First, they focus on active ingredients and leave out the fluff. Active ingredients are ingredients contained within the product, that actually work to address the skin concern the product is meant to target. Active ingredients are very cheap. For instance, they sell salicylic acids and retinoids, but they have fewer anti-oxidants and anti-irritants than a brand like Paula’s Choice or Drunk Elephant in the formulas.
Second, their branding is very minimal. I mean look at their bottles. Simple, plain, minimalistic, small. They don’t put much into marketing. I’ve never seen a billboard or a commercial, have you? Branding is everything for companies like this, whereas The Ordinary is a branch of Deciem, a larger beauty company. Word of mouth and people like me talking about them is their marketing. Clearly it works as we are talking about it here.
So why keep buying the expensive stuff if these work just fine? Yes, these will work - BUT without the added ingredients they may be a bit harsh on your skin and it may take some time to see results. Listing a few of my favorites here!
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution - ideal for anyone serious about exfoliation. There may be a slight tingling feeling, but it will help you feel a bit brighter. Use about twice a week.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution - Good for all skin types. If you wanted to experiment with toners, this could be a good start. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA - A mild exfoliation that will also reduce signs of inflammation (think redness). Only need to use 2-3 times a week!
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - Lightweight serum containing different sized hyaluronic acid molecules that penetrate to different depths. The Vitamin B5 works on the surface to enhance the hydration. Use this morning and night!
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - This serum is for you if you want to combat blemishes and skin congestion. The zinc will help reduce the skin’s sebum activity so your skin won’t get quite so oily during the day.