I know I’m super late to the party on this one, but I’ve only just started using The Ordinary products. The Instagram sensation from Canadian company Deciem has taken the beauty world by storm with its incredibly affordable range of potent skincare products, combining the perfect marketing mix to create a recipe for success. If you’ve ever studied marketing you’ll know about the 5 Ps, and this brand certainly wins in all areas:
- Product: high performing formulations – tick, cohesive packaging for that Instagrammable #bathroomshelfie shot – tick, cruelty-free credentials – tick
- Price: I mean the price! And the great story that goes with it: ‘hey customer we’re on your side, we’re not going to charge you over the odds for our products’
- Promotion: all this brand needed was one tell-all Instagram account managed by one PR marmite ex-CEO
- Place: who needs bricks and mortar when you can rule the web? The Ordinary is widely available online with the likes of Cult Beauty, Feelunique and Look Fantastic stocking the range, and has a handful of stand alone stores in London
- People: it used to boil down to one person really – Brandon Truaxe. If you follow the brand on Instagram you’ll know all about the ex-CEO’s erratic behaviour and wild claims. Compulsive viewing which can witter away hours of your day. What are we going to do with our days now that he’s been taken off the brand?
So does The Ordinary deliver as much as it promises? I’m trying out three of their ‘clinical formulations with integrity’ to find out.
One of the hero natural hair care ingredients of the last five years, argan oil has gained an incredible reputation in beauty thanks in no small part to Moroccanoil. Moroccan Argan Seed Oil revitalises damaged hair for a shiny, smooth, strong and manageable mane thanks to the fatty acids. The cold pressing process ensures that the oil’s benefits, like fatty acids and vitamins, are preserved, whereas heat can degrade the oil. The Ordinary’s 100% Organic Moroccan Argan Oil comes in UV-protective packaging, helping to guard the oil from the sun’s rays which can also change the components of certain natural products. The apothecary-style glass bottle is the brand’s signature packaging and comes with a handy pipette for quick and easy dosing. This multi-purpose product can be applied to skin or hair, and as my hair is looking decidedly lacklustre I decided to treat it to some nourishing oil. I warmed up one dose (i.e. a pipette-full) of argan oil into the palms of my hands then worked through the mid lengths of damp hair before blow drying as usual. If you want to give your hair a rich treatment I’d recommend applying two doses before bed then washing off in the morning. If you’re looking for some light taming and a smooth finish then apply post-wash and stay clear of your roots to avoid the greasy look. 30ml RRP £5.90
Caffeine is another ingredient that’s been part of our skincare routine for quite some time now, whether in the form of body scrubs with coffee grounds or in eye creams to give your peppers a morning wake up call. Caffeine in skincare stimulates circulation (source: Get The Gloss) and can help calm inflammation which is why it’s a popular ingredient for eye products. Ultra lightweight and easily absorbed, The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG offers a high concentration of caffeine and added green tea (that’s the EGCG) for antioxidant benefits. I apply one drop for each eye in the morning after my cleanser and serum all around the eye area. What I notice instantly with this eye serum is the hydration it provides without the heaviness you may get from thicker creams, as well as the depuffing effect it has on a face that hasn’t quite woken up yet. Make sure you apply this solution before your face cream which may be too heavy for the delicate eye area. 30ml RRP £5.80
One of The Ordinary’s most popular products, this peeling solution is also the one I was most hesitant to try. The promise of deep exfoliation and improved skin radiance is certainly a great pull, but the repeated warnings of using ‘only if you are an experienced user of acid exfoliation and your skin is not sensitive’… not so much. If you follow beauty Instagram accounts you’ll probably be familiar with this blood red concoction that looks like Dracula’s leftover dinner. Due to the high level of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (known as AHAs and previously discussed in Key Beauty Ingredients: What They Do Part 2) it is recommended to use this product in the evening as it makes your skin more sun sensitive. I’d avoid using this in the summer months or if you’re planning on holidaying in a sunny destination, but even in the winter months play it safe and opt for SPF in your morning skincare routine. I applied a very thin layer on clean dry skin, keeping clear of the delicate eye area. There is definitely a tingly – I’d even say stinging – sensation that comes immediately on application however that quickly disappears. After just under 10 minutes I rinse off with warm water and pat dry to reveal smooth skin and decongested pores. The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution delivers immediate results but to err on the side of caution I would use this maximum once a week (recommendation is twice at the most) as my deep exfoliating facial. 30ml RRP £6.30
Have you tried any products from The Ordinary skincare range? Which ones are worth the hype and have made it into your skincare routine? Please leave a comment below to let me know.