The Ordinary – the ultimate guide

If you are a skincare junkie like I am, you’ve definitely heard of The Ordinary by now. The Ordinary conquered the world by offering clinical skincare at affordable prices, something that never had happened in the beauty industry. Most of the product range is based on a single “magic ingredient” and comes in a simple dropper glass bottle. The ordinary is often compared with Drunk Elephant, Sunday Riley, and Pixi, except it’s absolutely affordable. If you haven’t fallen in love with them yet, let me tell you which products are the best from each category.

If you go on The Ordinary website you’ll see that all the products are divided into 9 category: Antioxidants, Colours (makeup products), Direct Acids, Hydrators and Oils, More Molecules, Peptides, Retinoids, Suncare, and Vitamin C.


EUK 134 0.1 % is a synthetic molecule with potent antioxidant activity. It’s one of the strongest antioxidants available on the market which protects against free radical damage and reduces redness and repairs UVB damages. This product contains propanediol, so be careful because sometimes it may be problematic for acne. Also, do not use it near acids or vitamin C. It has a warming effect when applied to the skin but the texture feels amazing and it absorbs really quickly into the skin.


Like if offering us affordable skincare treatments would not be enough, The Ordinary also created 2 foundations, a full coverage one and a serum foundation. To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of the ‘Coverage Foundation’ but the Serum Foundation is really nice. It has a great range of colors at the amazing price of 6$. You can use it on its own or add it to a more full-coverage foundation to sheer it down.

Direct Acids

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution contains alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids) and 2% beta-hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) plus hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 and tasmanian pepperberry to calm the skin plus black carrot which acts as an antioxidant. I love this pealing, it’s gentle enough with sensitive skin but at the same time it makes my complexion so soft and bright. I use it twice a week and only at night making sure to wear sunscreen the day after.

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution – being an alternative for Pixi Glow Tonic, this is a gorgeously glow-giving tonic. It contains 7% glycolic acid along with amino acids, aloe vera, ginseng and tasmanian pepperberry to help reduce irritation. It’s a great introduction to acids or for daily uses to keep skin fresh and smooth. I recommend letting the product fully dry/absorb into your skin before applying other products.

Hydrators and Oils

100% Plant-Derived Squalane – non-comedogenic oil that is suitable for use on all skin types, hydrates the complexion and protects it from water loss. The best oil from their line, not only does this add perfect moisture without the greasy feeling, but it’s like giving your skin a drink of water. I apply it as a last step in the evening. I do look a little bit greasy but I wake up with soft skin in the morning.

100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil – An unrefined, cold-pressed oil derived from the kernels of the fruits of the marula tree, a cheaper option to Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil. This oil absorbs so quickly and makes the skin feel so hydrated and soft in the morning! What I love about this as well is that it doesn’t have a strong scent and doesn’t make my face feel greasy to the touch.

 Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – the cheapest hyaluronic acid on the market, hydrates and plumps the skin, has a great formula unlike many hyaluronic acid products, which sit on the surface and actually draw moisture OUT of the skin, this one penetrates deep in the skin and improves hydration level. Check out our article about hyaluronic acid.

More Molecules

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG – We can’t forget about eye care, mostly since the skin in this area is so thin and prone to fine lines. This product reduces the appearance of dark circles and puffiness by increasing circulation. I didn’t saw the difference right away, but after a while it changed the discoloration under my eyes and it helped with puffiness in the morning. I keep it in the fridge for a cooling effect, but keep in mind you still need an eye cream after using this serum.


“Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% – for mature skin. The serum is stronger than “Buffet” because of the copper peptides which stimulate healthy collagen production and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, reducing wrinkles, sun damage and hyperpigmentation and improving skin elasticity, density and firmness, also are a great alternative to retinoids. It has a jelly texture, blue color and a little strange scent that it will quickly go away.


The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane – Retinois are known for fighting fine lines, photodamage and general skin aging while improving skin texture. This one has a lightweight oily texture and it’s a little yellow. If you are used with retinols opt for Retinol 1% in Squalane. If you have sensitive skin, try one will be very gentle. Very affordable compared to most retinoids on the market.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% – brightens the skin tone and reduces the appearance of signs of aging. Again, it’s very affordable and effective. It has a heavier texture but non-gritty and offers plenty of moisture.

I hope I managed to answer all your questions regarding what’s worth buying from The Ordinary. Check out our beauty talk series about acids and ‘till next time, stay brave and confident!