The Ordinary: My (Glowing) Review


I heard about The Ordinary around the time of its initial launch and was immediately drawn to its simple, apothecary style packaging. When I learned more about the products and the prices, I knew that Deciem was onto something amazing and immediately put the Advanced Retinoid 2% on my wish list. With my 25th birthday coming up the next six weeks, I figured it was time to amp up the skincare routine and introduce a retinoid and a power-packed serum so I placed an order for The Ordinary's Advanced Retinoid 2% as well as their Buffet serum

I've been using the products for about two weeks now and, so far, they have been truly magical. I can be very enthusiastic about beauty products, but I really mean it with these two. Even in the short time I've been using them, I've seen a huge difference in my skin which is completely clear and glowing. I typically wear a light coverage CC cream on weekdays, but today I only wore sunscreen, a bit of under-eye concealer, and mascara and I don't look completely dead under my office's fluorescent lights. That's truly a testament to how great these products are. Plus, everything is cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, and so on.

Below, I will give a more in-depth review of each product and explain how I use them as well as how often. Next week, I'll talk more about my full skincare routine but it's good to know that I use these two products along with a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer. That's it!


'Buffet' Serum

This serum's name is inspired by other serums which claim to contain a buffet of ingredients for your skin. Buffet is packed with so many powerful ingredients that it's hard to believe it only retails for $14.80 (the company's most expensive product). It contains Matrixyl 3000 Complex and Matrixl Synthe'6 which boost collagen, promote skin cell growth, and remove wrinkles as well as relistase to increase skin resilience and tightness, argirelox to fight expression wrinkles, and my favorite Syn-Ake Peptide Complex which acts as a sort-of Botox alternative, as it mimics a peptide found in snake venom that causes muscular paralysis.

I use the Buffet serum twice every day--once in the morning and once before bed immediately following my cleanser but before using the retinoid. It has a silky, gel-like consistency and only takes a small drop to cover your face. I drop a bit into the palm of my hands and lightly emulsify before patting it into my skin. 


Advanced Retinoid 2%

We all know that retinol is the holy grail of anti-aging ingredients, but it also helps to fight acne and dullness. Retinoids are slightly less aggressive as they are encased in a protective capsule to prevent skin irritation. Essentially, retinol stimulates the production of new skin cells which results in clearer, brighter skin with less signs of aging. Although it's safe to start retinol at just about any age starting in your teens, I recommend starting at around 25 to save money. Although, The Ordinary's retinoid is only $9.80 and that's because the company chooses not to upcharge. 

I use the Advanced Retinoid 2% in the evening every other night following the Buffet serum. The product has a milky consistency and not much of a smell. Just like the serum, I lightly emulsify in my palms then pat it gently into my skin. It leaves a slightly sticky feeling that will go away within minutes. 

Overall, I highly recommend adding both of these products to your routine. They've worked wonders for my skin in only two weeks and are incredibly affordable. I have experience zero irritation whatsoever, but if you have extremely sensitive skin, consider talking to your dermatologist before using a retinoid. Also, don't combine the retinoid with other acne products and always wear SPF. 

Have you tried any products from The Ordinary or any other Deciem brands?