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Hi! Today I’m showing you my favourite products from the ordinary for acne. These are all products I have been using regularly in my routine to help with my acne, or products that indirectly help cure my acne as well! If you have acne prone skin these products are a must, and the best part is, they’re all super affordable!
What is The Ordinary?
If you aren’t familiar with The Ordinary, here is a bit of information about the brand. The Ordinary is a sub-brand under the brand Deciem. Deciem is a Canadian company. Here is some information directly from the Deciem website about their products:
All DECIEM products, across all brands including The Ordinary, are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone. If you have questions about any ingredient that we use, please reach out to us and our lab will provide a response.
DECIEM does not test on animals and does not pay others to do so. For this reason, none of our brands are sold in mainland China since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes.https://theordinary.deciem.com/about
Why is The Ordinary so Cheap?
When I first learned about The Ordinary, I couldn’t believe the prices! Most things range from about $5.50CAD to no more than $15.00CAD from what I have seen, which is MUCH cheaper than most skincare products on the market. It got me wondering, WHY are they so cheap?! Are The Ordinary products any good? Based on my skin needs, I really wanted to look into products from The Ordinary for acne, but I was very skeptical and scared I could make my skin breakout worse.
So, why is The Ordinary so cheap? A few reasons! The main one is that they don’y include any bells and whistles. The packaging is super minimal, and so are the formulas. Often times we feel like “more is more”, more is better, but that’s not always the case! These simple formulas actually make it easier to get more of what you need, and none of what you don’t. Most of the products have only a few ingredients. They also spend very little on marketing, allowing them to charge less for the products as well.
Products from The Ordinary for Acne
Here is my list of my favourite products from the ordinary for acne: (I’ll breakdown each product below for those of you who want more info!). I want to state here, YOU DON’T NEED TO USE THESE ALL AT ONCE! In fact, I REALLY recommend against it. Using these products all in the same night can lead to over exfoliation, sensitivity, and drying. Use sparingly, more isn’t always better! I use these all in my routine, but on alternating nights. Some I only use once a week or even less sometimes!
- Salicylic Acid 2% Solution & Salicylic Acid 2% masque
- Glycolic Acid 7% toner
- Lactic Acid 10% + HA
- Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1%
- 100% Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil
- Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
The Ordinary best products for Acne: Breakdown
I decided to combine the solution and masque because the % and benefit is the same. The 2% solution is a salicylic acid serum that can be used as a spot treatment, or on the full face. For use on the full face, I advise only 1-2 times per week just because salicylic acid can be drying. 2% is the maximum concentration for over the counter salicylic acid. Salicylic is a BHA(Beta hydroxy acid) chemical exfoliant that works under the surface and within the pore to help flush it out, so it can help with acne, pores, and blackheads as well.
For the masque, I suggest just using this once a week as it can be drying and uses charcoal and clays to pull oil from the pores as well. This is amazing as a targeted mask for blackheads as well.
The glycolic acid toner is another of the best products from the ordinary for acne, however it isn’t exclusively for acne prone skin. I love this product because chemical exfoliation is my favourite, and has made the most noticable difference in the overall clarity and texture of my skin. Much like the last product, the Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution is a chemical exfoliant, though glycolic acid is an AHA instead of a BHA. The key difference is that AHAs are water soluble and work on the surface level of the skin. BHA’s are oil soluble and can work deeper in the pore.
The Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution is one of my favourite products from the Ordinary, and has made such a difference in my skin.AHA’s like the glycolic acid 7% toner are a great addition for acne prone skin because they eat away at the dead skin cells that may be trapping oil and bacteria in the pores. Chemical exfoliants also help with texture, and those little white bumps that seem to be under the surface of the skin called milia. The Glycolic Acid 7% Toning solution is great for any skin type, however I recommend to go slow and start out using this toner only a few times a week to allow your skin to adjust to using exfoliating acids, and not to over exfoliate or over dry the skin.
Much like the last product, the Lactic Acid 10% + HA is another AHA chemical exfoliant, though this time in a serum rather than a toner. This product from The Ordinary for acne is definitely stronger than the others I have mentioned so far, so I only suggest getting this if you have used chemical exfoliants for some time and know how your skin generally can handle them. If you have more sensitive skin they do make a lactic acid 5% + HA which is a great option to start out with. In this serum the HA stands for hyaluronic acid; an ingredient we will touch on farther down.
According to the Ordinary website, the Lactic Acid 10% + HA is formulated with purified Tasmanian pepperberry, which is known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity associated with exfoliation. This makes it a great choice for acne prone skin as acne usually is inflamed and irritated.
This is another of my holy grail products from The Ordinary for Acne. Niacinamine 10% + Zinc 1% is another one of my all time favourite products from the brand. Niacinamide helps with so many issues in the skin, but especially the appearance of blemishes and congestion. This product has made such a huge improvement in how my skin looks and feels. Zinc is also great for acne, because it can help control oil production in the skin, as well as being anti-inflammatory.
Niacinamide is like a magic ingredient to the skincare world and it’s growing in popularity. As well as helping with blemishes and pores, niacinamide can also help fade scars and dark marks. This is key for me because my acne usually leaves behind scarring. Here is a great post from paulas choice about all that niacinamide can do for the skin.
This may be surprising to find on a list of products from the Ordinary for acne, but trust me it’s amazing. Often times people with acne are afraid to use oil on their skin because they think they are already too oily, or that the oil will clog their pores and break them out. Thats not (usually) the case, though some oils can be comedogenic so just look out for that. Rosehip seed oil is amazing for breakout prone skin as well as for scarring. It’s naturally high in linoleic acid, linolenic acid and pro-vitamin A, as long as you get cold pressed oil which maintains these ingredients. If it’s not cold pressed, the heat degrades these ingredients so cold pressed is key.
The vitamin A and linoleic acid can help regulate oil production to help prevent further breakouts and blackheads, as well as help reduce the look of scarring and discolouration/ dark marks. Linoleic and linolenic acids are fatty acids which means this also really helps to nourish and hydrate the skin which is so important especially when treating acne as acne treatments are usually drying.
The last on my list of products from the ordinary for acne doesn’t actually have to do with acne at all; at least not directly. Like I mentioned above, hydration is as important as ever when treating acne, because often the products for targeting acne can be super drying. Not only is it not great to have extra dry skin, but drying out the skin can cause dehydration which can lead to your skin actually feeling OILIER because it will overproduce oil to try to compensate for the intense dryness.
The ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a great option for a lightweight hydrating serum that wont clog the pores or leave you feeling greasy. The simple formulas allow there to be less ingredients that may irritate the skin as well. Hyaluronic acid can attract up to 1000x its weight in water, meaning it’s an ultra hydrating ingredient that can help your skin maintain hydration for longer. With all the products from the Ordinary for acne that I’ve mentioned, I feel like the hyaluronic acid is a staple for everyone. Some brands carry hyaluronic serums for CRAZY prices (I’m talking $80-$300), and honestly that is just NOT necessary at all for such an ingredient.
Those are the 6 best products from the Ordinary for acne! Again, these are all products I use consistently in my routine (though NOT all at once). I have noticed a huge difference in my skin since using these products for acne. These are all products from the ordinary for acne, which is helpful during the pandemic where most people (should be) wearing masks. If you’re like me and suffering from maskne, I have a whole post about that which you can read here.
Bye for now!