If you have been anywhere on Tiktok over the last year and a half, you know that skincare gurus have become the new top of the beauty chain so to speak (hello, skincare by Hyrmn). With the rise of the skincare influencer has also come an increasing awareness by the public of skincare brands and ingredients, which I fully embrace. While I am so glad to see people not just settle for Neutrogena wipes and calling it a day, this has produced a new thorn in the side of beauty retail workers everywhere: enter The Ordinary. I wish I was kidding when I say that this brand is the entire reason that I got Tiktok; it got real annoying real quick to be asked about the red mask from Tiktok five times a day and have no clue what they were talking about (which btw wasn’t even a mask at all, it’s a chemical peel). There are definitely good and bad parts to the Ordinary, and I feel like this is a good space to explore them all.
The Ordinary is what we have come to refer to as a beginner skincare brand. It’s a really good place to get to feel out and explore and see what your skin likes and needs without breaking the bank. To be completely honest, I know that I have rather expensive taste when it comes to my beauty products (but also in my defense, I also have extremely sensitive skin and it seems like the pricier stuff breaks me out less often), and I am lucky enough that I have a job that makes getting my hands on expensive skincare a lot less of a hit on my bank account. That’s not the case though for most people in their early twenties, and so it’s a great opportunity to explore ingredients without committing to $60 serums that may or may not work for you. By breaking down the serums where each ingredient is it’s own serum so you can make your own kind of concoction that works, and then find those same ingredients in a higher end serum. For example, if you love the nicinamide, hyaluronic acid, and buffet (peptide) serums from the Ordinary, give Peach and Lily’s Glass Skin Serum a try: it has all of those ingredients at a higher quality plus peach extract to help brighten the skin. While the serum is slightly more than the three combined, it also switches you from three to one (and that one bottle normally lasts four plus months), which also frees you up to try other serums and products.
This leads us to one of the problems that the Ordinary does have. A lot of people are unaware that you’re only suppose to use around three serums and oils on your face at a time; the reasoning is that three is the magic number for your skin to absorb, after that it’s just over saturation and you’re just pouring product (and money) down the drain. By separating out the ingredients, it takes more of the Ordinary’s serums to get the same results that you would get with one serum that’s all of those ingredients combined, so while yes it’s a great beginner thing to have the ingredients separated out, it’s also a money grab since you have to buy more. Speaking of money grabbing, let’s talk about the quality of ingredients that you’re getting. You’ll notice that near the top of most Ordinary serums is an ingredient called glycerin. Just as a bit skin ingredient knowledge, glycerin in a small amount is good for your skin, it’ll draw moisture into your skin. However, in large amount after long term use, it will dry out your skin and exasperate any issues that you’re having (so you then buy more skincare hence the term money grab). Glycerin is derived from vegetables, so it’s super cheap to make and is a great filler ingredient. The point is that $6 you’re paying for the serum is mostly filler and not actually that much active ingredient.
I think that I’ve made my feelings on the Ordinary pretty clear, but let’s be clear, I don’t think you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get quality skincare. There are plenty of amazing skincare products in the drugstore; two of my favorite examples of this are Good Molecules and Peach Slices (which is the drugstore brand of Peach and Lily!). They have amazing quality products that aren’t going to break the bank. But that’s the post for this week, and I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to leave a comment letting my know what your favorite drugstore brand is. I post every Friday, so make sure you subscribe to see updates and my socials are linked if you want to stay up to date on my day to day. Hope you have a great week!