I don’t know about you but I feel a bit like I’m on a never ending search for good skincare products. Every time I find one I really like, by the end of the pot (or sometimes halfway through) I’m already thinking that it’s not quite right – generally it’s because I find everything a bit greasy. It will feel fine in the morning, but by lunchtime my forehead is shiny and I already know this one’s not for me. I think I mentioned a while ago that I’m a huge fan of Nadine Baggott’s #Thebeautyknowitall YouTube channel, and she’d recommended The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid – in fact she recommended quite a few products in the range. I was especially interested as, like me, Nadine really doesn’t like the feel of creams on her face and prefers to use more lightweight serum formulas, so after I’d ordered the Hyaluronic Acid, I decided to give a couple of the other things from The Ordinary skincare range a go, and so far, I’m really loving them.
Layering skincare always seems a bit confusing, but since Nadine promises that – with a little help from her – we can all be a beauty know it all – I’m sure she won’t mind me passing on her tried and trusted advice to you (click here to see Nadine’s video on layering skincare): it’s all about consistency, so, for instance, after cleansing start with the most watery things, so if you use a facial water, for instance, that would be first, then it’s clear serums, then more opaque serums, then creams, then oils.
Watching Nadine’s videos have been a bit of a revelation for me, really. I always thought you had to include a cream in your skincare regime, but Nadine just layers a few different serums, plus a cream if she’s feeling dehydrated, but often not at all. The Ordinary also have a great regimen guide on their website if you’re a bit confused about what goes where. Here’s what I’m currently using and – honestly – not only am I finally free of horrible gloopy creams, and products that make my face shiny by lunchtime, but my skin feels the best it’s felt for ages (the microneedling definitely helped there too). The products are no-nonsense, great value, cruelty free and really effective too.
Step 1: water
I know some people have a problem with micellar products (I personally don’t use the cleansers), but the Superdrug Optimum Birch Water Micellar Tonic is absolutely lovely (and it’s £2.45 at the moment!). It smells amazing (the fragrance being the main thing that put me off the Pixi Glow Tonic), and it’s a lovely, refreshing thing to sweep across your face before you start moisturising (apparently it’s good to apply serum to damp skin).
Step 2: serum
The Ordinary’s Buffet is a water-based ‘multi technology peptide serum’ containing a huge array of amino acids and multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. It’s a fabulous base-layer anti-ageing serum and at £13 is probably the most expensive of all the products I’m talking about here – but you literally use just a couple of drops so it lasts ages.
Step 3: hyaluronic acid
There’s so much beauty buzz around hyaluronic acid at the moment. It’s the ingredient in loads of high end beauty products, including Clinique’s fabulous new Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate. As far as I understand it, hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge, holding on to loads of water and plumping out skin, therefore reducing fine lines and improving hydration. The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£6.00) is a fabulous, face-plumping, non-sticky, non-greasy, easily absorbed solution which feels like it instantly tightens and smooths. Again, a couple of drops smoothed into skin is all you need, and you can go right up around the eye area too,.
Step 4: moisturiser/tinted moisturiser
Most of the time, I go straight onto my foundation or tinted moisturiser from here (I’m currently using It Cosmetics CC Cream – it’s got 50+SPF and a tiny bit blends really well and gives a lovely, even, glowy finish). If your skin still feels like it needs a moisturiser, try The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA , which is a really light, non-greasy, creamy emulsion (but remember if you use just this, you’ll still need SPF). AND IT’S FIVE QUID!!
Night – step 1: Retinoids
For night-time, I’m using The Ordinary’s Advanced Retinoid 2% (£8.00). Pure retinol (Vitamin A) and other retinoids encourage the production of new skin cells, making way for all those lovely fresh new cells underneath. They also stimulate collagen and elastin production. Basically all lovely stuff to achieve younger looking, smoother skin. They can cause a bit of flaking (which I haven’t noticed with this product), and as with Vitamin C products, they’re best used at night (I’m not sure of the science behind this bit – Nadine explains it well in her video – something to do with them oxidising in daylight…? Note the dark glass bottle).
Night – step 2: moisturiser
I’m currently finishing off all the face creams that I found too gloopy for day, but for when they’re all finished I’ve already ordered The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane, a face oil which I’ve read great things about as a moisturiser and also it’s just £5.50!! Or again, if you prefer a cream rather than an oil, The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA is deeply moisturising without being at all greasy.
There are several brands available within the Deciem family. Another of my faves is The Chemistry Brand, in particular the HA3 Hand Hydrator. I originally bought it by accident after reading about another of their hand creams, Hand Chemistry, but I absolutely love it. It rubs completely in, so no greasy keyboards or phone screens, it smells light and citrusy, and it apparently offers ‘multi depth hydration’ by way of its combination of hyaluronic acid, mango butter and inca inchi oil (me neither). Sadly you can’t buy it from ASOS but it’s available direct or from places like QVC and Look Fantastic.
One of the biggest pluses for me (apart from the cost) of all the items in this range is their texture: they’re all light, easily absorbed and non-greasy, while feeling really plumping and moisturising. Make up goes on so well after using my morning routine, with no hint of mid-morning shine either. I tend to buy them from ASOS, mostly because I’m always ordering bits from there and I just pop them on my order as and when I need them. Do let me know if you give any of them a go – I’d love to know what you think.