The Ordinary Brand Review: The Ultimate Guide | Which one's are compatible?

I'm sure every one of you has already heard of the brand The Ordinary by DECIEM. It is a cruelty-free brand which is free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oils... and many other toxic ingredients. They have serums, moisturisers and retinoids to suit every skin-type but they're so affordable, with most of their products being under £10. So many of their products work great together and to answer the most asked question - yes, they do work!

P r o d u c t   G u i d e 

Right, I'm going to start of by explaining a little bit about what each type of product does. I'm not going to go super in-depth because I'll be typing forever but I'll link more thorough explanations beside each type.

Direct Acids - These are used to tackle skin concerns such as wrinkles, blemishes and skin texture. They are mainly used for exfoliation (with the exception of Hyaluronic Acid) and the key to acids, if you've never used them before, is to start off slowly.
Some recommended acids are:

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - This is a Hydrator but still classed as an Acid.

Note: You must use sunscreen, especially if you’re using acids and retinoids.

Retinoids - They stimulate skin cell production and help with hyperpigmentation, hormonal changes and scarring. Retinoids also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and skin discolouration
Some recommended retinoids are:
Retinol 1% in Squalene
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene - I'd highly recommend starting with this one if you've never really used a retinoid before.

Vitamin C - Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that helps to brighten skin tone and improve signs of ageing. Vitamin C is known to boost collagen production and help fight damage against UV radiation (however, these products are NOT an alternative for sunscreen!).
Some recommended Vitamin C products are:

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone

Peptides - These also help to improve signs of ageing as well as generally improving skin health. It also helps to improve the skin's elasticity. There are different types of Peptides, some of which can be used in wound healing.
Some recommended Peptides are:

Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%
Matrixyl 10% + HA


The Ordinary do have a few other ranges such as oils, anti-oxidants, suncare and hydrators but they are all self-explanatory really. I'd highly suggest looking at The Ordinary Regimen Guide if you'd like to know more information on when each product can be used (AM or PM), whether they need to be applied with a sunscreen and what each product does.


 W h a t   p r o d u c t s   a r e   c o m p a t i b l e ?

1. Most products by The Ordinary are either water-based or oil-based. Therefore, water-based products should always be applied first.
2. Products with a similar PH level work best with each other.
3. Don't use too many products that do the same job. For example, using Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid together when they are both exfoliators.
4. Vitamin C and Niacinamide are known to cancel each other out, so it is not recommended to use these products together.

Low pH products – in order of lowest pH first:
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (pH 3.2-3.5)
Mandelic Acid 10% + HA (pH 3.5-3.7)
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (pH 3.5-3.7)
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (pH 3.5-3.7) - Use this after cleanser but before anything else.
Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% (pH 3.8) (Water-Based)
Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% (pH 3.8) (Water-Based)

Higher pH products:

Advanced Retinoid 2% (pH 5-6) (Water-Based)
Matrixyl 10% + HA (pH 5-6) (Water-Based)
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (pH 5.5-6.5) (Water-Based)
Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% (pH 6-7) (Water-Based)
Argireline Solution 10% (pH 6-7) (Water-Based)
“Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% (pH 6-7) (Water-Based)
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (pH 6.5-7)
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% (pH 6.5-7.5)
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (pH 6.5-7.5) (Water-Based)


I'd highly recommend checking out this facebook group which is focused all on The Ordinary. People discuss their routines and most loved/hated products which will really help you if you're new to the brand.


The Ordinary is a great, affordable brand with such high-quality products. Make sure you do your homework first, and really look into what products would work best with your skin type!


  1. I saw this line at Sephora and wondered about it but it's only available online so I have to look for more things to buy at the same time for free shipping from them. Thanks for sharing this post on the brand.


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