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How to use the ordinary products


Bored of the same routine?

One of the best skincare brands that boomed during the pandemic thanks to social media platforms like tiktok, The Ordinary has now proved its place in the skincare industry. From their super affordable prices, to their clean, simple formulas, DECIEM’S brand has won the heart of many.

If you’re a skincare fanatic that knows exactly which ingredients you want in your skincare routines, then you’ll love The Ordinay’s transparent formulas and no fuss products that deliver exactly what you want, such as the ordinary hyaluronic acid. Whether you’re looking for niacinamide, alpha hydroxy acids, alpha arbutin or hyaluronic acid, even down to moisturizers and cleanser, it has you covered.

There’s more.

I am going to show you how The Ordinary started, what the brand is really about, and if their skincare line is for you. You’ll know how to use the products from The Ordinary, as well as how to incorporate them into your routine.

You might also have heard of Elemis Skincare, La Roche Posay, and CeraVe. If you love those, the The Ordinary is right up your street.


About The Ordinary

Nicknamed “The Abnormal Beauty Comapny”, The Ordinary brand aims to dispell beauty myths and so-called advanced technologies by providing simple, accessible skin treatments that truly reflect the pricing. Founded in 2013 by Brandon Truax, who saw the need for a change when so many brands lack passion, transparency and insight when it came to creating products.

Based on the principle of Quality, The Ordinary is not defined by expensive price points, or complicated technology. Instead, they present functional, sensibly priced products that work. Today, in the past year they’ve sold more than one product every second, opened their 35th store and have more plans than ever for next year.

Proud to be different, this brand merits your attention.

Why use The Ordinary

If you’ve never used the ordinary products before, or already have your skincare go-tos, here are a couple of reasons why you should give The Ordinary products a try.

Small price tag

Despite the quality that The Ordinary offers, their small price tag means that everyone has access to good skincare. For a couple of dollars you can try out a new product or formula, and mix and match. Good skincare doesn’t have to cost a fortnue, and The Ordinary has proved that.

Specific, clear ingredients to address every skin concern

By labeling their product with one main ingredient, you can select exactly what you wish to use for your skin, giving you the power in your hands to decide what you want. Whether it’s hyaluronic acid or Alpha Arbutin, you select what you want and the concentration, so you know exactly what is in the bottle. It also means you can target each and every skin concern, no matter your skin type, simply by formulating your own skincare routine and including all the right ingredients.

Mix and match-build your own skincare routine

Since the products are key ingredients and super affordable, you can decide for yourself what your skin needs, and what ingredients you want. You can target every skin concern, or focus on one. The Ordinary lets you decide what you need and makes it easy for you to make your own routine with all the ingredients you could wish for.

No bad ingredients

The Ordinary has shown to use only the necessary ingredients, and to have one main ingredient per product, to help you focus and choose what you need. By using simple, but transparent formulas, they offer clean skincare that works.

How to Use The Ordinary Products

Whether you want to use just one The Ordinary product, or build a new skincare routine with them, you need to know how to use them both for your skin type and skin concern.

In general, a skincare routine that is simple is always best. The brand recommends no more than three serums in a single regimen to ensure the best absorption and benefits.

The right order to apply products

The Ordinary intended for us to mix and match their products. However, with all the technical names and different types, it can be difficult to know how to layer them.

In general, its best to apply any water based serums first as these are the lightest, then anhydrous or oil based serums, and lastly cream based formulas. If you have multiple water based serums, you should put first the one that is more important to you, so the skin can absorb it easily.

So, from cleansing to moisturizing, I am going to show you how you can best use the ordinary products in your routines.

The ordinary products

The ordinary collection features a varied type of products.

Gentle Cleanser– Squalane cleanser is gentle enough to use daily and to remove makeup. There is only one type, so it is suitable for all skin types. Use it in the morning and evening.

Eye Cream– This is the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG. This helps with the dark circles around the eyes, pigmentation and puffiness. You can use it in the morning and evening too.

Sunscreen– This should be the last step in your morning routine. Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with antioxidants is a broad spectrum sunscreen that also provides antioxidant benefits.

Skincare serums and treatment: Altrhough the ordinary also provides cleansers, eye cream and sunscreen, their main collection features different types of serums and other treatments such as acids. These have to be used in a specific way.

How to use The Ordinary Best selling Products

Whether you want to target signs of aging or uneven skin tone, the ordinary has a product for it. How to use it in a skin regimen, is another question.

The Ordinary “Buffet”

A famous anti aging serum, this Buffet is an antioxidant multi peptide serum packed with benefits for the skin. No matter your skin type you can benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties and can even reverse sun damage. The peptide complex boosts collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

If your skin has had sun exposure or dark spots, this serum will be great for treating this. Use this in the AM or PM after cleansing your face, as this is water based you’ll need to use it before oil serums and finish off with a moisturizer or sunscreen.

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

This is The Ordinary’s moisturizer, it provides hydration without it being greasy, and packed with good ingredients. This moisturizer is fast absorbing but will nourish your skin with 11 amino acids, phospholipids, glycerin, cermides, and a host of other good ingredients as well as Hyaluronic acid.

Use this in the AM and PM, as a moisturizer after having cleansed and used serums.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum

This is a must-have water based serum for everyone. The ordinary Niacinamide helps to control oil production, making it ideal for oily skin that struggles with shine. This also has anti inflammatory properties so if you have acne prone skin this can help.

Use this in the morning or evening, it’s great to use before retinol and retinoid products, helping to reduce hyperpigmentation or acne scars, as well as fine lines and wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Another best seller by The Ordinary, this is a water based serum that can be used by any skin type to lock in hydration. No matter your skin concern, you’ll benefit from using Hyaluronic acid as it draws water to the skin, plumping it and supporting the natural skin barrier.

Use it in the AM and PM, you can use it after using a more important water based skin serum. Just remember to spritze your face with water after applying it, you’ll notice the difference. Then finish off with a moisturizer.


The Ordinary bottled up one of the most powerful ingredients in the skincare world – Retinoid. Both used for anti aging or those dealing with acne, a few drops of this stuff can transform your skin. It helps to fight signs of aging, sun exposure, skin texture, acne scars or dark spots, as well as uneven skin tones. It comes in varying concentrations as it depends how much your skin can handle, as sensitive skin types may go through a purge where their skin rects badly. The Ordinary provides this as granative retinoid or retinol solutions.

Use this in the PM, build up with a light concentration up to a stronger one and start off once a week until every night. Don’t pair it with vitamin c or benzoyl peroxide, as well as beta hydroxy acids or other types of exfoliating acids. Aim to moisturize and use spf in the morning to protect your skin and preventing it from getting dry. Of course, don’t use it with other retinoid treatments.


The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane

This is one of the many facial oils that The Ordinary offers. Surprisingly, it also works well for oily and acne prone skin when it comes to keeping your ksin moisturized.Squalane is a lightweight facial oil that is fast absorbing and locks in moisture. This is particularly useful in the winter when you want a bit more moisture.

Use in the AM or PM, after having applied water based serums. You can finish off with a moisturizer in the end.

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

The Ordinary alpha arbutin is great for acne scars and fading dark spots. Since it contains hyaluronic acid, you can also use it to moisturize and overall get an even complexion. If you struggle with dull skin , this is a great serum to get glowing skin.

Use this in the AM and PM, before oil based serums and finish with a moisturizer. Dont forget to spritze some water to add moisture after applying it.

These are some other The Ordinary products that arent serums but that you might want to try out.

Vitamin c Suspension 23% + HA Spheres

This water free, silicone free vitamin c suspension is like a cream texture and is an antioxidant. You can use it to brighten skin tone and reduce signs of aging. It is made from pure L-Ascorbic Acid that is stable and Hyaluronic acid to add hydration.

Use this in the evening, but not at the same time as niacinamide and retinol or other retinoid treatments. Make sure you use spf in the morning as it can increase skin’s sensitivity.

Azelaic acid suspension 10%

This is one of the direct acids that the ordinary boffers. However don’t be alarmed by the word acid. Azelaic acid is a multifunctional brightening formula in improving skin texture as well as skin tone, to get your skin glowing.If you struggle with textural irregularities and dullness or uneven tone, you’ll love this.

Use this either in the AM or PM, but be careful not to use it at the same time as other acids so you don’t damage your skin barrier. Use it after serums and before moisturizer.

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

This is an alpha hydroxy acid to exfoliate the skin. It will help to improve skin radiance and brightness by getting rid of clogged pores and dead skin cells so you wake up rejuvenated. It has Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative, ginseng root and aloe vera to soothe the skin.

Use this in the evening PM, not with other acids. Don’t use this on sensitive skin, peeling, or compromised skin. Use it after cleansing with a cotton pad, don’t rinse, and then go ahead and apply your serums. In the morning use sun protection.

Salicylic acid mask

One of my favorite products form The Ordinary, this is a skin mask. Ideal for acne prone skin and all other skin types, this mask help to clean out pores and brighten your skin, whilst treating blemishes at the same time. Use this regualry and you’ll notice brighter skin, and less pimples.

Use this once a week, for ten minutes then rinse off. I wouldn’t use any acids after this so you don’t risk damaging the skin. Use in the PM after cleansing, then serum and moisturize.

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This peeling solution is a holy grail in the skincare world.

Made with alpha hydroxy acids, this peeling solution exfoliates the skin’s top surface to reveal brighter and more even skin tone. The beta hydroxy acids in this solution also exfoliate the skin helping to unclog pores. If you struggle with blemishes and dark spots, this will peeling solution is ideal for improving skin texture and fading hyperpigmentation.

It also contains natural extracts such as tasmanian pepperberry to reduce irritation, hyaluronic acid, black carrot and vitamin b5 to help protect your skin from sensitivty.

Use this once a week for ten minutes as directed. Ideally use it after cleansing in the evening, and then follow up with your night routine. Don’t use retinol or other acids on the same day to prevent irritation. It might be best to do a patch test on the skin’s surface to test for a negative initial reaction if you’ve never used them before.

The Ordinary Skincare Routine

Now that you’ve officially met The Ordinary’s best sellers, here are some ideas as to how you can incorporate them into your routine:

Signs of Aging


  • Squalane Cleanser (or your fav cleanser)
  • Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5
  • “Buffet” multi peptide serum
  • Caffeine solution 5% + ECGC
  • Natural Moisturising Factors +HA (or your fav moisturizer)
  • Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with antioxidants (or sunscreen)


  • Squalane cleanser
  • “Buffet” multi peptide serum
  • The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + ECGC
  • 100% organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil
  • Retinol 0.5% in squalane (or whatever concentration you like)
  • Natural Moisturising Factors +HA (or your fav moisturizer)


Also try– AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution once a week for a deep exfoliation. If this is too strong try the glycolic acid nightly, or the lactic acid.


Oily or Acne prone skin


  • Squalane cleanser
  • Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5
  • Niacinamide 10% +Zinc 1%
  • Natural moisturizing factors + HA
  • Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with antioxidants (or sunscreen)


  • Squalane cleanser
  • Glycolic acid toner
  • Niacinamide 10% +Zinc 1%
  • Azelaic acid suspension 10%(on blemishes) OR Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (try a weaker concentration first)
  • Natural moisturizing factors + HA


Also try: Salycilic acid 2% Masque once a week in the PM after cleansing, then moisturize. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution once a week in the PM, not to be used on the same day as the other mask.

Dry skin


  • Squalane Cleanser
  • Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5
  • Natural Moisturizing factors + HA
  • Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with antioxidants


  • Squalane cleanser
  • Marine hyaluronics
  • 100% plant-derived squalane (or another The ordinary facial oil)
  • Natural Moisturizing factors + HA


Also try: Use The Ordinary lactic acid as a gentle way to exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells.

Hyperpigmentation and uneven tone


  • Squalane Cleanser
  • Alpha Arbutin 2% +HA
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%
  • Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with antioxidants


  • Squalane cleanser
  • Glycolic acid 7% toning solution
  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • The Ordinary Azelaic acid suspension 10%
  • Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA


Also try– AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution once a week. Give the ordinary vitamin c suspension a try as well for a brightening effect.

Final Thoughts

So what did you make of The Ordinary? Whether you want to treat fine lines, uneven skin tone or dry skin, there’s a host of products with popular ingredients such as vitamin c, amino acids or the ordinary lactic acid. You could be just a few drops away from your beautiful skin!

No matter your skin concerns, you can make your own The Ordinary skincare routine. Keep in mind when using direct acids that it’s best to limit sun exposure as direct acids can cause sensitivity. The Ordinary skincare products are so vaired, they have water based serums and direct acid products with beta hydroxy acid to address specific skin concerns.

The ordinary skincare products are made using powerful active ingredients that will help get your skin glowing, protect from free radicals, will be regulating sebum production and increase cell turnover. Wear sunscreen to protect from uv rays especially when using the ordinary retinol.

Whether you’re using a water based serum or rose hip seed oil, the ordinary are famous for their clean serum formulations that make a great addition to every skincare regimen. You can even build multiple skincare routines, so why stick to the same routine?

It is no ordinary skincare.


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