Review: Does The Ordinary's £4 Skincare Range Actually Work?

Review: Does The Ordinary's £4 Skincare Range Actually Work?

    By Jess Commons Posted on 29 Sep 2016

    When The Ordinary Skincare launched, everyone got their collective knickers in a twist about the range of skincare products that cost, on the low end, less than a salad at Pret and, on the more expensive end, less than two pitchers of Woo Woo at Wetherspoons.

    Basically, the products range from £3.90 to £15.20. Serums start at £4.90.

    In a world where something like Creme De La Mer sells for a bonkers £1,370 a pop, this budget beauty range from ‘The Abnormal Beauty Company’ caused a huge stir. No less because creator Brandon Truaxe hasn’t scrimped on any of the wonder ingredients that way more expensive brands are including in their serums right now.

    So, why is The Ordinary Skincare serum so cheap?

    Brandon has now been asked to leave the company after going rogue on the brand’s social media accounts, and announcing the brand was closing on Instagram. But when The Ordinary launched, he told beauty blogger extraordinaire Caroline Hirons that he invented The Ordinary because ‘brands… continue to disguise commodity innovation for ingenuity through creative use of packaging, communication and pricing.’

    His way of keeping the prices down was to take the in demand compounds people are after, split them across serums and keep the margins low and standard. So for instance, whilst some serums containing the popular L-Asorbic Acid (a form of Vitamin C) are charging over £80 for their serums. The amount used in The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23% costs as 20-30 cents (15-23p) which means they charge just £4.90.

    What are the ingredients in The Ordinary skincare serum?

    Well, they differ across each serum.

    The Ordinary Niacinamide Review

    One of the most popular serum is the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA 1% which contains niacinamide which is part of the Vitamin B group and zinc (again, duh - the clue’s in the name). That serum’s good for if you have acne or suffer from breakouts. Another popular offering is the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, which is good for hydration and Advanced Retinoid 2% (retinoids are good for anti-ageing).

    The Ordinary Buffet Review

    In Buffet, the most expensive serum, you’ll find a veritable smorgasbord of peptide complexes with ingredients that you can’t pronounce including ‘palmitoyl tripeptide-38’, ‘dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate’ and ‘acetylarginyltryptophyl diphenylglycine’. Obvs. Read more about each serum here. There’s information about how to combine multiple serums to give your skin access to multiple ingredients here.

    Does The Ordinary skincare serum work? What are reviews saying?

    People really love The Ordinary. A commenter on Caroline Hiron’s website said of the Advanced Retinoid 2%; ‘I have been using for a week now. Let me tell you… It works!!!! The wrinkles are still there, but my skin is looking better… Finally!!!! And at that price point? I am a convert.’ Ditto for Victoria Hall, acting beauty director of The Telegraph who said ‘Having used the product [Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5] for two weeks I can confirm that it appears to work just as effectively as its more expensive counterparts.’

    For my part, I’ve received The Ordinary Buffet serum (that’s the one with all the unpronounceable stuff in it) which, full disclosure, is the most expensive at £12.90. And initial thoughts are this:

    • The bottle is nice. The packaging looks scientific which makes me trust it because I’m a moron.

    • It’s got a nice smell. Not chemically. Not flowery or fruity. It’s neutral. Which is nice.

    • I’d say you need slightly more than your average serum to cover your face. About a third of a dropper.

    • It’s super easy to spread, doesn’t feel greasy (I’ve got oily skin) and absorbs in seconds.

    • Applying moisturisers over the top is simple. Ditto for make-up. No greasy slide offs here.

    Obviously, we’re going to need to wait a while to see if how it plays out. Right now, I’m dead chuffed, my skin feels smooth and I feel like it looks plumper than normal but, let’s see in a few weeks… Meet you back here then!

    Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

    This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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