6 Month Update: My Experience with The Ordinary Products (Part 2)

Hello, everyone! I’m still on vacation and I know I haven’t replied to your comments in my last few posts or commented on your posts, but I promise I will catch up soon! Today’s post is a continuation of my post from Tuesday, which is a review of a few products from The Ordinary. Today’s post will cover the following products:

100% Plant-Derived Squalane
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peel

The Ordinary Plant Derived Squalane

The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane

You may have heard of squalene, which is naturally occuring in our bodies. Squalane is a hydrogenized form of squalene, which makes it more stable so that it can have a longer shelf life that can used in skincare.

Unlike the rest of The Ordinary’s serums, the Squalane is packaged in a amber dropper bottle that protects the product from UV rays, which will oxidize the product.

Similar to HA, Squalane is a hydrator. While Hyaluronic Acid quenches the skin and gives it hydration, squalane keeps the hydration in. This was one of the products I was most excited to try – I’m a complete sucker for hydrating products, particularly when it’s an oil.  The squalane totally lived up to my expectations and was one of the standout products from The Ordinary. It IS greasy – it’s an oil, after all. But I like the consistency, which isn’t too thin but also not super thick like some facial oils are, and like many of The Ordinary’s products, it has no scent. I use about 3 drops every night as the final layer of my skincare routine, and in the morning my skin feels so soft and supple. Over the long term, I’d had significantly fewer issues with dry areas. I will for sure be repurchasing this.

The Plant-Derived Squalane retails at $7.90 for 30mL. It is gluten free, cruelty free, and does not contain silicones, oil, or alcohol.

Ingredients: Squalane

Repurchase? Yes


The Ordinary Niacinimide

The Ordinary Niacinamide

Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, is an ingredient that has anti-inflammatory properties. It is supposed to solve a plethora of skincare issues, including reducing the appearance of blemishes, decreasing dullness/sallowness, reducing congestion, improving the skin barrier, reducing the appearance of pores, blurring fine lines, protecting against moisture loss, and regulating oil. It sounds like a miracle product! I don’t have oily skin nor do I have all of these skin problems, but I’ve heard that this product still works well for people with dry skin. I also wouldn’t be opposed to improving all of the above!

The niacinamide looks the same as the The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin and the HA 5%+ B5 – a clear serum. The consistency is also similar to both – quite thick and a little goopy, and is also unscented. I use it in my morning routine since I use Vitamin C at night and I’ve heard that niacinamide doesn’t play well with Vitamin C (there are opposing opinions out there, but I thought it might be best to keep it safe and not use them together). I first apply the Alpha Arbutin, then the Niacinamide on top, and then let it soak in for a few minutes before layering all of my other skincare on top of it. It doesn’t pill underneath other skincare or makeup products. After using this for six months, I feel like this product hasn’t done much for my skin. My skin hasn’t reacted negatively to the product, but I also haven’t seen marked improvement in dullness, pores, or fine lines because of it, either.

The Ordinary Niacinamide retails at $5.90 for 30mL. It is gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, and does not contain alcohol, silicone, or oil.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc PCA, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Repurchase? No


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

According to the The Ordinary website, this is a more concentrated version of Alpha Arbutin compared to the standard 1% that one would typically find in skincare. Alpha Arbutin helps to fade hyperpigmentation and uneven spots, which has been a major problem I’m been trying to battle this year. The consistency of this is similar to the HA 5% + B5 and Niacinamide, which is a thick serum. Like the HA 5% and Niacinamide, it is also clear, and has no scent. I use this in the morning by applying 2 drops to the areas that have hyperpigmentation, then layer my other skincare on top. I have a lot of hyperpigmentation on my cheeks from prior breakouts, and I bought this for the sole purpose of fading them. The serum spreads easily, and doesn’t pill underneath other products. Since both Alpha Arbutin and Vitamin C help to fade hyperpigmentation, I used this exclusively for a few months without the Vitamin C, and I feel like it does a fairly decent job in fading dark spots. It is a very, very slow process though, and I do feel like the Vitamin C is more potent and does a better job at fading dark spots compared with the Alpha Arbutin.

This retails at $8.90 for 30mL. It is gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, and does not contain silicones or alcohol.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alpha-Arbutin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lactic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Repurchase? No


The Ordinary AHA and BHA Peel.jpg

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This one is the newest member of my TO collection. It was so kindly gifted to me by Stashy – back in June, we were talking about how it’s not available in Canada even though it’s made in Canada, and a few weeks later, I magically discovered this in my mailbox. Thank you again for being your regular thoughtful self, Stashy!

AHAs essentially loosen up the bonds that keep our skin cells together, allowing us to shed our dead skin cells and resurface “new” skin. BHAs work underneath the skin inside our pores, removing dirt and debris. The AHAs included in this solution are glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid, and the BHA, as always, refers to salicylic acid.

Honestly, this took a while for me to get used to using this product – it looks like I’m smearing blood all over my face (a sentiment that my husband echoed). After using it two or three times, I got used to it and the image stopped freaking me out. The texture is thin, but not watery, and it’s easy to spread across the face. Applying this product on my skin does tingle a little bit, but the tingling dies down after a minute or so – I was afraid this was going to burn, but the felling is really nothing compared to my experience with the Vitamin C suspension. It smells a little like wine to me – Stashy says the scent bothers her eyes, and while I’m not particularly a fan of the smell, I didn’t have any negative reaction to it.

This acid is very potent, so I really don’t like to mess around with it – I use it exactly as the instructions say: twice a week for 10 minutes each time, and then I rinse off with a warm washcloth. I’ve been having issues with closed comedones that won’t go away no matter what I do, and AHA is supposed to be able to help with them. Despite its potency, I haven’t really seen any dramatic results from this, which was surprising to me since the strength of the AHA is so strong. Keep in mind that I’ve only been using it for two months, and I believe that skincare requires time to see full results, but I feel like two months is long enough to at least something, you know?

The AHA 30% + BHA 2% retails for $7.20 for 30mL. It is gluten free, vegan, cruelty free, and does not contain silicones.

Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

The Ordinary AHA and BHA Peeling Mask.jpg

Repurchase? No


Overall, the products I’ve tried from The Ordinary were a bit hit or miss. My favourites are the 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, the Marine Hyaluronics, and the Vitamin C Suspension; the ones I didn’t like were the Hyaluronic Acid 5% and the Niacinamide, and the other two are somewhere in between.

Have you tried The Ordinary, and if so, which products did you like or dislike?


7 thoughts on “6 Month Update: My Experience with The Ordinary Products (Part 2)

  1. Really liked this review! I personally really liked the Niacinamide because it really helped clear my skin a lot. I only liked the Alpha Arbutin as a “booster” to the rest of my routine if I paired another product with it. With the retinol it’s lovely but most probably not worth the purchase just for being a booster.

    I have never been interested in trying that red…thing lol the colour just puts me off so bad.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I guess it’s just different skin DNA! My skin is almost back to its best now. I was actually saying to Stashy the other day how my skin has finally recovered and that autumn is just so much kinder to my skin. This summer was horrendous. I had a breakout at the start and then when it finally started healing, that took a long time too!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s so sad, it takes your skin 1 day to go haywire but weeks, if not months (or years for some people), to heal! Your skin always looks so beautiful. I’m the happiest with my skin now than I have been in over a year, which I’m pleased with, but it could always be better!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m thinking about mixing the L-Ascorbic Acid Powder with the Squalane since it’s the most “inert” serum / base I have. I’m very much looking forward to busting out the Squalane once the weather gets drier!

    I was interested in potentially trying the Alpha Arbutin but I’ve read lots of mixed reviews for it. But I think trying out and layering so many product might “dilute” the effectiveness of everything. Or at the very least, it makes it more difficult to pinpoint which product is truly working.

    The Peeling Solution was so anticlimactic for me! I’m like you though, I don’t mess with it – I leave it on for exactly 10 mins and run to the sink to rinse it off. Lately I just go lay down and close my eyes so I don’t have to deal with the eye issue. I won’t be repurchasing it either!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve thought about mixing the Vitamin C Suspension with the Squalane too but have yet to do it. The L-Ascorbic Acid Powder scares me, for some reason – like I feel like the powder would be really concentrated or something. Fingers crossed it performs beautifully for you, though!

      Yes, I bought a bunch of TO products but that’s exactly why I had to stagger the use of them so that I would know what works and what didn’t. I still do find it hard to tell sometimes, though!

      Anticlimactic – that is the perfect word for the peeling solution haha. The other day I used it and it really burned! Maybe my skin was drier than usual? I am interested in seeing if it does anything for my skin long term, though.


  3. […] I’ve never had much luck with facial oils until I met this one. Squalane is meant to lock in moisture, and this does just that. I apply it as the last step on my nighttime routine in order to lock in all of the hydrating properties from the other products I applied underneath. I’ve found that since using the squalane, my skin feels quenched and supple in the morning. Although it’s an oil, it doesn’t feel too greasy, and it’s also unscented, which is a big plus for a lot of skincare lovers. I reviewed this back in September here. […]


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