With its affordable price tags and minimal-ingredient formulas, The Ordinary is a great place to start if you’re new to skincare and want to start by building a basic routine. The best place to start is with the essentials – cleanser, moisturiser, and SPF, then layer in the more active ingredients that will help you to address your own specific needs. Below, we’ve kicked things off with a beginner friendly The Ordinary skincare routine.
Your morning skincare routine should be all about prepping and protecting your skin for the day ahead.
Cleansing should always be the first step in your routine. It’s chance to clear away oil and grime from pores and leave your skin clear and prepped for what’s to come. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser is perfect for a morning cleanse because it’s gentle and nourishing – so won’t strip skin. Apply it to damp skin and massage in before rinsing off.
No matter what your skin type or concerns, hydration is an essential step in any skincare routine. If your skin is healthy, it appears clear and bright, feels soft and smooth, and is able to function at its best. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 works by drawing moisture deep into the skin and improving long-term hydration. Pat the serum onto your skin, focusing on dry areas.
Eye serum is not an essential step (unless you have particular concerns about your eye area) but it’s a good habit to get into using one as it can be a great preventative step – the eye area is the first to show signs of aging since the skin here is so thin and delicate. The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG contains high concentrations of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which help to reduce puffiness and target pigmentation.
Antioxidants help to protect skin from long-term damage caused by environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution. They shield the skin’s surface and work to calm and repair stressed and damaged skin so the best time to apply them is during the day. Try a vitamin C serum like The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% if your skin has signs of damage like pigmentation or lines/wrinkles, or The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% if you experience blacheads, congestion, and breakouts. Again, press (rather than wipe) serum onto your skin to improve absorption.
Moisturising isn’t just for dry skin. Even if you have oily skin you should moisturise twice a day to keep your skin barrier strong, prevent dehydration, and restore balance to your skin. The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA is a light, creamy moisturiser which contains moisturising ingredients that are naturally found in skin (so won’t clog pores). Gently massage a generous amount of moisturiser all over your face and neck.
Finally, the most important step of all. SPF is the only way to prevent long-term skin damage that can lead to early signs of skin aging. It’s also essential if you’re using any retinol or acids in your routine, and can help to reduce skin sensitivity and fade the appearance of acne scars and red marks. Apply The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants over your face and neck as soon as you’ve moisturised and massage any excess onto that backs of your hands.
Your evening skincare routine is a chance for you to give your skin some TLC and repair damage.
If you’re wearing makeup and/or SPF then you’ll need to double cleanse your skin (basically, wash your face twice). This ensures that all traces of stubborn makeup, SPF, and dirt, oil, and bacteria are thoroughly removed from your pores. Apply The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser to damp skin, massage in, then use a flannel to rinse – then repeat.
At this point, you might want to use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque if you have some active or upcoming breakouts, or The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Solution or The Ordinary AHA + BHA Peeling Solution to target dry skin or scarring, but these products should only be used once or twice a week. If you use the latter, skip
To maintain hydration around the clock, repeat your morning hydration step with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. Again, pat this serum in – bonus points if you apply this serum to damp skin (it will draw the moisture in for extra hydrating benefits).
Now’s the time to address your specific skin concerns with active ingredients. Stick with The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% if you’re concerned about dullness, or The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% if you have oily skin. Try The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% for textured skin or pigmentation, or use The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion if you have breakouts or signs of aging.
Once your serum has sunk in, seal it all in with another generous application of The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA over your face and neck. It’s important that skin is well hydrated overnight to prevent moisture loss while you sleep.
If you want a final and extra boost of moisture, massage in an oil like The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane. This lightweight, non-comedogenic oil won’t clog pores or trigger sensitivity since squalane is an ingredient naturally found in skin. This step will help to improve skin texture and strengthen your skin barrier.