The Best of The Ordinary

The Top 7 The Ordinary products I can’t live without!

7 of The Ordinary products I can't live without


The Ordinary products I can't live without!

What are the best The Ordinary products?


I've talked A LOT about The Ordinary before and I'm often asked what are the best The Ordinary products?  I haven't tried all of them but there are few that have really impressed me. Read on to find out what The Ordinary products I can't live without!



1. Granactive Retinoid 2%


Why I love it.

I've tried pretty all of The Ordinary retinol and retinoid products and this one is my favourite! For some reason I don't like it in the squalane and prefer the emulsion, it seems to work better on my skin. This is a great product to introduce your skin to a retinoid or retinal. My skin responded really well, it didn't cause any irritation, and I was very quickly able to use it every day. It's also a great price for a retinoid!


Why it works

It combines two forms of next-generation retinoid actives, which are pretty strong but you don't get as much irritation as you would with retinol.


How to use The Ordinary Retinoid

As with any retinol or retinoid, you should start off using the product two or three times a week, slowly increasing to using every night.

Don't know what the difference between retinol and retinoid is or how to use them? I explain all here.


What to use with it

You can use most other products except Vitamin C. Hyaluronic Acid and the Buffet +Copper peptides (more on this miracle product further down) are perfect to support your skin with using The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2%


When to use it

Always use a retinol or retinoid in the pm!! Where you use it in your routine is up to you. I like to use it as one of my first products.

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion€9.80 / £8 / $9.80

The Ordinary Products I can't live without!

2. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution


This is one of the strongest acid masks out there, you normally wouldn’t see something of this strength outside of treatment room. It has been compared to Drunk Elephant's Babyfacial and while the concept is the same, the two products have very different ingredients list, textures and most importantly, price point. (The Baby Facial is about 7x more expensive that The Ordinary)


Why I love it

Although my skin initially goes a bit red after I use it, the day after my skin is noticeably brighter, clear and glowy!  With continued use, I've noticed I get less blocked pores on my forehead and my skin tone looks more even


Why it works

It blends together Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAS )including glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids (30 %) and Beta Hydroxy (BHA) acid Salicylic acid (2%). The AHAs exfoliate the skin's surface which gives an instantly more even and brighter appearance, while the BHA extends further into the skin to clear out the pores. When used regularly, I will explain how to use in a moment, the combined acids fight blemishes, improves skin texture and reduces fine lines.

That all sounds great! However that high percentage of acids can be very irrating on the skin and if used incorrectly or too often can damage the skin barrier.

To help combat the irritation The Ordinary includes one their favourite ingredients, Tasmanian Pepperberry (which gives it the red/pink colour) plus hyaluronic acid for comfort, Vitamin B5 to help with healing and black carrot as an antioxidant.


How to use The Ordinary AHA 30% Peeling Solution

I've put together a detailed plan on how to use this without irratitation - click here


What to use with it

Because of the potential for sensitivity, you shouldn't use retinol or vitamin c (which can be irritating on the skin). Instead, use a hyaluronic serum for hydration followed by your moisturiser and oil. The Buffet with Copper Peptides would also work well, as it gets your skin working at an optimum level and helps to reduce sensitivity.


When to use it.

Once a week in the pm


If you decide to try out this peel, make sure to keep an eye on your skin for any changes that might mean it’s not reacting well because over exfoliation will lead to issues that could completely negate anything good the acid has the potential to do.


AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution €7.20 /£6.30/ $7.20

The Ordinary products I can't live without!

3.The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%

If you're worried about your worry lines, this is the product you need! It's been promoted as an alternative to botox as it’s the first peptide proven to reduce and help prevent expression lines.


Why I love it


Do I really need to explain why I love it?? It's one of the best products out there for reducing expression lines! My skin looks more smooth, especially on my forehead


Why it works

Like Botox, it relaxes the facial muscles that lead to wrinkles through repeated contractions. (but not as intense - sorry no product is going replicate the full treatment of Botox)


How to use The Ordinary Argireline 10%

Only use on targeted areas. So on the forehead, around the eyes, the nasal folds and marionette lines ( your lips to your chin)


What to use with it

You can use nearly every product with it except a strong vitamin c.


When to use it

The Ordinary Agrirline Solution can be used in the am and pm as one of the first products you apply to skin as it’s a thin watery solution it soaks in really quickly. If you are using a strong Vitamin C product, just use it in your pm routine.

4. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Everyone should be using this amazing product.


Why I love it

I credit this serum with reducing the amount of congestion I get. I have combination skin and would get the odd blemish and blocked pores on my t zone. Since using this (I'm now on my third bottle!) my skin has never been as clear, my pores have gotten smaller and my skin is less red around my nose. It's the one product I always apply no matter how tired I am. See why it made it as one of my Beauty Heroes!


Why it works

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) helps balance and in turn, reduces the amount of sebum being created in the skin. This then helps to prevent pores being blocked and spots being created.


How to use it The Ordinary Niacinamide 10%

Use daily in your am and pm skin routine unless you are using a strong vitamin c, then only use it in the pm. It can be applied all over the face as it also helps to even skin tone and reduce pigmentation.


What to use with it

Apart from a strong Vitamin C, Niacinamide can be used with every other product.


When to use it.

It can be used in the AM and PM.


FYI while it helps reduce blemishes, it isn't a treatment for acne, but it can help if used alongside acne treatments.


Related: A brutally honest review of the new Niacinamide powder from The Ordinary

5. 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil 30ml


I love facial oils, and everyone should be using one in their skincare routine. Rosehip oil is one of my all time favourites. It has been used for centuries due to it's incredibly healing, protective and regenerative properties.


Why I love it

Rosehip oil does it all! It helps reduce scars, fine lines and wrinkles, correct dark spots, sun damage and uneven skin tone, as well as tackling stretch mark! It also helps to soothe, heal and balance the skin, so it can work well with acne-prone skin.


Why it works

It is packed full of antioxidants (Vit C, lycopene, carotenoids), vitamins (A, B, D and E) and essential fatty acids (Omegas 3, 6, 9) all which help to reduce skin damage leading to a reduction in fine lines, dark spots, like I just mentioned. The higher linoleic acid to oleic acid ratio (44.1% vs 13.9%) is what helps it balance and soothe the skin.

The fact that it is cold pressed is important, as the linolenic acid and vitamin a degrade when the oil extraction process involves heat.


How to use

Rub your hands together to warm the skin, the place a couple of drops on them and press into the face. Take a few minutes to massage it in. Make sure you keep the oil in a dark cool place ie not the bathroom. Although it is in UV protective packaging, heat and long exposure to air will cause it to go off.


What to use it with

Everything really, rose hip oil gets on with everyone!


When to use it

The rose-hip oil should be used after water type lotions and serums. If you have a lighter moisturiser you could apply it afterwards as your final step but I find this can cause the product to pill. I generally use the oil in the PM, as I can be lazy about waiting for it to soak into my skin in the morning. Sometimes I'll add a few drops of it to my moisturiser. And even to my body moisturiser for an extra treat!

6. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

I love how glycolic exfoliates my skin, leaving it clear and bright. My introduction glycolic acid was with the cult favourite Pixi Glow tonic, before I quickly moved on to The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution.  I do still like the glow tonic and would recommend it to anyone starting out with glycolic toners.


Why I love it

Its strong but gentle. At 7% it's one of the strongest toners available (although I am trying out The Inkey List 10% glycolic toner at the moment…) but it's lots of soothing ingredients.  Including Aloe Vera, glycerin, rose and cornflower water ginseng extract and The Ordinarys favourite Tasmanian Pepperberry. These help to reduce any irritation caused by the glycolic. Plus it dosen't have any dyes or perfums


Why it works

Glycolic works by dissolving the binds between dead skin cells, revealing “fresh” ones for a more plump, youthful appearance of the skin. As it is a smaller molecule,  it can easily penetrate deep into the skin to improve everything from hyperpigmentation, acne, scarring, wrinkles and skin tone.


How to use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Like with a retinol, you should start off introducing this to your skincare two or three times a week a first, before using it every second night and when you feel your skin is ready, every night. I have been using it every night apartment from when I use the AHA 30% Peeling Solution. I use it on all parts of my face except where my skins barrier is weaker around my chin.  I recommend avoiding any areas where you know your skin is sensitive as the glycolic could do more harm than good.


What to use with it

In general avoid using other potentially irrating products like Vitamin C and Retinol. But if you have been using retinol for awhile and you skin is used to it and used to the glycolic you can use them together. Because the two acids work on different layers of the dermis (Glycolic on the upper and retinol in the lower dermis) using them together doesent cause irratation, its is if your skin is already slightly irrated from using one orthe other that a reaction can occur.


When to use it

In the PM after cleansing and before serums. Always make sure to wear a spf the following day, you don't want those fresh new skin cells getting damaged!



7. Buffet + Copper Peptide

The newest member of my The Ordinary family, it has quickly become my favourite child!'ve been wanting to try Niod Cais (A copper peptide serum that for some is the holy grail) for ages! So I was delighted when The Ordinary brought out Buffet + copper peptides. I hadn't previously bought the Buffet as I was trying out other peptides like Matrixol and Agirline and was using a hyaluronic acid separately.

I hadn't been that bothered about the original buffet as I was having too much fun picking out other peptide formulas to try. But the copper peptides was released at the right time when I was nearly finished my Matrixyl 10% + HA. It's a good bit more expensive than other Ordinary products (€28.90 compared to the average price of  €10/12) but still less than the CAIS2 (€45.60)


Why I love it

It helps blemishes heal faster, which is a saviour for someone who picks at their skin ( I know I'm a terrible person) . I've also recently moved up to 1% rentiol without any problems and I'm sure the reason my skin has taken to it so well is the because of the copper peptides. Also, it's blue! Which for some reason I think is really cool…


Why it works

Copper peptides are meant to keep the skin in a constant state of repair, they’re like supervisors who make sure every skin cell works as it should.


How to use The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides

You can use it twice a day unless you use a strong Vit C cream in the morning, then just use it in the pm.


What to use with it

Apart from a strong Vitamin C, you can use this with any other product. I said earlier it works well to support your skin when introducing a retinol or retinoid to your skin.



When to use

I like to it after my double cleanse and toning as my first serum as it soaks into my skin really quickly.

How to get Extraordinary Skin with The Ordinary

If you’re feeling completely intimidated and overwhelmed by The Ordinary skincare I recommend taking Extraordinary Skin With The Ordinary.  A The Ordinary speed training created by my scientist friend Cheryl Woodman. Cheryl’s helped hundreds of ladies see real-life results, first hand.


  • The 1 holy grail product you must have regardless of your skin type
  •  The 3 The Ordinary products you should never EVER use and why
  • Which The Ordinary serums could make your unique skin concerns worse - aka which serums you should never use
  • The new, non-negotiable 3-step skincare routine to makeupless skin you love


What are the best The Ordinary products? These are the top 7 The Ordinary Products I can't live without!

Pin for later!

There are few other The Ordinary products that may make it on to this list, but I need to use them again before I completely make up my mind.

Have you used The Ordinary? What are your favourite The Ordinary products? Let me know in the comments below!

The Ordinary products are available online at | |

ps want to grab yourself a good deal? I've put together a list of beauty discount codes and special offers!


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