Every year, I seem to add more and more products to my skincare arsenal. I’m a huge lover of indulging in new lotions and potions and firmly believe in the therapeutic powers of a new moisturiser or cleanser BUT at a certain point, it does all become rather expensive. It seems to be an understood fact that good skincare costs money, with the onus being that you’re investing in your future face by lavishing it in luxurious Creme de la Mer today but should the cost really be so steep.
Whilst my younger self could get away with choosing whichever products happened to be on offer at the supermarket (because sometimes I do yearn for the simplicity of Clearasil and Neutrogena) in recent years my increasingly dry skin has needed a lot more love and attention. My skincare saviours have included Clarins Double Serum, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum and Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream, all gorgeously humectant products that soothe and nourish the skin and dare I say, even leave a glow. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish that miracle skin care came at a more reasonable price so image my delight when I discovered The Ordinary.
In his own words, The Ordinary founder Brandon Truaxe launched the affordable skincare line “because brands, big and small, continue to disguise commodity innovation for ingenuity through creative use of packaging, communication and pricing. It had to be done. No one in the world of vitamins can charge $300 for a tin of vitamin A tablets because that industry comes with more transparency but you can easily find virtually the same formulations ranging from $5 to $500+ in the world of beauty.“
And let’s be clear, Truaxe’s idea of affordable really is affordable, with some of his products coming in at less the cost of lunch at Starbucks.
Using proven active ingredients such as Retinol (used for anti-ageing), Vitamin C (a proven skin brightener), Zinc (which is anti-inflammatory and my personal favourite, Hyaluronic acid (aka a wonderful plumping and hydrator acid that forms the basis of all skin quenching products), the brand is selling the dream of high end skincare in basic packaging and at even more basic prices. I dipped my toe into the brand with four products – the Hyaluronic Acid 2% (£5.90), the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate Solution 10% (£7.80), the Advanced Retinoid 2% (£8) and the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil (£5.90) that happily came in at under £30 – an amazing bargain considering a single high end serum will usually be priced around the £50 – £60 mark.
But of course a product is only as good as the results it gives so I was excited to put these products to the test and with my skin going through a particularly dry patch thanks to our merciless winter, I had the perfect dehydrated canvas on which to test their hydrating abilities. For a month now I’ve been using the Hyaluronic Acid 2% and the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate Solution 10% each morning, underneath my usual Kiehls Ultra facial cream before applying makeup. Layering two products under my cream rather than the usual one did seem strange at first (and I’m generally not a huge fan of adding any more steps to my morning regime because *sleep*) BUT I’ve found that the triple whammy of products means that I no longer get the dreaded tightness I would usually feel in my face around 3pm everyday from where my skin started to dry up. The Hyaluronic acid is beautifully nourishing as expected and doesn’t leave a greasy film whilst the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate Solution brightens the skin with a punch of vitamin C and also has the smoothing effect of a primer, leaving the skin even and ready for moisturiser.
For night time I’ve been layering the Hyaluronic Acid 2% under the Advanced Retinoid 2% for a hit of moisture and anti-ageing magic before massaging a few drops of the 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil into the face and neck and running any excess on my palms over the ends of my hair for an extra dose of shine, and finishing with a trace of moisturiser across the cheeks. Whilst the feel of multiple products layered together can feel strange and even caked on at first, it’s 100% worth it when you wake up with bright, perfectly nourished skin that smooth and even. Especially when it’s only set you back £30.