Beauty & Skincare
Comments 25

6 Months After Using More The Ordinary Skincare

I haven’t talked about The Ordinary in a couple of months (with the exception of favourites and empties post) so I thought now would be the perfect time to update you all on my continued experience since my last post.

So far, I’ve been mostly impressed and it gives me joy that word has gotten around about this amazing brand. I’m almost sure that it needs no introduction now because it’s really taken the industry by storm. ‘Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself’, they say. That sums up The Ordinary’s situation; just that it may have happened much sooner than anticipated! They have done the unthinkable.

The Ordinary-flatlay-hoiyinli

(This photo only features 7 out of the 10 products that I will be talking about in this post. I threw away the other 3 after finishing them, before I had a chance to photograph them! My memory fails me sometimes.)

Featured in this post:

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%
100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
Advanced Retinoid 2%
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

I will say though – the ONE product that I haven’t continued use with is the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. [See review here] I find it difficult to include this in my routine and have no patience to research how best to use it either since the texture and absorbency rate is just not for me.

With regards to the following information on each product listing featured above, it’s important to state that The Ordinary advises to wear SPF daily as certain products are particularly sun-sensitive. Not doing so would reverse the effects and maybe make your skin worse off than before.

FYI – I have combination/oily skin that sometimes has a tendency to be dehydrated and/or congested.

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA:

A new ingredient in my dictionary and will be to many others too. Arbutin is more typically  featured in Asian whitening and brightening products whereas its place within Western beauty is quite minimal (but growing). Its main benefits are in brightening the skin, so particularly those with hyper-pigmented skin and acne scars will be turning heads at this. It’s not an overnight miracle by any means; you really need to be patient with this one but it makes for a great skincare booster and sidekick to other skin treatments. For the price point, do give it a go, along with the Advanced Retinoid 2%; as together they work fantastic.

(That’s another thing: I find that serums work best if they compliment the rest of your skincare routine! A good serum shouldn’t be a stand-alone does-it-all product; and in this case, The Ordinary allows you to choose key ingredients as your serums where you may apply 2 or 3 per routine as opposed to 1.)


I liked this but I didn’t love it; for the simple reason that I’m not at an age to see the effects! I was curious by its name which suggests that it’s full of ingredients – little bit of each (though of course, not quite an all you can eat buffet…that would be overload!). It’s a multi-peptide serum which means it’s full of amino acids that helps give skin its plumpness. For me, I liked it because it was hydrating however for a few pounds cheaper, I feel that I can turn to the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 instead. There’s also some controversy in the industry over peptide serums too as the molecules of these are too large to be absorbed by the skin. Having said that, this is perhaps the most serum-like because it’s made up of various ingredients. I’ve seen a few who love this but personally, I could do without it.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%:

One of my favourites! Also, one of the first products I tried from the brand whereby I’ve devoured 2 bottles already. Prior to using this, I wasn’t necessarily very spotty but I was definitely breaking out monthly, some cases worser than others. This product (along with the Retinol) really changed everything for me. My skin tone evened out a lot. My skin got better, to eventually not breaking out for the longest time…it was clear. Even my blackheads felt less. On top of that, it also hydrates the skin! If you have acne-prone skin, oily skin, stubbornly congested skin, I’m recommending this one to you.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%:

I didn’t give up on Vitamin C just yet; hence this product and MAP (see below). This is a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C; which makes it much more stable than L-Ascorbic Acid, a name we’re more accustomed to seeing. This is my favourite Vitamin C product from The Ordinary, so much so that I featured this particular one in one of my favourites post. I’m probably sounding like a broken record now but this absorbs well into my skin. It helps to brighten it, even it and reduce signs of ageing without any irritation. It’s very gentle! I even think it has helped with my blackheads – I don’t know how but it definitely has! It’s the serum I’m currently using, along with the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%:

Another Vitamin C goodie! The consistency of this is more like a light moisturiser so depending on your preferences, you have a lot of Vitamin C choices at The Ordinary (total of 5 now). I’m a gel moisturiser type of girl but I really loved the formula of this! It’s not greasy and blends nicely into the skin. I felt that it perked up my skin when it was feeling dull and helped to fade my acne marks. I think this did pill on me though (or perhaps it was when I put a sunscreen on top? I can’t quite remember) so just be mindful of how much you apply. Personally though, I don’t like applying too many moisturiser-like products on my face so I’m choosing the Ascorbyl Glucoside over this.

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil:

I’ve only used this a handful of times – literally. But I feel that I have a good enough opinion to talk about it overall – it’s really not going to change much (if I use it more). As a combination/oily girl, oils are not particularly my thing but I like to keep my options open. It’s a golden oil that’s not greasy. Actually, it’s rather nice to massage this into the skin. Of course, it takes a bit longer than the other serums to absorb but nothing ridiculous. I guess this is what you’d classify as a ‘dry oil’.

I would personally recommend this more to dry skin types however I’m happy to keep this in my cupboard for those skin emergency moments. Rose Hip Oil was all the rage at one point that sometimes I question why I don’t use it more often because this really is brilliant at reviving the skin and making it glow! Perhaps it’s because I just have no patience for oils (yes, including dry ones too).

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%:

A chemical exfoliant and one of the solutions that’s not colourless – it has more of a yellow tint to it. A lot of The Ordinary products don’t remotely smell of anything but this does have a slight sour scent to it – though not unpleasant. I find this is great if you suffer from acne and/or recovering from it. The first time I used this, I had some mild peeling. That’s when I knew it had sloughed away my dead skin cells, therefore brightening it. Of course, I am using the 10% version, but there is a 5% version too if you are sensitive or just starting out with chemical exfoliation.

Advanced Retinoid 2%:

When I ran out of this, I freaked out. This to me would be desert island status along with a good SPF! I have since purchased a new bottle and feel more stable now. 😂 This is a magic potion to me. It’s so brilliant at brightening and re-texturising the skin. Breakouts come and go, but improving the texture of your skin can be very difficult. It was the one thing I had trouble really improving…that is, until I tried this. What’s special is that this increases cell turnover and encourages elastin production so your skin ends up looking bright and brand new. Boy, did my skin feel and look brand new!This one’s at the top of my list. I had no irritation using this but some sensitive individuals may, so start slow from 1x a week.

[Note: This product has been replaced by Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion! The Ordinary have also recently added various other retinol formulations to their line.]

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5:

Whether you’re new to The Ordinary or skincare as a whole, I would always recommend this product and this ingredient to you, to everyone. Its consistency is a tad thicker than niacinamide and a tad sticky but not tacky. It quenches skin’s thirst and it’s as simple as that. If you don’t know where to begin with The Ordinary, begin with this! I would always argue that a lot of skin types – whether you’re oily, dry, combination or sensitive, are put off-balance and made worse due to dehydration. Add this to your routine and you’ll notice a difference to how plump your skin is, to how it feels from the inside to out. It just feels comfortable with no irritation.

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%:

Other than the Vitamin C Suspension, this was the other product that I didn’t really like but oh boy, has it been a 180 degree turn-around! I kept with using this and ended up really liking it in the end. The reason I didn’t like it was due to the irritable feeling (which is completely normal and is stated on the website). It’s a tingling sensation that lasts for a little while and though very bizarre, it’s not painful or burning; it just takes some getting used to! The formulation is really unique – you’d have to try it to understand but it basically dries down in almost no time to a velvet matte finish (I’ve seen some people use this as a makeup primer). I no longer get the tingling sensation now.

Azelaic Acid is in basic terms, a yeast extract that is naturally occurring. It helps tackle multiple issues such as redness to acne to hyper-pigmentation, and so would be perfect for problematic, blemished skin. For me, I saw a real difference in pore clarity, oil control and skin brightness. When I was breaking out, it helped to stabilise it to eventually me being breakout-free for the longest time (along with niacinamide). At its worse, my skin can get really congested and bumpy but this seems to halt that by cleansing the pores from the root. It’s really something extraordinary. (See what I did there? 😝)

It’s important to note however, that this does contain silicones which is perhaps a contributing factor to how it pills on top of certain skincare. I found this easiest to use in the PM.

This post is quite overdue but it’s one that I wanted to get up no matter what; as I know that The Ordinary is a hot topic and definitely one of my most popular posts on the blog. There is honestly something for everyone for problems X, Y or Z and whatever it is – they’ve got your back!

Next, I will perhaps show you how I team up certain The Ordinary products together as a routine? 

What are your thoughts on The Ordinary so far?
Let me know in the comments below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

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    • Hello stranger! I hope you are well? 😊😊
      Oo that’s exciting, what other product are you trying out from them? They keep releasing new products so I can’t seem to keep up…I’ve already spent almost a full year testing different ones out lol and even considering a break now til after New Year to test anything remotely new to my skin. I heard they’re releasing sunscreens too which is exciting!

      • Life is going well, thanks you =] I have been trying to get back into blogging, I admire your dedication to still keeping up with it!

        I tried the buffet as well, it was not a bad product by any means though just not overwhelmingly impressed with it! I am still a loyalist to my Missha Safe Blocks, but I am really excited to try their sun care line as well!

  1. Hi girl 😊I never used the product before but I love your review 😀 maybe I have a chance to try it out one day xxx

    • Thank you! I’m happy that you love it and hope it is helpful when one day you do try some of their products out. 😅

  2. I can’t believe they’ve replaced the retinoid thats my favourite product of theirs…which reminds me I need to buy it! As always a great review – I love that you did a follow up post because so often skincare is great for like a month x

    • I know! I was going a bit mad when I couldn’t find the link for it 😑then I realised that they had an entire new line of retinol formulations…I hope they’re just as good!

      Honestly, I’ve been using The Ordinary skincare all year round since probably this time last year. There are maybe a few bits I wouldn’t repurchase, but most of it is fab. I can’t imagine myself without at least two of their products in my routine!

  3. elenablogerize says

    Hi Judy, I just wanted to say hi here in the comments as I tried to get in touch with you before for a collab but never heard anything back from you. If you’re open to collabs I’d love to hear from you. You’re more than welcome to write directly to me on – even if you’re not interested. All the best xx

    • Hi Elena, sure no problem. I’ll get in touch as soon as I can via email. Sorry my bad, I can get real busy at times so I must’ve glanced over it in my email! But thank you for reaching out, and your effort to reach out again. 🙂 xx

  4. I want to get the MAP, but it is out of stock on Ordinary website. Please tell us how you put them into a routine. I am not sure if some are suitable to use every day. Like niacinamide won’t work well with vitamin c so should I switch off every other day?
    I think Ordinary is a great place to find sources to do skincare DIY. I cannot wait for the sunscreen. I want to make a cushion with it.

    • Okay, I will definitely be making a post on how I put them in a routine then! 🙂 But it won’t be any time soon…earliest I think will be after new year, realistically speaking.

      But for now I can give you some advice:
      Yes, niacinamide and vitamin c shouldn’t be used together in a routine. So what you can do is use one for your AM routine and the other for your PM routine if you want your skin to get both benefits.
      Also with MAP – I suggest that when you use it, you use it alone (no other liquid serums) because I just remembered that it pills on top of them. Not badly, but it’s still not convenient if you want to make a public appearance lol.

      • Haha Take your time. I can wait 😉
        I think that will be the time I order stuff from Ordinary. I am in a strict budget now.

        Thank you! I think I will use vitamin C at night then.
        I am using the Vitamin C 23% + HA (Am I too harsh to my skin? XD) on specific area only. I will keep this in mind if I can get the MAP.

  5. I’ve heard nothing but bad things about the Vitamin C suspension, and even when I tested it in the store, it felt so grainy and left my skin red and irritated (just the back of my hand, not even my FACE).

    I *just* picked up 3 things from The Ordinary! The serum foundation, the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% and their new Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% to mix. I was going to wait until their L-Ascorbic Acid Powder got launched but I’ll try this concoction first. I was going to try out the Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F but I read some people found it oily and clogged their skin. I’ll keep the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% in mind too – can you tell that I’m all about the vitamin C!

    Definitely the Niacinamide, Alpha Arbutin and Advanced Retinoid 2% (aka Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion) are on my to-buy list!

    Thanks for being my go-to source for The Ordinary information. You’ve probably tried the most of their product for the longest period of any blogging I know! 😀

    • Please tell me you copy and pasted all those product/ingredient names? 😝I haven’t been looking lately on any upcoming/new products so I’ll need to update myself on this front. I only know that they have sunscreens coming out at some point and I’ve heard about the L-Ascorbic Acid Powder too.

      That’s a great to-buy list for next time, and can definitely be used together in a regime. 😀

      Aw thanks – that means a lot. To be honest, at this point I can’t see myself without ANY of their products in my routine. It would seem ridiculous for me to go out there now and buy a luxury serum when I can probably get at least 6 TO serums with that kinda money.

    • I love “long term” use reviews!!! So much more informative. I routinely skip over first impressions for skin care. Thank you, Hoi Yin for doing this type of reviews~~

  6. I haven’t hopped on The Ordinary wagon yet, but I hope to sometime next year! I feel like it can be a little overwhelming with all of the chemical names and whatnot. It’s nice to see a review from someone who’s used the product for an extended period of time, since sometimes with skincare, you might not see any noticeable difference until you’ve used the product for 3+ months.

    • I want to try their other sister brands too such as NIOD, who’s product names are even more chemical and long! But before I dive in, I will need to do a bit of research. 😅 For sure it can be overwhelming. The Ordinary keep releasing new products and some of their names are getting longer. I don’t think I will bother too much though with the new releases for a few months – my skin needs a rest!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  7. Pingback: The Beauty Clean-Up #8 (empties) + Year-End Total | Hoi Yin Li

  8. Pingback: The Beauty Clean-Up #9 (empties) | Hoi Yin Li

  9. Sarah Khairi says

    Hiii!! Im a first time visitor of your blog..I have two questions..

    First, I want to try the TO alpha arbutin and granactive retinoid together.. Which one that I have to wear first?

    Secondly, i heard that retinoid cant get along with AHA product.. So, i have some by mi toner, and it contains AHA.. Can I still use the retinoid after toner?

    • Hi there! Many thanks for visiting – really appreciate it.

      I usually wear the retinoid first before the serums. As I see Retinoid as a magic potion for renewing the skin, you want to use it after you have toned your skin so that it penetrates the skin without other products getting in the way. So in this case, retinoid first then the alpha arbutin to layer. 🙂

      I have heard of that too however cannot conclude whether it’s just a myth or true. However, if you really wanted to have both ingredients in your skincare, I would recommend using one for daytime and the other for nighttime. Personally, I just alternate between the two for my nighttime routine. As they are both strong ingredients in their own right, I don’t like using them together for fear that it’d be too strong for my skin and in case a bad reaction happens or if it inactivates the other’s use.

      I hope this helps!

  10. fantastic and thorough post! thanks so much. as someone who is of the age who the buffet copper peptides targets…i can attest to its effectiveness. haha!

  11. haiqa says

    can you please do your skincare routine.. and in which order you use these products..? your post was lovely and enjoying.. !!

    • Thank you for your kind comment. I am actually going to post a skincare routine post soon so I’ll keep you updated. It doesn’t have majority of the products stated in this post though as I have long used them up!

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