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We Tried "The Ordinary" Skincare Line The Internet Is Talking About And Here's How It Went

The Ordinary is known for being extremely inexpensive — but does it really work?

Hey all, we're Farrah, Sheridan, and Claire, and the three of us are obsessed with skincare. So when we saw the internet blowing up about The Ordinary products — which are very, very affordable — we knew we had to try 'em out!

Instagram: farrahpenn / sheridanbwatson / foryourclairification

Before we started, we reached out to representatives from The Ordinary to learn a little more about the skincare brand.

summercomestics / Via instagram.com

"The brand was created to celebrate integrity in its most humble and true form," Dionne Lois Cullen, a rep from The Ordinary, told BuzzFeed. "We recommend using a maximum of three serum formulations in a single regimen. This ensures that all ingredients are able to absorb correctly."

thebeautyhaunt / Via instagram.com

"We have a comprehensive regimen guide available here, which will assist in choosing and using our formulations. Our Customer Happiness team is also happy to assist people in choosing a bespoke regimen for their needs."

theordinary.com, javaria16 / Via instagram.com

The Ordinary does not currently have its own cleanser, but it was recommended that the three of us use the Hylamide High-Efficiency Face Cleaner.

apsvanity / Via instagram.com

Get the Hylamide Cleaner from Hylamide for $21.00.

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

Before:

Claire de Louraille / BuzzFeed

Not too long ago, I used only Lush products for a month and was blown away at how well they worked for me. However, I am a Deal Queen and love finding cheaper, better alternatives, especially when it comes to skincare. That shit can add up!

Right now, I feel like my skin is in a pretty good place. But I'm wanting to achieve a FLAWLESS complexion, you know? I have a very sensitive skin type that grows pretty oily all over as the day goes on. Oil sheets are my friend. I grew up struggling with cystic acne outbreaks, and I'm terrified of them returning. I'm looking to appear less oily but also rid any dark marks created by sunspots/acne marks from the past.

From left to right: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), "Buffet" ($14.80), Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Azelaic Acid x3 nights per week ($7.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), AHA + BHA Peeling Solution ($7.20).I don't know much about skincare, so I'm glad the reps were able to pick out these products for us. I was most impressed with the Azelaic Acid because my face looked fresh and bright every time I used it. And holy shit. DON'T USE THE PEELING SOLUTION IF YOU HAVE AN OPEN WOUND. I had a paper cut on my hand I didn't notice until I was rubbing that solution on my face. Good god. Also, I did suffer some breakouts during the month I was using these products. It could have been my skin attempting to get used to them, but it was pretty frustrating.
The Ordinary / BuzzFeed

From left to right: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), "Buffet" ($14.80), Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Azelaic Acid x3 nights per week ($7.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), AHA + BHA Peeling Solution ($7.20).

I don't know much about skincare, so I'm glad the reps were able to pick out these products for us. I was most impressed with the Azelaic Acid because my face looked fresh and bright every time I used it. And holy shit. DON'T USE THE PEELING SOLUTION IF YOU HAVE AN OPEN WOUND. I had a paper cut on my hand I didn't notice until I was rubbing that solution on my face. Good god. Also, I did suffer some breakouts during the month I was using these products. It could have been my skin attempting to get used to them, but it was pretty frustrating.

After:

Claire de Louraille / BuzzFeed
I did see a subtle difference in my skin after a month. I mostly noticed that I had fewer sunspots/acne scars on my cheeks. But the downside was the breakouts I kept experiencing. Also, my skin appeared more oily than before I started. I think I'll continue using the Azelaic Acid and AHA + BHA Peeling Solution since I don't have to use them daily and I suspect they helped out in removing the marks. Everything else was just OK!
Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

I did see a subtle difference in my skin after a month. I mostly noticed that I had fewer sunspots/acne scars on my cheeks. But the downside was the breakouts I kept experiencing. Also, my skin appeared more oily than before I started. I think I'll continue using the Azelaic Acid and AHA + BHA Peeling Solution since I don't have to use them daily and I suspect they helped out in removing the marks. Everything else was just OK!

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

Before:

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

Claire's thoughts: Look, my skin is OILY, OILY, OILY. Seriously, I could go through about 10 oil-absorbing sheets just trying to get matte, and I'll just be oily 20 minutes later. I used to have terrible acne until I went on Accutane, but I've always struggled with finding a routine that worked for me and then sticking to it. I've been trying the bazillion-step Korean skincare routine, which seems to be going fine, but my main concern is my closed comedones and blackheads that hang out around my chin and jaw. The Korean skincare routine hasn't really helped out with my cc's, but I do feel radiant as fuck. I've recently stopped trying to be matte (if I was meant to be matte, I'd be matte) and give into my natural glow.

From left to right: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), Caffeine Solution 5% ($6.70), Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), AHA + BHA Peeling Solution ($7.20).OK, so people talk about the purge, BUT IT IS REAL. It was like my closed comedones that were just bumps (with no visible whitehead) came rushing to the surface like plague of tiny white boils. There were a couple of days where I truly felt my self esteem take a hit, it was really that bad. Once I tried the Acid Peel on my face, it wiped all those bad boys out. That mask is CLUTCH. I was having some issues with the cleanser, as it didn't really...cleanse. It felt more like a makeup remover than anything else. Once I put some cleanser on my Clairisonic though, OH MAN. What a world of difference. I've never had a cleanser make my skin feel so damn soft. I thought the cleanser was going to be one of the most disappointing things I tried, but it ended up being one of my favorites.
The Ordinary / BuzzFeed

From left to right: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), Caffeine Solution 5% ($6.70), Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), AHA + BHA Peeling Solution ($7.20).

OK, so people talk about the purge, BUT IT IS REAL. It was like my closed comedones that were just bumps (with no visible whitehead) came rushing to the surface like plague of tiny white boils. There were a couple of days where I truly felt my self esteem take a hit, it was really that bad. Once I tried the Acid Peel on my face, it wiped all those bad boys out. That mask is CLUTCH. I was having some issues with the cleanser, as it didn't really...cleanse. It felt more like a makeup remover than anything else. Once I put some cleanser on my Clairisonic though, OH MAN. What a world of difference. I've never had a cleanser make my skin feel so damn soft. I thought the cleanser was going to be one of the most disappointing things I tried, but it ended up being one of my favorites.

After:

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed
I loved so many things about this line, mainly was the fact that it WORKED. The niacinamide helped tighten up my pores and make them less deep, the hyaluronic acid definitely kept my face moisturized. The acid peel mask kept my face glowy while wiping out encroaching closed comedones. The cleanser made my face *SO* soft. I have fewer closed comedones and blackheads, which were my main concern. My skin looks radiant, my pores look tight, and I've received tons of compliments. I have dinner with a group of friends every Monday night, and they could literally see a difference week by week. After the third week, I stopped wearing my light powder foundation since I felt like I didn't even need it.
Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

I loved so many things about this line, mainly was the fact that it WORKED. The niacinamide helped tighten up my pores and make them less deep, the hyaluronic acid definitely kept my face moisturized. The acid peel mask kept my face glowy while wiping out encroaching closed comedones. The cleanser made my face *SO* soft. I have fewer closed comedones and blackheads, which were my main concern. My skin looks radiant, my pores look tight, and I've received tons of compliments. I have dinner with a group of friends every Monday night, and they could literally see a difference week by week. After the third week, I stopped wearing my light powder foundation since I felt like I didn't even need it.

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

Before:

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

Sheridan's thoughts: I've been a fan of the Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid serum for awhile, so I was excited to try out more items from the line. In my head, I thought because the ingredients were in their pure state, my skin would turn from, "eh-that's not too bad" to "HOLY SHIT, I'M BELLA HADID."

From left to right: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), Caffeine Solution 5% ($6.70), Azelaic Acid x3 nights per week ($7.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), Caffeine Solution 5% ($6.70), AHA + BHA Peeling Solution ($7.20).After the first week, I immediately noticed my skin breaking out more and more. I chalked it up to my skin "purging," but I realized that I hate skin purging and I don't want things that'll make my sensitive skin hurt to the touch. Oh well. After a couple of weeks, the redness wasn't as prevalent, but I developed some under-the-surface bumps that I previously had gotten rid of. Then, of course, I got stressed about the bumps so it turned into a never-ending cycle of stress causing breakouts causing stress.
The Ordinary / BuzzFeed

From left to right: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), Caffeine Solution 5% ($6.70), Azelaic Acid x3 nights per week ($7.90), Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80), Caffeine Solution 5% ($6.70), AHA + BHA Peeling Solution ($7.20).

After the first week, I immediately noticed my skin breaking out more and more. I chalked it up to my skin "purging," but I realized that I hate skin purging and I don't want things that'll make my sensitive skin hurt to the touch. Oh well. After a couple of weeks, the redness wasn't as prevalent, but I developed some under-the-surface bumps that I previously had gotten rid of. Then, of course, I got stressed about the bumps so it turned into a never-ending cycle of stress causing breakouts causing stress.

After:

Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed
I'll definitely keep using the Hyaluronic Acid serum. I loved it before and I love it after. The cleanser was too water-y for my taste, and I'm still not quite sure what that suspension stuff did. I think if I had less sensitive skin, this could have been a home run but for me. Unfortunately, it's just not my jam.
Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed

I'll definitely keep using the Hyaluronic Acid serum. I loved it before and I love it after. The cleanser was too water-y for my taste, and I'm still not quite sure what that suspension stuff did. I think if I had less sensitive skin, this could have been a home run but for me. Unfortunately, it's just not my jam.

Overall, all three of us found at least one product that we'll continue adding to our own skincare routines. Every person's skin is SO different, so it's not unusual to go through trial and error to find out what works for you. And we all agree that it's hard to beat this price when it comes to quality skincare!

Disclaimer: BuzzFeed was provided these products free of charge.

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