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Buzzy beauty brand, The Ordinary’s affordable range of advanced skin and beauty products went viral when it launched a few years back. While the comprehensive range of clinical-focussed skincare (they do offer a few cosmetics) was founded with the intention to “to celebrate integrity in its most humble and true form,” by offering clinically-backed formulas stripped from fancy packaging and other marketing efforts to allow for fair price points. However, if you’re not exactly well-versed in skincare jargon, it can be a challenge to discern which products are best for your unique skincare needs. We took to the Internet to get the low down on the best The Ordinary products according to Redditors.
While scouring the “best-sellers” page on any e-tailer is a safe bet if you’re not sure which products are worth your coin, perusing through seemingly endless threads and discussion boards filled to the brim with candid reviews and fan favorites is a sure-fire way to ensure you’re selecting the right options. Plus, it’s fun—almost addicting—to go down the rabbit hole of commentary from fellow beauty junkies. I’ve been using The Ordinary products since the brand first made its debut, and I most certainly have the holy grail favorites that I’ve repurchased multiple times—I’ve even gotten my skincare-rookie ex-boyfriend addicted to their Salicylic Acid 2% Face Masque.
Unsurprisingly, some of my personal hero products, including the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum and the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (an excellent dupe for the cult-favorite Triple Berry Smoothing peel by Renee Rouleau) are unabashedly beloved by tons of like-minded Redditors. If you’re new to The Ordinary and not sure which products to invest in (or are simply curious like myself) I’ve rounded up a few winners that were commended for their skin-transforming superpowers over and over again across Reddit.
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AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
This is probably my absolute favorite product from the brand—and it appears that I’m not alone. One Redditor gushed “Really noticeable improvements after one use! It’s also less than $8 you’re not going to find anything for such a good price!” I totally agree, and good point about the jaw-dropping cheap price.
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
For texture and dull tone, Redditors seem to swear by this $8 gel-cream treatment (it’s currently in my skincare closet waiting to be opened). “I LOVE this product, I never thought I will ever in my life be head over heels for a skincare product but gosh I absolutely love this! Basically what it says it does: Brighten and restore an even tone and texture to your skin with this lightweight cream-gel. And it does exactly that,” commented a Redditor who’s clearly in love.
Courtesy of The Ordinary.
100% Plant-Derived Squalane
I’ve heard some pretty stellar things about Squalane-spiked skincare, but I’ll admit that I haven’t yet tried it. Thanks to a slew of convincing Redditors however, I am now dying to get this product in my hands STAT. “I recently started using it and was immediately amazed at how well it absorbs. Gives your skin a nice glow. I use it both on its own on and under lotion,” said one user.
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
This universal fan favorite kept popping up during my research process. One Redditor with combination skin said, “My forehead used to be full of closed comedones and now, after a month and a half, they are completely gone.” Just a month with such dramatic results? I’m totally sold.
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
As one of my favorite brightening serums of all time (regardless of the budget-friendly price point), I wasn’t surprised by this product’s popularity. One loyal fan commented that “…for me personally[,] it’s definitely the single product that’s had the biggest impact on my skin tone evening out and reduction in acne.” I also find that it is a great brightening solution for sensitive skin types who don’t tolerate vitamin C skincare.
Amino Acids + B5
I’ll admit this serum is new to me…but I’ve already added it to my cart based on the sheer amount of love it’s getting over on Reddit. When responding to a favorite The Ordinary thread, one fan suggested this skin-enhancing serum to a The Ordinary newbie. “I find it to be a great hydration booster and I use it to help with barrier repair. It absorbs in fast and I haven’t had any redness or unpleasant burning when applying it.”
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
This hyperpigmentation-erasing serum helps even out of tone and reduces redness without irritation, according to tons of Redditors. “I use 2-4 drops and do a gentle rub into my cheeks (my major pigmented area) then tap gently over everywhere else, with a tiny dab on a scar on the back of my hand. It has helped immensely with my cheek pigmentation,” says one fan.
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
In a popular thread inquiring fellow Reddit users to list their favorite “TO” products, this sensitive-skin-approved facial oil received a lot of love. “The many fatty acids in rosehip oil make it an excellent option for hydrating dry, itchy skin. The skin also easily absorbs the oil, allowing its antioxidants to travel deep into the skin’s layers.”
This anti-aging serum is chock full of science-backed actives that target an expansive range of common skincare concerns—all in one formula. “…It makes me look like I had more sleep and my skin is a tad smoother, plump, and my pores smaller. I find that I can also get away with using any makeup primer since my skin is already plump like there’s nothing to smooth out anymore,” says one convinced buyer.
Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 2%
Lactic Acid is a great way to gently exfoliate the skin without the irritation and dryness associated with stronger acids like AHA’s and BHA. One new fan praised the gentle yet effective chemical exfoliator saying, “I haven’t been using the lactic acid long but I’m loving the results so far! PIH (Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) has lessened significantly and my skin is already looking smoother.”
A version of this story was originally published on Jan 16, 2020.