The Ordinary’s New Starter Packs Are Perfect For Skincare Newbies

When The Ordinary burst onto the beauty scene in 2017, it totally changed the game with its minimal-ingredient, science-based, affordable approach to skincare. Fast forward two years and the range has grown to over 60 products, which means that while the options and choice are endless, things can get a bit confusing when it comes down to knowing the differences between the products, and which ones will work best for your skin concerns. 

To make things easier, we’ve launched our The Ordinary Starter Packs. Four bundles to address your most asked skincare questions and concerns. Whether you’re new to The Ordinary, want to try retinol, or experience skin concerns like congestion or pigmentation, scroll down to find your bundle. 

The Ordinary Pigmentation Starter Pack

When short-lived breakouts disappear, they’re often replaced by long-lasting red or brown marks, which are caused when the inflammation from blemishes damages the collagen in skin and causes pigment production. This discolouration will fade over time (usually 3-6 months), but you can give it a helping hand with the right products. We’ve pulled together three of our pigmentation-fading faves to keep you covered.

A safer (but still very effective) alternative to hydroquinone (a popular skin brightening ingredient that has been banned in most countries), alpha arbutin reduces skin’s melanin production to prevent pigmentation from occurring. 

Use in the morning, after cleansing and before moisturising.

A natural anti-inflammatory derived from wheat, azelaic acid cleverly targets melanin to reduce redness. In addition, it has antibacterial properties and helps to clear dead skin cells, so will also work to prevent future breakouts from damaging skin further. 

Use in the evening, after cleansing and before moisturising.

One of the fastest working and most popular ingredients for fading pigmentation, glycolic acid works by breaking down the dead skin cells in the toop layers of skin. As pigmentation only effects the top layers of skin, with each layer that is removed, marks appear less noitceable until eventually disappearing. 

Use 2-3 times a week in the evening, after cleansing and before applying serums.

The Ordinary Congestion Starter Pack

Individual breakouts are far from ideal, but if there’s one thing worse it’s when they pop up in clusters – otherwise known as congested skin. Identifiable by a bumpy, uneven texture, often with larger under-the-skin cystic blemishes, blackheads, and patches of oiliness, congestion is caused by a build-up of oil, dead skin cells, and dirt within pores. These products are our decongesting heroes – they all work hard to keep the skin smooth and clear. 

If you’re prone to breakouts, it can be easy to forget the golden rule: hydrated skin = healthy skin = clear skin. That’s right, in order for your skin to be able to defend against breakouts and heal blemishes, it has to be well-hydrated. This oil-free solution prevents moisture loss and strengthens the skin barrier. 

Use in the morning and/or evening, after cleansing and before applying other serums. 

Niacinamide is perfect if you experience the obvious symptoms of congestion – breakouts, exposed pores, and oiliness. It works in multiple ways – by increasing cell turnover and circulation (helping skin to heal), by strenthening the skin’s barrier (keeping bacteria out and moisture in), and as an antibacterial (regulating sebum production and calming blemishes). 

Use in the morning and/or evening, after 100% Plant-Derived Squalane and before other serums/moisturiser.

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which means it’s oil-soluble and therefore able to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin. Once within the pore, it exfoliates, removing sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells that cause blockage and lead to breakouts. 

Use morning and/or evening after moisturising. Apply directly to blemishes rather than all over. 

The Ordinary 3-Step Retinol Course

An antioxidant derived from vitamin A, retinol is one of the most effective ingredients in anti-aging and for fighting acne, due to its ability to produce collagen, regenerate cells, reduce sebum, and resurface skin. It really is the miracle worker of the skincare world. Since retinol can be slightly irritating, for best results it’s recommended to use retinol for around three months, starting with a small concentration (0.2%) in the first month and building up skin’s sensitivity to a stronger percentage by the third month (with first the 0.5% and then the 1%).

The first step in your retinol course. Start using once a week and gradually increase to daily use over a few weeks. If you experience sensitivity, apply after (instead of before) your moisturiser to reduce the concentration. 

Use in the evening, after cleansing and before moisturising. Do not use in conjunction with vitamin C or acids, and always wear SPF the morning after. 

The second step in your retinol course. Since this is a bit stronger than the first serum, reduce initial use to once a week and again build up to daily wear. Again, if you find your skin experiences redness or peeling, layer over your moisturiser. 

Use in the evening, after cleansing and before moisturising. Do not use in conjunction with vitamin C or acids, and always wear SPF the morning after. 

The third and final step in your retinol course. This serum is twice as strong as the previous one, so once again reduce initial use to once a week and build up to daily wear. If you find your skin experiences redness or peeling, layer over your moisturiser. 

Use in the evening, after cleansing and before moisturising. Do not use in conjunction with vitamin C or acids, and always wear SPF the morning after. 

The Ordinary Everyday Routine Starter Pack

New to The Ordinary? Want to master the basics of a skincare routine? Going travelling? Or simply want to strip things back? This bundle is for you. It contains everything you need for a tried and tested everyday routine that will benefit every skin type – cleanser, moisturiser, hydration serum, vitamin C, and retinol.

This gentle, water-based cleanser efficiently removes makeup, dirt, and impurities, without stripping skin of moisture. It’s the squalane that makes this possible – the substance is naturally produced by our bodies to keep skin moisturised – so even sensitive skin types will feel calm and comfortable after cleansing. 

Use morning and evening to cleanse skin and remove makeup.

Any skin type and every skin concern can benefit from using hyaluronic acid, since hydration is the key to maintaining strong, healthy skin. Each molecule of hyaluronic acid has the impressive ability to pull in 1000 times its weight in water, and the ingredient also works to prevent moisture from escaping. Evern after a few days use you’ll really notice the difference in how healthy your skin looks and feels. 

Use morning and/or evening, after cleansing and before applying other serums and moisturiser. 

Otherwise known as vitamin C, ascorbyl glucoside is a potent antioxidant which (unlike many vitamin C solutions) has a stable formula and is comfortable to use for all skin types. This water-based serum applies and absorbs easily, working hard to brighten dull skin, even skin tone, and counter the cell damaging effects of pollution. 

Use in the morning, after Marine Hyaluronics and before moisturising.

The gentlest available form of retinol, this serum is ideal if you’re introducing the ingredient to your routine for the first time. Also known as vitamin A, retinol works hard to treat wrinkles, pigmentation, and acne by stimulating cell turnover to reveal, fresh, healthy new cells. This serum has a thick texture which layers well with other products. 

Use in the evening, after Marine Hyaluronics and before moisturising. Do not use in conjunction with vitamin C or acids, and always wear SPF the morning after. 

This uber-hydrating lotion mimics the substances naturally produced by the skin’s uppermost layers to keep skin smooth, hydrated, and supple. It includes a blend of amino acids, lactic acid, and peptides, which work together to counteract dehydration, improve skin texture, and replenish the skin’s moisture barrier. 

Use morning and evening, after cleansing and applying serums.