The Ordinary Skincare Review

Hello lemon-heads!

Today is an exciting day. A VERY exciting day.

Today marks the official first day of my adventures in a new skin care line! (not spons’d. i wish)

Never in MY LIFE have I been a one-brand girl. In fact, those of you out there who always buy the same exact soap, cereal, laundry detergent, etc., I ask you – WHY!? There is just too much variety out there for me to want to stick to THE SAME stupid brand each time. I prefer to mix it up and get a little crazy. Except when it comes to dry shampoo because YOU KNOW the best brand for that, obvs.

But when I caught wind that there was a skincare brand boasting powerful concentrations of quality ingredients with price points as low as $6, I was SHOOKETH.

Give me a bargain  or give me death, I always say. And while you’re at it, make it work.

After I wrote about how I wrecked my skin just shy of a year ago, I had all kinds of folks giving me all kinds of advice. “Don’t try lasers!” they said. “Try this $200 set!”, they said. And I was intrigued. I DO want the spots to fade, the lines to disappear. But at what cost? In my book, $200 for a 90-day supply of product just isn’t worth it. I’d rather go to Paris, or buy us a nice dinner out or maybe the 6-foot Pusheen plush at Fuego. Doing a laser treatment is also not off my radar but I am pretty much going to need a 100% guarantee that it will work.

So in the meantime, I decided to give The Ordinary a shot. This brand is now available on but I placed my order on

Here are the products I purchased and the reasons I purchased them:

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene

  • Should help fade my sun spots
  • Also helps fine lines and signs of ageing

I went with the Retinoid versus Retinol because I read that they are stronger. I decided on the highest percentage because my sun spots are pretty intense.

The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalene

  • Helps with hydration
  • Also great for my damaged hair

I decided on this product after reading multiple articles about how great it is. Plus, I like the word squalene :).

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%

  • Amazing for hydration
  • Helps “plump” the skin

OF COURSE I got a hyaluronic acid. This ingredient is produced naturally but the production slows down over time. I have seen first-hand the amazing effects of hyaluronic acid and how glowy and plump it makes the skin appear.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2%

  • Also helps with hyperpigmentation and spots

I purchased this one because of the high concentration of the active ingredients at 2%. The standard is 1% and Mama needs all the help she can get.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

  • Intense Hydrating  lotion

I wanted to try at least one product that was not an oil-based serum from the line and this lotion is regarded very highly. Also, you get 100 mls for less than $8!

Over the past few days of using these pups I can attest to their keen absorption into the skin, the wonderful absence of scent and the ease of the packaging.

And since I am so very excited to see how the results pan out, I am doing before and afters! So here is my BEFORE in all her eye goop and age spots, morning glory.

Let me know if YOU have tried any products from The Ordinary! I hear they make a nice foundation too :).


11 thoughts on “The Ordinary Skincare Review

  1. JJ Kearney says:

    I’m using these regimens interchangeably between the Retinoid one day and then Acids the next day.
    I consistently use the , HA+B5 serum, and the NIOD Fractionated Eye Serum then apply EITHER the acids (Azelaic Acid and Vitamin C 23%in HA spheres2%).
    the Retinoid 2% emulsion.
    I plan to move up to the 5% Squalene next, add the glycolic toner. I’ll try to focus on the age spots next as work on the forehead wrinkles first.
    In your case you might want to consider the peeling solution or lactic acid products to help with your spots. I may progress to that next too, if the toner doesn’t help.
    I Also decided to add a derma roller into my regimen. I wash, roll , then apply these products .
    Already seeing forehead improvement after just one week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. stashy says:

    So far I’ve tried 3 items from The Ordinary:
    • Serum Foundation
    • Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% (vitamin C)
    • Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

    I don’t love any of them – and my favourite of the 3 is Resveratrol + Ferulic Acid. But I can’t say that I’ve noticed big improvements on my skin. The serum foundation doesn’t last on the skin – looks nice initially but it wears off super quickly. I wouldn’t repurchase any of these.

    I have my eye on the 100% Plant Derived Squalene – I’ve heard good things about it too.

    Will you be trying all of these products in one go? How will you know if the effects are from one product and not another?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Natalie Diaries says:

      I am not surprised the serum foundation isn’t long-lasting, I have heard it’s pretty natural.

      I feel like the hyaluronic acid and squalene are pretty much just hydrators – I don’t expect to see major “results” with them other than my skin not looking dry and (hopefully) a bit more plump. Right now I am alternating using one in the AM and one in the PM and then flip-flopping that.

      With the retinoid and alpha arbutin, I reallllly hope I see my sun spots fade. Right now, I am using the alpha arbutin day and night and the retinoid only at night. This might be overkill but I want to do it while it’s overcast and there’s no sun outside. If I don’t see any improvements with this combination I will probably just start using one or the other on it’s own.

      The lotion I am using down my neck and also over top of the serums once they have dried down. Again, not expecting anything dramatic to happen with the lotion, hopefully just hydration.

      Either way, the products are inexpensive enough to not feel guilty having fun and playing chemist with! Let me know if you end up trying anything else so we can compare!


  3. Nicole says:

    I found this line a month or so ago. I really like the “Buffet” and I bought the Alpha Lipoic Acid – it’s pretty strong but I’ve been pleased with it so far. The Caffine for under eyes works awesome too! I already have 8 bottles of this stuff and I want more. Only issue I’ve had is trying to figure out the best way to build a routine around it; but it’s so fun trying to figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Natalie Diaries says:

      I have heard Buffet is amazing. I know what you mean about trying to make a “regiment” out of it all. On the site, they say you can use up to three serums per AM or PM application but I feel like that is ALOT. I am definitely getting the Caffeine now that you said that 🙂 Let me know if you find a good routine that works!


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