Not long ago, I decided to give in and see what was all the fuss about The Ordinary, and I may just be the last beauty blogger to have done so… I can hear a mother’s voice in my head saying: “if the other bloggers jump off a bridge, would you do it too?”.
Well, yes, it looks that way… there’s not much about left to be said about this Canadian, cruelty-free, and highly affordable brand that most of you don’t know already, after all the buzz in blogs and social media; in fact, I almost passed it by (because I’m oh so cool and countercultural and such), but I needed to stock up on exfoliants and I wanted to try the ones from this brand… but that will be a subject for another post. Today I’m talking about The Ordinary retinol and hyaluronic acid.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5
Ah, those days of being fluffed-up with hyaluronic acid without having done anything to deserve it… to be young again… and also a robot… oh well, at least there’s stuff like this available to us d’un certain age. This product in particular includes three forms of HA for deeper hydration, and panthenol/Vit. B, another moisturizing ingredient that my skin rather likes and usually responds well to.
The instructions say to use it morning and evenings, but during the day, I just feel it’s a bit much for my skin… not because the product itself is overly heavy or unpleasant to apply, because the consistency is rather light and fluid, and it spreads nicely on skin without leaving it sticky (though be careful not to apply too much); however, used with any cream, even lightweight ones, the feeling is just too much for me for daytime use, particularly during the hot-hot-hot summer we’ve had in these parts.
In fact, my favorite way to use it during the day is under a light gel, like TonyMoly’s bamboo gel, which actually seems to enhance this product’s hydrating effect. Now that heat’s becoming less of an issue and oil production slowly begins to retreat, I may change this approach, but normally I prefer to use this HA serum at nighttime.
Other than that, I’m loving this hyaluronic acid, which gives my skin a good dose of much-needed moisture, and which I certainly miss on the rare occasion I forget to use it in my routine, because I notice it in my skin’s tone, texture and elasticity; this HA leaves my skin looking visibly bouncier, “well-rested”, and more luminous.
I’ve seen this product compared to others, more specifically the HAs from The Ordinary higher-end sister lines, Hylamide and NIOD, which apparently have a more fluid consistency and are more easily absorbed, among other improved features. Personally, and though I’m certainly tempted to try them in the future, for the time being I cannot find any significative con in this product, and I’m in no hurry to look for a better substitute, nor feel the need.
Would I buy The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 again?
Yes. I rate it 5 points: I think the value for the price can’t be beat, it does what I ask of it, which is hydrating my skin and improving its appearance, and it’s an everyday-use product in my skincare routine.
The Ordinary Retinol 1%
I added this retinol to my order without giving it much thought, being under the impression that it would be less strong than the Advanced Retinoid 2%, but then I saw in DECIEM’s website that the brand actually recommends to get the latter, a newer-generation retinoid that apparently is a more effective anti-aging active, and less irritating than the 1%… oh well.
Recently, DECIEM has expanded The Ordinary range of retinoids to (currently) 7 products, so it looks like The Ordinary Retinol 1% older formula is being phased out to make room for the newer, improved formulas; the brand says in its website that as of Sep. 2017, there will only be limited stock of this product till they run out.
So I began using this product with some reserve, kind of worried that the next day I would wake red-faced, which did not happen. In fact, the next morning I got the impression that my skin looked a bit better, and my pores a bit tighter somehow, and then I thought: oh, why do I even listen to those onion-skinned crybabies out there, this product hasn’t even left my face red or anything…
… but oh, pride comes before the fall: I started peeling slightly after the second or third application, after which I decided to space out applications; around day 15 or so of beginning the treatment I was the snake-woman with flaky skin. As of now, I never use it more than twice a week: if I notice my skin is growing too red and flaky (at one point, even my usual cleansing water bothered me, because my skin was so irritated), I wait for another day or two more. So far this is the perfect balance for me: my skin isn’t especially dry (with proper moisturizing, of course), and the teeny-tiny flakes, while they haven’t completely gone away, are much subdued.
That aside, even though retinol is known to take forever to show results, in my case after the first month of regular use I already began noticing positive change: the fine lines in my forehead and the “11” between my brows, rather than becoming more pronounced as they were doing (the sneaks), are becoming much, much fainter.
They have not completely disappeared from sight, but I’m quite pleased anyway, because I can tell my skin is much more elastic and less prone to show lines. Still, I seem to recall having heard (or read) that the usual recommended period to assess a retinol product’s efficacy is about 12 weeks… I’ve been using this for 8 weeks, and thus far I can say that my skin responds well to this product, and that I’m satisfied.
Would I buy The Ordinary Retinol 1% again?
If I happen to run into it before stock is gone, I would, and if not, I’d be quite willing to try the new formulas. Flaking aside, I like the results I’m obtaining from this particular product, and while I’m very curious about The Ordinary’s other retinoids, I’m actually a bit skeptical about the glass + dropper screw cap packaging, which exposes it to light and air more than I would like. Being that retinol’s particularly susceptible to degradation and loss of efficacy after opening, I tend to prefer the opaque tube.
My rating for this product: 4.5 points. However! note that I certainly would NOT recommend this to anyone with even slightly sensitive skin, or who is fussy about silicones in cosmetic products (no shortage of ‘cones in this, for sure); I’m my case, I’m quite satisfied with the improvement I’m seeing, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.