Gabriella and The Girls

The Ordinary Skincare: Where to Begin

Skincare has become a huge trend in the last year since we have been living through this pandemic. It honestly took me a while to get to the “trend” but it’s better late than never for sure. The Ordinary is one of the first products I will recommend to anyone now.


Everyone has different skin types, but we may still have similar issues when regarding our skincare.


I want to share my current skincare obsessions and how my skin is evolving using these products. Please keep in mind that I had no real skincare routine before two months ago, and my skincare consisted of washing my face with a questionable cleanser in the shower and using a makeup wipe before bed only on days that I wore makeup.


This is terrifying to think about ever doing again.


If you stay tuned, I will share with you how I have already started transforming my skin in under two months, for under $200. (I know, this sounds like a lot, but when I tell you how many products I purchased, you’ll say, “Only $200?”)


The Ordinary: Where to Begin


Now, I have to be honest, I was inspired by TikTok seeing everyone use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution. This got me to start researching the brand, and seeing what kind of combinations would be good for my skin concerns.


My skin type is combination (dry & oily). I think it is a really weird combination because how can my skin be dry most of the time, but still have an excessive amount of oil buildup? Either way, I have started tackling these concerns and I started seeing results after just a few days.


My first day using any of these products was January 16, 2021. I got really excited seeing results in such a short time (within the first week) of being consistent.


In the last couple of weeks (I would say all of March so far) I can see that my skin is beginning to purge. This means that I am having an excessive amount of breakouts.


Weird Acne?    


There are a few factors that contribute to this. Now since I am washing my face in the morning and opening pores, I believe more dirt/bacteria are entering my pores. Also, I work in a warehouse, and the state of Ohio has a mask mandate, so I am wearing a mask every day for 8+ hours.


Now, I do wear a new mask every day and make sure that the mask I am wearing is clean so I do not have old oils coming back onto my skin.


And since I never had a large number of breakouts before I started a skincare routine, so I do not think I am just having a normal breakout.


I know this is what you are waiting for, so I am going to dive right into the products I started using in January, and have used every day since then to become my holy grail.


First off, I do want to mention that I literally only used The Ordinary products for a good month before I even considered using any other brand. I was afraid of the ingredients not working alongside this brand that has laid everything out so you know what will not conflict.


The Easiest Products to Start With


The first 5 products I used were:

Squalane Cleanser

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA


At the same time, I did also purchase The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, and the Salicylic Acid 2% Masque. But you have to be aware that these are not products you can use every single day because they are active acids, and they are generally only for PM routines. 


So, for the explanation of why I chose these products to start with.


Squalane Cleanser

the ordinary, squalane cleanser


The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser was most important because I needed a cleanser. And boy, this cleanser is amazing. It is super hydrating, and my skin starting feeling refreshed and less tight right away. It also doubles as a makeup remover so you can use it once to remove makeup, then double cleanse to do the actual cleansing. 


Double cleansing is a good habit to have in your nighttime routine, especially if you wear makeup during the day.


Now I always double cleanse at nighttime and I have a handful of different cleansers that I rotate between depending on my concerns for a specific day.


The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

the ordinary, niacinamide


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% has honestly become my favorite product from this brand for many reasons. The biggest factor for me is that it is made to target acne and I see it actually working. It also targets congestion in your pores.


I just use two-three drops on my hand and pat it into my skin, or I use a rose quartz roller just depending on how much time I had for my routine.


This serum is highly effective in my opinion, and I have also purchased the niacinamide powder which I will dive deeper into in another post.


Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

the ordinary, alpha arbutin


Next, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, is another serum that I use daily, in every routine and I do find it helps. This product is meant to help reduce hyper-pigmentation. I like using this serum, and using it more consistently for a longer period of time, I will start to see it attack my skin coloration flaws. 


Since I have a lot of acne scars from when I was a teenager, and this is a product that will help reduce those spots. And the best thing about this product is that there are no conflicting products in The Ordinary skincare line.


The Ordinary Caffeine Solution

the ordinary, caffeine solution


The next product I want to talk about is the Caffeine Solution.


I really want to believe in everything I use, but after a good amount of time using this product, I had to give up on it.


A big problem that I am faced with is that I have extremely dark under eyes. I really couldn’t tell you how they got so dark. Maybe it happened in high school, or maybe in college from pulling a few too many all-nighters…


But regardless, this is my least favorite part of my skin and I would do anything for them just to be the same color as the rest of my face.


This product is nice, and I used it pretty much every day, every routine for a month. But it just doesn’t do what I need. Now it does feel really good if I use a roller and my eyes are puffy from sleeping.


I also have noticed that it makes my eyelids tacky if I use it on my brow bones, and it does not work well if you want to wear eyeshadow, even after priming my eyelids.


It takes a lot to use this product because it comes in a 1 oz bottle. But I barely use half a drop each time I use it because it spreads really well.


I just want to suggest that if you have harsh under-eye bags like me, avoid this product, as it does not do much to help the issue.


Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

natural moisturizing factors


The last product I want to touch on today is the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA. This is a product that I highly recommend and really enjoy using. It spreads really nicely over your face and neck. And you can even mix it with other products for added moisture.


I’ve mixed it with hyaluronic acid and pycnogenol (separately) and it definitely works especially well on a day you’ve used a strong acid.


For your morning routine, you definitely need to make sure that you wear sunscreen over all of your skincare products, and that you can wear under your makeup. I am still having a difficult time finding a sunscreen that works with my routine AND makeup together.


That being said, I do have the Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants from The Ordinary, but it makes my makeup pill, and it has a blue hue if you don’t cover it with makeup, so I am still searching.


Still not sold?


I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on these products, and continue to follow me for more information regarding skincare, The Ordinary, and many different topics.


Please reach out if you have any questions regarding this brand, as I have done a lot of research and am willing to help you build a routine if you are stuck.


I hope you have an amazing day and come back soon to chat!

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