Fashion & Beauty

How to Build a Skincare Routine With The Ordinary Products

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If you’ve ever browsed the pages of Ulta’s website or perused the shelves of Sephora, you’ve likely seen The Ordinary products. With its minimalist packaging and simple logo, this skincare brand stands out for a number of reasons. What most people tend to notice first is just how affordable it is!

But their varied product selection can make it a bit tricky to know which products to use.

Are you battling fine lines? Are you trying to minimize dullness? Are you looking for products to fight against dryness? The Ordinary has products for all of it — it’s just a matter of knowing exactly which ones to use.

Ready to figure out which products are right for you? Here’s how to build a skincare routine with The Ordinary products.

Who Is The Ordinary?


The Ordinary doesn’t just make ordinary skincare products. They make clinical treatments and formulations based on chemistry.

The Ordinary is one of several beauty and skincare brands under the company DECIEM. Their prices are incredibly affordable. In fact, most products are priced at under $10. Their products are highly effective, and their formulas don’t include some of the harmful additives that other brands use.

The Ordinary brand launched in 2016, and in its four short years, has become a favorite of many beauty experts and skincare fanatics.

The Ordinary products do not include any sulfates, parabens, animal oils, formaldehyde or mercury. They are vegan and cruelty-free and they’re never tested on animals.

Yet, The Ordinary products’ simple packaging can be confusing for some. Unlike some brands, they label their products by what they are, as opposed to what they do.

But there’s absolutely no need to be confused. We’re going to break it all down for you right here!

What To Do Before You Start Your Routine

Before you start to build your skincare routine, think about what your end goal is. Are you mostly concerned with finding products that hydrate? Are you concerned about exfoliating? On the hunt for products to conceal blemishes? Hoping to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles?

How you build your routine all depends on your individual needs. The Ordinary makes dozens of products, so what you need will determine which to choose.

Once you pick your products, always do a patch test to see how your skin reacts. You should never apply any product (from any brand) all over your face or body until you’ve tested it in a small area.

Once you know the products don’t have an adverse reaction on your skin, establish a routine where you apply them in a specific order. As a general rule, you should always water-based apple products before oil-based products.

It’s also important to know which products should not be combined with other products. As a precaution, you should always consult with your dermatologist before applying any direct acids to the skin!

Related: The 23 Best Skincare Subscription Boxes For Men And Women [For All Skin Types]

The Basics Of Any Good Skincare Routine

A good skincare routine requires three essential components: a cleanser, a moisturizer and an SPF. The Ordinary has all of those essentials (plus a whole lot more).

Whether your skin is prone to breakouts and blemishes or you’re looking to battle the signs of aging, these must-have skincare products are an integral part of every skincare routine!

Squalane Cleanser

The Squalane Cleanser is the first step in every skincare routine. It’s a powerful yet lightweight cleanser that’s perfect for removing makeup and all sorts of other impurities in the skin. It leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth, and it’s non-comedogenic, so it’s safe for use on all skin types.

Natural Moisturizing Factors

Natural Moisturizing Factors is The Ordinary’s key moisturizer for hydration. It is lightweight and creamy without being greasy, and it works deep within the skin to replenish lost moisture and keep it well-hydrated.

Its formula includes amino acids, fatty acids, triglycerides and hyaluronic acid.

Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 Sunscreen

You should never leave the house (even on a cloudy day) without a broad spectrum SPF 30. And this formula provides SPF protection as well as hydration and antioxidant support. Put this on your face, hands and other exposed areas to prevent long-term sun damage and keep your skin looking and feeling smooth.

Related: 10 Of The Best Beauty Buys Found On Amazon [Shopper’s Guide]

The Different Regimens

In addition to these three key products, The Ordinary also sells acids, hydrators and oils to target different skin conditions. Depending on your skincare needs, here are some examples of the different types of regimens you can adopt.

The Simple Routine

Need a simple, daily skincare regimen without all the fancy additions?

Start by washing your face with the Squalane Cleanser morning and night. After cleansing, apply Hyaluronic Acid 2%+ B5. Just a few small drops can provide serious hydration and help to replenish lost moisture.

In the morning, follow up with Natural Moisturizing Factors and sunscreen before you head out for the day.

In the evening, after you use the Hyaluronic Acid, apply 100% Plant-Derived Squalane. This powerful product delivers an incredible amount of hydration into the skin while you sleep.

The Antioxidant Routine

As with all of these various routines, start by applying the Squalane Cleanser morning and night. In the morning, follow up with Pycnogenol 5%, then apply Natural Moisturizing Factors and sunscreen.

Pycnogenol 5% is a powerful antioxidant derived from pine bark. It includes all sorts of organic acids to rid the skin of free radicals and nourish the skin inside and out. Don’t be alarmed by the dark red color – that’s natural. But don’t be careful not to get it on any light-colored fabric, as it could leave stains.

In the evening, add EUK 134 0.1% to your routine. Apply this after cleansing and before moisturizing. This product also protects against free radicals and is a super powerful antioxidant. Combined with Pycnogenol 5%, it’s a unique treat for the skin!

The Hydration Routine

If it’s a serious hydration routine you’re searching for, wash your face morning and night with the Squalane Cleanser. In the morning, follow that up with Amino Acids +B5, then Natural Moisturizing Factors. If you’re heading outside, don’t forget your sunscreen!

Follow the same routine in the evening, except instead of applying Natural Moisturizing Factors, use 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil  or 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil. All three are excellent ways to add hydration to the skin.

The Anti-Aging Routine

Trying to combat the signs of aging? The Ordinary has a regimen for that too. Like the other routines, it begins with the Squalane Cleanser.

Wash your face morning and night with the Squalane Cleanser. Next, apply Buffet.

Buffet is a peptide serum made with so many powerful ingredients that it’s almost like treating your skin to a buffet of anti-aging products at once. In the morning, follow up with Natural Moisturizing Factors and apply sunscreen before you leave the house.

In the evening, after applying Buffet, use The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. This retinoid is more effective for anti-aging than most retinol creams and serums. Just be careful not to combine it with other retinoids at the same time – it’s powerful enough on its own!

Related: Everything You Need To Know About A Men’s Skincare Routine

Other Notable Products From The Ordinary

The Ordinary makes all sorts of formulas that provide unique, specific benefits. Here are a few of their other most popular products that you may want to incorporate into your daily routine!

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

With 30% alpha hydroxyl acids and 2% beta hydroxy acid, the peeling solution is designed to exfoliate the skin and clear your pores. Not only does it help to fight blemishes, but it also reduces the look of fine lines to create a smoother, better skin texture.

Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

Brighten your skin and enjoy anti-aging and antioxidant benefits with The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone. This product contains 30% pure L-Ascorbic Acid and feels super light on the skin!

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Wish your skin had a brighter appearance? The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% complex reduces signs of congestion, minimizes the appearance of blemishes and balances sebum activity. This product is not intended for use with topical Vitamin C, so be careful not to combine those two products at the same time.

Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

The Salicylic Acid 2% Masque is formulated with Amazonian clays and squalene to make the skin look smoother and more radiant. It has deep cleansing capabilities and is designed to remove your skin’s impurities that tend to clog pores.

Retinol 0.5% in Squalane

When it comes to retinoids, the Retinol 0.5% in Squalane is quite powerful! This solution can reduce the appearance of fine lines and give your skin an overall more youthful look and feel.

It often takes time for the skin to adjust to retinol. For this reason, The Ordinary also makes a weaker strength (0.2%) and a stronger formula (1%), depending on how much your skin can tolerate. If you’ve never used retinol before, start with the lower concentration of 0.2% and build your way up to the higher strengths.

Are The Ordinary Products Good For Your Skin?

Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, sensitive skin or acne-prone skin, The Ordinary makes a wide range of products to battle every skin condition and improve every skin type. The Ordinary products are great for the skin … but only if you use the right formulas for your skin type and unique concerns.

The Ordinary skincare brand is surprisingly inexpensive, which is perhaps why so many beauty fanatics are crazy over it. But since so many of their products have such powerful ingredients, it’s important to make sure that you know what you’re using before you use it!

When in doubt, consult your dermatologist to make sure that you’re using the right formulas for your type of skin.

You might also like: Why You Should Adopt A 10-Step Skincare Routine Today

18 Of The Best The Ordinary Products For Your Skincare Routine:

  1. Squalane Cleanser
  2. Natural Moisturizing Factors
  3. Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 Sunscreen
  4. Hyaluronic Acid 2%+ B5
  5. 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
  6. Pycnogenol 5%
  7. EUK 134 0.1%
  8. Amino Acids +B5
  9. 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
  10.  100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil
  11.  100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil
  12. Buffet
  13. Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
  14. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
  15. Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone
  16. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  17. Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
  18. Retinol 0.5% in Squalane

Jessica Heston

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