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Spotlight On | The Ordinary

By Grace Day, 23rd February 2017

The one thing better than a skincare product that works well is a skincare product that works well and doesn’t cost a small fortune. It’s for this reason that The Ordinary has become one of the most talked-about beauty launches of the past year. With no product in the range costing more than £13 and racking up rave reviews from beauty journalists and bloggers alike, The Ordinary is a breath of fresh air, integrity, and honesty in an industry where marketing jargon often communicates over-exaggerated, vague, and conflicting product messaging. With stripped back formulations (just 1-2 ingredients per product), no added fragrance or colour, minimalistic function-oriented packaging, and an ‘honesty is always best’ policy, The Ordinary is no-frills beauty at its best.

The Ordinary sits under the umbrella of Deciem, a beauty company responsible for producing some of the most ground-breaking and innovative beauty brands around (including NIOD and Stemm). On a mission to shake up the beauty industry, the company’s founder and beauty industry entrepreneur Brandon Truaxe values transparency above all else – including a big profit margin. This commendable approach is reflected in every aspect of the brand, from the in-house lab research through to the manufacturing processes and marketing strategy – all of which attempt to serve as an antithesis to the actions of and trends created by their competitors. 

With a background in computer science, Brandon’s first introduction to the beauty industry was based on a less than favourable experience he had whilst working in a beauty company lab as a student. The initial anger he felt for the dishonest and uneducated mechanics of the industry developed into the passion with which he created and drives his company. With its founding principle being the idea of doing things differently to the norm, Deciem’s core values are focussed on attention to detail, high quality, authenticity, and above all, a unique desire to inform and educate the consumer.

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In The Ordinary, the products are broken down versions of the big-name key ingredients that you usually find in the fanciest, most expensive treatment serums – well-established, recognisable (if you’re in the habit of reading product packaging) ingredients that are known to work well, and so don’t require extensive research. Not only does this give them an infinitely more affordable price tag, but also means that sensitive skin need not be overwhelmed with unnecessary additions. Instead, you can mix and match concoctions to meet your own skincare needs. The catch is that a certain amount of skincare knowledge is required to establish exactly what each ingredient will do and which skin types it will suit- which is where our helpful guide to The Ordinary will come in useful…

the ordinary hyaluronic pm rosehip oil

Dry & Dehydrated Skin

AM: Hyaluronic Acid + B5
Hyaluronic Acid molecules attract up to 1000 times their weight in water and help to prevent moisture loss so it’s one of the best ingredients for dry and dehydrated skin, acting like a sponge to draw and hold water in the skin. What’s more, this means it helps to improve the absorption and efficacy of any consequently applied products. 

 

PM: Rosehip Oil
A naturally-sourced hydrating oil, rich in Vitamins C and E and Fatty Acids (essential to maintaining good skin health), this is ideal for massaging into dry skin (especially chapped or flaky areas) for a rejuvenating moisture boost. As it classifies as a ‘dry’ oil, it absorbs quickly into skin and without leaving an oily residue.

AM: Hyaluronic Acid + B5
Hyaluronic Acid molecules attract up to 1000 times their weight in water and help to prevent moisture loss so it’s one of the best ingredients for dry and dehydrated skin, acting like a sponge to draw and hold water in the skin. What’s more, this means it helps to improve the absorption and efficacy of any consequently applied products. 

 

PM: Rosehip Oil
A naturally-sourced hydrating oil, rich in Vitamins C and E and Fatty Acids (essential to maintaining good skin health), this is ideal for massaging into dry skin (especially chapped or flaky areas) for a rejuvenating moisture boost. As it classifies as a ‘dry’ oil, it absorbs quickly into skin and without leaving an oily residue.

the ordinary azelaic acid

Blemished & Acne-Prone Skin

AM: Azealic Acid Suspension 10%
This antibacterial ingredient gently exfoliates skin to remove the build-up that clogs pores and causes breakouts.

 

PM: Niacinamide + Zinc
These two super-ingredients work to reduce the appearance of blemishes, pores, and congestion by regulating sebum production and removing blemish-causing bacteria. Most spot-fighting products contain them, but not in such a high concentration as they are here. Niacinamide is particularly effective at boosting skin immunity as it improves skin’s barrier performance – preventing microbe absorption.

AM: Azealic Acid Suspension 10%
This antibacterial ingredient gently exfoliates skin to remove the build-up that clogs pores and causes breakouts.

 

PM: Niacinamide + Zinc
These two super-ingredients work to reduce the appearance of blemishes, pores, and congestion by regulating sebum production and removing blemish-causing bacteria. Most spot-fighting products contain them, but not in such a high concentration as they are here. Niacinamide is particularly effective at boosting skin immunity as it improves skin’s barrier performance – preventing microbe absorption.

the ordinary alpha arbutin pm azelaic acid

Scarred & Pigmented Skin

AM: Alpha Arbutin + Hyaluronic Acid
Alpha Arbutin is a safe skin-lightening ingredient and the inclusion of Hyaluronic Acid means that it’s effectively absorbed. Again, this is a really potent blend – twice as strong as standard formulations.

 

PM: Lactic Acid + Hyaluronic Acid
Lactic acid is an AHA (chemical exfoliant) which gently breaks down the surface layer of skin, meaning that pigmentation left behind by breakouts fades away.

AM: Alpha Arbutin + Hyaluronic Acid
Alpha Arbutin is a safe skin-lightening ingredient and the inclusion of Hyaluronic Acid means that it’s effectively absorbed. Again, this is a really potent blend – twice as strong as standard formulations.

 

PM: Lactic Acid + Hyaluronic Acid
Lactic acid is an AHA (chemical exfoliant) which gently breaks down the surface layer of skin, meaning that pigmentation left behind by breakouts fades away.

the ordinary buffer pm advanced retinoid

Ageing Skin

AM: Buffet 
This is basically the skincare equivalent of a food buffet. All the good things in one place – notably peptides and amino acids which target dehydration, lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation.

 

PM: Advanced Retinoid
Another uber-high concentration serum. Retinoids are one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients, but many can cause irritation. Not only is this more effective than standard retinoids, but it’s also suitable for sensitive skin.

AM: Buffet 
This is basically the skincare equivalent of a food buffet. All the good things in one place – notably peptides and amino acids which target dehydration, lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation.

 

PM: Advanced Retinoid
Another uber-high concentration serum. Retinoids are one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients, but many can cause irritation. Not only is this more effective than standard retinoids, but it’s also suitable for sensitive skin.

the ordinary ascorbyl pm vitamin c

Dull Skin

AM: Ascorbyl Tetra Solution 20% in Vitamin F
This is basically a blend of fatty acids and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is renowned for its brightening benefits, and when it’s combined with Vitamin F (fatty acids) its performance is maximised.

 

PM: Vitamin C 23%
More Vitamin C, this time in an ultra-concentrated blend to give good glow. Vitamin C is only really beneficial in concentrations of more than 20% so you’ll really see results from this one.

AM: Ascorbyl Tetra Solution 20% in Vitamin F
This is basically a blend of fatty acids and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is renowned for its brightening benefits, and when it’s combined with Vitamin F (fatty acids) its performance is maximised.

 

PM: Vitamin C 23%
More Vitamin C, this time in an ultra-concentrated blend to give good glow. Vitamin C is only really beneficial in concentrations of more than 20% so you’ll really see results from this one.