One of the best (and probably the most value for money) skincare ranges around at the moment is The Ordinary. It comes from the Deciem stable which also produces NIOD and Hylamide. There are a lot of products in the range and I have to admit that I was a little overfaced when trying to decide which ones to buy. Also, the products are named after what’s in them rather than what they are for, for example Hyaluronic Acid rather than moisture retainer, so unless you know what the ingredients do there will need to be a bit of research but that’s why I’m here, to provide you with the information.
After studying each one on their website (they give a recommendation of which products for which skin concern) I decided to get a retinol, a vitamin C, a lactic acid, a hyaluronic acid, the buffet and a couple of oils. All Deciem products, including The Ordinary, are free of “parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury and oxybenzone”. They do not test on animals and for this reason none of the products are sold in mainland China where animal testing is required.
The products are so reasonably priced that it’s difficult not to be like a kid in a sweet shop and buy too much, but I wanted to make sure that I could integrate all the products into my normal routine. The benefits so far have been really noticeable, my dry skin is so much improved. Sometimes as we get older we are in a bit of a rut and we need to get out of it and try new things.
Here’s the lowdown on each product and where I’ve put them in my routine:
Lactic acid 5% + HA – £5.50 for 30ml
Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid which exfoliates the skin. The 5% version is the mildest, a 10% is also available. The formulation contains a purified Tasmanian pepperberry which is known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that can be associated with exfoliation. This isn’t an exfoliator which you leave on for 10 minutes and then wash off, this is left on all night as part of the whole regime and then removed by your normal cleansing routine the next morning. It’s a water solution and comes with a pipette applicator (as do the majority of the products I’m using). Don’t use this if you have peeling or irritated skin and always use a sunscreen when using products containing AHAs.
I use this once a week after cleansing and before Buffet, the hyaluronic acid, oils and my moisturiser.
Buffet – £12.70 for 30ml
Designed to target multiple signs of aging all at once, this formula combines several technologies (like a mixed buffet) such as Matrixyl 3000 to stimulate collagen synthesis and hyaluronic acid for hydration, it also contains 11 skin-friendly amino acids. I really like the consistency of this product, it’s a water based one but thicker than the hyaluronic acid for example and lovely to apply. I use this every morning and evening after cleansing and toning and before the hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – £5.90 for 30ml
Don’t be put off because this is called an acid, this stuff is fabulous and what a price point! Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water and this formulation contains Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration. It contains three forms of HA to aid in the hydration process. Our bodies produce HA naturally but as we age this ability dwindles so any extra help is welcome. This is a water based product so goes before oils and creams in your skin regime. I use it every morning and evening after Buffet.
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene – £7.80 for 30ml
I’ve used retinols a lot but I still decided to go for the Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene and get the 5% next time. This is an amazing price, however just because these products are cheaper than others they are still really effective so don’t think you have to use twice as much because you don’t. The product is water free and contains a 2% concentration of an advanced retinoid active complex called Granactive Retinoid which has been shown to offer better results against multiple signs of ageing than retinol, without any of the irritation retinol can cause. Obviously, don’t use this with any other retinol product and always use sunscreen.
I use this on an evening (as recommended) and apply it after cleansing, toning and application of the water based treatments, hyaluronic acid and buffet, and before the oils and my moisturiser. I’m alternating it with the Vitamin C and the lactic acid. So, granactive retinoid on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Vitamin C Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Lactic acid on Sunday. I’m trying to concentrate a lot more on my neck and decollete as in my 20s and 30s I was guilty of bringing my product under the chin, half way down the neck and then stopping. This 2% version is proving a good choice as it’s not irritating my lower neck and chest area at all.
Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone – £5.80 for 30ml
Unlike the other products, this comes in a tube and is a pure form of L-Ascorbic Acid (see my earlier blog on Vitamins A,C & E), it’s water free and therefore completely stable. The product has very light silicones which make it feel strangely smooth on application. It should be used in the evening. A strong tingling but non-irritating sensation should be felt for the first few applications until the skin gets used to the formulation. I’ve been using this three times a week on my face, neck and upper chest after the water based products. I’ve had no problems with my face but the product really stings the bottom of my neck and top of the decollete and I developed a bit of a rash. I tried mixing the Vitamin C with my moisturiser but it still stang around the same area. So I’m continuing to apply to my face and under my chin and I need to get a more diluted Vitamin C product for my neck. My daughter lives in London and I’m going to see her this weekend so we shall visit The Ordinary shop in Covent Garden to look at other products.
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil – £9.00 for 30ml
This product is 100% pure Rosehip Seed Oil that is both cold-pressed and organic. Cold pressing avoids degradation of some of the effective ingredients such as pro-vitamin A, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. This oil has been shown to reduce signs of photo-ageing.
The oil should be applied once a day, preferably in the evening and after the water based treatments, so I use it most nights just before my moisturiser. A couple of times a week I use the Moroccan Argan oil for a change. I love oils, my dry skin breathes a big comfy sign when I apply this. If you have very greasy skin then you might not like it so much but I don’t find it greasy at all and I’m sure it’s helping with the redness around my nose and chin. As with the other products, I use this on my face, neck and decollete
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil – £5.90 for 30ml
The 100% pure Moroccan Argan Seed Oil is extracted through cold pressing in order to preserve the integrity of the oil’s fatty acids, vitamins, phenols (including caffeic acid) and carotenes. The oil helps to maintain healthy skin and reduces the appearance of flaking and can also be used on the hair to add shine and strength.
I use this a couple of times a week, alternating with the Rosehip Seed Oil. I feel like the Rosehip Seed Oil is better for my skin (no scientific reason for this) hence why I use it more regularly, but I don’t want to miss out on the benefits of the Argan Oil either. I also use it every couple of weeks on my hair. I dampen the hair first and then leave for a few minutes before shampooing.
To conclude this rather lengthy blog, I can only say that these products are well worth trying. At first it does feel like your regime takes a lot longer but after a few days it will just seem like the natural thing to do. My skin is looking a thousand percent better after using these products. I could never get rid of that dry tight feeling, but it’s not there anymore, so thank you Deciem and The Ordinary!