One of the skincare brands that have taken the beauty world by storm is The Ordinary by Deciem, which offers budget-friendly, yet highly active products for any skin concern for prices between £3.90-£14.90. You might have heard about the excellent reviews of some of the most trusted beauty bloggers and skincare professionals, but with cryptic product names based around the active substances, it is quite tricky to find the right formulas for your skin concerns. I found that a lot of reading and research can definitely point in the right direction, but visiting The Ordinary store at Boxpark Shoreditch has proven to be very insightful – even when you spend a few hours a day reading about beauty for a living. Here are the products that I bought last week and I’m currently starting to introduce in my routine.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (£8 / 30ml)
I am a major fan of retinol, which I just discovered at the end of 2016. It completely changed the look and feel of my skin, as well as my recurrent issues with acne and blemishes. So I was really excited to hear that retinoids have the same intense effects as retinol, but with far less irritation and dryness, two of the main side effects of this molecule. I have been using it almost daily for the last week and I can confirm that the side effects are minimal, while the benefits became visible from the first morning! I’m also feeling lucky for not experiencing too many signs of purging, which I was warned about in store. A word of warning if you use this product: as the formula gets exposed to air when opening the dropper pack, make sure to close it as quickly as you can (I tend to put a few drops on the back of my hand, then seal the bottle before I even apply the emulsion).
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (£6.30 / 30ml)
Acids have become a staple in my daily skincare routine – I like using them in watery lotions in the morning and creamier essences or gels in the evening. So an extra powerful acid solution used as a weekly 10-minute mask sounded like music to my acid-obsessed ears, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this beauty. A beauty with a blood-red watery texture that looks quite freakish on the face, mind you, but truly makes wonders. I’ve only used it once, but I could already see the smoothing effects after washing it off punctually after the recommended 10 minutes (set your timer and make sure you rinse it off immediately as you hear the beep). I can see this 30ml bottle lasting quite some time!
The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% (£5.50 / 30ml)
I was desperately looking for an antioxidant serum before my two-week trip to South-East Asia this summer, but I only managed to come across this product last week. Luckily antioxidants are badly needed in unhealthily polluted London anyway, so I’m going to slowly start incorporating it in my daily routine, and especially in the mornings when skin needs the most protection. I was going to but the new EUK 134 0.5% straight away, but the shop assistant advised me to test it first because its oily and quite heavy texture might not work that well with combination and blemish-prone skins like mine. I’m glad I decided to try the Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% as well, because I feel it will be far more appropriate for my complexion. Both resveratrol and ferulic acid are potent molecules that create a barrier between the skin and the environment to neutralise free radicals, and brands such as SkinCeuticals sell them in formulas that are 15x more expensive that The Ordinary. Even more importantly, this serum is a lot more concentrated than the regular 0.5%-1% products that other companies offer, which obviously makes it great value for money.
The Ordinary Colours Coverage Foundation (£5.90 / 30ml)
I’m sure you’ve already heard about the insane frenzy that The Ordinary generated a few months ago when they launched their two foundations, which kept selling out in the blink of an eye in the UK, both as Victoria Health and on the brand’s website. I think the madness has calmed down a lot by now, but my curiosity around their colour range has survived the tempest, so I was dying to test the two foundations in store and find the right shade for my skin (I really don’t get the whole tones-undertones-pigments distinction malarkey). I love the simplicity behind their makeup products (and all their formulas in general, for that matter). They don’t claim to make you 10 years younger or to make your skin shine like the stars or to survive through an apocalypse. The Coverage Foundation simply, well, covers the skin with a semi-matte, high-spreadability and natural effect, plus the obligatory SPF 15. I haven’t actually used foundation in months, but I liked this one so much that I just decided to buy it for its great evening effects – needless to say, I went for a subtly luminous shade with gold highlights, I’m really addicted to the glow nowadays.
If you’re not tempted yet to try The Ordinary products, just have a quick look at their latest shoebox store in Shoreditch! Notice the clean, Scandi-like design and those shelves stacked with the most powerful molecules on the skincare market…