i splurged on the ordinary and i have no regrets.

The Ordinary

Everyone is all over The Ordinary products at the moment. I can’t say I blame them.

I’ve completely fallen in love with them.

When I first came across their products (thanks ASOS you beaut), it didn’t take long before I realised I was probably going to be spending quite a bit of money on their products. I’ve been using their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% every single evening as part of my skincare routine. I’m a big fan. Nothing has cleared my adult acne up like this before and now I wouldn’t be without it.

The Ordinary is a brand under the umbrella company Decium. They market it as the skin care with integrity. Everything is vegan, cruelty-free, as well as free of parabens, mineral oils and sulphates.

But if I’m honest it was the prices that sucked me in first. Their foundation sells for less than £6. I think even Dream Matte Mousse costs more. The less said about that the better.

There’s very little to complain about, apart from maybe the confusing names. I know they’re meant to be very clinical but you really have to research what you’re getting if you’re a skincare novice like me. They make you feel like you’re in a laboratory. But hey, research isn’t exactly a bad thing.

On a recent trip to Spitalfields market, I may or may not have fallen into Decium’s Abnormal Beauty Company shop. I may have come home with a little bit more than I intended to. It’s a bloody good job that The Ordinary is so cheap. I pretty much filled a basket and still spent less than £30.

Here’s what I picked up and my initial thoughts.

the ordinary

100% Plant-Derived Squalane

There are ridiculous benefits to using squalane. On paper, it should absorb into your skin really quickly, it’s great at hydration which should leave skin smooth and supple. It’s non-irritating, a super stable face oil which can help to reduce oil production and it’s unlikely to clog like many other face oils. Sounds like a bit of a miracle really doesn’t it?

Personally, I’m not getting along very well with it. I’m quite disappointed by that because I’ve wanted to use squalane for ages but have been put off by the cost. Every time I’ve seen it in a product it’s been over £50, but The Ordinary are selling it for £5.50 which is almost unbelievable. But it never seems to sink into my skin and leaves me feeling like I’ve dunked my head in a pot of oil. I swim a lot and I need something to counteract the drying of the chlorine.

I will give it another go. Recently I’ve been using it as a hair oil instead. Using squalane on your hair is supposed to help prevent breakages. I’ve seen a slight improvement, and will definitely keep trying it to see if I can see any more. I think I will also try it out on my under eye area instead of my whole face too. My under eye area needs a bit of attention at the moment and I just don’t believe that squalane isn’t as great as many people make it out to be.

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This is a ten-minute exfoliating mask to help revitalise skin and tone. It’s supposed to help exfoliate the surface layer of the skin, combat blemishes, help to improve texture and unclog pores.

I was a little afraid to try a peeling mask. I needn’t have worried. There was a slight stinging on application, but it hasn’t irritated my skin at all. Once it’s washed off, my skin is much smoother. There’s also a noticeable brightness to my skin, and the texture is very much improved. I’ve been using this mask once a week for over a month now and I’m yet to come across any downsides.

I’ll be repurchasing when it’s run out. It’s genuinely one of my favourite products.

Retinol 1%

Using retinol on your skin is supposed to be a basic cure all. It helps to promote skin cell turnover and exfoliates away dead cells. This then helps to even out skin tone, smooth texture and reduce hyper pigmentation. Usually, it’s ridiculously expensive, but again The Ordinary come in and offer this product for the amazingly low price of £5.80.

Using retinol, however, can be a little bit scary. There are many other things to remember when it comes to its use – making sure you use SPF the next day, building up to a regular use instead of diving straight in because it can be irritating.

I have to admit I slightly regret buying this product. It can irritate my skin if I’m not careful and I don’t always remember to put SPF on the next day. So at the moment, I’m worried that using it could cause more harm than good.

I wish that I’d bought The Ordinary Advanced Retinol 2% instead. Instead of using a straight retinol it uses a retinol ester which helps to dilute the dose and therefore reduce the strength. It’s something I’m going to add to my wishlist and is worth thinking about if you’re after a retinol product.

the ordinary


High-Adherence Silicone Primer

I’ve had a long journey with primers. I can never find one I really like enough to purchase more than once. I never notice a bit of difference when I use them. So, when I finished my last Body Shop primer, I thought I’d give this one a go. It has all the elements I’d want from a primer: it’s hydrating and blurring, with a matte finish and should help to reduce the look of pores and imperfections.

I’m about half way through this product. I’m still in two minds about whether I’d buy it again.

Starting with the plus points; I can actually notice this one doing something. The silicone finish helps to keep my skin matte, dries into my face quickly which means it doesn’t slow down my morning rush around routine

But, I’m not sure it does do all the things it claims to do. I’m not sure it really does reduce the look of my pores, which are a sore point for me and something I’m quite self-conscious about. I’m also not sure it helps to blur out my imperfections either.

When I’ve finished it I’ll make a decision on whether to re-purchase. At the moment, I can’t help but think there’s something better out there.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

My eyes are traditionally where my skin care routine falls down. They’re just something I haven’t paid attention to previously and I’m sure that will be something I regret. In an effort to try a little harder, and start trying to banish my dark circles, I picked this up. It’s a lightly textured serum which should reduce the appearance of pigmentation and puffiness around the eyes. The caffeine is supposed to constrict blood vessels to help with the pigmentation, while the EGCG is sourced from green tea and has strong anti-inflammatory properties to help with the puffiness.

I don’t think I’ve given this a good enough testing out. Although you’re supposed to start seeing results almost immediately, I haven’t. I’ve only been using it as part of a nighttime routine and I think that in future I’ll either move this to the morning or I’ll use it in both the AM and PM. I’ve seen better reviews for the puffiness side of it compared to the dark circles, and as puffiness isn’t a particular issue for me, maybe this just isn’t actually the right product for me.

Coverage Foundation

So far I’m a pretty big fan of this foundation. I’d wanted to buy it for bloody ages but it was constantly out of stock on the Decium website. I’d been added to a ridiculously long waiting list and they kept sending me e-mails saying they were sorry they were taking so long. So I was pretty happy to see it in stock at the Spitalfields store.

I’d been craving a full coverage foundation after falling out of love with my old faithful stick foundation from Bobbi Brown which kept sliding off my face throughout the day and just wasn’t giving me the coverage I needed. The Ordinary’s coverage foundation does give me the coverage I need and so far has stayed in place throughout the day. I haven’t given it a completely thorough testing yet. It stands up for a day at work, but I’m unsure if it’s going to stay in place if I’d been on a bike ride. Unlike with a lot of coverage foundations, it’s light. I can barely feel this on my skin which is a big plus for me.

Other big pluses include the full range of colours you can order. I have no doubt that everyone would be able to find a shade which works for them, especially with the large range of undertones that are available too. Plus, it clocks in at a measly £5.90 – absolutely brilliant pricing for a foundation which works as well as this.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what The Ordinary come up with next, starting with their new Covent Garden store open soon. So much more convenient than Spitalfields for me. Not so convenient for my bank balance.

What should I try out next?


  1. July 25, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    I keep hearing good things about the brand but still haven’t managed to purchase anything (to be honest, it might be a blessing in disguise as well for my wallet). Although I am definitely interested in the foundation now as I am on the hunt for a good coverage but light-feeling (… not sure what the correct term is).

    nat // dignifiable

    • annieappletoothpaste
      August 4, 2017 / 12:02 am

      I know what you mean! Honestly the Ordinary are so cheap that I really urge you to give something a go, it won’t hurt your purse if you get a couple of things, promise!

  2. July 27, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    I flippin’ love this brand too! I use the retinol, caffine solution, Niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid and my skin hasn’t looked this good in ages. I had adult acne for a few years and was getting really down about the fact that nothing seemed to make a different. Enter The Ordinary. Wow!
    My thanks goes to ASOS too, this stuff is a game changer.

    • annieappletoothpaste
      August 4, 2017 / 12:00 am

      Isn’t it just? I make sure I’m signed up to their e-mail listings now so I make sure that I get hold of their new releases as soon as they come out. There aren’t many brands I would say that about.

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