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Ordinary? Nah… I Don’t Think So

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Hi Hipsters! It’s Cassandra, Collin’s Favorite Sidekick! 😉

Have you ever tried a product that was SO good, you just had to tell everyone about it?*


I follow a 10-step skin care routine religiously that includes some pretty interesting ingredients. I know it sounds extreme, but skin care is my favorite part of the day. Some watch shows about housewives or scroll through social media to unwind. I prefer to stand in my bathroom in a hastily-fashioned bath towel dress layering on the goods.

So when I found out about The Ordinary last year, I was immediately intrigued. If you’re into skincare in even the slightest way, you’ve probably already heard about this brand. And if you haven’t, here’s all you need to know… it’s cheap and most importantly – it works.

We’re talking super-potent serums starting at around $5. And while they offer other products like sunscreen, primers and foundation, my heart belongs to their skincare line.

Cass + The Ordinary = True ♥ 4-Ever.

So, how do they do it?

No marketing, fancy packaging, or filler ingredients. Plus, all products are produced, lab-tested, packaged, and distributed from the same facility, which also helps to keep costs down. So what you get are highly-effective formulas at how-is-this-company-still-in-business prices. It’s also worth noting that this brand is cruelty-free and vegan.

Each product contains only the bare minimum of ingredients, which exponentially decreases the chance of any adverse reactions. Two-to-four drops treats your entire face, so you can easily get a few months of use from each product.

You can create an entire skincare routine around their products, or just incorporate one or two into your existing routine to amp up the moisturizers, serums, or makeup products you already own.

The burn means it’s working. Well, actually…

…I’ve tried multiple versions of Vitamin C and Retinols/Retinoids from this brand, and I experienced no irritation. None. Zilch. Nada. If you’ve ever felt the itching, burning and peeling of retinol, you know this is HUGE. In fact, I’ve yet to experience any kind of irritation from any of The Ordinary’s line of products, and I’ve tried a lot of them.


Turns out, you don’t need a degree in Chemistry.

The only downside to this brand is how overwhelming it can be figuring out what to buy and how to use it, since everything sounds so… science-y (lookin’ at you, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F). But don’t let this deter you. The stuff is magic.

The bonus: the people at Deciem are there to answer all of your questions and point you in the right direction. You can also check out their Regimen Guide.


At the end of the day, I’m just a girl (probably wearing a sheet mask and eating cake in bed) with a deep love of all things skincare-related who, as of yesterday, is another year closer to the big 4-0. And that’s okay, because I’m pretty darned happy with the skin I’m in.

Ready to check it out for yourself?

You can find The Ordinary products on their website, at Beautylish, OR on Sephora.com (woohoo!).

*Disclaimer: I’m not a Dermatologist, nor am I an expert in skincare. Please talk to your Dermatologist and get their advice on which of these products (if any) might be right for you.

Join The Discussion

Comments 89

  1. Casey

    I’m looking fora day and night moisturizer that won’t break me out of make my combination skin greasy. Suggestions?

    • Jennifer

      I use Avon Vitale Anew Day lotion and it has an amazing smell and has even cleared up what little zits I had. I guess I’ve just been needing to moisturize all along. Lol. I buy it on eBay brand new because it’s cheaper than buying it from Avon. It’s expensive from Avon.

    • Tdlaws78

      I have acne prone skin and I love Cerave. I use the cerave am and it has an spf.

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      CeraVe PM is awesome for combination-oily skin…highly recommend it. It’s a lot lighter than CeraVe AM and has niacinamide, which helps improve skin tone and texture. You can use it day or night…just be sure to use a separate sunscreen in the daytime.

    • Krystal

      Thank you guys SOOO much! I recently got samples of an insanely expensive face regiment that made my face become bright red and even got a chemical burn of sorts. They I switched to all Olay products but break out so bad. I need something for my very combination face that doesn’t cost an arm and leg and doesn’t make my face freak out! I’m going to give this a try, seriously how can I be over 30, dealing with dark circle and wrinkles and still getting acne!

    • Rainbow

      I’ve tried so many different products, love cerave cream, but haven’t tried their am or pm . Right now I am using plant therapy’s argan oil mixed with frankincense. I loooooove plant therapy and they have amazing customer service. If it is something you are interested you can chat online or call them and ask them . They have blog posts about skin types and …. They have a Clear complex carrier oil blend that is good for acne prone skin.

    • Joni

      I use ceraVe pm and love it. Moisturizing but light weight. Perfect for combo!

    • Jenny

      Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is terrific. I originally got a tiny $5 size from Macys (to get the free shipping when you buy a beauty item) and I’ve since bought it repeatedly. It feels like it adds water/moisture to your skin rather than oil, it absorbs quickly and won’t make you break out.

      • Jenny

        ^Agreed. Love Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel!

    • Kristin

      My dermatologist recommended CeraVe to me years ago and I have been using it ever since. I use their Hydrating cleanser in the winter, and their foaming cleanser in the summer. Along with both the AM and PM lotions. You only need a tiny bit of the lotions and they last me forever it seems. For about $30 at target or Walmart you can get their cleanser, and both AM and the PM lotions! Try CeraVe!!!!! I will never use anything else on my face. Ever! 😉

  2. Bunny

    Thanks for this post Cassandra! Can’t wait to check it out 🙂

  3. Celeste

    How does this compare to Rodan and Fields? I like their skincare but this would save me a lot of money.

  4. ANDREA MARTIN

    They have the best skincare ever.

  5. Sonia Chuy

    Could you post what products are you using?

  6. Nancy

    Thank you for the heads up! I’ve never heard of this brand and I’m intrigued. I was just on their website and recommend checking out the “no brainer” set…3 products for about $30. I’m gonna do it!

  7. sann

    Thank you for sharing 🙂 Can you not buy directly from the website? I don’t see where you purchase.

    • sann

      I found it!

  8. Kim

    Yes, please post what you use in order. Do they not have a cleanser?

  9. Siva

    I love glycolic acid and recommend the Ordinary toner and the 30% AHA peel. You do have to be careful if you’ve never used acids, use it at night, & always avoid the eye and lip area. I am also using their MAP Vitamin C lotion & haven’t seen results after using for about three months but I will buy it again because it is so cheap. I use MAP every morning before my sunscreen as an added protection from the sun.

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That peeling solution is always out of stock when I remember to order it but it’s definitely on my list! For Vit C, I use their Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% and I love it! I’ve heard mixed reviews on the MAP Vit C though so I appreciate your feedback. And thank you for bringing up sunscreen. Gotta have it w/ those acids!

    • msesquire

      The AHA peel is my favorite. It gets rid of all the icky stuff on my skin so well I can feel how much better my products absorb into my skin after using it. But yeah, I buy a couple of bottles at a time because of the sell out factor.

  10. Elle504

    Heard great things about this skincare line but haven’t tried it yet. Sephora can’t keep it stocked!

  11. Kate

    TRy Lace Your Face for another option to the face mask you are wearing. Saw it on Shark Tank and they look crazy but genius.

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ooh, going to check them out! Thanks for the heads up, Kate!

  12. Anna

    The CEO of The Ordinary has posted some really awful things on social media lately, including firing someone through instagram, posting a picture of a dead animal, and some racist comments. I just can’t support them anymore. I used to swear by their products, but I really don’t want my money going to companies that allow that.

    • Nikki

      Thanks for sharing this info. I would not have known and don’t want to support a company doing these things.

    • Shea

      Yes, he was posting some crazy things. But I think they got it all resolved now.

      • Michelle

        As far as I can tell from news reports, the founder is the crazy guy that has gone off the rails with their social media accounts. It was his co-CEO that is no longer with the company, but she was never associated with any of the distasteful posts.

    • Pharmchick

      He passed away. He had mental issues. Its not nice to speak ill of the dead. And he was the founder and brains behind the whole company.

  13. Ana

    Please 😑 can we have just one post not be political? Ugg

  14. Ana

    Not only that, google shows some off beat website that doesn’t look real and doesn’t give sources are where you got your info? If you can show someone like the WSJ said it, it would be believable.

  15. Katie

    My dermatologist recently recommended I start using the azelaic acid cream from this line for my hormonal acne. She said to follow up with cera ve moisturizer. I have noticed great improvement!

    • danielle

      My dermatologist also told me to use the same, but I didn’t see much improvement after a couple months. She now upped my other meds for the hormonal acne and prescribed me Tretinoin on top of those. :/ I’m glad it worked for you!! I’ll have to check out that Cerav. Although I still do love the other ordinary products.

    • msesquire

      I use that as well as the Niacinimide plus Zinc , and it has cleared up my everyday breakouts almost completely and reduced my hormonal ones to maybe one or two, which is a vast improvement.

  16. deb

    Is there anyone familiar with this willing to share if they are heavily laden with chemicals or more to the safer natural type?

    • sann

      She said in the post that it is very basic, so it doesn’t look like it. The website says you can return up to a year! It seems like a good deal. foundation for $7!

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      Chemicals are not bad. Literally everything (including water), is made up of chemicals. And for something to be “natural” doesn’t mean anything, as cyanide and poison ivy are natural too but obviously not safe. Go to reddit.com/r/skincareaddiction for more info on this…you’ll find what you need there.

      • Michelle

        Yes – 50ShadesofLipstick – 1000 times this!

  17. 50ShadesofLipstick

    The CEO might be crazy, but if the products are all that you can afford and they work- then so be it. To each their own. Sorry but it’s not realistic to expect your beliefs to fall in line w/ everything that the CEO of any company supports.

    • Ana

      agree. As I sit here in my Abercrombie sweats. lol

    • MommySpendsLess

      “Like”
      Well said and a policy I generally agree with. Most of the time boycotting the products I love over political beliefs would punish me far more than the companies who usually still have plenty of customers.

  18. Thankful

    I use organic coconut oil, mix in cane sugar and a few drops of tree tea oil in a bowl. I transfer the mix to a mason jar. This lasts 1.5 months for $.12 total. The sugar is a mild, hydrating scrub. The coconut oil is a fatty acid so it is a natural moisturizer. I apply it every two days. One can use other oils like Olive or Sunflower.

    Make up is a huge culprit of aging skin. I tend to avoid it unless attending a special occasion. I hear often how healthy my skin is. People thinking I am 15 years younger than my true age.

    • Natalie

      Thanks for sharing this, Thankful! I was just wondering, do you use this as both a facial scrub and moisturizer? Also, is cane sugar different from regular white sugar? Thanks again!

      • Thankful

        No moisturizer needed. The coconut oil seals the moisture in the skin. Any sugar will work as it is a scrub. You can use salt but it is a bit more abrasive.

    • Deb E

      Same here! I spent so much time scrutinizing labels for ingredients (former nutritionist and now RN, so concern for everything that goes in and on my body!) and so much easier and inexpensive to go with natural, DIY ingredients. Only takes a bit of time once you get into the routine.

    • Kay

      That’s a good point bout makeup making us look older. I’m glad I’m not going crazy. I’ll b 40 in May. I don’t wear makeup much anymore. I always thought I’d look better with makeup on, but lately I think it actually makes me look older. When I’m in front of the mirror doing Zumba with no makeup (n good blood flow from the exercise), I do think I look younger. Too bad tho. I was hoping that makeup would help me as I continue to age.

      • visitor3

        As we age, skin care reigns, but also we need to relearn makeup application tips for our evolving features.

        • 50ShadesofLipstick

          Bingo. Makeup doesn’t accelerate the aging process nor does it make you look older- unless you are applying it in a way that doesn’t enhance your features anymore. People need to adapt their application technique to accommodate wrinkles and skin that is losing its plumpness and elasticity. You can’t be heavy-handed, or use powders (mature skin tends to be dryer and powders settle into lines), or forget to prime and heavily moisturize mature skin and expect to look youthful obviously.

          Also, if you haven’t religiously used sunscreen from a very young age then you can’t expect to look “young” in your 40s and 50s…it’s a fact that sun damage is the major factor behind aging skin. For Caucasians especially, since their skin has less melanin and collagen, both of which keep you looking younger as you age.

    • Kay

      Do u use this day n nite on the days u use it? Do u use anything else with ur regimen?

      • Thankful

        I apply this mix during my shower. I do not use anything else but the scrub.

  19. Erika

    The pic at the end with the sheet mask and cake was literally me last night! This post spoke directly to my soul. Lol!

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      LOL. 😀

  20. alesia

    Has anyone tried the foundations? Seems like a much less expensive alternative to MAC.

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I’ve heard they can run a bit yellow in tone so I’ve been afraid to try but if you have a warmer or more neutral skin tone, they might be just right. Deciem and Sephora both have pretty decent return policies so, worst case scenario, you could always return it if it wasn’t right for you. 🙂

    • kait

      I have two of their serum foundations (the two palest shades, ha ha), and I really really like it. It feels great on the skin and is a good match for me. Even though the coverage is “sheer” it makes my skin look awesome.

    • msesquire

      I use the coverage foundation and like it a lot. They have different “tones” for each color…i.e. neutral and pink. I have a pink face so I went with the “P” version of my shade and it matches up with my face pretty well. It does not last as long as the really expensive foundation I use (Makeup Forever) but it stays pretty well and TBH, now that I have been using the Ordinary skincare, I don’t NEED as much foundation because my skin looks better than it has ever.

    • Deedee

      I use their Serum Foundation, which is lightweight to moderate coverage. I ordered two shades since they’re only $6.70. I like it just as much as my Make-up Forever Ultra HD.

  21. KBug

    I use the primer from ordinary it’s amazing Sephora was out of ordinary stuff so face online can’t wait to try the other stuff

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I haven’t been able to get my hands on the primer yet but I’d sure love to try it. Thanks for sharing your opinion, KBug!

  22. dizzymom641

    Thank you for this post!! I was just researching this brand the other day and appreciate your comments on how well they work. I’m going to take a closer look and jump off the fence lol

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You’re SO welcome. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and give it a read. Happy shopping!

  23. Brittany

    I’m confused about what their products do? You didn’t mention what you use them for. Do they have something to lighten sun spots or for sun damage?

      • Boisegal

        This stuff wasn’t work. Tried it.

    • Shea

      Vitamin C serum with the HA spheres will help you!

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi Brittany! They have products for acne, dry skin, sun spots, wrinkles, etc. Basically, you pick and choose the serums that address specific issues with your individual skin type. I have a few issues I’m trying to address which is why I opt for multiple products.

    • Rosamunde

      Brittany, I haven’t tried The Ordinary. Just now hearing about them in this post. However, I’m a Subscription Box junkie (sort of… getting that under control this year, lol!) However, in the Allure November box I received Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum, full size! It’s a THD Ascorbate (Vit C) based serum. I’ve had a very stubborn dark spot on my cheekbone for years & have tried everything to lighten it. I’m Irish fair & despite religious sunscreen usage, I have a couple of “age spots” (Not melanoma, I’ve had them checked). My next recourse is expensive surgery. Well, I figured I’d give the C.E.O. serum a try & have been pleasantly surprised. I apply it every night & morning after cleansing. It has only the slightest tingle, no pain whatsoever. But my face looks and feels fantastic. More importantly, my stubborn dark spot has lightened considerably!! I can see it being gone within a couple of months!! I’m still religious with sunscreen, but I am a devotee of this product. FINALLY, a dark spot corrector that does what it says it will do!!! HTH.

  24. petra

    i just recently began using the matrixyl 10% serum (for fine lines and wrinkles) and i LOVE it!! theres no magic serum or we’d all look like we’re in our twenties but this one def does help 😉

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      So true, Petra! I ♥ the matrixyl too!

  25. Souza

    About two months ago I started using the glycolic toner, Buffet, and the granactive serum. I am having great results and the products are inexpensive.

    • Cassandra (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      So happy these products are working so well for you, Souza! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback. The glycolic toner is one of my all time favs!

  26. Edy

    I love Glo products there not that expensive but that’s the product that has worked for my twins and myself that I have dry skin , my twins pron to acme and they use to use bella terra and Mac and Glo makeup has worked better

  27. MCouzens

    Shipping through the DECIEM store is more than what I want to spend on the products. And Sephora and Beautylish do not carry everything I want. 🙁

    • Shea

      Shipping is free over $25.

      • MCouzens

        It is showing free shipping over $250, big difference.

        • msesquire

          What country do you live in? I am in the US and I purchased from them numerous times with free shipping at $25. I have also just put some more stuff in my cart and it is giving me free shipping with a $25.90 order.

  28. Shea

    I LOVE the Ordinary products!! I have tried a majority of them and I really enjoy most of them. I love the Buffet, AHA/BHA 30% peel, and the moisturizer. I like the caffeine solution for my under eyes but am not sure I saw a huge difference. I switched from Rodan and Fields and these products work just as well at a much more affordable price!

  29. 5miraclesmom

    Your picture is awesome! It could be me!

  30. Katrina

    I use boots No7 Lift and Luminate day and night cream. I also use there serum and absolutely love it!! Target and Ulta often have them on sale. I don’t wear foundation and it’s a great cream that gives my complexion a natural glow! 😊

  31. Helen in Meridian

    With a birthday on the 14th, I would have thought you would eat pi ….pie. I love the ruffled frosting on the edges of the cake.

  32. Shannon

    Can anyone recommend a good foundation without sunscreen. I’m allergic to every one that says spf on it!

    • ana

      Make up forever. My skin is so sensitive and this doesn’t irritate my skin at all.

    • DealAddict

      Shannon, I also have reactions to chemical sunscreens. I have oily/combo skin & recently switched to tarte Amazonian clay foundation. I really like it!

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      NARS Sheer Glow has no SPF in it and the coverage is amazing. Also try Fenty Beauty’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Foundation.

  33. Deedee

    I started using some products from The Ordinary and I love them! I’ve got very sensitive skin with rosacea and other fun stuff, but their products haven’t irritated my skin. I love their Hylauronic Acid 2% B5, Squalane Oil, Argan oil, Serum Foundation, and Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA. My favorite is the Hylamide HA Blur finisher. It’s like using a softening filter on your face! I mix it with tinted moisturizer. The coolest part is a lot of their basic products are under $10.

  34. orie4reel

    Just an FYI … when you Start using a New Skin-Care product & *all-of-a-sudden you ‘ break-out’ Do Not stop using it & think it is a ‘Bad Product!!!!’
    What’s happening is it is bringIng all of that OLD MAKE-Up, Environmental Toxins, Built Up Sebum ( which is oil, hair, & dead cells, & if it’s a pimple (or black-head or such… then there is also pus) which can take up to 8 weeks to form.
    Now, I am not saying if you are having an allergic reaction to keep using it, however, I am saying that you may
    want to give some things more of a chance ( just because you break-out, don’t throw out) it’s actually a great thing, because it’s cleaning out deep into your pores!!! 😁😃😀And that is an AWESOME THING❣️

  35. Billie

    Been using The Ordinary products for nearly a year now, I love them, high end skincare without the high end price.

  36. Linnfunky

    Anyone used these products to help diminish hyperpigmention?

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