And my routines when using them…
I started reading articles and reviews about The Ordinary affordable skincare a while back, but it just seemed impossible to figure out—there were too many products, and I couldn’t understand the descriptions, and it just felt like too much work. Then my friend Marissa, with whom I share multiple Google docs devoted to the skincare and makeup we’ve experimented with, suggested I try it, and so I did.
I started with the example regimen for dehydration (dry, dry skin that’s so dry).
Without further ado, here’s everything I’ve used.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 contains hyaluronic acid, which can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water, and vitamin B5, which supports enhanced surface hydration and stickiness.
As is the case with most of The Ordinary products, you don’t need a lot. I use three or four drops and pat it into clean, toned skin. Thumbs up, this stuff is great. It doesn’t irritate my extremely sensitive skin and actually moisturizes it (many serums seem to sit on top of my skin or inexplicably irritate it).
Marine Hyaluronics is a VERY light alternative to Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. It’s composed of “exopolysaccharides from skin-friendly marine bacteria, Hawaiian red algae, Glycoproteins from Antarctic marine sources, micro-filtered blue-green algae and several health-supporting amino acids.”
It’s watery. So watery it’s kinda hard to get it onto your face without dripping. I mix it with a little of the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 in my hands and pat it on when I want something that’s not as heavy and sticky as the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. Despite being watery, it’s also a little sticky. Not as sticky as the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, but you can feel it (once you get it on).
It also has a little bit of a strange smell. People mention it in the reviews. It doesn’t linger—it’s just the faintest smell when you first put it on. A little cheesy? I know, weird. But it smells a little bit like hard cheese.
This all sounds bad, but I actually love it—it’s very, very light but still moisturizing, and from someone who’s had to slather creams that don’t work on for years and years, it’s a refreshing change.
“Buffet” is a multi-technology peptide serum meant to target multiple signs of aging.
It’s also fairly sticky. This one was ever so slightly irritating when I used it by itself. I like to mix my serums, then pat them on my face, and this combined Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 didn’t bother me, still, I don’t find myself reaching for it that often. Partially because I don’t really understand what it’s supposed to do. I’m sure I need to start targeting signs of aging (whatever those are), but my main concern has always been dryness and rosacea, so looking like a hag is kind of on the back burner for now.
I’ve talked about this one before.
Similar to Grumpy Skin‘s experience, this occasionally acts a little weird on me—flakes or pills off, sometimes stings. But then other times, it’s fine. I don’t really feel like it’s doing much of anything, but I also don’t have terrible undereye issues—I’ll get *sort of* dark circles and minimal puffiness if I’m overtired or having bad allergies—so I don’t know that I would even notice if it was doing something. A little goes a loooooooong way. Which may be my problem when it flakes: using too much.
I put this on when I put my serums on and wait for all of them to dry before I move on to moisturizer.
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is moisturizer. Just. The plainest moisturizer. It’s not too greasy or too light. It’s exactly what I imagine when I imagine moisturizer. My skin appreciates products that aren’t trying to be fancy, and this is no exception. I pat it on (I’m really into patting right because it seems like it helps things not pill) after my serums dry. The description says it’s not greasy. But. It’s not NOT greasy. It doesn’t feel oily, but it does have the amount of grease you can expect from a light moisturizer.
I really like how it’s not expensive and doesn’t do anything weird to me such as dry me out (yes. Many moisturizers make me even drier).
At night I mix Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone with the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA. It has a little bit of a tingle but didn’t irritate me. I did notice some flat shiny after using it—not in a bad way. You know that thing some products do where they sort of tighten everything up (reduce the appearance of lines, maybe?). This one’s a newer addition to the routine, and I don’t know if it’s going to do something amazing (or terrible) long term.
“Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that is found naturally in the skin. It has very high emollience, is an exceptional hydrator and can prevent ongoing loss of hydration that impairs dermal suppleness.” I don’t know what those words mean, but 100% Plant-Derived Squalane was on the regimen list for dry skin, so I got it. This stuff pills like crazy on me. Very slick and oily and then pilly. I used it religiously, but the pilling kept getting worse, so I kinda let this one go. Not literally. It’s still sitting in my stash, but. I’ll probably eventually toss it.
The 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is YELLOW. Bright yellow. And that color shows up when you put it on your skin. Kinda looks a light tan, so it’s not a horrible color, but definitely there. It will also go upon your pillow if you wear it to bed and sleep on your face. I’ve been mixing it with other oils to tone it down, and that helps. But there’s still a little color there. It doesn’t dye your skin (in a lasting way) or anything. I’m just saying. It’s a color.
People say it smells rancid or fishy, but that’s not what I smell. It smells very rich, for sure. Almost like a nut oil? I only use this at night because it takes a while to dry, and I don’t want to go around my day with hair sticking to my oily face.
I sometimes mix 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil with 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, and I sometimes use it by itself. Compared to other marula oils that are over $70 for 30ml, this $9.90 is a steal.
I only wear it at night for the reasons mentioned above, and this is my favorite of the three oils I’ve tried so far.
Gotta say. I don’t love how oily oils are. Hahahaha. When my face itches and I itch it, it feels like I’m mushing around the oil, and my fingers are all oily, etc.
I’ve also discussed this one before. The High-Adherence Silicone Primer pills on me. Not terribly. But. Enough that I don’t use it because…
My precious High-Spreadability Fluid Primer. Omg, this is the one I make everyone try. In an actual weird way. Like: We’ve had wine and dinner and now it’s time to try on this primer.
It feels SO nice and smooth. It’s not drying, nor does it become some other weird texture once you put it on. I like many of The Ordinary products, but this one might be my fave.
So. My routine when I use my The Ordinary products is as follows.
Preferably this all happens long enough before bed that the oil can become less oily.
AM after not showering or washing my face: