I don't think I've ever seen such a kerfuffle about a beauty brand launch as I saw with The Ordinary twelve weeks ago. The brand's concept is 'Clinical formulations with integrity' and their ethos is to avoid the industry standard of taking a commonplace technology, masking it as 'groundbreaking' then slapping a hefty price tag on it. The Ordinary aims to bring effective proven technologies to the market with honorable pricing structures which as you can imagine is causing the beauty industry a headache or two but finally giving consumers products that actually work without breaking the bank.
Of course the products immediately sold out, Victoria Health were taking pre-orders and I wanted to mention this because I haven't ordered from them in years and I was reminded just how good their customer service and user engagement is. Gill sent out an email after the influx of orders to let customers know what was going on and when orders were to be shipped and also to re-assure customers that no payments are taken until the products are actually dispatched (this is often not the case from retailers). So on to the products I purchased and my thoughts:
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% and HA Spheres 2% - £4.90 for 30ml (Link)
So first off you're not going to get simple names with any Deceim product and The Ordinary is no exception but you get the gist, a high percentage Vitamin C formulation with Hyaluronic Acid. This formula now comes in a tube rather than the dropper based on recommendations from customers (thumbs up), it's quite a thick formula so got a bit messy with the original packaging so I understand the change. On to the actual product, vitamin c is a proven ingredient to reverse signs of ageing and visibly brighten the complexion, this formula maximises topical efficiency as it is water and silicone-free which means it is completely stable so doesn't degrade as rapidly therefore stays potent longer than a water based vitamin c formula, the serum also contains spheres of Hyaluronic acid to smooth the skin.
My thoughts after using this product are that it visibly brightens the complexion and gives your skin a lovely glow, there is a sting factor with it (which I like in products) as well as the slightly gritty exfoliation action, it has an oily texture which absorbs pretty quickly but I like to leave on about 15 minutes before my next product for maximum absorption and potency. My only issue is that the next day the skin on my hands and around my fingernails is slightly orange and like I've fake tanned badly; I looked into this and from my googling I concluded it was the oxidants on my skin reacting with the product, an easily solvable issue if you come across it by using surgical gloves when applying it.
Will I repurchase?
Probably not; as the formulation is thicker and almost oily I find it doesn't fit into my skin care routine very well, I don't dislike it but I am prepared to spend more on a Vitamin C product with a more user friendly application, Deciem recommend the NIOD ELAN 30% for a more advanced formula which offers as high a potency as direct L-Ascorbic Acid with minimum stinging and high stability but the ingredient cost is 30 times the one used in The Ordinary's formula and therefore the product is at a higher cost.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - £5.00 for 30ml (Link)
Niacinamide is a derivative of Vitamin B which has shown to reduce blemishes and congestion which this serum is marketed towards but the ingredient has a lot more skin benefits such as some evidence that it stimulates cells in the dermis to produce more collagen and increases the production of ceramides and lipids to shield skin against moisture loss and protect it from bacteria and the environment. The Ordinary advise not to use this in the same routine as topical vitamin c therefore if you use one at night use the Niacinamide in the morning; I assume this is because Niacinamide is also has a lightening affect on the skin and can affect the stability of vitamin c.
This is the product I have used the most from the brand as it's slotted into my morning routine perfectly, I use it sandwiched between a Korean essence and my beloved La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+, it has balanced my oily skin very nicely without causing dryness and I've noticed a major reduction in the overall congestion of my skin as well.
Will I repurchase?
Definitely, I will likely try more advanced Niacinamide formulations on the market (if they exist) but this really ticks the boxes for what I wanted it to do all for £5.00 so I will definitely purchase another bottle when this one runs out. (For reference I use this every morning and after a solid 2 months of use I have about 2/3rds remaining!)
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - £5.90 for 30ml (Link)
Hyaluronic Acid is the skin care ingredient of the moment and I make sure to have a HA serum in my routine each day, The Ordinary's offering to the market is a formulation combining low, medium and high molecular weights of HA for multi-depth hydration combined with the B5 which enhances the surface hydration. I have absolutely no complaints with this product, it does exactly as intended for £5.90 so total bargain; yes it's a bit of a basic bitch and again NIOD offers a more advanced HA serum (which i'm testing out next) but if you're in your 20's and in need of a HA serum you can't go far wrong with this.
Will I repurchase?
Absolutely, this is a great offering like I said it just works, there's no bells or whistles which sometimes you need in your routine, its a great day time serum because it doesn't disturb makeup and will be great for more sensitive or acne prone skins as it's oil free and fragrance free.
My overall thoughts so far on The Ordinary is that i'm very impressed by the concept and the results of the products I've tried, I'm not the target market for the brand as I am a skin care connoisseur so NIOD is more suited to my needs however because the products on offer are effective and the prices they are available for are so reasonable i'll continue to try the remainder of range and future releases. I hope they continue to expand the range with some cleansers, masks and a few more acid based toners (they have lactic acid serums at the moment) and i'll continue posting my thoughts on the range as I want to balance out the more high end skin care with some more affordable options.
My philosophy on skincare has always been 'Buy the best that you can afford' but The Ordinary might just be my exception.
I have five bottles of the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + BA, I chose the HA because it's suited to all skin types and ages, everyone can get some use out of this serum whereas the rest of the range is more tailored to specific skin concerns. It's all going down on Instagram so head over to there to see how you can win a bottle. (Username: NicolaOBBeauty, there's a link at the top and bottom of this page too)