I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer; I am not medically or scientifically trained nor am I an expert in the beauty world. I am however a master of my own skin meaning I know how well or crappy my skin reacts towards certain product or products. So please read today’s post with an open mind and knowledge that our skin is very different and skincare in general is very unpredictable. What works for me might not work for you or vice versa. P1180438

The Ordinary needs no further introduction as it exploded with a big bang in the beauty world when it launched last year. Wayne Goss did a gushing video introduction to it and I remember watching it with awe and telling myself that ‘I need those serums in my life!‘.

A month or so later I bought my first three The Ordinary serums; Advanced Retinoid 2%Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% and Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. I later bought another three serums in December; BuffetHyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and Matrixyl 10% + HA.

I am not going in depth about what each serum does as you can easily read about that on The Ordinary website which I will link each product to and I don’t want this post to be 30 pages long. All the serums have a thick gel texture and they are scentless with the exception of Advanced Retinoid 2% (chemical) and Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% (sourish). They are also housed in frosted dropper packaging with the exception of Advanced Retinoid 2% which comes in a dark bottle.

There will be no surprise to any of you, or at least I hope not, as you might have guessed from how I started this post…I am not impressed with these serums, at least not on their own. I decided to test these serums on their own (for real results), layering a maximum of three as suggested and without the addition of serums from other brands for months. The result? My skin regressed into one of the worst conditions that I have ever experienced.

Advanced Retinoid 2% (C$9.80/30mL)



Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Bisabolol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Sucrose Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Behentrimonium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Disodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

The word retinoid usually would scare me but I had no reaction using this and it’s one of the two serums that actually made a difference to my skin. My skin is always brighter and smoother with my pigmentation and scarring noticeably faded every time I used this.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (C$5.90/30mL)



Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan Gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Niacinamide aka Vitamin B3 is an amazing ingredient that offers many anti-aging benefits (more info here and here). This scentless serum has a light gel like texture and while it absorbs quickly, my skin feels tacky for at least 30 seconds to a minute.

I know this serum is highly raved throughout the beauty blogsphere but I find it to do absolutely nothing on its own but when mixed with Advanced Retinoid 2% then it seems to boost the result. The same goes when it’s mixed with my serums from other brands. In conclusion, it works well as a booster but crap on its own.

Buffet (C$14.80/30mL)



Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Pentapeptide-18, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Acetylarginyltryptophyl Diphenylglycine, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Trehalose, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, Urea, Sodium PCA, PCA, Sodium Lactate, Citric Acid, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.


Buffet is peptide serum and for those of you who are as clueless as I was in the past, peptides are fragments of proteins (amino acids) which act like building blocks for our skin (more info here). This serum does nothing on my skin and when I used it mixed with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, the results were also poop and my skin looked dull, lack lustre and my fine lines were worse than ever. I swear my skin looked like it aged 10 years within 3 weeks.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (C$6.80/30mL)



Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

I had high hopes for this as I have dry, dehydrated skin and this winter has not been kind to me. Did it work? Yes and no. I find my skin ceased having dry spots around my nose and mouth but I also started drinking a huge amount of water and exfoliated everyday. It might have contributed a little but certainly nothing to shout home about.

Matrixyl 10% + HA (C$11.50/30mL)



Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

This is another peptide serum but it’s labelled as ‘high strength‘ and I really enjoy using this. I find that my skin structure improves over time when it’s used on its own or when mixed with other The Ordinary serums or serums from other brands. Currently I am mixing a drop of Matrixyl 10% + HANiacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and use the concoction in the morning as I am using La Roche Posay Redermic C10 Concentrate (contains Vitamin C) in the evenings. For those of you who are not aware, niacinamide and Vitamin C are not compatible with each other so use them separately. I find my skin is really benefitting from my current routine.

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% (C$6.70/30mL)



Aqua (Water), Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Arginine, Potassium Citrate, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Ethyl 2,2-Dimethylhydrocinnamal, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

An absolute wank and breaks me out like a hormonal teenager. My skin is used to acids but this is the wank of all wanks. I will try to ease a drop of it mixed with my other serums next week when I am only working for two days. If you see me next week on InstaStories with volcanoes all over my face then you know it didn’t go so well for me and this wanker is in the bloody garbage bin.

My skin definitely didn’t get along well with The Ordinary serums and on the contrary, I suffered non stop breakouts throughout testing periods which never happened to me before. The breakouts were thankfully not severe but it was one spot in midst of healing, two new ones would pop up and as the two heal, another one or two would appear. I’m glad that these serums made massive differences to some but unfortunately I can’t say the same for me. The Ordinary serums are available for purchase here. Have you tried The Ordinary serums before? What are your experiences with them?

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