The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For All Skin Types – All Products Explained

The Ordinary Skincare regimen Guide

The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide for all skin types. The Ordinary launched a few new products today, and they posted about it on the Deciem Instagram page, and I noticed that every other comment was a complaint about how people don’t know what the products do and how the names sound too scientific for the average person.

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I don’t see how naming a product based on its major ingredients is so much more confusing than naming it random stuff like “Beauty Water”,  “TLC Framboos”, “Luna Oil” , “Anthelios”, “Liquid Gold”, etc. Which do you prefer? Fanciful fun names or scientific names? 

I also wanted to mention that even though these names seem confusing at first, a quick Google search of the product name will bring up the product page on The Ordinary website, and they do a good job of having very clear and detailed information about what each product does and how to use it. 

And so that brings us to this post. I will share sample routines and product recommendations for all skin types and I will break down ALL products by The Ordinary. (I will update this post whenever new products launch, so bookmark it and keep checking back.)

Let’s start with a product breakdown of the entire The Ordinary line.

The Ordinary Skincare 101 : An Introduction To The Ordinary Products – What To Buy And How To Use

The Ordinary Skincare how to use
Source : Deciem (Instagram)

The Ordinary has the following major groups of products:

Retinoids and Retinols :

These fight signs of ageing, including the appearance of fine lines. The Ordinary offers several forms of retinols and retinoids, and I think I will just discuss those in a different post, but the one that stands out to me is the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (previously named Advanced Retinoid 2%) because it contains both retinoids and retinol, where all the other products in this category only offer one or the other.

Vitamin C

This brigtens the skin, acts as an antioxidant and it is also anti-ageing. I have a detailed post on The Ordinary Vitamin C Product Guide, in which I discussed all the different Vitamin C products The Ordinary offers, so for this post, I will just stick to product recommendation by skin type.

Direct Acids

The Ordinary has an extensive collection of direct acids.

Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid are basically for exfoliating the skin. AHA 30% and BHA 2% Solution contains a mixture of all three acids and lots more ingredients. I have linked my reviews of these products, and you can read  more about chemical exfoliation here.



These fight signs of environmental ageing, support optimum collagen levels and just generally keep you looking younger for longer. The Ordinary has three antioxidant products. They are:

Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% : This is actually also a direct acid but I thought it best to address it under antioxidants.

The other two are Resveratrol 3%+ Ferulic Acid 3%, and EUK 134 0.1%. I already have detailed posts on those two which I have linked so check them out for more information.

Hydrators and Oils

I believe we all know that hydrators, moisturizers and oils keep the skin hydrated,so let’s talk about the specific products.  Here we have three oils which are Rose Hip Seed Oil reviewed here, Argan Oil and Marula Oil. These have all been talked to death in the beauty community and they are nothing new. The Ordinary also offers Hyaluronic Acid 2% which is great for non-greasy, long lasting hydration. They have a product called Natural Moisturizing Factors which is basically the ultimate moisturiser formulated for all skin types and made with ingredients that occur naturally in skin.


I don’t think this needs much explanation, but when the suncare products launch, I will do a dedicated post explaining the different types and link it here.


This is their makeup line, and so far it contains two primers and two foundations. I have reviewed the High Adherence Silicone Primer, The Colours Coverage Foundation and The Colours Serum Foundation, so see those posts for more details. The High Spreadability Fluid Primer is targeted towards drier skin types who want a dewy finish, and it is supposed to prevent makeup from settling into lines.

Other Molecules

Then they have a bunch of other products which really don’t fit into any of the categories. These products are referred to as “other molecules'” and they include:

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is formulated to keep the skin clear of spots and regulate oil production.

Buffet is supposed to target multiple signs of aging at once.

Matrixyl 10% + HA is supposed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is supposed to reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation by inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG is supposed to reduce the look of darkness and puffiness in the eye area.

Argireline Solution 10% is supposed to reduce the tendency of the skin to fold in certain areas such as the forehead and around the eyes.

I have kept the explanations as simple as possible, and I encourage you to check out The Ordinary website or my reviews for more details on each product mentioned.


On to the skincare routines.

The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For Dry Skin
Source: Deciem

The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide + Product Recommendations

If you would like to know how to build a skincare routine, check out this post. The Ordinary products do not currently cover some vital steps such as cleansing, makeup removal, traditional masks, etc. So in this post, I can only offer product recommendations based on what products they actually offer.


The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For Normal Skin + General Recommendations For All Skin Types

If you have normal skin and have no real skin problems, but you’re just looking for a few products to maintain or improve the health of your skin, i suggest the following

Hyaluronic Acid or Natural Moisturizing Factors – either of these are great for basic hydration. You can also layer on Marula Oil, which  makes a nice supporting oil.

If you’re looking to try chemical exfoliation and you don’t have sensitive skin, I really love the AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling Solution. Just be sure to do a skin patch test first, and follow with a soothing hydrator like the Marula Oil I mentioned above. If you’re new to chemical exfoliation, it might be best to start with something less intense like the Lactic Acid 10% Peeling Solution. 

if you’re looking to try a Vitamin C product, the Vitamin C 30% Suspension in Silicone offers a nice balance between being effective, feeling good during application, and not being too irritating.

If you’re looking to try Retinoids and Retinols, the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is one of the top rated products from The Ordinary. Just be sure to use it no more than twice a week at first, then gauging how your skin responds, you’ll instictively know whether to reduce or increase frequency of use. Retinoids can be drying, so I always make sure to follow with an oil after applying this. The Marula Oil is great for this.

For antioxidants, I would personally go with both EUK 134 0.1% and Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% for day and night use respectively.


The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For Oily Skin, Hyper-pigmentation, Acne-Prone Skin, Acne Scarring.

I have oily combination, acne prone skin and a bit of acne scarring and hyper pigmentation, so I have created a detailed post on The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide for Oily Skin, Acne-Prone Skin and Hyper Pigmentation, so I will share my top five products for those concerns here, but you should check out that post for more details.

My favourite products are:

AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Rose Hip Seed Oil (best oil for oily skin in my opinion, and has anti-acne properties)

Alpha Arbutin  2%+ Hyaluronic Acid (this pulls double duty as both a hydrator and acne-scar-lightener)

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% as blemish control

Salicylic Acid 2% +Witch Hazel as spot treatment.

Vitamin C 23% Suspension as a face mask.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate as a Vitamin C serum

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% for brightening the skin.

I have also bought the EUK 134 0.1% and the Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%


The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For Dry Skin

For drier skin, I would go for Natural Moisturising Factors and Argan Oil when it comes to hydration.

For retinoids/retinols, I would go to one of the many options that contain squalane such as Granactive Retionoid 5% in Squalane or Retinol 0.2% in Squalane.  Like I said earlier, retinols and retinoids can be drying but squalane provides a nice hydrating element to these products.

For Vitamin C, I’d go with  Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F because it is oil-solubilized and therefore better for dry skin.

For direct acids, I’d go with Lactic Acid 10% because lactic Acid is not as drying as glycolic acid, which makes lactic acid better for dryer skin.

For antioxidants, you really cant go wrong with either available option.

The Ordinary Skincare Guide For Sensitive Skin
Source: Deciem (Instagram)

The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For Sensitive Skin

For sensitive skin, I’d avoid anything with silicones and overly high concentrations of acids and vitamins.

For Vitamin C, I’d go with Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.

For Direct Acids I’d start with Lactic Acid 5% because Lactic Acid is gentler on skin. I would consider Azelaic Acid as well because it can help calm redness and rosacea.

For hydrators and oil, I’d go for Hyaluronic Acid and Marula Oil.

I don’t foresee any sensitivity problems with the antioxidants if used correctly, but I always recommend doing a skin patch test before applying any new products all over your face.

If you have sensitive skin and you’re looking for a toner, consider a different Deciem brand. The Hylamide Hydra Density Mist is really soothing and it was formulated for sensitive skin. 

The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For Ageing Skin

Here are The Ordinary products that fight signs of ageing:

Granactive Advanced Retinoid 2%

Vitamin C 23% Suspension – this is the most intense and most direct form of Vitamin C The Ordinary offers right now, and probably the most effective Vitamin C for anti ageing.

Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

EUK 134 0.1%

Rose Hip Seed Oil – this fights signs of photo-ageing

Matrixyl 10%
Argireline Solution
This last product I want to talk about is by another Deciem brand called Hylamide, but their SubQ Eyes serum is really great. 


The Ordinary Skincare Regimen Guide For Ageing Skin
Source: Deciem
Of course, you can use whatever products you like. This is only meant to provide a guideline for those who have no idea where to start.


The Ordinary Skincare How To Use – The DOs and DON’Ts of Layering The Ordinary Skincare Products

Here are a few general guidelines.

  • If you are layering multiple serums, start with the lightest one and work your way up to the heaviest. E.g: for my night routine, after cleansing and toning, I apply salicylic acid, give it a few minutes to sink in, then apply Vitamin C 23% Suspension.
  • Apply water based products before oil-based ones. For instance, I apply my Alpha Arbutin 2% or Advanced Retinoid before applying my RoseHip Seed Oil.

Here are a few things to note.

  • Some studies state that it may not be advisable to use Niacinamide and Vitamin C at the same time. There are conflicting views on this, but to be on the safe side, if you have both serums, I would suggest using one in the morning and using the other ay night.It is not advisable to use different types of retinol/retinoid products at the same time. Most retinoids/retinols state on the pack that they’re not to be used in conjunction with other retinoid products.
  • SPF is important all the time, but absolutely necessary when you’re using AHAs (glycolic/lactic acid) BHAs (salicylic acid) and retinoids (including retinols and retinoic acid). These products make your skin more susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun, so you really shouldn’t skip sunscreen when using this. Even if you have a deeper complexion and you don’t get sunburned, the sun’s rays can still damage and darken your skin. The sun’s rays also cause excessive darkening of acne scars on darker skin tones. So suncare really should be a priority for all skintones.
  • Retinoids can cause breakouts in acne prone skin in the first few weeks of use, and they can be really drying too. I have gotten the best results by always layering a good hydrator (e.g. Rose Hip Seed Oil) over retinoid. But if you have acne-prone skin, approach this particular product with caution.
  • I have also seen The Ordinary mention on their Instagram that Vitamin C should not be used at the same time as retinoids and peeling acids (AHAs and BHAs). They suggest using one in the morning and the other at night.
  • Resveratrol 3%+ Ferulic Acid 3% can be mixed with either of the Vitamin C Suspensions. EUK 134 can be mixed with most products except direct acids or Vitamin C. EUK cannot be used with Resveratrol 3%+ Ferulic Acid 3% since Ferulic Acid is a strong acid and will destroy the EUK. Deciem recommends using each of them every other day.

And that concludes this lengthy post. I hope you found it helpful. If I missed anything, please drop me a comment.



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