Putting The Ordinary in Extraordinary…

There are few products that come along and completely revolutionize the world of beauty. With every new release we witness each brand attempting to be the mastermind behind a unique life-changing product. They work, they impress us and we love them. However, when a brand comes along that promises to give you potent doses of the highest quality skincare ingredients at an insanely affordable price-point; you drop everything and listen.

Deciem is a brand that couldn’t be more appropriately described than by their slogan, “the abnormal beauty company.” They’ve earned themselves a lot of chatter with the brands under their umbrella (NIOD, Hyalmide to name a few), but never has one caused as much intrigue as their release of The Ordinary.

The Ordinary is a skincare range that grounds itself on the basis of providing skincare that contains potent doses of one single ingredient. They shatter away all the needless steps and ingredients we find in our day-to-day skincare. This approach not only gives it’s customers powerful products and doses of the ingredients their skin needs, but it also sheds away the needless costs. The products in this collection range from $5- $20, with most of the products falling between $6-$8. Drugstore brands haven’t even been able to give us those prices!

A couple of months ago I was in the exact same position as you all are reading this right now, googling where I can buy this and placing a huge order instantly (by the way, I’ve found the easiest place to order this is on ASOS). I began my in depth research, only to find that no one had yet spoken about the range. I was onto something. I checked their official website for the suggested regimens and how to use the products, and created my own little routine to cater to my personal needs and put the order in. I received the products 2 days later and began my trial. I considered writing a first impressions or discussing it briefly, but something so revolutionary had to be tried and tested and given the time and credit it deserves.

What I Bought and Why: 

deciem skincare

I wanted to be able to give you all the answers and answer your burning question; does this really work? Well, long story short; it does. I’ve shared with you all for a while that I’d been going through a terrible skin patch. My skin was breaking out more than it ever has, and I had an increase in texture that I couldn’t fix. My pores were getting more and more visible by the day and my scarring was terrible. That is the condition I was in, and I’ll also throw in the fact that I have combination skin in case you were wondering. I decided (based on my research) that the best combination would be the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, NIacinamide 10%+Zinc 1% and then I wanted to throw in their Advanced Retinoid 2% which is the product I was most interested in. I also thought I’d pick up the Lactic Acid 5%+HA 2% to use on occasion since I had loved my Sunday Riley Good Genes.

The Alpha Arbutin claimed to help with hyperpigmentation and dark spots, so I thought that would help with my scarring. Then I had to include the Niacinamide as that claimed to be a “high-strength vitamin and mineral blemish formula” so I had hoped that would help with any active breakouts and also minimizing pores. I had always heard such amazing things about what Retinol or Retinoid could do for your skin, so I knew I wanted to try that out (disclaimer: this might be too harsh for you if you’ve never used products that include retinol in them before; for example Sunday Riley’s Luna). Finally, I thought the Lactic Acid would help with my texture and uneven skin tone.

Order of Use: 

While my research was almost possible since no one had really tried it out that well, I gathered bits and pieces where I could and figured out the order they should be applied. I’d begin with the Lactic Acid on days where I used it (I would alternate between it and Advanced Retinoid in the beginning) and then followed with the Niacinamide, then the Alpha Arbutin and finish with the Advanced Retinoid.

So there I was, I had put together my little dream team. Apart from a cleanser and an essence, I put a stop to every other product I was using and just decided to commit to these. I’d never stuck to the same skincare routine daily but I needed to know if these work. So I put them to the test, and here’s the verdict…

Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% : A Mild Lactic Acid Superficial Peeling Formulation ($7.50) 

The ordinary lactic acid

This was the product I was most worried about. I knew it could make the biggest difference in my texture but it also sounded really harsh on the skin. It’s best to begin with this because I’m the most conflicted about it. This did have visible results, my skin felt smoother and less textural after using this- but I also suffered breakouts. This gave me pimples similar to those I got when using Biologique Recherche’s P50, “the purge” as many called it. I loved the results but I just couldn’t with the breakouts so I stopped using this for a while. After how the rest have worked, I’m planning to get back to this soon. But for now my verdict is just that it’s very harsh, and my skin is not usually that sensitive. So be careful when using this. It comes in an even higher dosage of 10% Lactic Acid too in case you’re interested.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula ($6.50)

The ordinary niacinamide 

Along with the next two, this product worked miracles. For as long as I can remember I’ve suffered from the occasional breakout. I wouldn’t say I had acne, but I would constantly have one or two pimples. It’s something I’ve struggled with daily for the past 4 years. With this product, I didn’t suffer a single breakout for 2 months. I recently have gotten a few, but I’m well aware that was caused by a new product I tried out. This kept breakouts completely at bay, and that has never happened to me for as long as I can remember. Every morning I’d wake up and examine my skin for ages expecting to find a pimple and completely in awe that there wasn’t one. I’m ready to repurchase this and don’t think I can live without it anymore!

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA ($9.00)

The ordinary alpha arbutin 

Another magical miracle-worker. As I’ve mentioned, I’m always suffering breakouts. With that, I constantly have a million scars on my face. I refuse to be seen without makeup because even on good days, I have so many dark spots on my face that I can’t bear it. I’ve tried everything I’ve heard of to help with the scarring and nothing helped, so I’d accepted that it was a fate I had to deal with as punishment for all my pimple-popping days. This completely transformed that. I didn’t notice the results at first, but after a while I noticed I’d been using less and less coverage foundations overtime. The scars had almost completely gone I couldn’t believe it. But the moment I really realized how amazing this was is last week. I had a terrible reaction to a product and my pimples were huge and sore and I did pop them, and it was a huge mess. I tried tea tree oil and my usual treatments and nothing worked. Then I decided to stop and just stick to my The Ordinary routine, and within 2 days the pimples were almost entirely invisible. There was no residue, this had helped heal them almost completely. That moment was enough to have me sold.

Advanced Retinoid 2% : A Stable Emulsion of Next-Generation Forms of Retinoid ($10.50) 

the ordinary advanced retinoid

If you’re tiring of hearing the word “miracle,” I’d suggest you don’t read this part. Now, I’ve tried Luna, and I’d decided Retinoids don’t do anything for me. This was me going out on a limb and really wanting them to work, and it did. Where the Lactic failed me, this came to my rescue. This has completely transformed the texture of my skin. It has left it so smooth and soft to the touch. My pores were still visible, but the change in texture was enough to win me over. This product claims to help avoid signs of aging overtime, so I was ok with using it as a preventative serum. I had never expected it to give me actual visible results. I can’t stop using it. I will note in case you’re interested, the texture of this is different. While the other products are clear gels, this is a milky watery formula. This is also the most expensive product of the bunch at $10.

the ordinary retinoid

I’m sorry for how long this was, but I wanted to give you a full detailed guide that could be your go-to if you were considering trying out the range. Let me know if you’ve tried it out and how the products worked for you – I’m obsessed! 🙂

P.s. Let me know if you’d like to know the other products I’ve been using with this routine to help save my skin!



34 Comments Add yours

  1. The Ordinary is on my wish list and I’ll be buying as soon as I finish up a few more things in my stash!


    1. You shouuuld, it’s life changing! Thank you so much for reading x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Healthy_Glow says:

    I was just looking at reviews of this line. So intrigued. Thanks so much for sharing. Lovely post!


    1. Of course! So glad I could be of some help, thank you so much for reading xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Stella says:

    I skipped that Lactic Acid because I was worried too, Good Genes does fine but it stings a little and I didn’t want to burn my skin. Interesting info on the retinoid though, might have to try that. Thanks for sharing!!


    1. Yeah, I don’t know if lactic acid is for me. I think maybe Good Genes is just the way to go to get some lactic acid into your routine, it’s a lot gentler. Yess, you need to try the retinoid it’s amazing! Thank you so much for reading x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Stella says:

        Of course, lovely post 🙂


  4. Irina says:

    Excellent reviews, so glad I read your post cause I was really curious about some of The Ordinary products that I haven’t tried. You definitely convinced me to try the retinol & alpha arbutin (I already have enough exfoliating acids & I’m using niaciname). Quick question: did you notice any peeling or dryness with retinol?


    1. So glad I could be of some help! No, I actually didn’t notice anything like that, my skin is combination- maybe it would be that harsh on drier skin? It’s worked amazingly for me, if anything it feels kind of hydrating strangely. Let me know if you have any more questions xx


  5. Okay wow this brand sounds AMAZING!! I’ll have to go take a look 😍


    1. Giiirl, you need to get on it! Thank you so much for reading angel xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Elle says:

    my skin is exactly how you described your skin in the beginning of this post so i am beyond excited to purchase all these items with the moisturiser they sell, finally a full review of this skincare!! great post!! xx


    1. Thank you so much- I’m just so glad it could help youu! Omg, i hope it works for you, trust me I know how sad it can be to have your skin in that place! Thank you for reading angel xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Elle says:

        it’s given me a new boost of confidence that there is affordable skincare out there that may help my skin!! absolutely love your blog xx


      2. Yess, that’s the best part- it’s insanely cheap but literally such high quality! Thank you so much lovely, I’m obsessed with yours too, just spent a good few minutes stalking your blog 😛 x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Elle says:

        yes definitely, payday tomorrow and i cannot wait to purchase these, I’ll definitely let you know how i get on! aw thank you so much lovely, always have to read through yours haha!x


  7. abbyalowe says:

    This post is great, and I love how much effort and detail you put into your reviews/ posts in general. I’m so glad I’ve found your blog!


    1. Aww thank you so much that honeslty means the world! So glad you’ve found it ;P haha, thank you for reading xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. stashy says:

    They’re opening up a shop near me! And apparently there are a few dotted around Toronto… since this is a homegrown Toronto company, woohoo!
    Sadly, I’ve not tried anything from The Ordinary yet. I do have my eye on the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%.
    Now you got me curious about the Advanced Retinoid 2%! Sounds like a miracle worker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yess I have my eyes on the Vitamin C suspension too! Omg so jealous of you, might just move to Toronto haha. That’s so cute honestly you should be so proud cause wow wow, this brand is BOMB! Thank you so much for reading again btw, what’s your name? I’d love to know, honestly one of my fave commenters! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. stashy says:

        I’m just Stashy! That’s what everyone calls me. 😉


  9. syzahmd says:

    You just helped me to decide which one I want to try first. Thank you for the great reviews!


    1. Of course! Thank you for reading x


  10. I have been dying to try this brand! Specifically the “buffet” one! It’s so inexpensive, I should just get it 😂


    1. Yess I really want to try the Buffer too, it and the Vitamin C suspension sound so good. Thank you for reading xx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Gigi says:

    great post love!


    1. Thaank you for reading Gigi 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gigi says:



  12. laglammere says:

    Great post I will definitely check these out if the It’s Skin Power 10 formula line doesn’t work. I literally just bought 3 products from them on Saturday and they seem so similar to these products . It sounds like we may have some of the same skin issues. I have yet to use them because I am using currently using the Murad post acne spot lightening gel and I don’t want a product overload. I ended up getting the Vitamin C, arbutin, and houttuynia Cordata effectors. For spot lightening and pore refinement! Great post!


    1. Noha ♡ says:

      Really? Wow that’s so interesting, looking them up right away, never heard of the brand. Also, how is the Murad post acne spot gel working? I tried it and I have a theory it broke me out but I’m tempted to give it another try. Thank you for reading! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. laglammere says:

        It is a South Korean brand and they were roughly $8 a piece and come in 30ml dropper bottles. Honestly, I haven’t had any new breakouts and I am starting to see a difference already! I cleanse my face and apply it on the needed areas and use an eye cream. In the morning i do my skin care regime. Just so I can see how it works alone.


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