Brand Overview: The Ordinary

The Ordinary is a Toronto-based skincare brand created by The Abnormal Beauty Company, Deciem. The Ordinary operates under the premise that skincare formulations should be simple, effective, and affordable. They forgo added fragrance, fillers, and colorants in order to keep costs low, and all of their products retail for under $20 CAD ($15 USD).

What separates The Ordinary from other skincare brands is that the entire brand is free of fluffy marketing copy, and offers little information on the benefits of each product, leaving it up to the consumer to decifer whether a product is targeted toward their needs. Their approach to skincare is intimidating at best to those not well-versed in active skincare ingredients. Personally, I find the concept incredibly refreshing as someone who's been begging for transparency in the beauty industry and gets annoyed by marketing fluff. 

Over the past 2 months, I've managed to work the following 4 products into my skincare routine. Listed below, are my thoughts on each of them, in order from favorite to least favorite. 

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

$10 cad/$7.40 usd - 1 fl.oz/30ml


One thing The Ordinary does extraordinarily well is offer pure organic oils at unbeatable prices.

Rosehip Seed Oil is one of the best natural non-comedogenic pure oils that works with a multitude of skin types. It's rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin C and Vitamin A, as well as linoleic and linolenic acids. These help to brighten and even the skin tone, and have anti-aging properties. 

This product comes after water-based serums, and before moisturizer, but also works great on its own. 

I have yet to meet someone who couldn't benefit from pure Rosehip Oil. It provides an instant glow, absorbs quickly, and offers vitamins and antioxidants, helping to repair UV and sun damage. 

The Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is an acid based toner meant to gently exfoliate, brightening and evening the skin tone. As a toner, this should be applied with a cotton pad after cleansing, and before your water-based serums. I really enjoy the nozzle attachment it comes with, and prefer it to typical open-top toner bottles. 

I've definitely noticed a difference in the texture and brightness of my skin which is great, my only qualm is the way I can feel the exfoliation when I apply my oils over top. I can feel a slight grittiness caused by the Glycolic Acid going to work as a chemical exfoliant. 

It does tingle on contact with the skin, not uncomfortably, but noticeably. It's not a stinging or burning sensation, just a noticeable tingle. 

It's been compared as a better, cheaper version of Pixi Beauty's Glow Tonic which contains 5% Glycolic Acid. I haven't tried the Pixi Beauty toner, so I can't personally compare, but The Ordinary toner is less than half the price, which is definitely worth the test. 


The Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a brightening suspension with a light cream texture. It's meant to brighten and even the skin tone while also calming redness and acne marks. It contains silicone which gives the skin a really smooth even finish and feels almost powdery to the touch. As a suspension, it's applied after water-based serums.

Deciem says to use this both morning and night, but to use sun-protection during the day as it causes photo-sensitivity. 

I've noticed a difference in the smoothness and overall texture of my skin using this, and really like the powdery smooth feel it gives after applying, which is unlike any product I've ever tried.


$14.80 CAD/$11 USD - 1fL.OZ/30ML

"Buffet" is essentially the "all you can eat" of The Ordinary serums. It's a water-based serum that contains a potent blend of active collagen-boosting peptides and amino acids that help with signs of aging. 

As this is a water-based serum, it goes on post-cleanse, after your toners and essences if you use them, and before oils and cream products. While it's absorbs quickly and doesn't leave residue, I did have an issue with pilling when I applied the Rosehip Seed Oil on top of it. According to Deciem, this can be used both day and night, and won't make you photosensitive like a lot of other "anti-aging products".

Given that anti-aging products often run in the $50 and up price range, this serum offers a lot for the price, sitting at less than $15.



Though slightly esoteric in their marketing or lack thereof, The Ordinary offers a wide range of targeted products for a multitude of skin needs at amazing prices that are practically unheard of in the industry. The Ordinary is the perfect example of what the beauty industry would look like if companies stopped making impossible (and almost illegal) claims and shooting falsified "clinical study" results at us. I do worry that they scare off the casual consumers who could benefit from their products, but work solely off marketing copy when it comes to purchasing products. They manage to reel those customers back in with crazy low prices that make way for a "nothing to lose" type consideration as the ultimate selling point. It seems to be working for them.

What's your favorite product from The Ordinary? Leave it in the comments below!