Yes. Is the short answer.
I’m super late on The Ordinary band wagon but have obnoxiously decided you still need my opinion. I’m not going to waste your time with a brand history; if you haven’t heard of The Ordinary by now you’ve been living under a volcanic rock (great for decongesting).
A few things intrigued me about this brand. Mainly the price point and the rave reviews. I have a lot of friends in the beauty industry with countless brands at their finger tips and I couldn’t believe how many of them were obsessed. So I was pretty damn excited when a Deciem package landed on my doorstep.
For the past six weeks I’ve been been diligently trialling the Vitamin C Suspension 25%, Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5 and Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%.
Let’s start with the Lactic Acid. What does The Ordinary say about it?
“This 5% formulation offers very mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation.”
It is recommended using this guy once a day in the evening. I did just this before applying any other serums or moisturisers. Let’s begin with a disclaimer- as an avid acid user I probably didn’t experience the same results someone newer to acid would experienced. Nevertheless, my skin certainly still responded. Although I felt I needed stronger exfoliation, the texture of my skin was still improved and congestion reduced. This is an ideal formula for typically sensitive skin and also dry skin, with the inclusion of hyaluronic acid at 2%.
So who would love this? Newbie acid users, sensitive skin, dry skin.
Everyone else should get aboard the 10% formulation.
Now for the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. The Ordinary says:
“Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. The molecular size of HA determines its depth of delivery in the skin. This formulation combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight HA, as well as a next-generation HA crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for multi-depth hydration. This system is supported with the addition of Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration.”
Love me a HA serum and 2% is exactly what we want from a hydration serum. The different molecular sizes of HA means that it is actually penetrating the skin rather than sitting on the surface drawing out moisture.
The texture of this serum is pretty typical of a HA serum; a thick, clear gel with no scent. Compared to other formulations, such as sister brand Hylamide’s HA serum, this guy is slightly sticker on the skin and takes a little longer to absorb. However, it’s ability to combat dehydration is on par. This kept dehydration lines at bay and helped keep my skin feeling plump. It also layered well under other serums and moisturisers. I think for the price difference between Hylamide and The Ordinary ($30 vs $12.90 respectively), this serum is definitely the way to go.
And lastly, my fave of the bunch, Vitamin C Suspension. According to The Ordinary:
“This water-free, silicone-free formula provides 23% pure L-Ascorbic Acid which remains completely stable due to the absence of water. The system is supported with addition of dehydrated spheres of Hyaluronic Acid to offer visible surface smoothing alongside the benefits of Vitamin C. This treatment is ideally applied at bedtime.”
Now let’s start with the number one complaint I’ve read about this poor little guy; it’s grainy. Yes, it has a powdery like texture to it that is unusual in a cream formulation. The Ordinary addresses this on their website: “Alternative products on the market offer suspensions of Vitamin C in water-free formulations in a silicone base to avoid the “powdery” feel of the suspension. These formulations do keep the Vitamin C stable but they are almost always offered in heavier silicone bases that interfere with efficient exposure of the entire Vitamin C content to the skin (the silicone entraps the Vitamin C). Our formula avoids the use of silicones and offers complete and direct exposure of the entire powder content to the skin, maximizing topical delivery.”
Yes, this felt powdery on my skin and yes, it took longer to absorb than your average serum. It is annoying but I was so impressed with the effect this had on my skin, it didn’t bother me too much. After about two weeks I decided I wanted to use this in the morning as well but the slow absorption didn’t make this ideal. I began mixing a pea size amount with one pump of my Ultraceuticals Ultra B5 serum. God damn. This combo is a skin changer. The powdery texture completely disappeared when mixed and it absorbed so much faster. I didn’t notice a decline in results. Speaking of results, both alone and mixed I found this vitamin c made my skin look clearer. By clearer I mean my blotchiness was reduced, acne scarring faded and skin tone more even. I love the addition of HA at 2%. Much like the HA serum, this keeps the skin plumped and hydrated whilst reaping the benefits of vitamin c.
Price aside, Vitamin C Suspension is one of the best vitamin c formulas I’ve tried. Although there are more complex formulas on the market, this one is great if pigmentation and skin tone are your main concerns.
The Ordinary is providing highly effective skincare at incredible prices. You will most likely need to layer to address concerns that perhaps a single product from another brand could achieve due to the singular ingredient focus of each product. Thanks to the price point however, this isn’t a concern.
Ps keep your eyes peeled on the glossco instagram for The Ordinary Colours…
* PR samples provided for consideration