The Ordinary: gas or trash?

September 5, 2020 — by Joann Zhang

The skincare brand The Ordinary was launched into TikTok fame last February after TikTok user Kaelyn White showed astonishing before-and-after results using their products. Since then, The Ordinary has been a regular favorite of online skincare junkies such as Youtuber Hyram Yarbro, who called The Ordinary “revolutionary” for its straightforward, scientific approach to beauty. 

Unlike most cosmetics companies, The Ordinary has minimal marketing, which makes its products extremely affordable —  for example, the company’s niacinamide serum is only $5.90 an ounce. Glossier, another skincare brand popular with teens, sells a similar one for $28 an ounce. 

After filming a Tik Tok video with flash and no beauty filter and subsequently cringing at my skin, I decided it was time to try out some skincare products—and what better products to experiment with than the inexpensive Ordinary ones?

I ended up purchasing the salicylic acid mask, the glycolic acid toning solution, the hyaluronic acid serum, the niacinamide serum and the natural moisturizing factors moisturizer to hopefully help with hyperpigmentation, blackheads, pores, spots, whiteheads, oiliness, and dryness. 

*Disclaimer: Skincare products work differently for everyone. This is just my experience with these products. Please do your own research before buying. 

Salicylic acid 2% mask ($12/50mL): This mask is supposed to exfoliate and improve skin texture and tone, and is made to be used weekly. It BURNED my skin the first time I used it, so exercise caution. But it worked. It still stings when I use it now, but beauty is (mild) pain. After about a month of weekly use, the skin on my chin and forehead feels a lot smoother. The mask also stopped breakouts in their tracks and helped with redness. My skin tone still has the luster of a concrete sidewalk, but this product is more than worth the $12 for the skin texture improvement. Verdict: 4/5 stars

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning solution ($8.70/ 240 mL): This solution is a chemical exfoliant for skin radiance, clarity and texture. While it doesn’t look like it improved my skin radiance, it did clear up spots and small blemishes, and has improved my skin texture. At around the price of a Chipotle bowl with guac, it’s a banger of a deal. Verdict: 3.5/5

Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1% serum ($5.90/30 mL): This serum supposedly reduces blemishes, blackheads and whiteheads. And boy does it perform. It is basically an overnight white-out for blemishes; however, I haven’t seen improvement with my blackheads, but you can’t have everything in life. If there is one thing you take away from this article, I hope it is that you need Niacinimide 5% and Zinc 1% in your life. Verdict: 5/5

Hyaluronic acid 2% and B5 ($6.80/30 mL): This acid successfully hydrates and softens skin. My cheeks now feel like a baby’s butt (cheeks). My forehead skin is also now very soft when it is not breaking out. However, it occasionally caused me to break out, so use it in moderation. Verdict: 3.5/5

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA ($5.80/30 mL): This moisturizer moisturizes (no, seriously). It’s very lightweight and dries down quickly, and moisturizes quite well for its price. As an excellent primer for makeup, it is well worth the six bucks — you will find yourself reaching for this product daily. Verdict: 4/5 stars

The Ordinary is certifiably gas, especially for the price! The products are so inexpensive that it’s well worth buying them just to try them. The company’s products are sold on the Deciem website, as well as Sephora and Ulta. Go on, you deserve it. 🙂