The Ordinary: Skincare that’s Anything but Ordinary

Welcome back beauties!

A skincare brand that’s based on evidence-backed ingredients, a skincare brand that is affordable in a market full of price-hiked products, a skincare brand that uses simple formulations but doesn’t compromise on quality and effectiveness? That’s what you get when you try The Ordinary skincare.

‘Clinical formulations with integrity’, The Ordinary is part of the parent company ‘Deciem’ which no doubt you’ve heard of. Founded in Canada, Deciem is an umbrella of brands that are focused on advanced functional beauty. Deciem prides itself on it’s team of experts specialised in biochemistry and materials chemistry to bring you simple formulations with advanced ingredients that are evidence-backed, yet with honourable prices (prices range from $8.80AUD-$24.90AUD).


The products from the The Ordinary however, I feel are marketed towards those who are skincare-knowledgable and know exactly what they want and how to customise their skincare routine. For example, their products are named so after the particular active ingredient in the product like ‘Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%’. No hiding behind fancy and ambiguous titles here, the product name tell it like it is however, is light on information for what the product actually does for our skin. But a downside to this is that many people are left confused by the massive product range, and constantly say they don’t know what to buy because they don’t understand what the products are meant to be used for unless they perform research themselves (which you should do anyway but many say they just don’t have the time to do). So, I’m here to give you a bit of a rundown on some of the products from The Ordinary, what they do and how to use them.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($12.90)

HAserum.2I’ve talked in depth about Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in a previous post, so make sure you click here if you want a heap of info about it. But basically, HA is naturally occurring in our own body and in high concentration in our connective tissues to maintain the structure and hydration in our skin, joints and organs. It has amazing water retention ability and this is why it’s targeted as a skincare ingredient. Our skin needs both oil and water to keep hydrated, so those with dry skin should be using HA as well as an oil-based moisturiser. Those with oily skin like me can still be dehydrated (there is a difference between ‘dry’ and ‘dehydrated’), so should be using HA even if they think their skin doesn’t need any extra hydration because it will aid in water retention.

This particular HA has three different forms of HA with different molecular weights (it’s also vegan for those who are conscious about this). If you read my previous HA post, you’ll know there are some issues with the molecular size of HA and it’s depth of absorption into the skin. So this one has three different forms to ensure our skin is soaking up all the goodness of HA in different depths of delivery. It also features Vitamin B5 that helps to enhance water retention and surface hydration.

How you should use it

Because of the absorption issues of HA (and also the water retention properties), HA should be used as follows:

  1. Cleanse – any type of cleanser will do here but ensure it’s not one that strips the skin. You can opt for an exfoliating cleanser as this will improve the absorption of active ingredients into the skin
  2. Mist – use a hydrating, water-based facial mist and ensure your skin is coated in a light layer of the spray. This will help the HA bind to water and pull the hydration down into the skin. Using HA on dry skin could make your skin even more dry on the surface so always ensure you follow this step
  3. HA serum – Use the dropper tool to dispense 1-2 drops of the serum and massage lightly into the skin
  4. Follow with other serums if needed and then moisturise

Ascorbyl Glucoside 12% ($21.90)


Ascorbyl Glucoside is water-soluble and highly stable form of the skincare god Vitamin C, which in it’s truest form (L-ascorbic acid) is highly unstable.  If you want to get clued up on Vitamin C in skincare and the various forms it takes, you can read up on my previous ingredient spotlight post here. Ascorbyl Glucoside is considered a ‘gold-standard’  form of Vitamin C due to it’s stability and ease of use however is not as potent as L-ascorbic acid. It is packaged in a UV protective bottle to minimise the oxidation of the active ingredient during storage. The benefits of Vitamin C as a skin antioxidant range from skin brightening, reducing hyperpigmentation, increasing production of collagen, and protecting against photoaging (although it’s not a UV ray absorber). It has so many benefits to our skin that it really should be included in everyone’s skincare routines (except some can exhibit some sensitivty to it).

How to use it

Vitamin C serums usually come in the form of ‘boosters’, meaning they need to be activated with other serums before applying to the skin. Because of this, I always mix a drop or two of this Ascorbyl Glucoside in with my HA serum and then apply to my skin, following the steps above.

Natural Moisturising Factors + HA ($9.80)


Despite what the name suggests, this is not a product with naturally derived ingredients. Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF) is actually a thing! It’s a little complicated, but NMF is a collective term for an array of goodies in our skin that prevent hydration loss in the surface of our skin. This covers molecules like amino acids, triglycerides, urea (amazing for dry skin), ceramides, phospholipids, glycerin, saccharides etc etc, you get the picture, basically all the things that make our skin healthy, hydrated and beautiful. NMF is found in all skin types, and so this product is suitable for all skin types but especially useful for those with dry skin.

This product isn’t a greasy formula, it’s got the consistency, look and texture of a usual moisturiser but has the special effect of repairing impaired NMF in our skin through the 11 amino acids and other goodies it provides.

How to use it

You can use this as you would your usual moisturiser which I love it so much. It’s so different to the regular moisturiser but you can apply it just as easily. As a tip, use this after the application of your serums and other water-based products but do not apply an oil or other creamy moisturiser beforehand as this will impair the absorption of this into the skin.

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil ($18.90)


Rosehip oil has been super popular in skincare over the years for its hydration and anti-aging properties. However not all are cold-pressed. The importance of using cold-pressed rosehip oil lies within the fact that heat during oil extraction can denature and destroy the beneficial components of rosehip oil such as linoleic (which apparently is reduced in those suffering from acne), linolenic acid, and pro-vitamin A, the former two being beneficial fatty acids for our skin. The process of cold-pressing oil will reserve those beneficial molecules as well other antioxidants in rosehip oil. It’s great for moisturising, but also has many purposes in addressing skin concerns like acne, scarring and reducing the risk of photoaging.

How to use it

Rosehip oil should be used after the applications of any serums and moisturisers, because generally oils can penetrate through moisturisers, but most moisturisers can’t penetrate through oils. However, I generally do not use both because my skin isn’t dry enough to need the power of both a moisturiser and a facial oil. So I alternate the use of each. However, this particular rosehip oil is quite thick and potent so I only apply at night before bed to avoid my face looking greasy throughout the day.

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That completes this post! I hope my post helped to shed some light into some of the products from The Ordinary skincare line in terms of what they actually contain, what they do and how to incorporate them into your skincare routine. The thing I love most about The Ordinary is that most of their products only contain one or two active ingredients which means you can easily customise and optimise your skincare routine to really target your skin concerns. Simple formulations, super affordable as well so it gets a massive tick from me. You can pick up the whole range of products straight from!

Have you tried The Ordinary? What products are your favourite? I’ve also got both their primers so let me know if you want me to review and compare them!

Until my next post, you can catch up with me on Instagram, on Facebook, or on Pinterest! And make sure you subscribe to my blog via email to make sure you never miss a post!

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*These products were sent for editorial purposes but has not influenced my opinions or material presented. The Beauty & the Geek is not a professional expert so please do not take opinions expressed as a professional advice. 

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  1. Great review Fel! I haven’t tried any products from The Ordinary (got some on my wishlist though), but I admit to feeling bamboozled by the range. Luckily I did some research & found a handy guide on Beautylish which gave suggestions based on your skincare concerns. I know not everyone will do their research though; but it’s a shame since this range is affordable & there’s so much buzz around it atm.

    1. Oh that sounds like a great resource and one I might browse through myself, I love learning more about skincare. Yes you are quite right, the names of the products coupled with the product range can easily confuse people! I’d love to try more of their non-traditional ingredients though, the caffeine sounds amazing. Thanks for stopping by! X

    1. Thank you Tahana! It means a lot. Their stuff is so cheap, and for me they work so well on my skin. They are really worth a try!

  2. Thank you for this scientific view of these products! You’re right, there is very little in the way of instruction or explanation with the minimalist packaging so it was great to get some more info – I now know I should be misting before my HA ! *adds to routine* I do really like the stuff though, it’s made such a difference and I’m about to repurchase!

    1. Oh good to hear! What products are you currently using? And yes, spritzing with a hydrating facial mist is so important with HA but is a step many don’t know to do. Thanks for your comment! x

        1. I knowwww! Lots of stuff is out of stock and even apparently at Deciem HQ as well. So looks like we’ll be out for quite some time! I have both primers, they are both fantastic! Sometimes I wear the silicone one after I moisturise without applying any makeup so that my oil is kept at bay during the day 🙂

    1. Oh… now that’s where we are different haha. The apothecary-like jars and minimalist packaging really pull at my nerdy heartstrings. I absolutely love the look of the packaging. Don’t get me wrong I love pretty packaging too, but sometimes my geeky heart yearns for some chemistry dropper bottles, and monochromatic labels haha.

  3. I am so keen to try out these products, especially the primer! Thanks for the review 🙂 Now I want it allllll. Haha.

    Kate |

    1. Trust me I want it alllllll too! I have both their primers and love them both. I favour one over the other though despite their similarity. Let me know if you want a review!

      Thanks for stopping by x

  4. This is an amazing post Felicia! You have really broken down each product into plain English which I know a lot of people will appreciate. I love how affordable the range is too, I will definitely have to give it a go, especially the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil – it sounds amazing!

    1. Thanks Marisa! The rosehip oil is definitely the thickest I’ve used but also the most potent in my experience. You only need the tiniest drops to cover your face! I love that it’s both cold pressed and organic as you know you are getting a really good quality rosehip oil that’s better for our skin as well as the environment! Definitely worth a purchase!

  5. Super helpful post Fel, thank you for this! I’ve used some of these before and recently gotten back into it. Your tips regarding HA from a previous post really helped me with the serum. I need to try the Vit C though!

    1. Thanks Steph! It’s one of their more pricer items at $21.90 but seriously, considering the exorbitant prices of other good Vitamin C serums where the active ingredient is among the highest concentrations, this is sooo cheap! (Some serums claim they are vitamin C serums but the concentration is so ridiculously low that I’d consider it close to being water haha)

      So really, I find it to be extremely good value and my skin has never been better since using Vitamin C in my routine!

    1. Thanks Amy! It’s so affordable which good quality active ingredients, it’d be a shame not to try some of their products out! I’m converted for sure!

    1. I agree, it’s easy to get lost in the product range when you first look at it! HA is definitely something I feel everyone should try and incorporate into the skincare routines so it’s a good product to get into.

      You can also use the guide I linked up to help you decide what products you can use 🙂

  6. I still haven’t tried anything from the Ordinary – but I so badly want to! Right now though I’m pretty happy with my skincare routine so I’m trying to use some products up before I go out and buy any more. I definitely want to get my hands on the Vitamin C serum though, and I’ve heard amazing things about their retinol which I’d love to incorporate into my routine. Your post was awesome though and so informative! It’s got me rethinking what order I should use my products. I’m currently using the Hylamide Vitamin C Booster and I’ve just been applying it alone but I think I better start mixing it with my moisturising serum before applying!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    1. So have I about their retinol! I want to try that next time as well.

      And yes I have the Hylamide Vit C booster as well and it definitely does need to be mixed in with another serum to activate it, so you should try that out and you may see better results 🙂

  7. Great review! I love that you actually explained how to use each of them! Sometimes when there’s so many serums and oils it gets confusing to know the correct order to apply them x

    1. Tell me about it! It does get confusing knowing which way to apply serums and moisturisers. A good tip is to always apply the products with lightest texture and consistency first and the heaviest last (although this doesn’t always apply to everything).

    1. Thank you Rochelle!

      Definitely look at the guide I also posted at the end of my blog post. You can select what skin concerns you have and it will generate which products might work for you. It’s pretty good!

    1. Oh thank you so much Izzy, I’m so glad you think so! Their primers are also a definite must try!

    1. I knowwwww, I don’t know how they do it! It’s so refreshing in a world full of expensive yet effective skincare. Glad they’re giving us consumers a break!

  8. Firstly, your photos are soooo beautiful! But regarding The Ordinary, I’m very keen to try their products but I have a lot skincare I’m trying to get through first.

    1. Ohh I understand haha. Life of a beauty blogger! I’m actually cutting back on product offers for skincare because I have so much but I have products that I really love and really work for me so I’m limiting what I try now! And thank you for the compliment! Much appreciated x

    1. I completely agree, it is quite confusing for a range that is actually simple. I also agree the packaging needs to have some more information on it! The guide I’ve linked at the end of the post is super helpful to let you decide what products you need for your skin concerns, and how to use them as well.

  9. This review was SO helpful Felicia – I’ve been looking into this brand, but all the chemistry started doing my head in lol. So affordable and from what I’ve read, so effective xxx

    1. Thanks Kat! I must admit even I had some confusion with some products but now that I know a lot more about them I feel better about it all. Let me know if you need some questions answered about any other products and I’ll do my best to answer 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! That’s what I aim for with my skincare posts so I’m really happy to hear that! I’d love to know what you pick up, you should come back here and let me know, I’m always so interested in what people choose to use for their skincare 🙂

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