The Internet Swears By These 22 The Ordinary Products

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the best the ordinary products
(Credit: Byrdie)

The Ordinary has undoubtedly been one of the most talked about skincare brands in the past half a decade from its launch in 2016 which swept the beauty industry by storm, to its near-closure in 2018 following founder Brandon Truaxe’s controversy (where he was promptly removed from his post as CEO), and finally rebounding (thankfully) to become one of the most well-loved and hyped skincare brands on the internet to date. Almost every other skincare junkie’s cabinet has at least one (if not a few) of the best The Ordinary products, and it’s easy to see why.

This Canadian beauty brand’s biggest selling point is probably its super reasonable and affordable price point, which you may be wondering how they are able to maintain. Simply, their no-frills approach to skin care means they focus on the ingredients that work higher concentrations of good quality ingredients, and no unnecessary extras. Sans the usual fancy packaging and marketing gimmicks, their refreshingly straightforward philosophy, coupled with their effective formulas, has come to be widely appreciated by many.
The Ordinary boasts a wide range of products for every skin type (currently 55 products spanning skin care, hair care and makeup!) which are available on hushsg. In case you may be feeling overwhelmed by the sheer selection of products and information available, we have compiled a recommendation list of 22 of the best The Ordinary products that we think every girl and boy (yes) ought to include in their skincare routine, according to your skin type.

Best The Ordinary products

For Acne/ Troubled/ Oily/ Combination Skin:

1. Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (from $7.90)

best the ordinary products salicylic acid
(Credit: ppshopp.sg)

 

What is it?

This beta hydroxy acid claims to be able to exfoliate the inside walls of pores to fight blemishes and for clearer skin with continued use.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night. Simply apply a small amount directly on spots for the best results or apply all over the face to maintain clearer skin with continued use. Remember to avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes. After applying, do not rinse off and continue with additional skin treatments as needed.

Promising review: “After trying so many acne products, I found The Ordinary and bought it as last resort and IT HAS CLEARED MY ACNE. I don’t get breakouts any more and when I do get an occasional pimple, I just put this on before I sleep and it would be a bit died down the next morning. A little warning though for people with dry skin, it’s a bit drying.” – Lena

 

2. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (from $11.66)

best the ordinary products niacinamide
(Credit: hushsg)

 

What is it?

This Niacinamide formula is hands down, one of the best The Ordinary products. Otherwise known as Vitamin B3, this product claims to help reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. At 10% concentration, it is able to balance the visible aspects of excess sebum activity. Niacinamide is also an effective ingredient for brightening skin tone!

Directions:

For use in the morning and night before heavier creams. Apply a few drops all over face and gently pat it into your skin.

Promising review: “I have normal-combination skin and applying this to my t-zone areas seems to really help clarify my skin and control oils. It absorbs really nicely into the skin and therefore I use it in the mornings under my moisturiser and makeup. I have always liked zinc products for their skin healing properties and for the price point, The Ordinary’s one is great!” – Chloe

 

3. Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA (from $15.50)

best the ordinary products alpha arbutin
(Credit: baahboos)

 

What is it?

Alpha Arbutin is normally used to reduce the looks of spots and hyperpigmentation. It also claims to help lighten up acne scars.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night as part of your skincare regimen. Simply apply a few drops to face and gently pat the product in.

Promising review: “This has been a little miracle in a bottle for me! I started using it without thinking too much about it. After 2 or 3 weeks I looked in the mirror and the sun spots on my face had significantly lightened! I’ve been using hydroquinone for 12 years now, and have noticed that it’s not working as good as I would like. I’m somewhat of a sun worshipper and I couldn’t keep up with the sun spots, until now! It’s been about 6 weeks that I’ve been using it and I’d say my sunspots have faded about 75%.” – JS

 

4. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (from $9)

best the ordinary products aha bha peeling solution
(Credit: deciem_sg)

 

What is it?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) are used to exfoliate the skin’s topmost layer, giving you a brighter and more even appearance. On the other hand, Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) are used to exfoliate the skin and help clear pore congestion. Together, this is one of the best The Ordinary products to use for a even deeper exfoliation to fight blemishes and improve your skin’s condition. With continued use, the formula can also help to reduce fine lines.  

Directions:

For use only at night, no more than twice per week, after washing your face. Simply apply a thin layer across the face and neck and leave it on for no more than 10 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Remember to avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes during application and rinse off.

Promising review: “My favourite The Ordinary product so far. You can really see an immediate difference! I left it on for 10 mins with no stinging or adverse effects and rinsed off to find myself looking younger. I’ll advise to follow instructions and not go past the advised 10 mins! Great product!” – LG

 

5. Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (from $13.50)

best the ordinary products azelaic acid suspension
(Credit: newyoung.sg)

 

What is it?

Azelaic Acid is used to brighten, even out the skin tone and reduce blemishes. The Ordinary’s formula is designed to have a high 10% concentration of pure Azelaic Acid in a lightweight gel cream, which helps to control excess sebum and keep your skin looking matte.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night. Remember to avoid the eye and mouth area. Squeeze out an appropriate amount and lather evenly across face and neck.

Promising review: “I love the Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% like it’s my own child. I have greasy skin that only got greasier as the day wore on, until I started using this product! For me it’s made all the difference. It’s the last thing I put on my face in the morning, and it keeps my nose and forehead from turning into an oil slick. My skin texture has also improved greatly. It’s so soft and smooth. Sometimes I touch my face because I can’t believe how smooth it is. I love this stuff!” – HG

 

6. 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil 30ml (from $15.90)

best the ordinary products cold organic rose hip seed oil
(Credit: deciem_sg)

 

What is it?

This is lightweight, non-greasy facial oil is one of the best The Ordinary products for many people. It’s lightweight and moisturises your skin without the greasy, icky feel. With regular use, it can help reduce the signs of sun damage (e.g. sun spots) and restore an even, radiant skin tone!

Directions:

For use preferably at night, ideally after application of water-based products. Simply apply a few drops to face and gently pat the product in.

Promising review: “I have normal to oily skin with occasional acne, and this product does not break me out. I use it at night before, or mixed with a moisturiser. It does make my skin look oily for a while but it’s at night so doesn’t matter. Not exactly sure if it’s the oil or a mixture of other TO products I use, but my skin looks and feel smoother and brighter without any expensive products in my regimen.” – DC

 

For Dry Skin:

7. Natural Moisturising Factors + HA (from $17.28)

best the ordinary products natural moisturising factors
(Credit: hush.sg)

What is it?

Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF) helps to keep the skin’s outer layer protected and well-hydrated. The Ordinary’s formula is essentially a non-greasy moisturiser with special hydrating compounds that are found naturally in healthy skin. It helps replenish compounds found in healthy skin that have depleted over time.

Directions:

For use preferably at night, after your serum step. Simply apply an appropriate amount and massage it into the face.

Promising review: “For the price that I pay, I will buy The Ordinary over and over again. I’m on my second big bottle of this product and it works for me. If I am in a rush to hydrate my skin, I put this on and it lasts for the whole day. This is worth the money and it works!” – JL

 

8. Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (from $13.70)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Want nourished and moisturised skin? This is one of the best The Ordinary products to do just that with. This water-based serum is infused with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 to hydrate the skin and create a smooth, supple and plumped-up appearance over time. It also works by replenishing moisture in multiple layers of the skin.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night, before creams. Apply a few drops and gently pat the product into your face.

Promising review: “I love this product from The Ordinary… My husband works in the pharmaceutical industry, he said skin can’t get enough of hyaluronic acid. At this price, I used a lot of the product whilst on our regular summer holiday in the sun. My skin was never dry, again with lots and lots of SPF. This is my regular favourite along with Natural Moisturising Factors HA. Life saver!” – NC

 

9. 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil (from $13.70)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

The Ordinary’s 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil is a nutrient-rich oil for skin and hair that helps support healthy, supple skin and reduce the appearance of flaking. Other than these benefits, this argan oil also adds a soft sheen and strength to hair.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night, preferably after water-based products like serums and toners. Apply a few drops and gently tap into face. For use on hair, apply a few drops and work the product through damp, clean hair.

Promising review: “I have combination skin that is more on the oily side & uneven skin tone. I have been using this oil in my hair for quite some time but only recently started using it on my skin – which I did very hesitantly as I was expecting to break out. This has done wonders to my skin!! My skin looks so plump, my pores look smaller & my skin tone is a bit more even. And what smell? People are really over exaggerating the smell…it smells like any PURE ORGANIC oil would. Looking forward to trying new products from The Ordinary.” – AP

 

10. 100% Plant-Derived Squalane (from $8.29)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Squalane is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that is found naturally in the skin. It is non-comedogenic, is suitable for use on all skin types, and can also be applied to hair to increase heat protection, add shine and reduce breakage potential. The Ordinary’s Squalene helps hydrate and restore a soft, supple texture to all skin types, and even prevents moisture loss with regular use.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night, preferably after water-based products like serums and toners. Apply a few drops and gently tap into the face.

Promising review: “This oil is AMAZING. I got one bottle to try and then immediately ordered two more. It’s thin but hydrating and doesn’t cause any breakouts. If The Ordinary stopped producing this, I think I would be inconsolable.” – JK

 

For General Signs of Ageing:

11. “Buffet” (from $26.99)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Nope, this is not your regular buffet table. This “Buffet” is actually a water-based serum that is formulated to combine an array of technologies, including peptides, probiotics, amino acids and more, to target multiple signs of ageing at once. It claims to be able to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots, hydrates, brightens and overall, promote a firm and smooth skin texture! Easily one of the best The Ordinary products to use if you’re desperately fighting to smooth stress lines from your face!

Directions:

For use in the morning and night after cleaning and drying. Apply a few drops to face and gently tap product in.

Promising review: “I’ve used other brands of peptides but The Ordinary “Buffet” IS the one that worked for my skin literally overnight. It smoothed and softened my skin very well and I’m only sorry I didn’t know about it sooner.” – KF

 

12. Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane (from $14.80)

(Credit: lluminous.sg)

 

What is it?

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene is a lightweight serum with an advanced, non-irritating retinoid complex in a squalane base and it claims to be able to visibly reduce the signs of ageing without irritation.

Directions:

For use only at night after water serums, but before heavier treatments. Simply apply a few drops to face and gently pat the product in. Not suitable for use with other retinoid treatments.

Promising review: “After just 1 week of use I can see my face looking more pumped and my skin appearing brighter. Great product at a great price too!” – KF

 

13. Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% (from $19.83)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is a lightweight, water-based serum with a stable form of Vitamin C and is designed to help brighten the skin and improve the signs of ageing. It helps to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and even out the skin tone, giving you a smooth and radiant appearance.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night. Simply apply a few drops to face and gently pat in.

Promising review: “I can’t even explain how much I love this product!!! By far my fav Vit C product, especially for people with dry and aging skin. I feel like it really nourishes my skin making it so soft and plump.” – MJ

 

14. Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% (from $13.70)

(Credit: cosblah.sg)

 

What is it?

This product combines very high concentrations of two of the most powerful and important antioxidants in skincare: Resveratrol and Ferulic Acid. Don’t let this scare you off though! Resveratrol is a natural phenol found in several plants and 100% purely derived from Japanese Knotweed, while Ferulic Acid is a high-potency phytochemical antioxidant found naturally in walls of plant cells. Together, it works as a water-free, high potency antioxidant serum to beat urban skin stress and maximise anti-aging benefits.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night, either by itself or after water-based serums and before oils or heavier creams. You can also try mixing it with other The Ordinary treatments to enhance their antioxidant capacity significantly. This product can be mixed with The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% or Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone at each application to form an outstanding antioxidant network of Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid and Resveratrol.

Promising review: “I just turned 60 and my skin went from normal to sandpaper almost overnight. The Ordinary’s serum has changed my life. I’m using it very sparingly and when it dries I lightly apply the virgin chia seed oil. I hope I’m doing it right but at this time I couldn’t be more pleased.” – CO

 

15. Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG (from $13.70)

best the ordinary products caffeine solution
(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Wake up those tired eyes! This potent yet lightweight serum contains a high 5% concentration of caffeine and highly purified EGCG (found in green tea leaves) to help reduce the look of puffy eyes and dark circles. It’s one of the best The Ordinary products with a massive cult following in the beauty world.

Directions:

Massage a pea-sized amount onto eye contour every morning and night.

Promising review: “This isn’t a product you can expect overnight results from. However after longer term use I’ve definitely seen a reduction in my under eye circles. You only need a small amount so it lasts ages! Me and my mum both LOVE this product and The Ordinary!” – Inicholl01

 

16. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (from $16.26)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Suitable for almost every skin type (use with caution if you have dry/sensitive skin), this toner helps to gently exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin, resulting in clearer, more radiant and luminous skin. It also helps to combat blackheads and whiteheads, while improving skin texture with continued use.

Directions:

Use no more frequently than once a day. After cleansing, apply with a cotton pad in sweeping motions across face and neck (avoiding the eye area) and let dry. Do note that this solution should not be used for people with dry, highly sensitive or peeling skin. 

Promising review: “Love this product by The Ordinary, I think it does offer a more even and brighter skin tone after around two weeks. Would totally recommend this, particularly for someone reaching their 30s and seeing slight changes in skin appearance.” – ST

 

For Wrinkles:

17. Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane (from $21.13)

(Credit: lluminous.sg)

 

What is it?

Similar to Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene, this serum simply contains a higher concentration of the advanced retinoid active complex called Granactive Retinoid, that has shown to offer better results against multiple signs of ageing. You might want to try this out if you are slightly older and have more wrinkles or lines on your face.

Directions:

For use only at night after water serums, but before heavier treatments. Simply apply a few drops to face and gently pat the product in. Not suitable for use with other retinoid treatments.

Promising review: “Love this product as I do many of The Ordinary products which have made a significant difference to the tone, texture and quality of my skin. My skin is pretty used to peels and I’ve had some laser treatments and so I went straight for the 5% Granactive Retinoid (over the 2%). I have had no irritation at all and skin is certainly brighter and I’ve noticed the most improvement around my eyes and fine lines are significantly less noticeable. This one is a keeper.” – CB

 

18. Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (from $11.56)

best the ordinary products vitamin c suspension
(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Did you know that Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that brightens the skin tone and reduces the appearance of signs of ageing? Together with The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid (HA), this elixir claims to be able to brighten, hydrate and smooth out your skin tone, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation (such as dark spots, age spots, and acne scars).

Directions:

For use in the morning and night. Simply apply a small amount to the face and gently massage the product in, making sure to avoid contact with the eyes. Some might experience a tingling sensation after application. If the sensation is too strong, this cream can be mixed on each application with other creams or serums.

Promising review: “Incredible formula! Yes, it does have a slightly gritty feel, as mentioned in the description. However, unless you over-apply, as I did when using it for the first time, it should absorb quickly, and not flake off or ball up. This serum also performs wonderfully under makeup. My skin is sensitive and breaks out easily, yet I experienced no adverse effects with this serum. If anything, I’d say that it has greatly improved my skin.” – TR

 

19. Matrixyl 10% + HA (from $20.75)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

Matrixyl™ is a trademarked peptide composition developed by Sederma Inc. in France and this highly-effective composition has been shown to reduce the look of static and dynamic wrinkles. Formulated together with hyaluronic acid, this is one of the best The Ordinary products to soften fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to hydrate the skin, promoting a smooth and plump appearance.

Directions:

For use in the morning and night. Simply apply a few drops to face and gently pat in. For maximum benefits, consider alternating between peptides, Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid and Ethylated Ascorbic Acid) and Direct Acids.

Promising review: “My skin is extremely sensitive, and will break out into a bumpy rash if anyone even thinks of breathing around me. That being said, it’s nearly impossible as it is to find a product that will hydrate skin while leaving it plump…not to mention one that has no fragrance or miscellaneous and unnecessary chemicals. But that’s where The Ordinary’s Matrixyl comes in. My skin is just…wow….hydrated, plump, firm….and *not* oily or greasy in any way. This hasn’t caused any reaction on my skin whatsoever, and simply does what it says it will.” – EM

 

20. Retinol 1% in Squalane (from $11.80)

(Credit: kosatoz.sg)

 

What is it?

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalene is a high strength highly-stable, water-free solution of 1% Pure Retinol, an ingredient that can help reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing.

Directions:

For use only at night after water serums, but before heavier treatments. Simply apply a few drops to face and gently pat the product in. Not suitable for use with other retinoid treatments.

Promising review: “I love, love this. I used the granactive 5%, before moving to 0.5% retinol and now 1%. The Ordinary’s retinol range is more potent but more effective. Skin is smooth after application.” – AA

 

For Smooth and Long-lasting Makeup:

21. High-Adherence Silicone Primer (from $9.62)

(Credit: hush.sg)

 

What is it?

This High-Adherence Silicone Primer is one of the best The Ordinary makeup products. It is a mattifying and blurring primer with advanced adaptive silicones to help blur any imperfections on your face, and ensures your makeup lasts longer throughout the day!

Directions:

Use as the last step in skincare regimen either on its own or as a makeup primer.

Promising review: “love The Ordinary’s primer, it goes on like silk and last all day. It does “blur” fine lines as it says it will. It’s a beautiful canvas for the foundation.” – EB

 

22. High-Spreadability Fluid Primer (from $12.90)

(Credit: hushsg)

 

What is it?

Raved about by YouTube makeup sensation Wayne Goss, this is a new generation of primer. It is essentially a lightweight serum-like formula that increases the spreadability of subsequent complexion makeup to help avoid the unnatural and uneven accumulation of pigments especially around the eyes and on dry skin. To top it off, this formula also acts as a light, non-oily surface hydrator for a natural dewy look.

Directions:

Use as the last step in skincare regimen as a makeup primer.

Promising review: “I seriously love this primer. I have extremely sensitive skin that has dry patches around my mouth and I get oily on my forehead at times. This primer helps with all of that and allows my makeup to stay on all day and goes on very smooth.” –  MA

 


So, which is your favourite product from The Ordinary? Let us know in the comments below!

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This article was updated on 22-05-2020. Additional research done by Elycia Lee.

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