The Ordinary Skincare Review | My Favourite Products & Routine

By Tara | Updated: 26/08/2023

About 4 years ago, I decided to go off the contraceptive pill. Health-wise this was a good decision, however, my skin suffered as a result. Like many people, I suffer from hormonal acne which sits predominantly around my mouth and chin. When it gets closer to that time of the month it will particularly flare-up.

I have long struggled to find a solution to it and believed the best approach was to be as natural as possible when it came to my skincare routine. My previous skincare routine consisted of an organic/natural cleanser and moisturiser and a clay mask once in a while. I was not even wearing sunscreen on my face every day — unfortunately quite common for many who live under the harsh sun in Australia.

Having used products from The Ordinary for a while now, I wanted to share my thoughts on their effectiveness and why I recommend them.

Read on for The Ordinary reviews and my routine.

My Skincare Routine Using The Ordinary

Quite a while ago, I started looking into a skincare routine as the “all-natural approach” simply was not working for my skin.

There were many high-end products that I was considering purchasing as I had read great reviews about them. However, having tried The Ordinary products in the past I decided I would instead use their more affordable skincare products.

The Ordinary products are so effective, but many people end up buying one or two without knowing what it was, how to use it properly or what products to not use with it. I was one of these people, who initially went and bought one of their stronger acid exfoliators and ended up irritating my skin more than helping it.

Instead, I took a more informed approach to my beauty routine this time.

The skin concerns that I was looking to address are the following:

By looking online I was able to get a good idea of the products that would best be suited to tackling my skin concerns.

Here is what my current routine looks like:



Once a week

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

Extra tips for your skincare routine:

  1. Clean your make-up brushes REGULARLY and replace any worn-out beauty blenders
  2. Let your skin breathe – I try to avoid wearing make-up on the weekends and let my skin recover
  3. I also regularly visit an infrared sauna which has helped sweat out nasties in my skin and sit under a red light which helps with cellular turnover

Why I Love These Products

Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
Google Review Rating:
Buy from Adore Beauty
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This is a simple, gentle and hydrating cleanser that can really be used for all skin types. Squalane is known for hydration and anti-inflammatory capabilities. You only need a small amount mixed with water to get a creamy consistency.

My only gripe with this product is that you tend to run out quite quickly.

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

After my evening cleanse I will apply The Ordinary’s Glycolic acid 7% toning solution. This tends to remove any remaining makeup but its main purpose is to subtly exfoliate the skin and even skin tone. Chemical exfoliants have become a great alternative to microbead exfoliants that likely featured in your teenage year’s skincare routine.


The Ordinary Buffet

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

As I am in my late 20’s I wanted to start introducing some serious anti-ageing products into the routine. Buffet is exactly that. This is water-based serum that targets multiple signs of anti ageing at once. This is ultimately going to help tackle signs of ageing such as fine lines and facial folds while also hydrating and plumping your skin.

I will apply this product in the morning and it instantly gives me a fresh and plumped look for the day.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 30ml
Google Review Rating:
Buy from MYER Buy from Adore Beauty
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This is by far my favourite product in the range and I am not alone, it’s one of the best selling products for the brand. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% really made the most difference when it came to clearing my skin. I noticed within a few weeks of consistent use, my hormonal acne was non-existent. Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 helps to reduce blemishes and congestion. The zinc works to repair skin damage and clear up any congestion.

Again, this is not necessarily going to work in clearing up everyone’s skin, however it did wonders for mine.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2 + B5
Google Review Rating:
Buy from Adore Beauty Buy THE ICONIC
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This gives an instant hydration boost to your skin and helps to retain moisture. As I have normal skin (not too oily and not dry), I tend to use this product on a daily basis. Benefits all skin types from dry to super oily. Hyaluronic acid works well with other anti-ageing ingredients like vitamin C. I would suggest layering further products over the Hyaluronic acid as it helps to hold in moisture from your other products.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
Google Review Rating:
Buy from MYER Buy from The Ordinary
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

When I am not applying The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, I will alternate to The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% . This is essentially a Vitamin C serum that provides anti-ageing and brightening benefits for the skin. It gives your skin such a nice dewy and glowing look, I sometimes wear it on its own. Your skin will look noticeably brightened from this product.

You may have heard of The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension product. This is another highly effective and affordable Vitamin C product from the brand. Like the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution, it works to brighten skin, targets dark spots, and smooths the surface of the skin. Personally, I prefer the serum consistency of the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution vs the gritty cream of the Vitamin C Suspension but find both are great products.

100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

The Ordinary 100% Cold-pressed Virgin Marula Oil
Google Review Rating:
Buy from Adore Beauty
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

I generally won’t apply an oil every night, however, whenever my skin is feeling especially dry or dull, a good facial oil can provide that extra layer of moisture. I sometimes apply the cold-pressed Marula Oil after using a derma or jade roller or as the final step in my skincare routine. It leaves your skin feeling dewy and will be amazed at how much your skin absorbs! The Organic Marula Oil is antioxidant-rich and contains a bunch of great ingredients that will help you achieve plump and glowing skin. The best part? This is a fraction of the price compared to other well-known skincare brands.

The Ordinary Retinol Serum 0.5% in Squalane

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%
Google Review Rating:
Buy from THE ICONIC Buy from Adore Beauty
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

This a holy grail product for those in the beauty community. For anyone looking to target signs of age, this is a must-have product in your routine. Other than sunscreen, this is one of the most effective ways to prevent ageing. This product can be used to treat skin concerns like pigmentation, acne and ageing. This product can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays so it would be recommended to apply it at night and a maximum of four times per week (you can alternate with other serums). While sunscreen should already form part of your skincare routine, it will be essential if you start working with retinol.

If you are just forming a skincare routine, this is a great introduction to retinol and the earlier you start using it the better. You will thank yourself when you are older!

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA


Google Review Rating:
Buy from Adore Beauty
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

I will apply a Lactic Acid about once a week (depending on what condition my skin is in). This product is designed to exfoliate the skin. It can sometimes sting a little on application, especially if you have sensitive skin, so it’s recommended to ease the product into your routine. Lactic Acid works to exfoliate the skin and improve radiance.

Common Questions About The Ordinary

Is The Ordinary Available in Australia?

Yes, absolutely! The Ordinary products are available in Australia and are now stocked in Priceline and MYER and can even be bought online.

Where is the Brand From?

Deciem is the company that founded skincare range, The Ordinary. The company was founded in Toronoto, Canada and has since expanded with stores all over the world. Along with The Ordinary line, Deciem have a number of other top beauty brands under their umbrella.

What is the Cost of The Ordinary Range?

If you are are after affordable skincare, The Ordinary is a top option. Deciem has certainly set this skincare brand apart from competition with the reasonable price point.

The products can cost anywhere between $8.00 – $30.00 AUD. While you may be thinking a lower than average price will result in low quality, you would be mistaken. The brand has been able to successfully set themselves apart by focusing on high-quality ingredients with proven effectiveness.

What are the Best Products from The Ordinary?

This totally depends on what you are trying to achieve, however, one of my favourites would have to be Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% as it totally cleared up my hormonal acne. (See above!)


I will likely look to integrate other skincare brands into my routine however, so far, I have been really impressed with The Ordinary products. The Ordinary brand has done a great job at making skincare accessible to anyone. Why should healthy skin only be for those who can afford exorbitantly priced brands?

Before you start purchase, I would highly recommend that you research as much as possible into each product – what concern they will address, what to/not mix them with and how to layer them.

Also, when starting with any skincare brand you have to keep in mind that your skin might take some time to adapt. Give it time and be consistent. It could take anywhere between 4 – 6 weeks for your skin to get used to the products. **If there is obvious irritation or your skin is not clearing up, then obviously pause the products and consult a professional.**

Please Leave a Rating

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

Tara Lusk is the founder and creator of Beauty Space
Tara Lusk is a Sydney-based beauty enthusiast and the founder of Beauty Space. She launched the blog in 2018 to showcase the best beauty and skincare brands emerging from Australia, while also providing insider tips and tricks for hair and skincare. With a focus on tried-and-true products, Tara puts the latest cult products to the test to separate hype from substance.

What are your thoughts?

Just fill out the fields below and share your comment. Your email address will not be published.