Since its launch in 2017 The Ordinary has fast become famous for its purse-friendly, fuss-free beauty solutions, with new launches racking up 10,000+ strong waitlists and hero products selling out within hours of a restock.
However, with over 50 SKUs (the majority in identical glass bottles and with clinical sounding names) it can be confusing to know which to use, and which will be best for your skin type.
If you have oily skin and regularly experience symptoms like large or obvious pores, skin that has a shiny appearance, clogged pores, blackheads, and occasional or persistent breakouts, then these are the best The Ordinary products for you.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Although it has multiple benefits for multiple skin types, niacinamide is a dream come true for oily skin, since it reduces excess sebum production, which in turn helps to prevent congestion and blackheads from forming. This lightweight serum also contains zinc, to help with reducing inflammation and reducing scarring. Apply it day and night, after cleansing and before moisturising for best results.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
Everyone knows that chemical exfoliants (or acids) are great for when you need skincare that works fast. While favourites like glycolic and lactic acid (both AHAs) are great for dry skin and surface issues, they’re not oil-soluble, which means they’re not going to have much impact when it comes to reducing excess oil. Salicylic acid however, is another story. Paired with kaolin clay, the oil-soluble BHA works hard to treat the most common oily skin-related issues. Use it all over or as a targeted spot treatment.
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
It’s easy to fall into the trap of avoiding moisturisers if you have oily skin – you might feel that your skin already has enough moisture of your own. In fact, it’s highly likely that your skin is lacking in hydration, and is therefore overcompensating by producing excess oil. Keeping your skin well hydrated will teach it to calm down on the oil production front, and result in calmer, more balanced skin in the long term. This lightweight moisturiser will do just that. It contains ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin without making it look or feel greasy.
The Ordinary Silicone Primer
Perfect for those who find that their makeup seems to slide off throughout the day or who experience the dreaded 3pm shine, the silicones in this primer create a barrier between skin and makeup which prevents oil from coming through and disturbing your foundation. What’s more, the silicones have a mattifying effect which means makeup can more easily adhere to skin and last even longer.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
This hardcore skincare treatment is not one for the fainthearted (check out our guide for the best ways to use it here), but it does yield impressive results. Combining three forms of acid, the serum-textured mask acts like a hard-reset button for the skin, helping to clear pores and improve skin texture.
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
It’s important to use the right type of cleanser if you have oily skin – anything too strong will strip not only excess oil but all oils, leading skin into a vicious cycle of oil overproduction as it tries to retaliate. This gentle gel-cream texture is perfect for removing makeup, SPF, and impurities without leaving skin feeling tight or stripped. Instead, it contains squalane – an oily naturally produced by the skin (which means it won’t clog pores) which helps to strengthen and rehydrate.
The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics
The key to hydrating oily skin is to opt for lightweight formulas that won’t leave your skin feeling sticky or greasy. With a formula that acts just like hyaluronic acid (drawing moisture into skin and retaining it), this super smooth serum is perfect for boosting hydration without triggering oiliness. It has a thin (almost watery) texture which absorbs fast and won’t interfere with other products.