My obsession with The Ordinary. What I love and hate about it.

So basically it strips away all the fancy packaging and marketing campaigns to give you no frills simple products that work.


You must wonder how they can sell such quality products at such low prices. One of the reasons they can do this is the majority of the products are singular ingredients. Most serums have been specially formulated to get the ingredients to "be nice to each other" and not cause reactions. This process can be very costly. They are also created in high volume batches which brings down the price.

My obsession with The Ordinary. What I love and hate about it.

Why I love it!


It works.

When I started it using the products I was sceptical that it could really deliver the results for those prices. The Ordinary proved me wrong. First, with their Retinol products, I have used the granactive Retinoid 2% emulsion and the Retinol 0.2% in squalane and found them to work just as well as retinol products that are 3x as expensive! I've also been really impressed with their products for pigmentation.


The range of products.

There is a product for every skin concern unless you are suffering from really bad acne. I also love all the different formulations and figuring out the best ones to use. They offer a huge range of products that really work.


It's inexpensive.

The Ordinary has also shone a light on how some products are way overpriced. The founder and creator Brandan Truaxe noticed the drastic cost difference between the raw ingredients and the finished products and how much of a markup was being added by the big cosmetics companies. He realised that if he created the chemicals himself, in a lab, and sold them in their purest forms, he could wipe out the middleman and offer hugely competitive prices.  So, luckily for us, he did just that.  

It's shaking up the beauty industry.

In an industry that’s often called out for dubious behaviour, like indecipherable ingredient lists, misleading ads and questionable claims. Deciem is refreshingly transparent about their pricing and ingredients. We'll be seeing a lot more skincare brands follow this low cost but high-quality trend.

The facial oils.

I love love love their facial oils. Rosehip oil has long been a favourite of mine for its super hydrating and antioxidant benefits. So it was one of the first things to go in the basket. They have a few other oils which I want to try including Moroccan Argan oil and Marula oil, which are usually a lot more expensive.


It's easy to treat different areas of your skin.

The fact most of the products are separate ingredients means you can mix and match, treating specific areas of your skin. Eg I use niacinamide on my nose and chin, Alpha Arbutin on my cheeks for pigmentation, Argireline  Solution on my forehead and around my eyes to help delay dynamic wrinkles.


The packaging

The Ordinary's products look like they come straight from the lab. Housed in a tinted glass bottle (very important so the ingredients don't degrade!) with a dropper to ensure you don't overuse or waste any of the product. It makes you feel a bit like a mad scientist, a drop of this, a squirt of that, creating your own personalised skincare potions.


My obsession with The Ordinary. What I love and hate about it.


What I hate about The Ordinary


Ok, hate is probably too strong a word but the brand isn't without its downsides. A lot of the reasons I love it are also some of the reasons it annoys me.

It's confusing.

The number of products and the rather scientific language can be overwhelming for the those who don't know their alpha hydroxy to their glycolic acids. Even though they offer guides, it can be very confusing and overwhelming figuring out all the chemicals, acids, powders and oils on offer. What do they all do? When should you use them? How should you use them? I've ended up doing personalised recommendations for a lot of friends as they find it so confusing knowing which products to get.


It can damage your skin.

Because the products use such active ingredients if they are used incorrectly or used with the wrong product it can cause very bad reactions, which could potentially damage your skin.  The online support on the website is great for answer questions if you are not too sure about using some products


It can be time-consuming to use.

Because most of the products are just single ingredients you are using a lot more products so while your saving money buying the ordinary your not saving any time! Most of the time I love having a long skincare routine but for the days and nights, I just want to slap something on and forget about it. This doesn't really work with The Ordinary.


The Packaging

Another thing I love and hate about the products is that they all look the same. I love the simplicity of the bottles but when you're trying to find the one you want to use it can be very annoying having to pick each one up and see what it is. I can also be hard to remember which order to use them in. When I first started using the products I kept them in their boxes and wrote on the order it was to be used, which helped.


The Texture.

One thing a lot of people complain about is the texture. This doesn't bother me too much but I do notice a difference between some of the products eg the Hyaluronic acid and the Medik 8 version. The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid has more of a tacky feeling. This is because the time and money haven't been spent on refining the textures as some brands do. It doesn't make a difference to how well the products work.


My biggest issue… I now feel a little more than resentful paying more for other skincare brands!

For the results and the price, The Ordinary really is worth the hype. Before you purchase any of the ordinary, do your research! If you've any questions on what ordinary products you should be using let me know in the comments below and I'll be happy give you a personalised recommendation. (honestly, it gives me so much joy recommending products!). I will be doing a post review my favourite products soon. But for the moment heres, a picture of my stuffed drawer.
My obsession with The Ordinary. What I love and hate about it.



  • Elisha September 26, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I agree that skincare really comes at a price but when you get to know which chemicals suit your skin, you can start branching out and find a cheaper alternative. Hope your skin is absorbing the best of Ordinary!

    • awelltravelledbeauty September 26, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      It sure is! I love it!

  • From Nee, To You September 26, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been wanting to try this brand out..super helpful!

    • awelltravelledbeauty September 26, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      Your welcome. Hope you get to try the products they’re great but only start off with a few so you don’t overwhelm your skin.

  • Tanya Geno September 26, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Interesting… Never tried this product before.

    • awelltravelledbeauty September 26, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      They’re great! You should try them!

  • Kelly Moyer September 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Awesome. I would try these products. They seem to keep costs down in not having the extras.

    • awelltravelledbeauty September 26, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      And they really work! I hope you try them out!

  • Jen @ Jenron Designs September 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Very honest review I appreciate that a lot especially if you are investing a lot of money into a product.

  • Sheereen September 30, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I just purchased my first foundation from them and I am amazed on how well it works for sooo cheap! Great read!

    • awelltravelledbeauty October 2, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      I love their foundations. I’ve got the serum and the coverage ones.

  • Lisa Carrasquero October 3, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Sara! So, I have combination skin but it is also really sensitive. My concerns are a brighter complexion, dark under eye, and smaller pores. Since I have sensitive skin, is there any products that would work for me? By the way i love your post! Thank you for being in depth and honest with your review!

    • awelltravelledbeauty October 4, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      Hi Lisa! I hear ya my skin is super sensitive as well as a combination.
      Some products that would be great for you are Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%.
      It’s a vitamin c product (which is great for brightening the skin and evening tone) This has a smaller concentration so it shouldn’t cause any sensitivity like some of the other vitamin C products. It’s also a great hydrator without being too heavy and you can use it in place of your daytime moisteriser.
      Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
      This is an amazing serum! It helps balance oil production, reduces blemishes and evens skintone.
      If you want to start on retinol i’d recommend the Retinoid 2% in Emulsion
      This is a great introduction to retinol products, particularly if you have sensitive skin. (see my post on retinol for the full list of the benefits of this holy grail product)
      If you want to add an oil, the Borage Seed Oil is great for soothing irritated skin.
      The Caffeine Solution 5% is super for dark circles and puffiness – and lasts for ages!

      To use these products use
      1.Niacinamide – in areas of congestion
      2.Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% all over face
      3.Caffeine Solution
      4.Your regular SPF

      1.Niacinamide – in areas of congestion
      2.Borage Seed Oil
      3.Caffeine Solution
      4. Retinoid 2% in Emulsion
      5. Regular night moisturiser

      The trick is to introduce new products slowly.
      Let me know what you think and if you have any questions!


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