The Ordinary’s Hero Products You Need In Your Skincare Routine

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The Ordinary’s skincare products, with their minimalistic designs, are all over our social media feeds, but finding a product to build into your skincare routine by The Ordinary in the wild is like finding a pot of gold. No other skincare brand has the hype of The Ordinary right now and we suspect this will be the case (as it has been for the last few years!) for a good while yet!

Haul of Fame is excited to take a deep dive into this must-have world-renowned skincare brand to discover which 5 products carry the most hype, have the biggest cult following and generally are the most effective and most loved products of The Ordinary.

Curious about their super-sellers, we reached out to The Ordinary to see which products have been consistently flying off their shelves based on volume of sales statistics and also in conjunction with our own signature research process. This is to ensure that we ultimately bring you the most objective and accurate results possible on your journey to shopping smarter with The Ordinary!

By the end of this post you’ll have all the information you need on The Ordinary’s best sellers as well as how to build your very own skincare routine with The Ordinary products for your specific skin type and concerns.

The Ordinary’s tagline is “clinical formulations with integrity”, which explains their unique approach to skincare. The brand is owned by DECIEM, who focuses on functional beauty with an accessible price tag. The Ordinary was also named as the ‘Breakthrough Brand’ at the Grazia Beauty Awards in 2017, and has been flying high ever since!

As well as being innovative, The Ordinary’s skincare products are cruelty-free and free of parabens and sulphates. The first time you look at The Ordinary’s products, the alphabet of letters and percentages assigned as product names might confuse you. However, you’ll quickly feel like your own dermatologist once you’ve familiarised yourself with the purpose of each of their key super ingredients that will work wonders on your skin.

The Ordinary Skincare Routine - Best Products for Acne
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Wondering how The Ordinary’s skincare products are so affordable? Simply put, they cut out the frills and focus all of their efforts on the product alone. Packaging is minimal and to the point. Ingredients are simple (no fragrance) and potent. Their marketing campaigns are significantly smaller than other mainstream skincare brands because they focus on investing in research, product testing and using highly effective ingredients in order to deliver market leading skincare products that actually work!

Rumour also has it that Kim Kardashian is a huge fan of The Ordinary skin care after revealing on her website (that costs $3 to even access!) that she swears by The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion for anti-aging. The beauty of this retinoid is the lack of irritation it causes and the fact that it actually soothes your skin too. But before you rush to add this to your cart as part of your anti-aging regimen, make sure you’re stocked up on sunscreen too (which you should be using daily anyway!) as retinoids increase skin sensitivity to the sun. But we’ll touch on this a more a little later, so let’s skip to the good stuff!

Just before we continue, let’s familiarise ourselves with some skincare terminology so we can better understand our retinoids from our acids.

  • Retinoids – Derives from Vitamin A and is known to speed up skin regeneration and slow down the signs of aging. What you can expect from retinoid based products is a reduction of wrinkles and fine lines and to revive dull skin.
  • Retinols – With retinols, you get the same benefits as a retinoid as it contains the same active retinoic ingredient but with a lower concentration.
  • Acids – Known for their powerful resurfacing and exfoliating properties. The four most popular acids in skincare are glycolic, lactic, hyaluronic and salicylic acid.
  • Peptides – These are amino acids that provide your skin with essential proteins needed to strengthen your skin (for example collagen and elastin) leading to younger and firmer looking skin! In fact, Hailey Bieber is known to be a major fan of peptide serums after saying it is one of the best things you can put on your skin. Stay tuned till the end to discover The Ordinary’s super selling peptide serum…it’s a real crowd pleaser!! 

So without further ado, we’d like to present you with the 5 best products of The Ordinary skincare that you absolutely need to incorporate into your daily skincare regimen, yesterday! If you’re lucky enough to find any of these super-sellers in stock, grab them while you can!

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The Ordinary advise that products should immediately be discarded if they cause any irritation. Patch tests should also be completed on a small part of the skin first before use. Follow directions on bottle correctly and never use on broken skin. Also before going all in with the following best sellers by the Ordinary, try and slowly introduce these into your skincare routine so your skin can gradually build its tolerance.

The Ordinary Regimen - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

1. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Coming out on top as the no.1 best selling product by The Ordinary (with over 24k Google reviews alone!), the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum gives your skin an instant hydration boost, penetrating the skin with three types of hyaluronic acid. It leaves your skin feeling smooth and plump, meaning you can use it for a little anti-aging action too!

The Vitamin B5 is a wonder ingredient for healing dry and damaged skin. This serum helps to maintain your skin’s natural barrier and rejuvenate your skin cells.

Available at Lookfantastic and Ulta

Pro tip: The Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is oil-free and suitable for any skin type. Use this serum morning and night before applying your moisturizer to lock in all the hydration and benefits of this magical product. We recommend trying out The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA to finish off your ultimate The Ordinary regimen.

The Ordinary - Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - The Ordinary Skin care Routine

2. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

At Haul of Fame, we’re a huge fan of the multi-purpose hero ingredient, niacinamide (and clearly we’re not the only ones, as this product is backed with over 22k Google reviews alone!).

The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% took the skincare world by storm on release, as the best all-round product for anyone and everyone regardless of their skin type or concern.

If you’re after the best product by The Ordinary for oily skin, you’ll want to snatch this serum up as soon as you can as niacinamide reduces oiliness and sebum production in the skin.

The Ordinary’s Niacinamide is also perfect for anyone suffering from blackheads, breakouts, large pores, and uneven skin texture. As mentioned, this super affordable, potent serum will help regulate your skin’s sebum production, which minimises pores and keeps your skin clear and healthy. 

Or even if your skin is on the drier side, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% will also help with your skin’s moisture retention. If anti-ageing is a concern, Zinc stimulates collagen production to keep you looking younger for longer!

A true crowd-pleaser, The Ordinary’s Niacinamide is also ideal for those with sensitive skin too. Why you ask? Niacinamide is known to calm redness and irritation and zinc is also known to do the same – so a power-duo in one!

We’re telling you this multifunctional product ticks all of the boxes and is another non-negotiable, must-have product to incorporate into your daily The Ordinary acne routine! If you’ve been overwhelmed searching for the best Ordinary products for acne, fear no more. This easily falls in the top 3.

Stay tuned for another cult favourite product by the Ordinary for acne!

Available at Lookfantastic and Ulta

Pro tip: You can use this serum day and night after your toner and before your moisturizer. If you’re building your skincare routine around The Ordinary skin products, we recommend using the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution before this product. This toning solution is a pretty incredible dupe for the iconic Pixi Glow Tonic which you can read more about in our Best of Pixi Beauty round up.

If you are currently using Vitamin C in your skincare routine, note that it is not advisable to mix or layer this with Niacinamide (it will also create an extremely sticky glue like texture on your skin as the ingredients from the two products just do not work well together). Instead, opt for Vitamin C in your morning skincare routine to protect your skin from free radicals and the onset of fine lines and wrinkles. Then opt for Niacinamide in your nighttime skincare routine so it can work its magic overnight while your skin enters its regeneration and recovery phase.

Best ordinary products for acne - AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

3. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Do you remember the vampire facials that were all over social media during lockdown 1.0? This is the product responsible for those lockdown glow ups and was out of stock for months because of the incredible hype surrounding it.

Another one of the best The Ordinary products for acne, The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is perhaps the product that most people know the brand for. It utilises alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids (namely glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acid and salicylic acid) to exfoliate your skin’s top layer and then works its way deeper into your pores. If you want to tackle breakouts and achieve glowing supermodel-worthy skin, then you’ll definitely want to give this product a try!

Peeling solutions can often leave your skin feeling irritated after use. The Ordinary has stepped up to the challenge and included Tasmanian pepperberry, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B5 to soothe your skin and reduce inflammation, to offer you the best peeling experience possible and with the best results too!

When you’re using The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, you’ll want to channel your inner vampire and hide from the sun and/or generously pile on that SPF 50+!

Available at Lookfantastic and Ulta

Pro tip: Plan to add this peeling solution to your nighttime skincare routine no more than twice a week. Make sure you apply it evenly across your skin using your fingertips before rinsing off with lukewarm water after ten minutes (or earlier if causing irritation). If your skin is on the sensitive side, instead gradually build your skin’s tolerance towards this product by starting once every two weeks for 5 minutes (or less if you feel any irritation) and then build up to the twice a week for 10 minutes mark.

The Ordinary Skin Care Routine - Caffeine Solution

4. Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Wave goodbye to dark circles! The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG eye serum is 10 hours of sleep in a bottle, with its high caffeine concentration and EGCG (from green tea leaves!), which helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness around your eyes.

The Caffeine Solution serum is lightweight, allowing it to layer seamlessly with your other products by The Ordinary.

Available at Lookfantastic and Ulta

Pro tip: Use this product day and night to look refreshed and awake and to visibly reduce puffiness and dark circles over time. We’d recommend working this product into your eye contour using a jade roller or ice roller to reap maximum benefits of The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution. These tools will also add a soothing and cooling effect to your under eye area that will further combat puffiness.

The Ordinary Regimen - Buffet Serum

5. Buffet Serum

Are you someone who doesn’t want a twenty-step skincare routine? Are you always on the go and just after an all-in-one anti-ageing product? Meet The Ordinary’s Buffet serum, your new skincare best friend!

This magical serum uses hyaluronic acid and Matrixyl 3000, which stimulates collagen production while plumping your skin and diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s never too early to think about anti-ageing. The Ordinary Buffet serum will also work to improve the overall appearance of your skin.

The ingredients list for the Buffet Serum is one of the most impressive in The Ordinary product range, including peptides, probiotics and amino acids, along with the Matrixyl 3000 and hyaluronic acid.

You can expect to receive some serious compliments after you’ve added this wonder product to your Ordinary skincare routine.

Available at Lookfantastic and Ulta

Pro tip: As this serum is lightweight, you can layer it with other products such as the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil before your moisturizer (renowned for its incredible anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties and therefore perfect for calming redness, treating scars and burns and brightening skin). 

The Correct Order To Apply Your Skincare Products

If you’re finally looking to get serious about your skincare routine then as well as having the best products for your skin type, you’ll need to ensure that you’re applying them in the right order so your skin soaks up all of the goodness from your Ordinary products!

The rule of thumb when it comes to the best order of skincare products is to start with the lightest consistencies (so your water based products) and end with the heaviest (oil based products). Although we personally don’t follow this rule when it comes to sunscreen. Sunscreen should always come last in our humble opinion!

Save the below on your phone/print and stick it to your skincare cabinet so that you nail the order of your skincare everyday!

Best order to apply skincare products - The Ordinary Skincare Routine

The Ordinary Skincare Products You Should Never Mix

You can own all of the best selling Ordinary products around but if used incorrectly then you’ll end up causing more harm than good.

Never mix acids and chemical peels as they work well enough on their own. By mixing you are increasing the strength and the peeling/exfoliating effect it will have on your skin which will lead to increased irritation, redness and sensitivity.

We’ve linked a video below that we believe is a great point of reference and an insightful watch for determining how to layer The Ordinary products and the products you should never mix.

The Ordinary Skincare Routine for Normal Skin and Every Skin Type

So with all of the above in mind (and probably already in your carts!) – we’ve put together a simple skincare routine (for every skin type) to get you started with your new Ordinary products. We’ve also included some other notable mentions (that didn’t quite make the top 5 cut (like the super popular The Ordinary Cleanser), but are definitely still worthy and effective nonetheless) that will complement your skincare products beautifully and massively level up your Ordinary skincare routine.

For those looking to build a skin care routine for normal skin, you’ll be pleased to know that you can use pretty much all of the products listed in the guides below and follow the same order provided and even mix and match products as you please depending on your skincare concern/goals i.e. acne, anti-aging etc.

Bring on flawless skin!

The Ordinary Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin

AMPM
Squalane CleanserSqualane Cleanser
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Natural Moisturising Factors + HANatural Moisturising Factors + HA

The Ordinary Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin

AMPM
Squalane CleanserSqualane Cleanser
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
BuffetOptional: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
(to brighten dull skin, we love this!)
Optional: Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
(to target dark circles and puffiness)
Optional: Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
(to target dark circles and puffiness)
Natural Moisturising Factors + HA100% Plant Derived Squalane
Your SPF of choiceNatural Moisturising Factors + HA

The Ordinary Skincare Routine for Acne, Oily and Combination Skin

AMPM
Squalane CleanserSqualane Cleanser
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Optional: Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
(to target dark circles, puffiness,
fine lines and wrinkles)
Optional: Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
(to target dark circles and puffiness)
Natural Moisturising Factors + HAOptional:Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
(to speed up cell renewal process)
Your SPF of choice
(not to be skipped especially if using Retinoid daily/
AHA + BHA Peeling Solution weekly)
Natural Moisturising Factors + HA
Weekly:
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
(for an intensive exfoliating treatment.
Start for 3 minutes and eventually build skin
tolerance to 10 minutes max weekly)

or

Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
(to be used as an alternative to the
Peeling Solution to remove dead skin and unclog
congested pores)

The Ordinary Skin care Routine for Fine Lines and Wrinkles in Aging/Mature Skin

AMPM
Squalane CleanserSqualane Cleanser
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
BuffetBuffet
Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCGCaffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
Natural Moisturising Factors + HAGranactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
or
Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
or
Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane
(in order of strength. Start low
and build tolerance of retinoid use
in skin)
Your SPF of choice
(not to be skipped especially
if using Retinoid daily)
100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

The Ordinary Skincare Routine for Acne Scars and Pigmentation

AMPM
Squalane CleanserSqualane Cleanser
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
(gentle antioxidant)
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCGCaffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
Natural Moisturising Factors + HAGranactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
or
Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
or
Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane
(in order of strength. Start low
and build tolerance of retinoid use
in skin)
Your SPF of choice
(not to be skipped especially
if using Retinoid daily)
Natural Moisturising Factors + HA

So there you have it, your very own The Ordinary guide, showcasing their 5 hero products plus absolutely everything you need to know to create the best Ordinary skincare routine!

The Ordinary also have a really useful tool on their website which is their skincare regimen builder. It takes 4 minutes to complete and before you know it you’ll have your very own AM and PM routine all sorted with handpicked products by the Ordinary tailored to you and your skin type and concerns.

The Ordinary also offer an extremely helpful chat service on their site should you have any questions about certain products.

We’d love to hear what your favourite skincare products are by The Ordinary. Leave us a note below with your favourites and how they’ve helped transform your skin!

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