The Best of The Ordinary

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

The Best products from The Ordinary

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!

Best products from The Ordinary

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 of 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 pr

Best Products from The Ordinary

2. 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

The trick with using this is to start off SLOWLY. Give yourself 2 or so weeks to build up to using on your face.

  • Best used at night time as the acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Do a patch test first on the inside of your elbow, it should tingle but that should fade after a minute or so. Leave on for 10 minutes and wipe off. If there is no irrtition within 24hours, you can try it on your face.
  • Again do a patch test on your cheek, again it should tingle but be fine after a few minutes. If no irritation occurs after a few days. You can try it on the whole face
  • When you apply it to your face, leave it on for 3-5 minutes before washing off. If the tingling sensation doesen’t stop after a couple of minutes, wash it off. The feeling will be uncomfortable but not unbarably so.
  • Give yourself a week in between application
  • If you find you have no reaction and it doesn’t tingle, well I am jealous!
  • Always wear SPF after use!

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.

3. 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. 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.

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.

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 second 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 but only this specific way. 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

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.

Related: Everyones talking about The Ordinary’s new Cleanser – is it any good?

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!

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45 Responses

  1. I’ve been putting together a list of all the products I want to start trying for my skin from The Ordinary – but one thing I’m concerned about is how much different suggestions are saying “don’t use with a strong vitamin c”. I wanted to try their 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (to mix with moisturiser) to use in the evenings, but is this ok to do if I’m using their Toner + Granactive 2% Retinoid Emulsion at night too? I loved your suggestion for the Agireline Solution 10% too, so I’d love to use this also. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Polly,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      So the L-Ascorbic Acid Powder is a very strong Vitamin C and shouldn’t be used with a lot of products like retinol/retinoid, Buffet peptides, agireline solution. Vit C can be used in the am or pm but I would recommend using it in the morning as the retinol should be used in the pm. Vit C also has loads of antioxidants so it works as extra protection of you skin.FYI, as I said the powder is very strong so you might feel a stinging sensation and skin might go a bit red when you first use it but this will go away as you skin gets used to it.

      The rest are ok to use in the pm, although I would recommend the toner and retinoid on alternate nights for the first few weeks so you don’t have any reactions.

      Hope this answered your questions, please let me know if there is anything else I can help with.


  2. Hi Sarah ,
    Im a new Ordinary user. Here what I have :
    1. Azelaic Acid suspension 10%
    2..Matrixly 10% +HA
    3. Niacinamide 10% + zinc 1%
    4. Resveratrol 3% + ferulic Acid 3%
    5.Ascorbyl glucoside solution 12%

    Could you please help me on how to mix these products and which one is better to used in am or pm.
    Thank you so much

    1. Hi Bintang,

      Thank so much for your comment.

      So the AM is when you want to use antioxidants to protect your skin. Which is the Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid (this is a super strong antioxidant). You should use the Ascorbyl glucoside 12% (A STRONG vIT cSERUM) first then the Resveratorl + Ferulic Acid. Matrixl and Niacinamide don’t get on well with the strong Vit C so use these in the PM. I would advise using the Azelaic Acid suspension on alternate nights with the Niacinamide. So a routine would look like this

      Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution
      Resveratrol + Ferulic acid (If you find this stings you can dilute it in your moisteriser)

      Double cleanse
      Matrixl or Azelaic Acid

      I hope this helps. Any questions please let me know.


      1. Sarah ,
        You’re awesome beauty safer ! Thank you so much for helping me on this. I have been using the products in a wrong order.


  3. Hi, I’m using 10% glycolic acid can I use Buffet in the morning and acid in the evening? Thank you, Anna

    1. Hi Anna.

      Yes you can use the buffet in the morning and the glycolic in the pm. Use the glycolic every second day so your skin gets used to.


  4. hi i am using reservetrole +reservetrole 3% mix with l ascorbic acid at night time . once in a week i use red peeling solution . i have ordered AHA toning solution too . please guide me how to use these products in right way. i am suffering with melasma on my face please advise me if something can help reducing the dark patches .
    many thanks

    1. Hi,

      thanks so much for your comment.

      If you want to you can use the Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% and the 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder in the am as they are both excellent antioxidants and help protect to the skin. But there is no problem using them in the pm as well. For the AHA peeling solution don’t use the reservatrol or ascorbic acid after. Just a gentle oil and or moisteriser is all you need.
      The Glycolic toning solution you can use a few times a weel after cleansing but it’s best not to use the resveratrol and ascorbic after unless you but a serum like hyaluronic acid before so the acid doesn’t interfere with abilities of the antioxidant and vit c.

      Melasma if very tricky to treat as it goes deep into the skin. Unfortunately, the only way to fade it completely is by laser treatments but you can help prevent it from getting worse by using a good SPF. The heliocare spf is one of the best and is recommended by dermatologists to prevent the worsening of melasma. Another product you can introduce from The Ordinary is Alpha Arbutin this can help fade and prevent pigmentation. You can use this in the am and pm after cleansing/toning

      I hope this helps,

      Let me know if you have any other questions.


  5. Hi
    Can you make an am and pm rputine with all the products on the list? Just to have an idea on how to mix them.


    1. Hi Nathalia,

      Thank so much for your comment.

      I use all of these products during my weekly skincare routine which I have put together here

  6. Hi! I currently have TO niacinamide, alpha arbutin, aha&bha, and azealic acid, so I’m planning to use a toning solution (thayers, pixi glow or TO glycolic acid which do you recommend?). I currently have problems with hyper-pigmentation and hoping that it would lessen it. Is it alright to add glycolic acid or I would just over-exfoliate my skin? Thank you!

    AM: cleanser, toner, niacinamide, moisturizer, spf
    PM: cleanser, aha&bha (2x a week), toner, alpha arbutin, azealic acid, moisturizer

    1. Hi Yana,

      Thanks so much for the comment.

      You can add it a glycolic acid toner a few times a week – don’t use it at the same time as the peeling solution. There is only a slight difference between the glycolic products, The Ordinary is my preference as it is slightly stronger (7% compared to the pixi at 5%) and is better value for the price.

      You can add in the alpha arbutin in the am if you wanted and the niacinamide in the pm. No problem to use them twice a day. A vit c serum in the morning will also help pigmentation. A great product is the Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Overnight Treatment

      Any questions.

      Let me know


    1. Hi Juliet,

      Thank you for your comment.

      It’s best not to use the toning solution and copper peptides together as the acids can breakdown the amino acid bonds in the peptides making them ineffective. It’s best to use them on alternate days or the copper peptide in the morning if not using a strong vitamin c.

      Let me know if you any other questions


  7. Hi Sarah,
    Am so happy to see your blog.
    Here are the products which I have in ordinary and am 32 years currently. Am an absolute new user to ordinary and pixi.
    1. Niacinamide
    2. Buffet
    3. Rosehip seed oil
    4. Granactive 2% retinol
    5. Caffeine Solution
    6. Pixi 5% glycolic toner
    7. Aha +bha peeling solution
    8. Ascorbic acid 8%+Alpha arbutin 2%

    Kindly,help me out in using these products on my skin.
    How am I supposed to proceed further? Which can be mixed with what and when to apply ?
    I have dull skin, dark circles ,acne scars,n very mild wrinkles starting on forehead. Has crow’s feet and laugh lines. Basically an oily/combination acne- prone skin…

    1. Hi Sughi,

      Thanks so much for your comment.

      Ok so recommended routine. Some of these products don’t work so well so don’t mix
      Buffet and Ascorbic Acid
      Ascorbic Acid and Retinol
      Glycolic and ascorbic acid
      AHA & BHA with everything except the niacindamide, buffet, caffeine solution or rosehip seed oil

      You’re best alternating the so you could do

      Caffeine Solution
      Ascorbic acid and Alpha Arbutin

      PM 1.

      Double cleanse
      Pixi glycolic
      Caffeine Solution
      Rosehip oil
      Night Moisturiser if you want

      PM 2.
      Double cleanse
      Pixi glycolic
      Caffeine Solution
      Rosehip oil if you feel you need it
      Night Moisturiser if you want

      Alternate between the two of these pm routines. This will also help with any sensitivity from the retinol.

      Once a week then use the AHA & BHA Peeling Solution. After you have removed the mask, you can apply the niacinamide, buffet and rosehip oil.

      How does that sound? Let me know if you have any questions.


  8. hello sarah, i have just started following a skincare regime because i will be 30 soon. Can i use retinol 0.5% in squaline then hyaluronic acid then the rosehip oil? i want to introduce the ordinary buffet serum too..but don’t know how to fit it in🙄.

    any suggestions?

    1. Hi Roshni,

      Thanks for your comment. The retinol, then HA and rosehip is a routine to help delay ageing. Make sure you are using the retinol in the pm. If you want to introduce the buffet serum, i’d recommend using it in the am. So your routine would look like

      Buffet serum
      HA serum
      Rose hip oil if you feel your skin needs the extra hydration

      Double cleanse
      retinol 0.5%
      Rose hip oil

      How does that sound? Let me know if you have any other questions


  9. Hello Sarah,

    first off I wanna say that I LOVEE your blog, I’m new to the ordinary but I’ve had had such bad skin for sooo long which got me bullied a lot!

    so I wanted to change my whole skincare routine and I added to my cart almost all your recommendations and a few others after I’ve selected the products that are suitable for my skin concerns but I do have (oily, very sensitive, and acne prone skin).

    can you please help and give me some guidance on the following:
    the order I should apply these products in
    which ones are AM and PM
    if the product is a spot treatment or should be applied to the whole face
    and if any of these products contradict with each other.

    product list:
    -Squalane Cleanser
    -Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
    -Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
    -100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
    -100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane
    -AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
    -Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
    -Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
    -Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

    if you feel like these are too much or if some of this products aren’t suitable for sensitive skin, or if you have any suggestions or changes I could make to this list please let me know.
    thank you sooo much.

    1. Hi Dona,

      Thanks so much for your comment. That really means a lot that you like the blog. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had a tough time with our skin. People who don’t have acne don’t realise how much it effects your mental health.

      So you have some really good products for your skin. So recommened routine would look like

      Squalane cleanser
      Hyaluronic Acid
      Salicylic acid on areas on of congestion or specific acne.
      Hemi Squalane

      Double Cleanse 1st cleanse with squalane cleanser, 2nd cleanse with a more clarifying wash (i’ll give some recommendations)
      Alternate the retinoid with gylcolic acid. So one night use the glycolic toner after followed by a soothing toner. Then the next night don’t use the gylcolic toner, use a soothing toner followed by the retinoid.
      Salicylic acid on areas on of congestion or specific acne.
      Give that time to soak in
      Then the rose hip oil

      – You can use the HA in the pm routine as well if you want. Either before or after the niacinamide.

      Once a week in the pm use the Peeling solution mask. I have a detailed post here on how best to use it.

      Afterwards use a sooting toner, HA and rose hip oil

      If your skin is feeling dry and irritated, cut down on the Salicylic acid and glycolic acid. And don’t use the peeling solution untill your skin is feeling better.

      Alot of sensitivity is caused by the the skin moisture barrier being damaged.So we need to concentrate on rebuilding and protect the barrier. Niacinamide is a great ingredient for this. Another good ingredient is centella. And this is a good to have in a soothing toner. I’d recommend the COSRX Calming Liquid This amazing for sensitive acne prone skin.

      Another product i’d recommend is The Inkey List Salicylic acid cleanser
      Use this as your second cleanse in the pm to help with excess oil without stripping the skin.

      SPF wise, it can be difficult to find one that doesn’t leave your skin feeling even more oilier! I am a big fan on the Klairs Soft and Airy SPF. It melts into the skin so quickly and doesn’t leave it feeling greasy.

      Let me know if you have any questions and how you are getting on.


      1. Dear Sarah,

        thank you so much for replying to my message I really apricate it.

        sorry to bother you with another long message but for the past couple of weeks my acne has been REEALLY acting up, so I did decide to use exposed skincare (along with some of the previous products I mentioned to help inhance my skin). this company’s products contain benzol proxied, salicylic acid among other powerful ingredients… so would really appreciate some input to know if it would contradict with the ordinary products I decided to get.

        these are the exposed skin products I’m getting with the main ingredients:

        Facial Cleanser: Salicylic Acid – Pro-Vitamin B5 – Sage Extract

        Clearing Tonic: Green Tea Extract – Passion Flower – Azelaic Acid

        Acne Treatment Serum: Benzoyl Peroxide – Green Tea Extract – Tea Tree Oil

        Clear Pore Serum: Salicylic Acid – Green Tea Extract – Licorice Root Extract

        and these are the products i decided to get from the ordinary:

        -Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
        -Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
        -100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
        -AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
        -Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
        -Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

        would love to hear what you think about this! and look forward to your reply.

        1. Hi,

          How is the skin doing? So while you are undergoing Acne treatment you don’t want to use to many strong products So I recommend waiting untill your skin is doing better before using the Retinoid, Salicylic acid and Peeling Solution Mask. Using all of these along with the acne products would be too much for your skin to deal with.

          If you find your skin is quite dry and flaky from the acne serums try using them every second day. The niacinamide and rosehip oil you can use twice a day as well as the hyaluronic acid.

          Give the products time to work (12 weeks at least) and if there is no improvement or it gets worse. The best thing to is go to the doctor to see about medication. If you can (not sure what the lockdown restrictions are like where you are) I would look into getting extractions done by an acne specialist. This can make a big difference and prevent scarring of the skin.

          Don’t forget to add in a moisteriser. You don’t want your skin getting completley dried out and then producing more oil to compensate.

          Best of luck and let me know how you get on!


  10. Hi Sarah. I’m new to The Ordinary and was looking for some help with choosing a good combination. I am 35, relatively good skin although lately I am having breakouts which is very uncommon for me. I was thinking of choosing the HA 2% with B5, the rosehip oil or maybe the 10% Argireline Solution. I would like to try a toner but I am worried that perhaps the Glycolic 7% will be too strong for me never having used anything like that before? Thank you so much

    1. Hi Carol,

      I am so sorry I missed your comment.

      Between maskne and all the stress this year has brought everyone has been having breakouts! So don’t worry to much about them. The HA and rosehip oil are great choices as is the argirline solution. The toner would also be good. Don’t worry about it being to strong just start off slow with it using a few times a week in the pm after cleansing. And gradually increase it to every second night.

      I would also suggest the Granactive Retinoid 2%. This is a great introductory retinol product and helps to increase the collagen production in our skin (which starts to decline by 1% every year from the age of 25!) If you do go for the retinoid, it’s best to use it on alternate nights to the Glycolic toner.

      Let me know if you have any other questiosn.

      Kind regars

  11. Dear Sarah,

    hello, hope your doing well and happy new year!

    im 25 yo with (oily – sensitive acne prone skin) and i have never used skincare tbh and i need help figuring out the basics! like what are the products i need to incorporate into a skin care routine (ex: cleanser – toner – all sorts of creams for all sorts of purposes..) i have no idea what i need!

    up until 2018 i had okayish skin and i was never really concerned with it but late that year i started getting a lot of acne out of nowhere ! its not cystic but its big red painful pimples that develop white heads and leave nasty brown scars everywhere – also i have a lot of black heads all over and i developed millia all over my cheeks, when i pull them its very visible 🙁

    please help me im very depressed and haven’t left my apartment in weeks because im so ashamed of what has become of my face!

    thank you you in advanced 🙂

    1. Hi Noor,

      I’m so sorry, I somehow missed this comment. How are you doing? If you are able to I would visit the doctor or even better a dermatologist, as acne can be very hard to fix. It could also be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome.

      For the moment product wise, I would recommend The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser (use this twice in the pm and once in the am) The Ordinary Niacinamide plus zinc all over in the am and pm, this helps control sebum creation, The Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish treatment on areas of concern. Follow with The Inkey List Multibiotic Moisteriser (am and pm)

      One other product is Zitsticka Hyperfade, which is incredible at getting rid those marks after pimples.

      You could also check out Cassandra Bankson on youtube. She has lots of great videos on acne

      Best of luck! Please let me know how you get on!


    1. Hi Parveen,

      It’s best to use the buffet and retinol in different routines. So one night use the retinol and niacinamide and the next night use the buffet and niacinamide.

      Hope this helps.


  12. Hi Sarah,

    thank you for sharing all the information.
    I’m new at Ordinary products and I must say I’m really confused on how to combine them.
    I read a lot of your post, as well as others where daily routins with Ordinary products are explained.
    I have a breakout-prone skin​ (many small small ones) and overal mixed skin.

    My current list for daily routine is following (the AM I can say I understand, but please correct me if something should be changed, but I’m really confused for PM):

    – Squalane cleanser
    – Hyaluronic acid 2 % + B5
    – Niacinamide 10 % + zinc 1 %
    – Natural moisturizing factors + HA
    – Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with antioxidants

    1. Squalane cleanser
    2. Options are: The ordinary salicylic acid 2 % masque / Glycolic acid 7 % solution / AHA + BHA peeling –> I’m not sure what to use here – I wouldn’t want to put something strong on my skin at first, so I guess AHA + BHA is not good chooice. I found the alternative Lactic Acid 5 %, but I’m still not sure if it’s good and how many times should I use it
    3.The ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2 % + B5
    4. Additional treament: The ordinary granactive retinoid 2 % emulsion –> should I use this when I use one of the products from 2. step?
    5. Natural moisturizing factors + HA
    6. 100 % plant derived hemi squalane

    I also read that salicylic acid 2 % solution would be great option, but I’m not sure on which step to use it and in which combinations + how many times.

    Thank you for all your comments!

  13. Hi Sarah, I’m such a newbie when it comes to serums and facial products. I am prone to oily skin and hormonal acne. I would really like your opinion on what I should begin to use. I have done a lot of research and it looks like my wallet will be taking a hit all at one since it looks like I will be purchasing quite a few of The Ordinary products. Much appreciated.

    1. Thanks for your comment!

      I would definitely recommend the Niacinamide Serum as it helps to reduce sebum production.

      The 30% AHA and 2% BHA Peeling Solution is also great for oily skin, be very careful with using though. I have a full guide here.

      I’d also recommend The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser and the Succinic Acid blemish treatment.

      A less is more approach is always the best when it comes to oily skin.

      Best of luck. Let me know how you get on.


  14. Hi Sarah

    I have the following products and would like to know in which order and when to use. I am 57 years and have normal to dry skin, obviously with lines now starting to show..
    Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid
    Amino Acids + B5
    Argireline Solution
    Niacinimide 10% + Zinc 1%
    I also use Vit C serum (morning) and Retin A (night)
    I use oils and moisturiser (depending on which one I feel like using or both sometimes)

    1. Hi Charmain,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      You’ve picked some great products here but to ensure they all work their best there are some you can’t use together.

      So am routine you can use the Amino acids, Resveratorol, Niacinamide and Vit C serum – best not to use the buffet or argirline with he resveratorol as it could make the peptides inefficient. Play around with the layering of them, its best go with the lightest texture first.

      In the pm if your skin is used to the retin A, I would apply that first, then the amino acids if you feel your skin needs the hydration, niacinamide if you want, argireline on areas of dynamic wrinkles (forehead, around the eyes, mouth) and buffet all over.
      Then your moisturiser and oil if you feel you need it.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.


  15. Hi!! Thank you for always sharing such valuable information with us. I have the following things I have just purchased. Was wondering if you could please guide me on how to form a routine around these

    1. Avene face wash
    2. Clinique moisturiser
    3. Ordinary – Copper peptides buffet
    4. Ordinary – Matrixynl 10%
    5. Ordinary – Argireline Solution 10%
    6. Ordinary – Niacinamide + Zinc
    7. Inkey – retinol
    8. Inkey retinol eye serum
    9. Ordinary – Lash and brow serum.

    Would really appreciate your valuable input.


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