If you're not on the Facebook group Mrs Gloss and The Goss, you're missing out. The group is full of clever, talented people who adore makeup, skincare and beauty and offer amazing advice. One of their top recommendations is The Ordinary skincare range so obviously I had to check it out. I've linked The Ordinary's website in the links, but I actually got mine from ASOS because I got student discount and free postage
The range is packaged in quite a "medical" way - lots of glass bottles with formulas in pipettes. It really appeals to the scientist in me! Some of the solutions are also in tubes which are a silvery-bronze. The most striking thing is the names of the products - the ethos of the brand is providing cheaply priced, good quality products to the educated skincare consumer. This translates as chemical names, without added scents or fancy names and little explanation on the bottles for what they could be used for. This means to buy them requires some research before you invest. The Ordinary have 3 recommended regimes for Ageing, Pigmentation Issues (and spots) and Dehydration, although you can tweet them questions and they appear to have really helpful customer services.
I bought the range for pigmentation issues because I have some residual scarring from old acne, and because the products also prevent spots from forming. They suggest
- AM: Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate Solution 10%
- PM: Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% or Advanced Retinoid 2%
So what I had to do was write all these down, and then click and read the description of each one. I'll share my research for you
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA - £7.00. Alpha Arbutin reduces the look of spots and pigmentation. HA (Hyaluronic Acid) acts to hydrate and plump the skin
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - £5. Niacinamide is the fancy name for Vitamin B3. It reduces blemishes and skin congestion. Zinc helps reduce oiliness.
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate Solution 10% - £7.80. This is a form of Vitamin C. The Ordinary offer several forms of Vitamin C and have a thorough guide here. I selected this one because it was recommended for brightening properties
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% - £5.50. Brightens the skin while making it look more even in texture and reducing the apperance of blemishes.
Advanced Retinoid 2% - £8. Visibly reduces the signs of ageing without irritation by helping cell turnover. Also helps reduce spots. Can make you UV sensitive so make sure you wear SPF
I also bought
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil - £9.00. The oil is rich in linoleic acid, linolenic acid and vitamin A. It reduces signs of photo-ageing and discolouration. It's high in fatty acids and reduces fine lines and hydrates skin. Many people also find it reduces the amount of oil their skin produces despite it being an oil itself. It's a dry oil so gets absorbed quickly. (Read a lovely review here)
So far I've been using it for two weeks and I am super impressed. My skin is becoming much more even in tone and texture, and my spots are behaving themselves. I've also spent two weekends makeup free which is very rare for me! I notice the biggest difference in my skin the morning after using the Advanced Retinoid 2%. I'll keep it up for a month and let you know how I get on. However my first impressions are:
- 365 day refund policy
- Excellent prices
- Do not test on animals
- Free of parabens, sulphate, mineral oil, animal product, formaldehyde and various other nasties
- Potent formulas without fragrances
- I can see the difference it's making to my skin
- No break-outs or reactions despite having sensitive skin
- Maybe not that user-friendly to someone new to skincare
- Packaging isn't that pretty
- May smell a bit chemically
- I find that sometimes the way they leave skin feeling might interfere with foundation application. e.g. can pill up around my eyebrows
- You can only apply up to three formulas in one application - I'm too eager to bung everything on my face at once!
I'd be interested in trying their AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution - I've always wanted a chemical peel. Sadly it wasn't on ASOS but for £6.30 I might have to order it