The Ordinary: What Serum to Use, and When, Depending On Your Skin Concerns

Updated 06/07/19
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If you're a beauty buff (which we're kind of assuming you are), chances are you've heard of The Ordinary. Owned by umbrella company Deciem, The Ordinary is known and loved for its insanely cheap skincare products that are as efficacious as they are affordable. When the brand first launched, almost every product sold out instantly, and beauty aficionados have been infatuated ever since. 

However, much like the Net-a-Porter sale, it's easy to go gangbusters on Adore Beauty and buy one of everything because, well, it's damn cheap, right? Ten serums and four emulsions later, it can be a little confusing when it comes to figuring out what to use, and when. Not to mention which products are going to be the best pick for your skin concerns, right?

So unless you're a die-hard skincare guru (or a chemist), chances are you would appreciate a little guidance. and that's where we come in. We've done the work, with a little help from the experts at The Ordinary, and have mapped out seven skincare routines you can try to treat everything from chronic acne to pigmentation. So, without further ado, say hello to your custom-built skincare routine from The Ordinary (and it probably won't cost you more than a fifty). 

Persistent, Chronic Acne

Firstly, let us be clear that ongoing acne differs from a pimple or two at that time of the month. This regime is for anyone who constantly battles blemishes, including whiteheads, blackheads, and deeper cysts. 

Morning: Step One

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution $9
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Morning: Step Two

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $10
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Evening: Step One

The Ordinary Retinol 1% $13
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*Know that some peeling and skin-purging will occur within the first four to eight weeks.

Always use SPF during the day when using a retinol product. 

Occasional Breakouts

If your skin is feeling congested because of hormones, poor diet, or anything similar, try this regime to clear up blemishes and rebalance the complexion. Alternatively, if you suffer minor but regular breakouts, this is a lesser approach than the above. 

Morning: Step One

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution $9
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Morning: Step Two

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $10
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Evening: Step One

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution $9
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Evening: Step Two

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% $14
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Twice a Week

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% $13
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Sensitive Skin

If you're constantly red, itchy, and often flare up when trying new products, you need a gentle, hydrating routine that will calm you down. 

Morning: Step One

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 $13
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Morning: Step Two

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA $10
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Evening: Step One

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane $14
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Evening: Step Two

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA $10
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Dryness and Dehydration

If you're dehydrated (crepey and dull), your skin is lacking water, so hyaluronic acid is ace for drawing water to the cells. If you're dry (tight and flaky), you're instead lacking oil. Bolster the below routine with a good quality face oil like Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening & Nourishing Face Oil ($80). 

Morning: Step One

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 $13
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Morning: Step Two

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA $10
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Evening: Step One

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 $14
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Evening: Step Two

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane $14
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Evening: Step Three

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA $10
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Twice a Week

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% $13
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Wrinkles

If lines and wrinkles are your major concern, this peptide and vitamin A packed regime will work wonders. An important note on the retinol, if you experience flaking or extreme redness, drop back to every second night while skin adjusts. 

Morning: Step One

The Ordinary Buffet $25
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Morning: Step Two

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA $10
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Evening: Step one

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution $15
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Evening: Step Two

The Ordinary Buffet $25
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Evening: Step Three

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion $18
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Evening: Step Four

The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula oil $18
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Twice a Week

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% $13
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Oiliness

You'll know if you have oily skin. Shine will permeate your makeup in a matter of hours, and you probably gravitate towards matte finishes to avoid your face slipping off. The below will refine your skin's texture, while keeping shine to a minimum without starving you of moisture. 

Morning: Step One

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $10
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Morning: Step Two

The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA $10
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Evening: Step One

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution $9
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Evening: Step Two

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $10
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PIgmentation and Uneven Skintone

If you have dark spots, pigmentation, or an uneven skintone due to pregnancy or sun exposure, your ultimate brightening formula is right here. 

Morning: Step One

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA $15
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Morning: Step Two

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $10
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Morning: Step Three

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F $25
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Evening: Step One

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution $15

Evening: Step Two

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA $15
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Evening: Step Three

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion $18
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Twice a Week

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% $13
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