My The Ordinary series is back with a closer look at the hydrators and oils on offer. If you are interested in my overall impressions of the brand, retinoids and vitamins or direct acids, just click away. Since my last post, Estee Lauder has invested in Deciem – the parent company of The Ordinary -, but I’m just going to focus on the products and leave that development aside.
The Ordinary offers three oils: rose hip, marula and argan. I’m not a big oil user: the two I feel really work for me are Vintner’s Daughter and Kypris Beauty Elixir I and even with the much-hyped VD it took me a while to find my way (I mix three drops into my serum or moisturiser and that’s perfect). If you ARE an oil user, however, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like these. They are all 100% oils, cold-pressed and unrefined to keep all the benefits and come in a dark bottle for sun-protection. The web site is a bit confusing on this, but according to the product names, rose hip and argan oils are also organic.
If you use argan, marula or rose hip oil already, but are looking for a cheaper alternative, all three are very much worth a try. If you are new to oils, I’d first pick one that matches your skin concerns the best. Rose hip* is known as the anti-aging oil, as it contains (among other things) vitamin A. It works nicely on top of The Ordinary 2% retinoid and many people love it. My own favourite is the marula oil with its antioxidants and radiance-giving properties. It’s also the lightest and fastest-absorbing of the three. When I use it at night, I wake up to supple, hydrated and well-balanced skin. Argan seems to me the most basic, but a good option if you want an allrounder that you can also use on hair and body.
For those who like the idea of oils, but for some reason don’t get along with them in reality, squalene might be the answer. 100% Plant-Derived Squalene looks and feels like transparent, lightweight, scentless oil, but is actually a highly emollient hydrocarbon. If you have dry skin, this can come in really handy. I’m thinking of it as the oil equivalent of hyaluronic acid: you can add a layer of this when you struggle with lack of oil (as opposed to lack of water, where hyaluronic acid would help) and it should bring instant relief. For me, it’s a bit too much, but my skin is also not dry.
The Ordinary obviously does a hyaluronic acid product as well, called Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. I don’t own it, as I have several others that are similar. If you don’t have anything in this category in your arsenal, I recommend you get something quick. There isn’t anything as effective against dehydration and most people suffer from it to some degree. I have no qualms recommending The Ordinary as a starting point: the formula looks very decent, several people I trust love it and the price point is of course very reasonable. There is another somewhat similar product in The Ordinary line-up: Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA. This one I feel less confident recommending without trying, as it’s a more innovative concept. If you’ve tried it, do chime in in the comments.
For some reason, The Ordinary also includes their two primers in this category – probably because these can also be used as light moisturisers. I personally wouldn’t recommend that, as they are not enough for most people and at least I personally don’t love silicone-heavy moisturisers. I’m also not the best person to assess primers, as I don’t use them often and haven’t used these two much either. The High-Adherence Silicone Primer with its mattifying and blurring properties isn’t something I gravitate towards, especially as it feels very silicone-y to me. If your skin is more oily and pores are your main concern, you might feel totally different, however.
High-Spreadability Fluid Primer is more my jam, although I cannot say it’s something I use often. What I would say, though, is that if you have expensive foundations that you want to make last as long as possible, this can be helpful. The primer really does make your skin extremely smooth and the foundation goes on and spreads so easily that you only need a tiny amount. It could potentially help some of your more temperamental foundations work better, too.
Have you used anything here? Any favourites or complete fails?
*I do own it and have used it quite a bit, but couldn’t find the bottle for the photo.