We Tried Everything From The ordinary [Full Review]

The Ordinary Mini Reviews
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Best affordable skin care brand? Hands down, The Ordinary! They have a huge range of products to choose from and they deliver high-quality, affordable formulations. Direct acids, retinols, Vitamin C, hydrators and even more. It’s easy to get overwhelmed so here’s a mini review on every product that they sell! Spoiler alert, there’s lots of good ones to choose from.

The Ordinary Antioxidants

Looking to support skin health and target signs of aging? Think fine lines, dullness, sensitivities, and hyperpigmentation. Antioxidants are the ingredient you want to reach for! The Ordinary has a small selection, but it is mighty.

EUK 134 0.1%

Not your most common antioxidant. EUK is regenerative and contains 2 enzymes that are naturally occurring on the skin. It targets redness and provides antioxidant support. I don’t think this serum is a must. If you’re looking to add antioxidant support into your routine, go with a good Vitamin C. If you’re looking to level up the antioxidant support, then try this.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

Pycnogenol 5%

Pycnogenol improves hydration and enhances elasticity. It can also recycle oxidized Vitamin C to restore it’s effectiveness. This is not a super common ingredient, but it’s very healing and great for dry skin! This product comes in a 15mL bottle so it’s half the size of a normal TO serum. Keep in mind, it has a dark orange hue that can stain the clothes and skin.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

Resveratrol works to protect the skin against UV damage. Ferulic acid works to target signs of aging like dark spots and fine lines. Together they help to improve the skin tone, protect from UV damage and provide a radiant glow. This is a really great combo of antioxidants and it can be used with Vitamin C for further support! If you had to pick an antioxidant, I’d say get this one.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Cleansers

The Ordinary only offers one cleanser so this section is short and sweet. Luckily the cleanser is one of their best products.

Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

This lightweight balm melts into an oil-like consistency to remove makeup and facial impurities.

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This oil-based cleanser is so calming and soft on the skin! It’s a great first cleanse for removing makeup, or as a gentle cleanser. If you wash your face and instantly feel tight and dry, this is the cleanser you need to try. It keeps your skin soft and supple without stripping moisture. Yet it’s not oily and won’t leave a residue behind. So good.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Colours

The Colours range by The Ordinary is a smaller section but they do offer high quality complexion products. The biggest issue is the shade ranges – it’s awful. But they have made some great formulations!

Coverage Foundation

This foundation offers medium-full coverage. It performs like a high end foundation and costs less than most drugstore foundations. It has a semi-matte finish that’s long wearing and can be manipulated to work for all skin types. It has an ultra-lightweight finish, not heavy or thick like you would expect a full coverage foundation to be. But it can be cakey!

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Serum Foundation

Everything the coverage foundation offers with light coverage. Both have the same semi-matte finish and ultra lightweight texture. The Serum foundation won’t cover big blemishes but it’s comfortable and great for evening out the skin tone. It looks natural and if you can find a shade, it’s great for day time.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

High-Adherence Silicone Primer

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer

This formula also acts as a light, non-oily surface hydrator for a natural dewy look.

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This is a matte, velvety primer that blurs pores and imperfections. It’s great for oily skin, dry skin should only apply in the areas you want to blur. I think this is a great primer, you don’t have to worry about spending too much and it works. You can’t ask for much more.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

High-Spreadability Fluid Primer

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer

This formula also acts as a light, non-oily surface hydrator for a natural dewy look.

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This primer provides a dewy, hydrating and healthy glow to the skin. This is a great option for dry skin. Plus it’s high spreadability system functions to keep your foundation from settling into fine lines and pores.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

Concealer

The newest addition to their colours section, this concealer is so affordable and packs the pigment. It’s a heavy concealer with a matte, long lasting, skin finish. It’s great for dark circles and concealing blemishes.

Where to buy: The Ordinary

The Ordinary Direct Acids

The Ordinary’s lineup of acids is one of the things they do best. They have so many different options, at different strengths for all skin types and needs. Their Salicylic Acid serum is in the process of being reformulated and they’re releasing a few more versions at different strengths so keep an eye out for that!

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This is a viral product and it’s so important that you use it correctly! This treatment is intense, it can sting and it’s not for all skin types. Misusing it can lead to chemical burns, over exfoliated skin and breakouts. If you use this weekly and follow the directions, it can help to smooth texture, blemishes and improve your skin overall. But if it burns, there’s other things you can use to get similar results over time without stressing out your skin.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

This formula brightens your skin tone while visibly improving the evenness of skin texture and reducing the look of blemishes.

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Azelaic acid lightly exfoliates, brightens and helps to manage acne. It’s also great for treating rosacea. This serum is chef’s kiss and other azelaic acid serums retail for 4x the price. If your skin is too sensitive to exfoliate, this is a good one to try.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

This is a toning solution which offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance and visible clarity.

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This toner is effective, simple goodness. At 7% glycolic acid, it’s stronger than the mandelic acid and lactic acid serums. If you’re looking for a stronger AHA treatment you can use a few times a week, this is the product for you. It leaves the skin glowing and smooth to touch, but it can be a tad drying. You get a ton of produce for the price and you can use this toner on the body to help with ingrown hairs.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Like mandelic acid, lactic acid is a larger and gentle molecule. It’s great for sensitive skin! Lactic acid has bacteria killing properties great for targeting irritation and acne causing bacteria. This product is gentle on the skin yet leaves your complexion glowing and smooth while fading dark spots.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Lactic Acid 5% + HA

All the benefits and goodness of the 10% serum, just a little less intense. If you’re new to acids or have extremely sensitive skin, this 5% formulation is exactly where you want to start. Expect glowing, smooth skin sans irritation.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Mandelic acid has a larger molecule so count on this to be gentle and effective! The 10% formulation is much gentler than glycolic acid. This serum is a dream, no stinging or burning and it’s very effective on hyperpigmentation. It helps to exfoliate dead skin, target hyperpigmentation and dull skin. Mandelic acid is hard to find in serums on it’s own and this formula is a gem.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

Salicylic Acid 2% Masque is formulated to target lackluster tone and textural irregularities. The formula, infused with charcoal and clays, aims to enhance the appearance of smoothness and clarity, leaving the skin feeling refreshed.

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The best clay mask I’ve tried hand down. It helps to unclog pores, keep blemishes at bay and your skin feels so smooth and clean once you wash it off. Deal with pesky sebaceous filaments? This mask is great for those. At 2% it can tingle a bit so it’s okay to wash it off before the 10 minutes are up. This can be drying to make sure to hydrate after.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Oils

The Ordinary’s lineup of oils proves there is no need to splurge on oils! There are so many choices it’s overwhelming. All of these perform so well and there are many multi-use options you can use on the skin and hair.

“B” Oil

The Ordinary “B” Oil

This oil fights dehydration and signs of aging, while providing antioxidant and healthy skin support.

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The “B” oil resembles olive oil and it’s a mix of oils like brazil nut, marula, argan and even more oils. It’s thick, rich and hydrating on the skin. It lingers a bit and leaves a comfortable slip. I don’t think oily skin will like this because it is on the heavier side. That being said, it’s nourishing, gentle and it helps to support the skin barrier. This feels like a high end product but the price is oh so good.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

100% Plant-Derived Squalane

Squalane is such a skin friendly ingredient and you can use it all over the body. It’s great on the skin and so nice on split ends and damaged hair. Squalane is a great hydrator and it’s non-comedogenic so oily, acne prone skin can use it without worry. If you’re looking for a nice, lightweight oil…try this out.

Where to buy: | The Ordinary

100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane

This is a non-comedogenic pure molecule that helps prevent the loss of moisture. It’s not an oil and it has a watery, light texture. Great for adding non-greasy, hydration for those that don’t want to use an oil.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

This oil effectively restores your skin’s moisture barrier and smoothness, promoting your skin’s overall health.

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This oil is rich in fatty acids and helps to lock in moisture on the skin and hair. It can help to fade dark spots and heal the skin. The rich, heavy texture makes it great for dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin types.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

100% Organic Virgin Sea-Buckthorn Fruit Oil

Fights dehydration and signs of aging with antioxidant support. This oil is tough because it’s bright orange and can stain the skin and clothes. It’s definitely not a daytime oil so I can’t say I recommend it when you have all these other oils to choose from. You’re better off picking an antioxidant serum for antioxidant support.

Where to buy: The Ordinary

100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

Simple and good. This leaves the skin glowing, plump and hydrated. This is one of The Ordinary’s best oils and it rivals a luxury brand who’s marula oil is 8x the price. Definitely a winner for all skin types.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil

Great for the hair and skin! The high amount of fatty acids makes it gentle and soothing. This feels so nice on the skin and it’s very lightweight and comfortable.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil

A calming and soothing oil that helps to reduce redness. It’s incredibly hydrating on the skin and it lingers. It’s on the heavier side so save this for the colder months or for dry and sensitive skin.

Where to buy: The Ordinary

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil

This argan oil treatment is lightweight so it doesn’t feel heavy or sticky on your skin.

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Great for the skin and hair. It’s a lightweight hydrator that never feels sticky or greasy – all skin types could use and enjoy this. Argan oil has a high amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s great for tackling fine lines and skin conditions like eczema.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Hydrators

The Ordinary’s hydrators have some room for growth. They have one moisturizer and 3 hydrating serums but lucky for them, they all work really well! The hydrators are geared towards normal to oily skin. Dry skin may need to layer these or mind something heavier.

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Lightweight, gentle and creamy moisturizer. This proves the point that less is more – it’s so good. Use this day or night – it’s great for normal to oily skin. Dry skin can use this but may find that they need something heavier. This moisturizer is on the lighter side, nothing about it is heavy and it absorbs into the skin pretty quickly.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

This serum is formulated with a combination of low, medium, and high molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, as well as a next-generation hyaluronic acid crosspolymer, at a combined concentration of 2% for multi- depth hydration.

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The only HA serum you need. This does a great job at drawing in moisture when you follow it up with an oil or cream. It has a sticky, viscous texture so try the Marine Hyaluronics if you don’t enjoy that.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Marine Hyaluronics

The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics

The serum brings together lightweight marine-derived water reservoirs that attract and hold water like hyaluronic acid (HA) but are lighter than HA in texture and feel.

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An ultra lightweight hydrator. This works like a hyaluronic acid, drawing in moisture, except it feels like water on the skin. So underrated and it works so well! The watery texture is nice for all skin types but especially if you don’t like the sticky, vicious texture of the HA serum.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Amino Acids + B5

Not your average hydrating serum. Amino acids enhance surface hydration and help to restore the skin barrier. When your skin is irritated or over-exfoliated, this is the serum you want to reach for! I think dry and sensitive skin would love this. It has a watery, lightweight texture that quickly absorbs into the skin.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

The Ordinary More Molecules

More Molecules are serums you can add to your routine to target specific issues like signs of aging, dark circles, and clogged pores. These serums don’t have many conflicts if any and they’re great additions to your AM or PM routine.

100% Niacinamide Powder

Topical Niacinamide in a powder form. This product is messier and you do need an emulsion to mix it with. That being said, it does wonders for shrinking pores and improving the skin tone. But, you could make it easier on yourself and just get the serum.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

A skin brightener with a cooling, gel texture. Alpha arbutin inhibits melanin production and is great for preventing dark spots and hyperpigmentation! If you’re struggling with hyperpigmentation, add this into your routine with a good Vitamin C and SPF and you will see such good improvements.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

This serum is aimed to target dark circles and puffy under eyes. You’re better off using this to target puffy under eyes, not so much dark circles because usually that’s genetics or structural. This is super affordable and exactly what you want to pay for an eye treatment because they’re usually gimmicks. It has a cooling, gel texture that feels great on the under eyes.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This product from The Ordinary is rich in Niacinamide and zinc to reduce signs of congestion and balance sebum activity.

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Truly one of the best serums you can get from The Ordinary! Niacinamide improves skin tone, decreases the appearance of pores helps to fade dark spots and manage acne. This performs just as good as the high end formulas. You can easily make the case that everyone should be using some type of niacinamide and this serum is very effective and so affordable.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Peptides

Peptides are chains of amino acids like collagen, elastin, and keratin which is why they work wonders for targeting loss of firmness and fine lines. Pairing peptides with antioxidants is a great way to target all signs of aging: loss of firmness, fine lines, dullness, texture, and hyperpigmentation. All can benefit from peptides.

“Buffet”

The Ordinary "Buffet"

''Buffet'' from The Ordinary combines a comprehensive array of studied technologies to target multiple signs of aging at once.

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If you’re looking to target signs of aging, this is the serum I would recommend because “Buffet” does it all. Fine lines, dark spots, loss of elasticity and dullness. It’s a great one in many serum and a total bang for your buck.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

“Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%

Everything “Buffet” does with the inclusion of Copper Peptides. Copper Peptides heal the skin barrier and help collagen synthesis. This serum works well! But it’s double the price of “Buffet,” and the most expensive serum by TO just for the copper peptides. So, if you want anti-aging, try “Buffet.” If you’ve tried “Buffet” before and want to level up or are looking for copper peptides, then try this one.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Argireline Solution 10%

A peptide serum that targets fine lines! Keep in mind there is only so much a topical serum can do for fine lines. If you’re looking to target all signs of aging, I would try Buffet. But, this serum gets great reviews and it has a really nice, lightweight texture that’s good for all skin types. If you’re trying to target fine lines, consistent use is key! Overall, great bang for your buck.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Matrixyl 10% + HA

Matrixyl is a synthetic peptide that targets fine lines, heals the skin barrier and signals the cells to create more collagen. The inclusion of HA helps to increase absorption and hydration. With a light, gel texture it’s hydrating and soothing on the skin. If you’re looking to improve your complexion this is a great choice! If you’re stuck between this and Argireline, they both target fine lines but I would pick Matrixyl as it’s more nourishing.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Retinoids

The Ordinary does a fantastic job at offering a number of retinoids at different strengths for all skin types and users. The squalane base is not ideal for oily skin but it sure does help to hydrate and kick the irritation associated with retinoids.

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

A gentle, beginner friendly retinoid with a creamy texture. This one is moderate intensity, no irritation. All of TO’s retinoids are in oil so if you don’t like an oily texture definitely try this one.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

This special form of vitamin A has been proven to minimize fine lines, improve pigment problems, revitalize your skin, and make its overall appearance fresher and more youthful.

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A moderate strength granactive retinoid with no irritation. Great for sensitive skin or beginners. Granactive retinoids are good starters because they offer the anti-aging benefits of retinoids without the irritation.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

This serum offers better results against multiple signs of aging than retinol without any of the irritation and drawbacks common with retinol.

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At 5% this granactive retinoid offers high strength with little to no irritation! Retinoids do not have to destroy your skin to make them better. I would definitely pick this granactive formula over a pure retinol because who doesn’t want high strength with no irritation? Probably not the best choice for new retinoid users but we love the low irritation.

Where to buy: Amazon | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Retinols

The Ordinary retinols are their strongest retinoid products. They are pure retinols and will likely cause irritation in the beginning or with misuse. It’s best to start off slowly. But, once you hit a good stride they can do such good things for your complexion. Fewer wrinkles and fine lines, a smoother complexion, and baby soft skin are a few that come to mind.

Retinol 0.2% in Squalane

The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane

This serum reduces the appearance of fine lines.

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The squalane base helps to add hydration. But at 0.2% you get low strength, moderate irritation. So it may be better to try the 5% Granactive Retinoid in squalane. But, if you’re looking to step up to a pure retinol topical, this is a great starter.

Where to buy: Amazon | The Ordinary

Retinol 0.5% in Squalane

Moderate strength, high irritation retinol serum. This is for seasoned retinol users! I’ve used retinol in the past and I’ve used this 1 to 2x a week with no irritation. Slow and steady is definitely the way you want to go.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Retinol 1% in Squalane

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane

This solution reduces the appearance of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin aging.

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The strongest retinol serum of the bunch. It has high strength, high irritation. This serum is for an avid retinol user. At 1% pure retinol, we really appreciate that it’s a great bang for your buck. With the high strength formulation, you will see smoother skin after a few months of consistent use. Don’t forget to use SPF!

Where to buy: The Ordinary

The Ordinary Direct Vitamin Cs

Direct vitamin C includes LAA or ELAA. L-ascorbic acid is pure vitamin C. Ethylated l-ascorbic acid is a highly stabilized, pure form of vitamin C. Direct Vitamin C is a potent formulation aimed at targeting signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, and evening the skin tone. It’s also less stable and can oxidize causing it to turn darker and become less effective.

The Ordinary uses new technologies to keep their Vitamin C stable but this is a product you want to buy as needed. Don’t stock up or ration it.

Check out The Ordinary’s Vitamin C regime chart, here.

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

This serum contains a 23% concentration of L-Ascorbic Acid and is supported with the addition of hyaluronic acid spheres for visible surface hydration.

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This is a suspension with a creamy, powder consistency. It’s meant to be used in the PM, but you can use it in the AM if it doesn’t irritate your skin. Vitamin C is such a big AM routine ingredient so I don’t love that The Ordinary created this for nighttime use. This has an intense, gritty texture that made my skin itch and burn. This serum is intense..almost too intense because you can see the same results with a more mild formulation. But if your skin can tolerate it, this is great for serious hyperpigmentation and evening the skin tone.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

This suspension is very similar to the 23% suspension with a smooth, cream consistency. Much more ideal and comfortable on the skin. But, at such a high concentration, this has a high chance of stinging and even burning. Again, this is not a serum for new Vitamin C users. If you purchased this and it burned your skin, mix it with the Natural Moisturizing Factors to dilute the intensity.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder

Firstoff, powder mixes are messy. This is easy to use, mix half a scoop with 5-10 drops of an emulsion to create your own treatment. This offers a high concentration of direct, topical Vitamin C which is intense and hard to find. But the gritty texture, effort, time and mess? Just go for a serum, you’ll see the same results.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

This was my favorite Vitamin C serum! The light, oily texture was great on my dry skin. It never tingled or burned and I noticed subtle differences after a few weeks of consistent use. This duo is really great at targeting hyperpigmentation and an uneven skin tone.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

The Ordinary Vitamin C Derivatives

Vitamin C derivatives are less potent than L-ascorbic acid and more stabilized. They’re good for sensitive skin while still brightening and fading dark spots.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

Deemed the gold standard of Vitamin C derivatives! A vitamin C derivative with a highly stabilized formula and lightweight, comfortable texture. What more could you want? This offers high potency, low irritation. The price tag is a bit more friendly compared to the rest of the Vitamin C serums.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F

A Vitamin C derivative that targets dark spots, textural irregularities and signs of aging. This is high in fatty acids so that helps to brighten the skin. The ultra-lightweight, watery texture makes it ideal for oily skin types. This is not as potent as l-ascorbic acid. Ideal for beginners or those starting off with Vitamin C.

Where to buy: ULTA | The Ordinary

Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution

Ethylated Ascorbic is the closest derivative in molecular weight to Vitamin C. This means it allows for quick results and makes it more stabilized than any direct-acting form of Vitamin C. I think this is one of the best Vitamin C serums offered by The Ordinary because it’s high potency and low irritation. It’s on the pricier side for The Ordinary but this one is worth it for bright, smooth skin.

Where to buy: Sephora | The Ordinary

Final Thoughts

There aren’t many brands that can compare to The Ordinary in terms of quality, variety and price. You can really create a full AM and PM routine with all of their products to target an array of skin issues. The best products to try? We vote for the Squalane cleanser, Niacinamide serum, Salicylic Acid mask, Lactic Acid 10% serum, Ascorbic Acid + Alpha Arbutin serum, Marine Hyaluronics and the Marula oil. It’s hard to go wrong, but those stood out to us. We can’t wait to see what they come out with next!