The Science Behind Beauty

By Juliet O.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Ordinary | Do Their 'Cosmetic' Skincare Products Work On Acne & Hyperpigmentation?



I've been seeing many reviews on The Ordinary skincare products. And I thought it'd be great to look into skincare brand and try out some of their products. So I purchased the Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% and the Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane. I chose these 2 particular products because its claims of having the active ingredients Vitamin C and Retinoids, which are sought after in the beauty world because of its role in fighting the effects acne.


The Science Behind Retinioids 

In dermatology, retinoids are medicinal compounds that have a structural or biological activity similar to Vitamin A. They are often used in the treatment of acne because they help inhibit the proliferation of keratinocytes (dead skin cells), which can mix with bacteria and sebum to cause plug formations in your pores which may eventually lead to acne. Here are the ingredients according to the Ordinary product page

According to the ingredients, squalane is the highest in concentration which is an emollient or moisturiser. And 6th down the line, is retinoate. Retinoate isn't exactly a retinoid, it is a retinoid acid ester, meaning that it is derived from retinoids but is not the exact same thing. As mentioned in many of my previous posts, there exists a thin line between medicinal products and cosmetic products. So thats not to say retinoate isn't effective, but how effective is it, when it isn't the actual thing? Keep on reading I'll explain below.


The Science Behind Vitamin C

Next we have the Vitamin C suspension as an active ingredient in the second cream. It is a great antioxidant which in the active form, is known as L-ascorbic acid. This substance can inhibit melanogenesis (the production of melanin) which is why it is used in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. 

Have a read of the ingredients according to the Ordinary product page.  L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is quite unstable and it within a few weeks can become inactive. So often times it is challenging to produce serums or suspensions with Vitamin C as an active ingredient because its activity is relatively short. It can still be quite effective in cosmetic products, but special care must be paid attention to if this particular suspension  will keep it in a form that will ensure it is actively working on your skin.

Final Thoughts


The Ordinary skincare products are a great start to healthy skin! They definitely have the right idea when it comes to using scientific efforts to help improve your skin. The only question, is how effective are they because firstly they are using retinoate a retinoid acid derivative and secondly they are using highly unstable L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). And to be perfectly honest, I never expected them to deliver a high dose retinoid as these have be to be prescribed by your doctor but as they are highlighting on each bottle the specific chemical ingredients they use, I believe we do have some right to know how effective they are.

When a product, cream, serum.. what ever it is, is available to us without a prescription, the only way we will know how effective it is is through trial-and-error. We have to use it and hope that in some way, the little strength it carries goes a long way. I know it does seem quite harsh of me to say 'little strength' but I think its a good thing, strong chemicals shouldn't be easily accessible. 

My only advice is if some of these 'cosmetic' products don't work for you, you can always go to a doctor because most of the time they have ingredients and drug strengths that may work better for you. These medicinal products unlike 'cosmetic' ones are proven to work with many years of research, study and monitoring of patients to know what works!

I hope you liked this post, I will be doing a full review on how I get on using these products, its only been a few days but I am curious to know if it'll work well for me and if I notice a difference.

Thanks so much for reading! Please comment below if you use any Ordinary skincare products and what you think about them.

Love you lots J x



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12 comments

  1. I love the vitamin C suspension from The ordinary, it's so good I am already in need of a back up.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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    1. Thanks for commenting! That's great to hear, I'm still trying it out so will definitely keep you updated on how well it works! x

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  2. I love how you breakdown the ingredients and how you also touch on consumers expectations. I am currently trialling that same Retinoid with Squalane and will share my thoughts on it in the future as well.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Hi Shireen! Thank you so much for your comment! I agree consumer expectations are such a big thing because a lot of people have many skin issues that these products claim to help. And often times, if they are not effective we may be left feeling like 'nothing works'.

      These ingredients do work, it's just that they may just not be in a substantial enough quantity in these 'cosmetic' products. Please do keep me updated on your progress, I would love to know if it works for you! xx

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  3. I have been using the Ordinary products since last year, I re-ordered the Hyaluronic Acid because it works amazingly on my skin and also I bought the Aha solution, a great product too.

    Yiota
    pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh wow thats great! I can't wait to try out more of their products. Thanks for letting me know how well its working for you! xx

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  4. I think the VItamin C Suspension is not for me! :(

    xx
    Graciella // @gegeciella
    www.graciellashiaryn.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh no! I guess some products don't work for everyone. I will definitely keep you updated on how it works for me. Thanks for commenting, if you know any other vitamin c suspensions that have worked well for you, do let me know. x

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  5. I use some of the ordinary products. My fav. is the Hyaluronic Acid. Informative post. Please let us know how you like the products.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Jackline! I've heard a lot about the hyaluronic acid, it seems like a great product! I will let you know how I get on. x

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  6. I have so many skincare products right now, but I am still thinking about trying more of The Ordinary. I have used their moisturizer Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA and loved it!

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