• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Affordable Skincare Edition- The Ordinary Top 6 Products

To say that The Ordinary is a skincare innovator is an understatement. The brand revolutionised skincare because it the first to offer actives at an affordable price. After immediate and stellar success, scandal ensued when one of the founders, Brandon Truaxe, took over the company's social media and exhibited erratic behaviour that offended consumers. He and the company were heavily critisized and boycotted. Soon after, Truaxe fell to his death at the age of 40, amid revelations of personal struggles with addiction and mental health. Very slowly, things settled but the loss of Truaxe left a lasting impact.

The Ordinary is the budget line from umbrella-company Deciem. It includes so many different products that it can get confusing if you don't know exactly what you're looking for. I have tried the majority of products and listed my favourites below in the hope it might help you navigate through their long list of formulas. I must note that these are not only my top products from this line. They are products I believe are actually worth buying regardless of price- their affordability is just a very pleasant bonus.

1. Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: This is their moisturiser and I love its texture because it's thick but absorbs into the skin beautifully and is a good primer for makeup. Most importantly, it contains amino acids that help heal and rejuvenate; my skin loves this ingredient. It is available to buy here

2. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: niacinamide is a silent hero of skincare. It helps with excess sebum for acne-prone skin, it minimizes pores for over-30's skin, it is an antioxidant, it helps fade skin discolorations, it boosts collagen and reduces wrinkles. Impressive, right? Yet, few seem to prioritize this ingredient in their routine. This serum gives you results and is so affordable, it's the closest thing to a skincare miracle you can get. I have stopped it since starting high-strength retinol because I get these benefits from there, but I recommend this to anyone who will listen. It is available to buy here

3. Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane: This was a firm favourite of mine until I came across the Sunday Riley Luna which is my current low-dose retinol oil. I would consider this an alternative to the Luna- not as good but certainly worthwhile if your budget is limited. It's a comfortable oil that gives me glow and clarity without any adverse reaction you would associate with retinol. I would recommend this even to complete beginners, the squalane in the formula keeps it very gentle and caring for my complexion. Ease into to it by starting every third night, more often as you progress. The bottle says it stays potent for 6 months but I have found it ineffective on my skin from the third month onward. It is available to buy here

4. Matrixyl 10% + H: I wrote about this last week in my 'top serums for dry skin' article (you can read it here), but it's so much more than that. This is their best formula, by far, in my view. I honestly don't undestand how their Buffet serum is more popular than this antioxidant, super-moisturising, restorative gem, . If it were twice the price, it would still be worth buying. Triple the price even. It is available to buy here

5. Lactic Acid 10% + HA: I've been using acids for more than 20 years so I've used them all. Since I have no acne nowadays, I have limited my use of acids to only lactic; it is effective but doesn't irritate my skin in the least. I often receive messages in my inbox regarding which strength to choose from The Ordinary and I recommend this. As with their retinol, just ease into it. Start by using it one night per week and build up to it according to your skin's needs. You don't need this every night. Twice a week is enough to give you all the exfoliation and glow you need. It is available to buy here

6. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: A very popular Ordinary product, this is a high-strength peeling treatment. When I'm on retinol I cannot tolerate this at all, so be warned: if you have sensitive skin, this is not for you. If your skin is normal, however, this is an excellent weekly treatment to reveal your healthy skin underneath. Since I absolutely DESPISE physical scrubs on my complexion (I don't go to all that trouble to care for my skin just to scratch and injure it), this is my recommendation for effective exfolation. It is available to buy here

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photos via cultbeauty.com