Hello & happy Thanksgiving week, everyone! This is one of the best weeks of the entire year because we can finally reap the benefits of the holiday season – staying home from work (or school), eating a m a z i n g food, and being with our family and friends. Oh, and the best perk out of all? THE SHOPPING. At this point, I’ve sort of accepted that my bank account is going to be taking a huge hit around this time of year, and I’m not even mad about it.
And now for what y’all came to read: my ride or die products from The Ordinary. This brand has gotten pretty famous over the past couple years, mainly because of its affordability and its efficiency…AKA, it freakin’ works, and your wallet will thank you. The Ordinary is the kind of brand that I could trust with my life, because they’re not playing around. They don’t have any distracting packaging that makes you want to buy it, only to disappoint you later. Everything that’s in their products is written right there on the label, and they have products for every single skin type. They know skincare can get overwhelming (especially with the amount of products they carry) so their website even has a guide to help you understand which products are right for you based on the issues you are having and your skin type. I’ve gotten a BUNCH of products from the Ordinary in the past two years, and I’ve come up with a list of seven that I absolutely love. There are a couple in this list that I use on and off, but I still wanted to include them because they’ve shown results. Let’s get to it.
GLYCOLIC ACID 7% TONING SOLUTION
Glycolic acid is an exfoliant derived from cane sugar, and it basically removes the outer layer of dead skin cells on your face, making your skin brighter and more fresh looking. It’s normally used to treat acne scarring, uneven texture, and discoloration of the face. If you have sensitive skin and have never used glycolic acid before, you should test it out on a small part of your face and try to use it every other day. Your skin will probably purge (break out in the beginning), and this is normal. Once your skin gets used to it, it will work its magic.
I put this product first because it’s absolutely changed my life, and I’ve only used it for about two weeks. I bought this about a month ago because I saw a million reviews on Sephora, all saying that this was a BETTER dupe for Drunk Elephant’s Glycolic Night Serum. I love that serum with all my heart, and it actually changed my skin’s texture for the better. So when I read that there was something out there that was cheaper and more effective, I jumped at the chance to buy it. The people writing reviews also said that they were seeing results from this THE NEXT DAY, and that their texture and bumps were drastically reduced. I thought it was too good to be true, but I still had a tiny bit of hope.
Back story: I started doing Laser Hair Removal about 9 months ago on my face, and for the first 7 months it was completely fine and didn’t affect my face at all. But I ended up changing the location for the spa I did it at, and that seemed to change everything. I started breaking out in small bumps all over the area that I was doing it (on my cheeks) and the bumps refused to go away. I was trying so many different products and nothing really seemed to make them budge. UNTIL……
I used this toning solution for the first time two weeks ago, and I immediately noticed a difference the next day. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. The bumps were still there, but the scars from the laser treatment had lightened dramatically, and I saw LESS bumps. Now, it’s been two weeks, and they’re getting smaller and smaller, and I can’t wait to do my skincare routine every night. Please get this product if you have issues with texture, bumps on your skin, or acne scarring.
HYALURONIC ACID + B5
Another product that has changed my life. Up to a year ago, I always had crazy dry skin. As soon as winter hit, my skin would be flaky and irritated, and I had no idea what to do to keep it extra moisturized. Then, lo and behold, enters hyaluronic acid into the skincare arena. We see and hear this term so often now – it’s in almost every skincare product out there. But like I said earlier, The Ordinary doesn’t play around. This serum is JUST hyaluronic acid, + vitamin B5. According to The Ordinary’s website, hyaluronic acid attracts up to 1000 times its weight in water to your face. When I first started using it, the dryness in my face was gone within the week, and I’ve never faced flaky skin again. This is a MUST in your skincare routine, and also one of their bestselling products (if you don’t believe me, go check out the 3000+ reviews on their site).
TRICK: Tap your face with water before applying HA. It’s more effective when you already have some water on your face.
LACTIC ACID 10% + HA
Lactic Acid is another naturally occurring acid, just like glycolic acid. You should NOT use this at the same time as glycolic acid, because they essentially do the same thing. Many people do alternate between these each day, which is something you have to test out and see if it works for you. LA is a mild exfoliant and reduces signs of inflammation and reduces the signs of fine lines and wrinkles on your face. Lactic acid is slightly milder than glycolic, so if you do have super-sensitive skin, then maybe you can start with lactic.
When I first started using LA, I didn’t notice an immediate difference in my skin. But over time, I noticed it looked a lot smoother, fresh, and my pores looked a lot smaller. Because I’m currently using the glycolic acid toner and it’s working perfectly for me, I stopped using this. But it is also one of The Ordinary’s most selling products, and I definitely saw results!
NIACINAMIDE 10% + ZINC 2%
Niacinamide – another complicated sounding term that’s being thrown around, and no one really knows what it is or what it does. Niacinamide is another term for the B3 vitamin, and it works to improve the skin’s barrier by repairing signs of damage, making uneven skin tone brighter, and treating acne scars. Although Niacinamide DOES NOT work immediately, it works in the long term. I’m mainly using this to treat acne scars that just won’t let up, and so far, I’m very pleased with the results. I use this right after I apply my Hyaluronic Acid, and then I apply my moisturizer. I’m going to continue to use this for the next few months and track the progress!
CAFFEINE SOLUTION 5% + EGCG
So far, we’ve only talked about the face. What about the eyes? This caffeine solution is the perfect ~solution~ to your dull undereyes. Take it from someone who has dark, deep undereyes. I use this every night, and I notice my undereyes being less puffy and lighter. Like any eye cream, you’re only going to see the benefits of this in the long term, but it’s worth the wait.
This has a 5% concentration of caffeine (very high) and EGCG is essentially derived from green tea leaves, so that’s even more caffeine.
MULTI-PEPTIDE SERUM FOR HAIR DENSITY
I actually hadn’t heard of this product until the day I bought it. I was browsing on Sephora, and because they have The Ordinary products now (yay) I was deeply immersed in research. I was looking for a hair volumizer that actually worked, but I found something better. This is a serum that you put on your hair before you sleep, and it slowly works to volumize the hair over time, and also increase hair follicles where you apply it. It won’t make your hair grow out of thin air, but it will make hair growth FASTER where it’s already growing. So, if you have any spots where you think you want faster growth, sprinkle this on before you sleep. It does have the tendency to get slightly greasy, but I usually wash my hair in the morning so I try not to run into the greasy hair day issue. This is also known to treat dandruff and hydrate your scalp. WIN WIN WIN.
GRANACTIVE RETINOID 2% EMULSION
Retinoid is one of those skincare products that everyone is afraid of, because it can be drying and cause redness and peeling of the skin when you first use it. However, with every other complex product like this one, there’s always a purging phase. Retinoids are used to treat acne, unclog pores, reduce acne scars, treat wrinkles, reduce the appearance of sun-damaged skin, AND smooth the skin. That’s a lot of benefits. The Ordinary also has formulas that are supposed to be calmer on your skin and not cause any irritation, so it’s definitely worth looking into. If you’re already using salicylic acid, do not use the products together (use it on a different day, because they essentially do similar things).
For me, this product worked wonders. I used it earlier this year, when I was breaking out in the summer and not sure what caused it. After a month of use, I noticed how much my breakouts decreased, and how the pores around my T-Zone looked a lot smaller than usual. This is also a huge bestseller, and people claim that this has helped clear out their acne and tone down the redness and hyperpigmentation in their skin.
Ordinary, you are killing the game, and I trust you with my life.
Anddd that concludes my ride or die products from The Ordinary – but if you’ve gone on their website, you know that they have so many products that it’s impossible to try them all. I know I’m going to keep buying new things, but it’s also important to provide consistency to your skin and make sure that it gets used to the products you’re using NOW before jumping to the next ones.
What are your favs from this brand? Send me a DM on Instagram and let me know – I’ll add it to my skincare wishlist!
Thanks for reading and supporting Alisha’s Approach!