I have been testing a lot of new products from The Ordinary lately, no surprise there! I have found some real gems, some products that I love seeing the results the next morning. Like with every skincare brand, there is going to be hits and misses. Some products I may not like, you may love. And so the skincare game goes! I think what makes The Ordinary so attractive to me is I can afford to play around with their formulas. I can buy a few of them at once to try and find a product that works for me. I love that about them! Whenever I buy a more expensive product, I find myself overthinking my purchase. Researching and asking others who have experience with the product. It may be weeks before I actually make the purchase! Not that I don’t do my research before buying serums from The Ordinary, I do. I just find myself feeling less guilty when I do purchase.
So without further adue, onto the new products! When The Ordinary launched online at Sephora I picked up some new-to-me products that I have never tried before. The Caffeine Solution 5% + ECGC, Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone, Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, and the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. Then The Ordinary launched new products on their website and I just couldn’t resist Marine Hyaluronics, Mandelic Acid 10%, and the very exciting 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder. I am not ready to give my final opinion on all of them today, but I will talk about what each of them can do for skin and how to use them. So hopefully that is helpful for now as you consider whether or not to add any of these products to your routine. I will eventually do a full review on each, so if there is a specific review you would like to see first, please do let me know in the comments!
One of the products I have the most experience with is the Marine Hyaluronics. MH is a hyaluronic acid-free hydrating serum that is waterlight. It was created as an alternative to the Hyaluronic Acid serum that some, including myself, find to be too tacky. Marine Hyaluronics actually reminds me a lot of a K-Beauty Essence and could even be packaged as a toner. It has such a thin, fluid texture. It feels really nice on the skin, my winter-dehydrated skin soaks up every drop. There is no tacky finish and it layers nicely with any and all other products. I use this product directly after cleansing before any of my other serums or treatments. I use it at night and during the day as it works beautifully to hydrate my skin before the matte foundation I have been testing recently!
Marine Hyaluronics actually contains algae like a lot of K-Beauty essences do, now that I think about it they have many similarities! The formula also contains amino acids which helps to keep the outer layer of skin, the skin barrier, strong and protected. I have talked about this before, but it is very surprising to me that Deciem was able to create something so lightweight with amino acids included. Most products I have tested that contain amino acids are a heavy, lotion texture. So those of us with combination skin, or even oily skin types will appreciate the lightweight feel and texture while still enjoying the benefits of amino acids. Amino Acids is an ingredient that everyone can benefit from, especially sensitive or reactive skin types. Strengthening your skin barrier will help to protect against free radical damage and a host of other damaging elements skin is exposed to on a daily basis.
Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone
Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone, I have a love/hate relationship with most Vitamin C products, so my thoughts on this product are not exclusive to this brand. To put it bluntly; I love the glow this Suspension gives me, I hate the texture. Sorry Deciem! Vitamin C serums are tricky to formulate. When water is added to L-Ascorbic Acid it starts the oxidation process and the clock. Most serums are very pricey and have to be used in a very short time frame, usually 3-6 months. Which chains you to the product for daily use, which absolutely may work for some people. They usually just don’t work for me! I like to experiment and switch up my routines, so I find it very stressful to try and use up a product in a certain time frame.
Deciem avoided many issues when they decided not to add water to their formulation. You don’t have to worry about oxidation and the packaging is less important with a waterless LAA. However, they have to use some kind of base and they chose “very light silicones.” I actually don’t find them to be particularly light. This is more like a heavy cream texture to me. There is nothing wrong with adding silicone to a formula, some of my favorite products include silicone. Just not this much. The silicone causes any water or oil based serum or treatment used in the same routine to pill. The Vitamin C Suspension does not play nicely with others!
With all of that being said, I love the results I get from Vitamin C Suspension. I wake up the next morning and my skin is smooth, bright and glowing. Like I have just had a professional facial! I have also noticed some pigmentation I have fading slightly after about eight weeks of sporadic use. There are pros and cons to this product so each person must decide if this product is right for them, it’s probably not for everyone. I have an in depth review on this product here where I go into detail about the best way I found to use this product if you do decide to add it to your routine. It can also be found at Sephora.
Mandelic Acid 10% +HA
The Ordinary’s newest acid on the block, the Mandelic Acid 10% +HA, is a product I have been so excited to get my hands on! Mandelic Acid isn’t a common acid like Glycolic or Salicylic, but it is an exciting one! I first discovered Mandelic Acid via an excellent, yet expensive, serum the Colleen Rothschild Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum. Mandelic is an extremely gentle Alpha Hydroxyl Acid. It is the largest AHA, therefore it penetrates the skin very slowly. Having an option besides Glycolic and Lactic Acid is a very attractive option for those with sensitive skin or who are intolerant and cannot use either. It resurfaces the top layer of skin and promotes collagen production just like Glycolic does, only with a far less risk of irritation or sensitivity.
I have really enjoyed using the Mandelic Acid Serum the past few weeks. It is gentle enough for me to use during my morning routine before sunscreen. I actually love using the Mandelic Acid Serum then applying my Drunk Elephant Protini on top. It is like a treat for my skin! The serum provides mild exfoliation, just enough to make my skin look and feel smoother. Plus, my makeup just sits better on the skin when using this combo!
There were some concerns on social media, me being among them, that this formula would feel greasy. I have waited for months for this product to be released, mainly to see if it is a less expensive option for my lovely Colleen Rothschild serum that I can recommend. However the ingredient list was not revealed until the product was released. The first ingredient, which contains the highest concentration in the bottle, is Propanediol. If anyone has tried The Ordinary’s Alpha Lipoic Acid it is the ingredient responsible for making that serum feel so greasy and sit on top of the skin like an oil slick! To be clear, there is nothing wrong with propanediol, it is an excellent penetration enhancing ingredient. However when used in high quantities can make the formula have a greasy feeling. It is actually present in many formulas however in a much smaller amount. So I was bummed about the high concentration of this ingredient and completely expected not to like the texture. (Seems to be a theme for me!)
When it finally arrived I tested on my hand and the texture felt initially like an oil but applied very dry. Almost like a dry oil. Whenever I actually used it in my routine that night it applied and soaked in nicely. I mean, I have combination skin so I hate my face to feel greasy, especially during the day. So the fact that I use this serum during the day, really says something! It makes my Protini glide on like silk. I’m not ready to give a full endorsement yet, but I have really enjoyed using this serum so far!
Oh, and another thing about the Mandelic Acid serum, I use it at a different “space” than my other acids that are a gel or liquid consistency. I use this serum after my water based serums. So let me just tell you the products I have been using with it lately. Cleanse, Mist with NIOD SDSM, Marine Hyaluronics or Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster, then the Mandelic Acid 10% serum, Protini then spf. So basically I apply right before I use my moisturizer, whether it is a gel, cream, lotion or oil.
While we are talking about acids, let’s talk about The Ordinary’s only BHA product, the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. This has been out for a while but I have been so dedicated to my Paulas Choice Resist 4% BHA, which is a really fantastic product, that I didn’t feel the need to purchase another BHA. However, the Resist 4% BHA was out of stock for months so I thought I would look at another option. I am pleased to report, this is another great option! The Salicylic Acid Solution is a thin gel textured serum that can be used directly after cleansing. I actually use this serum during the day also. I save my Glycolic and Lactic Acid serums for night.
Salicylic Acid is an excellent ingredient to add to skincare routine for acne prone skin, those struggling with hyperpigmentation, anyone who has texture issues and who struggle with large and/or clogged pores. Basically everyone! It is a very gentle acid and has anti-inflammatory and anti-redness benefits. It is a great multi-tasking product that tackles a multitude of skin concerns because of its ability to penetrate the lining of the pore, unlike other acids. To read more about acids and how to choose which one is right for your skin, you can read my post that describes each acid product from The Ordinary here. I believe Deciem has a lot of great, affordable acid options available for all skin types and wish they would promote them more! They don’t believe in chemical exfoliation, which is somewhat confusing since they have formulated so many options! Nevertheless, I am a huge acid fan and it is really hard to find a good drugstore option that doesn’t contain a ton of skin irritating ingredients alongside the acid.
Caffiene Solution 5% + EGCG
Caffeine Solution. I have enjoyed using the Caffeine Solution, but I will admit my use of this product has been spotty. That’s why I am not ready to tell you “it works!” (Yet.) The way I have been using it is a little different than most people. I love mixing it with my existing eye gel as a booster. I use the Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel, which already contains Caffeine, but not in this high of a concentration. It is a fantastic eye treatment already, I just love making it better! I just pump a bit of gel into my clean palm then add a drop or two of the Caffeine Solution onto the gel. Then I mix with my ring finger and apply. It mixes in easily and doesn’t really change the texture of the gel, which I love its cooling effect.
I love my eye products packaged preferably in a pump. I don’t like dipping my fingers into jars because I have long nails, the product gets underneath them. Let’s be real, long nails aren’t always the cleanest even after washing up! The Caffeine Solution is housed in the typical The Ordinary glass bottles with pipette. Hygienic, but messy to apply under the eyes. So another genius way to use this Solution is to repackage into an essential oil rollerball. They are very inexpensive and can be found on Amazon or EBay. The metal rollerball provides a cooling sensation and application is a breeze!
Caffeine is a popular skincare ingredient touted to “wake up skin.” I know how that applies to a cup of coffee but I’m not sure how it entails waking up my skin. It does however constrict blood vessels and that does help with redness and puffiness. It is also an antioxidant, so it doesn’t hurt to have extra antioxidant protection under the thin, sensitive eye area!
Where to Purchase
For a list of international authorized retailers click here.
More to Come…
As I stated above, I purchased a few other products from the brand that I have not had the chance to try out yet! I will definitely post more feedback for you in a near future post. However, my next post will be all about the new 100% l-Ascorbic Acid Powder and how to use it. I see many people have questions! Rightfully so as the product description is less than helpful and it took a minute to even find directions on how it is recommended to be used. I will keep everyone updated when I am ready to fully review each of these newbies, I just thought I would write my initial thoughts on a few products. At least describe how I have been using them! You can always join me on Instagram to follow a more informal day-to-day skincare journey with me and how I use these products! Until next time, may your skin be glowing and your heart fulfilled! 😉
**The Ordinary products have all been purchased by me! I am a Deciem affiliate so this post does contain affiliate links. If you choose to support my content, at no additional cost to you by purchasing through one of my links, I am very grateful! My content is completely independent of my relationship with Deciem, just keepin’ it real! Thanks for your continued support, it means the world to me!