In this new millennium, no woman wants to grow old or at least to be perceived as old. There are thousands of companies manufacturing anti-aging creams, lotions and serums to help women to keep the signs of aging like wrinkles, skin dryness or pigmentation at bay. These products can be organic, chemical, natural or ayurvedic formulations. A Canadian skincare brand called The Ordinary has garnered a cult following of late thanks to its wide range of products, from facial peels to zinc serums, all at very pocket-friendly prices. The company has been pioneering innovations in skincare through its brands Hylamide and NIOD and has evolved a range of regimens based on the user’s problems and needs.
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The Ordinary regimen for aging offers a range of products targeted towards the different skin types and problems of the mature skin. But before you start using any new product, it is always advisable to do a patch test. Apply a small amount of the product to a clean part of your skin, preferably on the upper forearm. Leave overnight to check for any irritation, blisters or discomfort. Repeat for three days. Once there is no reaction and the products are cleared for use, follow the advised regimen to diminish any signs of aging.
Unlike other companies, the products from The Ordinary primarily focus on treatments. The products are either water or oil-based and it is important that the water-based one is used before that which is oil-based.
Anti-aging is a category of skincare for all skin types, but to hone in on the right product for you, firstly you need to understand your own skin type.
The mature or aging skin has a number of problems.
- Dry skin
- Shallow or deep wrinkles on face and neck
- Fine lines on the face
- Large pores due to lack of firmness of skin
- Sagging, loose skin due to reduction in collagen and elastin
- Age spots and hyperpigmentation.
If your problem is wrinkles and lines and you want a firmer, uplifted look you should look at the following categories
- Peptide Serums
- Hydrators (to help lock in moisture)
If you have rough skin or texture related issues, you could also add a chemical exfoliant such as the AHA peel (not suitable for sensitive skin).
Retinoids: Chemically related to Vitamin A, this class of actives help with anti-aging, acne and hyperpigmentation. They help get rid of dead cells and promote collagen production making the skin look youthful and healthy. Unfortunately, some people may suffer mild irritation when they start using retinoids.
Peptide Serums: Aging slows down the production of collagen, a protein that provides suppleness to the skin. Serums rich in peptides and moisturizing oils are therefore a must in any anti-aging regimen.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA: These are chemical exfoliants that help shed dead cells as you grow older. Adding AHA to your routine once a week may help you boast of a brighter and smoother skin.
The Ordinary has two types of Retinoids, the regular and the Granactive. The latter is technologically more advanced and causes almost no irritation. It is recommended for night time use only. There are three products in the Granactive range.
- Granactive Retinoid 5%in Squalane
- Granactive Retinoid 2% in Emulsion
- Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
The emulsion is creamier but does not contain pure retinoids therefore depending on your skin sensitivity it is advisable that you start with the 2% in squalene and then graduate to the 5%.
After you have picked a suitable retinoid, next on your list should be a peptide-rich serum, like The Buffet. This formulation is suitable for both morning and evening use.
In The Buffet, you have the option of choosing between the 100% Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil or the 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil. Rose Hip Seed Oil is more targeted to the anti-aging regimen since it is richer in omega fatty acids.
Hyaluronic Acid +B5 is a good option to add to your skincare routine if your skin is ultra-dehydrated especially during the dry season or winter. It hydrates very well and is easy to absorb.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is another product that helps rid you of rough skin, blemishes, leaving you with a brighter skin. But being high on free acids, it’s only suitable for those comfortable in using chemical peels at home. It is not recommended for those with sensitive skin.
The Ordinary’s treatment products should be used in addition to your regular cleansing and moisturizing routine. Luckily The Ordinary has products that can take care of your entire anti-aging regimen. The following is a daily routine using only products from The Ordinary. The day and night routine should be as follows:
AM: The morning routine
Cleanse: The first step in any facial routine is cleansing. The Ordinary Squalane cleanser is a good beginning to your routine. Squalane is derived from olive oil and shark liver oil.
Tone: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: This boosts the texture and radiance of the skin. Regular use also reduces pore size, helps battle scars and boosts collagen production.
Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%: This product tackles multiple signs of aging simultaneously.
Hyaluronic Acid 2%+B5: This is an excellent product for deep skin hydration.
Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA: This product protects the outer layer of the skin from free radicals and pollutants, locking its moisture inside.
Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants: This sunscreen with SPF 30 protects the skin from sun damage.
PM: The night time regimen
Squalane cleanser: Double cleansing with this product before bed rids the face of the day’s filth.
Hyaluronic Acid 2%+B5 will work all night to keep your skin hydrated and promote collagen production.
Resveratol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% is a potent anti-aging product.
Vitamin C Suspension 23% +HA spheres 2% will work to nullify free radical damage. Tightens and brightens complexion overnight.
100% Plant-Derived Squalane: An excellent skin moisturizer to work through the night.
Optional: Once or twice a week: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution.
If you use The Ordinary Regimen for Aging regularly you will notice a definite improvement in your skin texture, feel and brightness. Your blemishes too will slowly fade away and you will see a newer, younger you in the mirror.
1. What makes The Ordinary different from other similar brands?
Although on first impression the products of The Ordinary sounds confusing, the results are great. The product names refer to the Chemical name of the primary ingredient.
2. Who formulates the products?
The Ordinary is a part of the umbrella brand DECIEM in Canada and all its products are formulated by in-house biochemists and material chemists.
3. Who manufactures the products?
DECIEM is the parent company of The Ordinary and all its products are manufactured in Canada in GMP complaint facilities.
4. Are the products vegan?
Most of them are. They have a product legend for each product on their website that will indicate if a product is vegan, nut-free, oil-free and a whole host of other information.
5. How do I store the products?
The company recommends storing all of their products in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight with the exception of the Granactive Retinoid/Retinols which should be refrigerated after opening. However, Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% which should not be refrigerated. Refrigerating the products will not enhance their longevity.
6. What is the expiry date of the products?
The shelf life of the products is three years when unopened and stored at room temperature. This is the regulatory threshold for testing. Upon opening, please refer to the period-after-opening (PAO) symbol to identify the lifetime of the product.
7. What products are right for me?
Their products can be used on any adult skin. Use their products like Hyaluronic Acid to stop your skin from aging, and keeping it looking plump and firm. Vitamin C in its various formulations is another product that stimulates cell regeneration. Retinol is one of the best anti-aging ingredients and has a prominent place in The Ordinary’s line of products
8. What are The Ordinary’s products for mature skin?
Amongst its various products, the best for mature skin is The Buffet. It works at different levels targeting multiple signs of aging like wrinkles, dry dehydrated skin, uneven skin texture. Retinol, a top-class exfoliant, is available in various combinations to reduce skin blemishes. Vitamin C too is excellent for healthy skin and is available in various combinations.
9. What are the products for sensitive, blemish prone and oily skin?
Many of the products from The Ordinary can be unsuitable for sensitive skin for the high concentration of its active ingredient. But their Niacinamide10% + Zinc 1% is a mild and effective solution for those suffering from skin redness or blemishes.
10. What products do they have for brightening dull skin?
Vitamin C is an ingredient that is excellent in minimizing discoloration and brightening up the skin. The Ordinary has a number of combinations of Vitamin C within their list of products. They are
- The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
- The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%
- The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
- The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
- The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension in Silicone
11. How do I use multiple formulas in a regimen?
In general, water formulations should be applied before oil formulations and it is recommended that a maximum of three serum formulations are used in a single regimen. For a more detailed guidance please click here.
12. Do they have a solution to dark under-eye circles and puffy eyes?
Although The Ordinary focuses predominately on skincare products for the face, they do offer an eye serum. The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% +EGCG is a serum that helps reduce puffiness and the appearance of dark circles under the eye.
13. How do the products from The Ordinary stay so affordable?
The Ordinary is able to keep their costs massively down, by simply focusing on the prime ingredient in the product and can therefore sell their products for a smaller price. There is no additional cost off added scents or fancy packaging. They also do not spend on additional marketing ploys. Their investment is basically on testing and producing of its formulations.
14. What are the downsides of The Ordinary?
The Ordinary is not really a mass-market brand as it only really caters to people who are interested in the science behind skincare and are prepared to take the time to heavily research the ingredients they use. For the average person, their confusing naming system may be completely off-putting. The Ordinary also lack the luxury that other brands can deliver. Whilst we always want skincare that is actually going to improve our skin, sometimes it’s nice to use your skincare as a pampering session too. But how can one resist products that are not only reasonable but also produce fabulous results?
15. Does The Ordinary have any make-up products?
Whilst the company concentrates on skincare products it does have two primers that you can use as a base for your make-up. Use the one that fits your need.
- The Ordinary High- Spreadability Fluid Primer: This is a light serum-like primer that gives the skin a dewy look. Once applied it helps concealers and foundations to spread evenly. It does not cause clogging or irritation of the skin either. It is suitable for all foundation types and especially good for full coverage of those with dry skin. It hydrates the skin under all the heavy makeup.
- The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer: This primer gives a matte-like look, blurring the skin blemishes and fine lines, giving the appearance of a flawless complexion. It can also be used individually without makeup. It is perfect for those with oily skin. It also works well with blemish prone skin or mature skin as the silicones in it blur imperfections.