My Favorite Products From The Ordinary

My Favorite Products From The Ordinary

I was introduced to and have been using a number of products from The Ordinary for a little over a year now. If you haven’t heard of The Ordinary, they are a Canadian skincare brand and they were founded on the idea of creating transparency in the beauty industry. When doing research to start the company, founder Brandon Truaxe came to realize that most skincare companies have a markup of around 95% as the active ingredients in products really only cost pennies to produce. That high markup comes from lots of filler products, luxury packaging, and marketing. The Ordinary sells very simple products that only contain the active ingredients that truly work – with no fancy fillers or frills. The products can feel a lot less luxurious than higher priced products (many are quite tacky or slightly awkward to apply), however the prices are too good to be true (as in most products are under $10) and the products are highly effective. Today I wanted to share my favorite products I use from the line!

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 // Hyaluronic Acid normally occurs in our skin, but as we age the amount we naturally have decreases. Hyaluronic Acid acts as a magnet for moisture, retaining large amounts which helps keep the skin hydrated and contributing to a plumped appearance. Hyaluronic Acid is a must for anyone who is interested in their skin’s hydration & appearance, and you really can’t beat the price of this one. This is a must in my skin regimen and I use it as a first step every night in my skincare routine. I’ve heard it is a great dupe for the Peter Thomas Roth Hyaluronic Acid.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% // Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3, and this product is great for clearing congestion, brightening skin tone, and I’ve even heard it does have some anti-aging properties. I have noticed a huge improvement in my skin with this in preventing breakouts & clearing blackheads and this is a product I can’t live without! I use this product at night prior to applying serums/moisturizers. It can pill a bit with application, but I’ve found it applies best by patting it on the skin rather than spreading it, and letting it sink in a bit before applying anything else. I’ve heard this is a good dupe for Paula’s Choice Niacinamide.

“Buffet” // This is a recent addition to my skincare regimen as I had heard so many great things (and I have a friend who swears it is her favorite product from the whole line). This product is a mix of peptides, probiotics, amino acids, and hyaluronic acids and is supposed to target general signs of aging. The product is supposed to help stimulate collagen production, as well as help relax muscle contractions (aka Botox in a bottle!), however there are some claims that peptides are not super effective. Yet I’m excited to give this one a try and see if I notice improvement in my skin after a few months of use! I have heard this may be a good dupe for Lancรดme’s Advanced Gรฉnifique Youth Activating Serum.

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil // I use this oil almost nightly, and this oil is great for targeting signs of aging, reducing irritation, and for hydrating. While is it is a lightweight oil, it can make your skin look a bit oily so I would recommend it for night only. I apply this just prior to applying moisturizer.

100% Plant Derived Squalane // Squalane is sometimes known as the “non-oil oil.” This is a great hydrator and it helps with the skin’s moisture barrier. And it is great for people with oily skin as it won’t cause breakouts. This product is really a gem, and I primarily use it during the day for a little extra hydration prior to applying my moisturizer. It wears well under makeup without making your face oily or greasy feeling. It’s an amazing dupe for the Peter Thomas Roth version.

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA // This is a new product to my line up and I purchased it in hopes of reducing a sun spot and a few freckles I have! This product is supposed to reduce the look of spots and hyperpigmentation, and even help with lightening acne scarring. I apply this every morning prior to applying a vitamin C serum. I haven’t been using this long enough to see if it is effective, but I am hoping I see some positive results after a few months of use! So far I’ve not experienced any negative effects after a few weeks of use.

Marula Oil // This oil is a great hydrator and helps brighten skin tone. This is a somewhat heavier oil, so I typically reserve this for post peel, or during the winter months when my skin is needing some extra moisture. This is a great dupe for Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil. I recently tried the Drunk Elephant version, and while it’s a nice product, I don’t see enough of a difference between the two to justify the significantly higher cost.

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution // I absolutely love this exfoliating peel. It brightens, evens out my skin tone, clears congestion, and leaves skin incredibly soft. This is a bit messy to apply (I’ve heard it called the vampire peel!) as the product is a red, runny liquid that you spread on your face & leave on for up to ten minutes before rinsing. However the results are worth it! I’ve heard this is quite similar to Drunk Elephants T.L.C. Sukari Baby Facial (which I have not tried), that also uses AHA/BHA. (**I just want to note – this is a very strong peel – so if you are a beginner with peels/acids I would highly recommend that you start with a gentler product than this one.**)

What I’m planning to try next:

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG // This product is supposed to reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles, so I’m curious about trying this one as a daytime under eye treatment.

Lactic Acid 10% + HA // I’ve heard this exfoliating treatment is a good dupe for Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, and I love a good exfoliator!

Glycolic Acid 7+ Toning Solution // I’m actually a big fan of Mario Badescu’s Glycolic Acid Toner, so I’m curious to try this one to compare!

Have you tried The Ordinary?!


Winter Skincare Favorites

Winter Skincare Favorites

When we moved back to Boise from Southern California after living there for nearly 8 years, I completely forgot how dry my skin got in the cold, dry winters here. I spent my first winter back battling not just dry, but literally flaking skin. I realized I was going to have to overhaul my skincare regimen, and give my skin a little extra TLC this time of year. Today I want to share my favorite products that I use to keep my skin looking and feeling its best during the winter months:

Exfolikate – To fight dullness and keep skin glowing, a good exfoliating wash is a must. This is a cult favorite for good reason. It will get rid of any dead skin, and just makes your skin brighter. It does help with minimizing pores, fine lines, and wrinkles as well which is an added bonus. I use it two times a week, and although it’s an expensive product, a tiny bit goes a long way. The smallest tube comes in at $24 and will actually last several months.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid – This molecule is naturally occurring in our skin, and it attracts moisture. What this product does is pull water into your skin to not only hydrate, but to visibly plump as well (which reduces the appearance of fine lines). This product works best if you apply to damp skin (or in a room with steam!), so that there is provided moisture to pull in (you don’t want it to do the opposite and pull moisture out of your skin). I apply this product immediately after toning and mix it with a drop or two of water, before following with all of my other products.

Double up on oil – In the driest months of winter, I wear oil on my face during the day and at night. It sounds crazy to wear oil under makeup but this product completely changed my mind. Squaline is known as the “non-oil oil” and sinks into my skin so well without any oily residue. It is supposed to repair you skin’s moisture barrier, and is also a great oil to try if you are acne prone. For night I apply oil just before moisturizer & alternate between Marula Oil and Rose Hip Seed Oil. Marula is known to be antioxidant rich and very hydrating, while Rose Hip Seed is helpful for reducing inflammation, redness, and helps with anti aging. These oils from The Ordinary are an absolute bargain and I’m obsessed with this entire line of affordable skincare products.

Moisturizer – While I certainly wish it wasn’t so pricey, I’m absolutely addicted to La Mer’s Creme de la Mer. I just love everything about it from the scent, to the anti aging and anti inflammatory benefits, to the glow and hydration it gives my skin. The price pains me, but I will say a tiny bit (I use about the size of a pea) goes a very long way when you emulsify it and pat it into your skin as recommended. A one ounce jar does last about 6 months and it is my go-to nightly moisturizer. However, when I occasionally want something heavier (when my skin is super dry or post peel), I really do like thisย Mario Badescu Protein Night Cream as well. It does leave a greasy feeling on the skin, but it sure gets rid of dry, flaking skin fast and it comes at an amazing price point. For daytime moisturizing, I absolutely love SkinMedica Rejuvenative Moisturizer. It is very creamy and moisturizing, yet absorbs quickly and wears well under makeup. The entire line of SkinMedia is seriously amazing and you can’t go wrong with any of their products!

Sheet Mask – Thanks to K-beauty, these masks have become incredible popular and there are a ton out there at a variety of price points. My absolute favorite is Dr Jarts+ Vital Hydra Solution – it is so luxurious and moisturizing. But I have to admit – these Garnier Moisture Bomb sheet masks are pretty dang good – especially for the price! They are infused with Hyaluronic Acid and really do a great job of moisturizing.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – While I love the whole pampering experience of putting on a sheet mask at night…the reality is I’m a mom. And it can be really difficult to find 15-20 minutes to sit still with a mask on my face. My friend told me about this product, and I was immediately sold and knew I needed to try it. I apply this right before bed on top of all my products, and while it’s not quite as luxurious as putting on a mask, it feels pretty dang amazing (very cooling and soothing). My skin is so glowy in the morning after using it, and it comes at a fantastic price point. The jar is generously sized and a small amount is all thats needed so I expect a jar will last me 6 – 9 months (maybe even a full year).

Keihl’s Cream de Corpsย – This really is the holy grail of body lotions. I always buy it when the big bottle goes on sale during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale and it is my go-to daily moisturizer. I love that it isn’t scented, and although it is rich and creamy, it sinks into the skin quickly making it something that can be used day or night. It’s so gentle I can even use it on my kids, and I feel like it’s best applied right after the shower to pull in the extra moisture.

Dior Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm – One of the things I struggle with the most in the winter is dry, chapped lips. I am constantly looking for lip balms that hydrate and having a nice color tint is a nice bonus. Not only does this one do that, it also has a plumping effect. And it smells absolutely amazing. It’s a bit pricey for a lip balm, but every girl needs a little luxury product to treat herself now and then!

Well, there it is…my list of winter skincare favorites! Do you have any favorites you would like to share? I would love to hear about them in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚Signature