The Ordinary is an evolving collection of treatments offering familiar, effective clinical technologies integrity in skincare. But if you don’t know your alpha-arbutin acid from your alpha-lipoic acid, it can all seem a bit daunting. The Ordinary was founded to offer results-driven products at an affordable price. Learn more about The Ordinary below.

What Ordinary products should I not mix?


Best Products From The Ordinary to Stock Up On

The Ordinary, the disruptive and jaw-droppingly affordable skincare brand, is a few years old already. Industry insiders and skincare obsessives alike are firm fans. The Ordinary Hong Kong products are free of parabens, sulfates, and mineral oils, plus the company doesn’t test on animals! Here are some of the top products that you should add to your skincare routine ASAP.

The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane

Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative and is essentially your skin’s best friend. It speeds cell turnover, boosts collagen production, tackles pigmentation, reduces fine lines and unclogs pores. The Ordinary offers Retinol in Squalane from 0.2%, 0.5% and 1% which is a light serum-like consistency. Why the different percentages? Retinol can cause irritation in sensitive skin or for first-time users, so you should build up the percentage over time. Use it at night after cleansing and applying water-based serums, but before oils or creams. This formula is the least potent of all the Retinol in Squalane formulas, deeming it a great option for retinol rookies.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects and brightens the skin. This product contains L-ascorbic acid, the purest and most potent form of Vitamin C. Blended with light silicones, this heavy serum feels seriously silky. Use it at night after water-based products.

The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder

The jar contains a Vitamin C powder. This format means the ingredient stays stable and avoids oxidization. Mix the fine and fast-absorbing powder with water or other water-based serums or solutions and apply to the skin morning and night. When using pigmentation-tackling Vitamin C in the day, be sure to apply SPF to further prevent pigmentation production caused by UV rays.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

A gentle cleansing product formulated to target makeup removal whilst leaving the skin feeling smooth and moisturized. The formula incorporates Squalane, alongside other lipophilic esters that are gentle, moisturizing, efficient in dissolving makeup and facial impurities. When rubbed between your palms for around 10-30 seconds, the texture of the product will change from a balm-like consistency to a clear oil-like consistency. Being non-comedogenic and soap-free, this formula is designed to be gentle enough for daily use, without over-drying the skin, making it suitable for all skin types.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) are elements that keep the outer layer of the skin protected and well-hydrated. This formula offers non-greasy hydration that acts as a direct topical supplement of impaired NMF components. It contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid. It offers immediate hydration and lasting results with continued use.

What Ordinary products should I not mix?

If you’re a skincare-obsessed, you probably spend your evenings layering at least three different products on your face before you’ve even moisturized. If you don’t already layer your skincare, now’s the time to start- it’s a clever way of forcing ingredients into your skin and making each product work to its max. But before you turn your bathroom into a laboratory, there are some ingredients that don’t play well together:

  • Vitamin C + AHAS/BHAS: Vitamin C is effectively an acid, so layering it with AHAs and BHAs like glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids is a big no-no. It’s also really unstable so any acids you layer it with will destabilise the pH balance and render it useless before it even has a chance to work its magic.
  • Retinol + AHAS/BHAS: Retinol doesn’t exfoliate as AHAs and BHAs do, but it is a peeling agent so it does stimulate cell turnover to get rid of old and damaged skin cells. Mixing it with acids can cause dryness and irritation and damage the skin’s moisture barrier.
  • Retinol + Vitamin C: Using retinol and Vitamin C together is yet another recipe for irritation, peeling, and redness. Together, they’ll increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun, meaning your skin is at a much higher risk of getting UV damage. The best practice is to use retinol at night and Vitamin C by day.
  • Glycolic Acid + Salicylic Acid: Both ingredients work by removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin, but more is not always better. They’re great when used separately, but mixing the two will cause a major reaction and strip your skin.
  • Niacinamide + Vitamin C: Used separately, both ingredients are great for treating blemish-prone and scarred skin, but combining them is a recipe for disaster. Niacinamide cancels out all of the good properties of Vitamin C and turns it into a substance that causes redness and can trigger acne breakouts.

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