Review The Ordinary skin care – Cheap but not poor !!

An honest review The Ordinary skin care:

First talks, this post is not sponsored or support by The Ordinary skin care company, I am not advertising or say good for them. These are honest reviews from my own experience and knowledge. Links I provide is an affiliate program, every time you purchase via my links, I will get a small commission, prices are exactly the same for you. You will not pay more by clicking through to the link.

Since The Ordinary launched itself in September 2016, it has promoted a new concept of low- price product. Low- price but not low- quality, it’s The Ordinary. The Ordinary has become the best-seller brand in some country, you can see little bottles of this brand everywhere, even in the drugstore or a cosmetic mall. If you live in Melbourne, it is available at Priceline, Myer. This is a small company that under the umbrella of the DECIEM Abnormal Beauty Company, they really know how to play with words. After the death of their Founder & CEO, DECIEM was sold to Estée Lauder group, a senior in this industry. The Ordinary offers customers active ingredients with no-frill packages at the affordable price.

Why do they able to keep with such a low- price?

The Ordinary is a popular skin care brand because of their significantly low- price point. The average products from them range from about five to seven dollars, sometimes go higher. But when people hear The Ordinary, they know they are going to have a very affordable product. I know people are sceptical about the quality of products cause it’s unbelievable price point. But let me explain:

Firstly, The Ordinary is cheap cause they don’t have an ambitious marketing campaigns. You have seen a $145 serum when surfing Facebook or watching YouTube, haven’t you? But honestly, when looking at the ingredients list, I realize that it is not much different from The Ordinary. So, because the brand or marketing ploy, that serum is hyped.

Secondly, there aren’t any unnecessaries in their products. Their products are really straight- forward. You buy a 100% rosehip seed oil ($9.80) from them, it definitely pure rosehip oil, no more fragrance to make it look luxurious or other multifunctional ingredients. For that reason, they can sell a single product with drastically lower than other brands.

Getting to the main points now: Review

  • The Ordinary claimed that their products are free from denatured alcohol and fragrance, if you haven’t read my post about the harm of alcohol and fragrance, check this out!.
  • Everyone’s skin is different, so review information is just for reference, it’s important to know what your skin need to choose the right product.

The Ordinary has 3 main product groups:


  • AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%
  • Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
  • Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
  • Lactic Acid 10% + HA
  • Lactic Acid 5% + HA
  • Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
  • Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
  • Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

=> This group mainly performs exfoliating and anti-inflammatory to help treat various type of acne.


  • Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%
  • EUK 134 0.1%
  • Pycnogenol 5%
  • Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

=> Antioxidants, which are molecular weapons against free radical damage, are considers essential to our skin in terms of wrinkles, cancer, aging, pigmentation.

=> Although antioxidants have the ability to stop and minimize free radical damage, it’s ironic that they have the same weakness: their texture worsens with repeated exposure to air (oxygen) and sunlight. That’s why anti-aging products usually in the form of tight vial and anti-ultraviolet.


  • “Buffet”
  • “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%
  • Argireline Solution 10%
  • Matrixyl 10% + HA

=> Peptides are a group of cell-communicating ingredients that are present in many skin care products today. They are small pieces of protein, made from long chains of amino acids. The enzyme in the product breaks down proteins into peptides so they can interact with the system and function as they wish. Some peptides have the same activity as hormones, others have immune activity; Some growth inhibitors stimulate scar formation, some play a role in wound healing and other peptides that affect skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and eczema. Several peptides have demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory effects. So not every peptide is like any peptide!

Here are some products that I have used before so I think I have got a good idea of what I like what I don’t like and what may works for somebody skin:

1. Lactic Acid 5% + HA


  • This is the mildest exfoliator for beginners. Lactic Acid has a larger molecule than Glycolic Acid but smaller than Mandelic Acid and at 5%, this product is suitable for beginners to use AHA. In addition, The Ordinary also added Tasmanian Pepperberry derivatives and Hyaluronic Acid (HA) to help prevent skin irritation, it is even more suitable for the “amateurs” with AHAs.
  • Lactic Acid does gently exfoliate your skin, accelerate cell regeneration, speed up collagen synthesize, correct discolouration, lighten dark spots and pigmentation. However, it is one type of AHA so t makes your skin sensitize to sunlight so please remember to wear sunscreen or use AHAs only at nighttime.
  • If you start using AHAs, I highly recommend Lactic instead of Glycolic acid, since it’s gentler and hydrating, the Glycolic molecular size is much smaller so it penetrates deeper to your skin cause skin irritation.
  • The Ordinary also have Lati Acid 10% or who do want to upgrade the strength of this formula. However, as I always say, start with a smaller concentration and generally upgrade it when your skin is ready.
  • Where to buy: TO Lactic acid 5% + HA

TO Lactic Acid 10% + HA



2. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution

  • Do you see the number of 30% AHA and 2% BHA at there (percentage of acid is very high) if you just started using the acid, do not be charmed by its beautiful red colour. Although TO has added Tasmanian Pepperberry (anti-inflammatory) and Vitamin B5 extract to soothe the skin and avoid irritation, you should still consider before using it.
  • This product is considered an “acid mask”, left on the skin for about 10 ‘and then washed off. The texture is quite thin, so it is easy to apply on the skin, not spread to where you do not want to apply.
  • For those who is familiar with AHA and BHA, this is the right choice when your skin feels clogged and not smooth.
  • Because this is a quite strong formula so I think the maximum you can use this is once a weak is enough.
  • Where to buy: TO AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution



3. Buffet” – The product has the most melodious name!!

  • A serum with a complex ingredient list, because it has peptide technology (skin repair, anti-aging skin), amino acids, probiotics and HA, great for skin after acne or new acne. Start skincare, because it not only nourishes the skin but also recoveries the skin and regenerates skin firmness.
  • After apply, our skin becomes smooth and maintain the plump appearance throughout the day. Compared to the “Buffet + 1% Copper Peptide”, this does not moisturize as well as the +1% Peptide, it is true that losing 1% is everything!
  • Use this quite budget-friendly because a drop applies on the face, dripping two or three drops is a lot too much. You can use this before creams and moisturizer, avoid combining with pure vitamin C (LAA / ELAA) (This on the website says), but if you use it is still appropriate, keep using it. Skincare has no rules at all.
  • Overall, this is a very good and affordable serum.
  • Really really recommend!
  • TO Buffet + 1% Copper Peptide is just like the “Buffet”, but with only 1% more pure copper peptide, the ‘natural role’ of these peptides in human plasma includes supporting a variety of skin health functions such as maintaining immune function, enhance collagen synthesis, fibroblast production and anti-inflammatory. The total concentration of the active technologies in this formula is 26.1%, higher than the “Buffet” product. But yes, it’s much more expensive, if you have an abundant income, upgrade to this perfect one. However, “Buffet” is more than good at all.
  • Where to buy: TO ‘Buffet

TO Buffet + 1% Copper Peptide



Bonus: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (for oily skin)

  • This is a new area that The Ordinary has just developed in recent years.
  • Retinoids are all compounds derived from Vitamin A, meaning it is a group name that includes Retinol and Tretinoin.
  • For those with acne: when you use other products and don’t see any expected result, you can start using retinoids. Retinoids are able to unclog pores, prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores, regulate oil and even fight against pitted scars and prevent dark spots.
  • For those who want to fight aging: Retinol anti-aging, stimulates collagen production, tightens skin and reduces wrinkles.
  • The main ingredient is Granactive Retinoid (HPR), a new generation form of retinol, a close sister of tretinoin. Although there have not been many studies proving this substance, according to the research of The Ordinary, this type of retinol does not need to be converted to retinoic acid, but the way it works is quite similar to tretinoin.
  • The Ordinary claims that this substance is less irritating than retinol, but there is no exact study for this.
  • This emulsion formula is water and oil – free and no silicone for those who do not like the feeling of the lubricant of 2% in Squalane Granactive Retinoid (oil- base). So this type will be suitable for those who are more oily. Those with normal or dry skin should use the one with Squalane.
  • They also have Retinoid 5% for stronger formula.
  • Where to buy: TO Grandactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

                                         TO Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

                                         TO Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

“Bad” thoughts on The Ordinary:

1. The Ordinary is the brand that more suitable for beginners, they are finding a mild, gentle ingredients for their skin. For those who have started skin care for long time, they need more than that in the routine. The Ordinary only produce each ingredient for each product, if you build your routine with The Ordinary, with Alpha arbutin, Niacinamide, Vitamin C, you have to apply 3 layers on your skin, this is too overloaded for your skin. And there are ingredients that are repeated such as Glycerin, too much Glycerin can trigger acne.

2. There are recent reports that people are getting irritation when using The Ordinary product, especially with TO Salicylic Acid 2% Solution and 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc, although they have been using it for a long time, I don’t know whether they have changed the formula or because of their personnel problem, The Ordinary still now has not given an appropriate explanation.

3. The Ordinary is a cruelty- free, but Estée Lauder, the current owner of TO, is not. So, ye, in Research and Development no one know exactly about this issue.

Final Thoughts:

The Ordinary is a very good budget skin care brand. But like I said, this should be used as an add-in step for your routine, build for you a base routine first and then look for The Ordinary products that contains ingredient does your skin need. All in all, this is also a worth brand for you to try on. I do think whenever you want to introduce new ingredient to your routines, comes to The Ordinary and then upgrade it to another luxury brand in the future, just in case it goes wrong, you will feel less resentful for paying a hundred dollars for an allergen.

Well, I think this post is clear enough for you. If you do have any question or problem, feel free to drop it the comment section, I will more than happy to work it out with you. See you on next post!



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