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The Ordinary Skincare – How To Use It


I have had samples of The Ordinary Skincare for a couple of months but because there are quite a lot of products that all look very similar, I felt a bit confused. I didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t start. But these products played and played on my mind until I tackled them. Now I get it. And it’s great. Here’s what you need to know.

The Ordinary Skincare

The Ordinary Skincare

In case you haven’t heard of The Ordinary skincare yet, here’s a bit of background for you. It’s Deciem brand, and for me that instantly signals serious skincare and quality.

“The Ordinary is an evolving collection of treatments offering familiar, effective clinical technologies positioned to raise pricing and communication integrity in skincare.” In essence, it is offering advanced technology and quality ingredients at low prices. And when I say low prices, I mean it. The lowest price point is £3.90 and the highest is £14.90. For skincare that works, it is peanuts. It is amazing value for money.

The Ordinary Skincare Buffet

The Ordinary Skincare Buffet

I have been playing with five of the products that can all be used together and really enjoying them. I love the simplicity of the packaging, the straightforward names of the products, the clear ingredients listing and the encouragement to layer up the steps! If I can add an extra step into my regime, I will!

The Ordinary Skincare – Regime

I have five of the products and now that I have started playing with them, I am really into them. Here’s how I have ordered my regime.


The Ordinary Skincare - Day Regime

The Ordinary Skincare – Day Regime – Hyalurinonic Acid 2% + B5, Niacimide 10% + Zinc 1%

  1. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5  – for hydration
  2. Niacimide 10% + Zinc 1% – for pigmentation and oil control
  3. Regular moisturiser
  4. SPF


The Ordinary Skincare - Night Regime

The Ordinary Skincare – Night Regime – Buffet, Advanced Retinoid 2%, 100% Cold Pressed Rose Hip Oil

  1. Buffet – Multi-Technology Peptide Serum to fight signs of ageing
  2. Advanced Retinoid 2% – 2 forms of retinoid that fight ageing without irritation
  3. 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil – for conditioning, nourishing & treatment of the signs of photo-ageing
  4. Regular night cream

When layering skincare, the general rule is to start with the lightest texture and layer on heavier formulations as you work through your routine. So you start with products such as Buffet and Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 which are water solutions, and move on to the oils and creams.

The Ordinary Skincare Bestsellers

Because there are quite a few products to choose from, I have a list of the best sellers so far which might help you to make your selections:

  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% £5 – here
  • Advanced Retinoid 2% £8 – here
  • Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 £5.90 – here
  • 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil £9 – here

The main thing to bear in mind with The Ordinary skincare is that it offers up advanced clinical technologies and ingredients at very low prices. If budget has ever been a problem for you when it comes to effective, results-driven skincare, then those days are over.

It’s a brilliant starter point, and if you then want to move up the scale, most of The Ordinary products have a big sister within Deciem’s higher end brands – Hylamide and NIOD – that will deliver more intensive, stronger results. What a genius concept!

I have given brief explanations of what each of the products I have do, but I haven’t gone into too much detail because then Ordinary becomes Over-complicated! You can check out the website HERE if you want to learn more.




Unless otherwise indicated products reviewed are press or brand samples. Links may be affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through one of our links we receive a small commission which helps support and run this website.

Facebook Conversations

23 Responses to The Ordinary Skincare – How To Use It

  1. The Lavender Barn November 8, 2016 at 6:54 am #

    Love this post Ree, best budget brand out there. Lyn x

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  2. Bumble Strickland November 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    Thank you for ‘demystifying’ this overly complex range of products. Going to give it a go as everyone is raving about it. Quick question ……. do you then apply your make up on top/ after all the various ‘am’ skincare products? The regime does seem never ending!

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    • Ree November 12, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

      Pleasure! Yes I let it all sink in for a few minutes and then do makeup as usual x

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  3. Sheila November 13, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    Hi thank you so much for this brilliant explanation! Just a question, is it one to use these products every day (especially for the night regime) or should I only use it every other day? Thank you!

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    • Ree November 14, 2016 at 9:35 am #

      Hiya – all the products I have featured are suitable for daily use. The only one that could cause problems is the Retinoid which you can use every other day if the skin is sensitised xx

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  4. Claire November 16, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    Any advice for products for my teenage daughter with pretty bad acne? I find all the products overwhelming

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    • Rebecca November 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

      Hi Claire,
      I’ve had amazing success with Panoxyl Aquagel 10% with my teenage daughter’s acne. You have to start slowly as it can make the skin red and sore at first, so use sparingly, but she went from acne to clear skin over the course of a few weeks. It’s very cheap too!

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  5. Tara November 17, 2016 at 9:20 am #

    This article really helped me start tof understand more about the products. Although I am still confused, have contacted Deciem & Victoria Health but to no avail.

    What about cleanser ? Does that remain the same as you’ve always used ?

    I normally double cleanse, oil first then a cream wash off cleanser. Then toner, then a bha exfoliator, serum/antioxidant followed by moisturiser. All of which anti aging. Twice a day, morning & evening. (I’m 42) have dry skin, large pores & they do get clogged with the wrong products.

    Can anyone help me work out how I replace these with the right products.



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    • Amanda January 16, 2017 at 6:43 am #

      Hi Tara! Your regular routine looks great, and you can simply introduce The Ordinary products where you are currently using serums and or antioxidants! Their site explains the function of each product so that you can easily choose which is most appropriate for your skin type. They recommend layering up to 3 products at a time. I cleanse, tone, and then use buffet+niac&zinc in the AM before my regular moisturizer and then do the same process but use buffet+adv.retanoid+rose hip oil at PM prior to moisturizer (oily acne prone skin with early signs of aging). I just placed an order for Hyaluronic acid, their new Marula oil and Moisturizing Factors last week. You cannot beat the price point!

      I hope this helps!

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  6. Claire November 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Thanks so much for the advice we will try it.

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  7. Tracy November 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    i’ve neglected my skin for years & it shows. I’m 61. Any advice?

    I can afford to do a regime like you’ve described but even I know that much Retinol would dry me up and maybe I don’t even need it.What do you suggest for a formerly lazy, now repentant, baby boomer?

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    • Ree December 3, 2016 at 11:27 am #

      I’d say use a good Hyaluronic Serum under moisturiser. The Ordinary one is very affordable

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  8. A Woman Of A Certain Age January 6, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

    These products are wonderful.
    Here is how I layer mine:

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    • Tracey E. March 25, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

      Thanks for posting your routine!

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  9. Emily Louise January 31, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

    I’ve been using The Ordinary skincare for around 4 days now and I’m already seeing a difference (and it’s that time of the month where my skin is usually horrendous!)
    I’m currently using these products (in this order):
    Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ((moisture))

    Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (reduce the appearance of blemishes and redness-morning only/should not be used with topical Vitamin C)

    Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (brightness & skin texture)I’ve used this morning for 2/4 days, and night for all 4)

    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate ((Topical Vitamin C for brightness – evenings only/when using niacinamide)

    100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

    This has been my routine for both morning and night, although my skin is young (I’m 22). I usually suffer from an oily t-zone but this oil is magical and almost dries matte, and doesn’t leave a shine like most intense moisturisers and oils do on my face. I’m also a makeup wearer and the oil hasn’t caused my face makeup to break down, if anything it’s been lasting longer.

    Although it seems like you’re using a lot of products (because of the layering) you really don’t, I find I use less of each, because I’m using more things so don’t need to use too much… making this really cost effective.

    Overall I really really love The Ordinary skincare, and if you can get over the names and understand what each product does, for the price point I really don’t think you can go wrong.

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  10. Lia February 19, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    Should the eye area be avoided with these products, or ok to include?

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    • Ree February 20, 2017 at 11:29 am #

      I use all the serums near my eyes. Hope that helps. xx

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  11. Beccah March 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    It’s great to have a rundown of some of The Ordinary’s products! I was quite overwhelmed when I first looked into them. So far I’ve tried the Niacinamide, which has definitely given me good skin brightening/evening results. Next up I’ll be trying the Vitamin C.

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  12. Tracey E. March 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    The US online store Beautylish just started offering The Ordinary. They have a wonderful “Treatment Guide” online that describes the various products, when to use, etc. in much easier terms than any information I found on The Ordinary’s website.

    Really Ree’s regime and others’ experiences also helped me to understand how to use the products to achieve your desired outcome.I also benefited from YT videos by Gostamista who goes through the line as well as her routine.

    I spoke with a Beautylish representative who suggested products to use with my current routine, identified gaps, where I might want start, and where I could add over time. I’m starting slowly with areas of greatest concern: retinol, exfoliation, and under eye puffiness/creping.

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  13. Elaine April 18, 2017 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi I’m 50 and want to use these products but I’m totally confused as its such a big range , basically I want to know what I should be using to start a skincare regime, I normally cleanse , tone and mositurise morning and night , I’m all about the anti aging but diner want to many products , can you please advise what I should be using for the best effects

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  14. Ije May 28, 2017 at 7:05 am #

    I’m always curious to see other people’s The Ordinary routine.

    Here is mine for acne and pigmentation:

    I like most of the products I have tried from them. I wish they’d make a cleanser next.

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  15. Pam June 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    Does anyone know what The Ordinary product would help with sunburn??

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