I have tried countless skincare regimes for my skin but after years of suffering from severe acne and clogged pores, I have finally found something that works! What makes it even more exciting is that I am using ‘better’ products in terms of ingredients, they are more ‘ethical’ than my previous purchases and they are CHEAPER!
My skin would be classed as ‘combination’ and I suffer from clogged pores around the nose, chin and forehead as well as excess oil/shine in the T-Zone area. On the flip side it can be dull and lack glow if it is not hydrated or exfoliated. I am now in my thirties so I now need to be mindful of signs of ageing too.
I have been using The Ordinary for 2 years and my skin has been completely transformed. It is the best it has ever been and I know it is down to these following products.
WHO ARE THEY?
The Ordinary describe themselves as ‘Clinical formulations with integrity’. You get the pure active ingredients without the perfume, fillers, advertising, expensive packaging and celeb endorsements that push up the prices of other brands. The prices are ridiculously inexpensive considering the quality you receive. It is however a tricky brand to sometimes understand if you are not from a beauty background. I spent many hours reading reviews and working out which products would be good for me.
The products are free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone. Most of the products come in glass containers which is an added bonus and they absolutely do not test on animals. Many of the products are also suitable for vegans. I personally feel like this is a very ethical brand on a mission to shake up the beauty industry and I am always so keen to recommend them. I have received countless messages of thanks from followers loving the skincare products too.
There are numerous other products (I want to try the ALL!) these are just my top picks. Sometimes it is a bit of trial and error to find the right product for you, however considering the affordable price tag it isn’t too much of a gamble. I have my eye on the sun care and a few of the new oils too!
As with all new products you buy, do be careful if you have sensitive skin and take extra care if you are breastfeeding/pregnant, in particularly any which contain vitamin A. If you click through to each product there is extra info, but below is my summary and how I use them.
Toner (after cleansing)
This toning solution offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance, texture and clarity.
I use this once a day, in the evening after I have washed my face. I then follow with a serum(s) before moisturising. This shouldn’t be used on skin which is sensitive or suffering from really bad spots. This toner is similar to others on the market, but again – much cheaper!
Serums – to be added AFTER cleansing/toning and BEFORE moisturiser
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is said to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. It also works to balance sebum levels so it is great if you suffer from shine.
Without a doubt the MUST BUY product for me, I never normally ‘stock up’ on anything as it leads to clutter … however I always buy two bottles of this whenever I place an order, I get panicky if this is running low. This is the one product I can say, hand on heart has changed the clarity of my skin. I ran out of this over Christmas and my skin returned to its clogged-up state within 3 weeks! This serum seems to have ‘aired’ my skin and all the little bumps I used to get on my forehead are gone.
I use this every morning without fail , after washing and toning my face and before I apply a moisturiser.
Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid that exfoliates the inside of the pores to clear out nasties and produces clearer looking skin.
This feels like a stronger solution, so I tend to use this at night and use a small amount on problem areas where spots can crop up, avoiding the delicate eye area. This can also be used as an on the spot treatment for any problem pimples, however this is strong stuff so I only use a little bit as my skin does have a tendency to dry and peel if I’m over generous with it!
Retinoids are well known for their antiaging properties, The Ordinary sell various formulations but I like the texture of this one. Its light and creamy and soaks into the skin really well. Due to the structure of the formula it is also meant to be less irritating to the skin. The strength isn’t as high as the others so it is ideal for a beginner. This little bottle will improve fine lines, improve texture and is a good products to use on acne prone skin due to the vitamin A. Retinols increase cell turnover so this is a great products for those wanting brighter skin and to improve scarring or marks from previous spots. I use this at night before a moisturiser. Care should be taken in the sun after using this product – do use a high factor face cream.
This is ideal if you suffer with dry skin and want a ‘glow’ during the day. I add this to my skin in the morning, just a drop after toning and before adding the Zinc serum followed by my usual moisturiser.
This formulation uses 100% pure Rosehip Seed Oil and is rich in linoleic acid, linolenic acid and pro-vitamin A. The oil is said to reduce the appearance of ageing, help reduce the appearance of scars and it’s great for spot prone skin due to the high level of vitamin A.
I find this oil so hydrating, and its great to use once or twice a week for a special treatment. I really feel like my skin drinks it up. I massage it in instead of moisturiser at night and I focus on areas which have been affected with acne scarring.
Final step, a moisturiser to lock in all your lotions and potions! This large squeezy tube of moisturiser contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid. This is a fragrance free, non greasy, non pore clogging moisturiser.
An extremely high 5% concentration of caffeine is ideal for tired Mummies! Team no sleep? You need this – dab onto your upper check bones AM & PM to reduce puffiness and dark circles. Its a light clear gel and the bottle will last a year I am sure!
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin’s top layer of your skin for a brighter and more even looking skin. Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) also exfoliate the skin to help clear pore congestion. The solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes. With continued use it improves signs of ageing and generally brighter more ‘glowy’ skin.
This is my second favourite, ok maybe joint favourite to the Zinc serum. I use this weekly, at night on clean, cleansed and dry skin. You apply a thing layer to the face avoiding the eye area, its bright red – don’t be scared! I started with 5 minutes, and now I can do up to 10 minutes – I seriously use a timer as its strong stuff. You wash it off with cool water to reveal fresh aired skin. I tend to skip the toner stage on these nights and just apply a light moisturiser or a hydrating oil on top before going to bed. I wake up the next day and I can visibly tell I have used it the night before – I like doing it on a Sunday night to start the week perfectly. It can make you more sensitive to the sun, so do wear sun protection on your face to protect it.
Other Skincare Products I use –
In addition to The Ordinary I also use a lot of Neal’s Yard Remedies products – the two perfectly pair together. I use this face wash , toner and face polish from Neal’s Yard Remedies when I am not using the Glycolic Acid. I feel this toner is really pure and I love how natural it is. It removes the last traces of makeup and is really refreshing.
Lastly, this daily moisturiser from Neal’s Yard Remedies – it smells amazing, is very light and doesn’t clog my pores. I love this ethical brand and its glass bottle packaging. To read more about Neal’s Yard Remedies see here.
For a full video of what and how I use them – check out this video –
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