collection of different ordinsry bottles with their pipettes out containing different solutionsWith its incredible line-up of clinical formulations, The Ordinary is a brand you can trust to deliver results. We often think that more expensive means better, but don’t be fooled by their affordable price points. They use potent actives – like {AHAs} and {retinol} – that have already been thoroughly researched and tested, so you know they really work.


‘Clinical formulations with integrity’ is the motto the brand lives by. And it’s their honest approach to skin care that’s turned them into a cult favourite. From their crowd-pleasing {AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution} to their first-class {Squalane Cleanser}, they’ve been transforming our skin care routines with their high-performance formulas since 2016.


So, if you’re looking to introduce The Ordinary skin care products into your routine, read on for a detailed guide on the best The Ordinary products for your skin type. Plus, we hear the top tips from Cult Concierge expert {Kimberley} on how to use and layer them.



Whether you’ve got oily, acne-prone or dry skin, discover the formulas you need to add to your routine, pronto, with our guide on the best products from The Ordinary.



This potent serum is a life-saver for acne-prone skin. Powered by niacinamide and zinc, this iconic duo work in harmony to battle breakouts, blemishes and enlarged pores. They regulate sebum production and banish blemish-causing bacteria to soothe and clarify your complexion.


Offering extraordinary exfoliation to decongest pores and improve skin texture, The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a cult favourite. Powerful alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) exfoliate the topmost layer of skin to reveal your most radiant you, while beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) exfoliate deeper to clear out clogged pores.

-This product shouldn’t be applied to broken skin, which is often the case when breaking out, it would be more suitable for those prone to congestion, have an oilier skin type, and who want to prevent breakouts and blackheads, or have a dull or textured complexion. This product can be swapped with The Ordinary {Granactive Retinoid Serum 2%.}-


An acne-prone skin essential, this jelly-like mask works miracles on congested pores and blemishes. Enriched with acne’s worst enemy – salicylic acid – it effectively exfoliates dead cells on the skin’s surface and deep within your pores. Teamed with clarifying charcoal, your skin looks clearer, smoother and more radiant from the very first use.



If your skin is in desperate need of a hydration hit, turn to The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. Three types of hyaluronic acid – plus a boost of healing vitamin B5 – sink deep into your skin to offer instant hydration. Skin looks healthier and softer from the first application, not to mention visibly plumper and smoother too.

This revolutionary all-in-one treatment is the answer to all your dry skin woes. It’s packed with multiple peptides (including collagen-stimulating Matrixyl 3000 and hydrating hyaluronic acid), plus 11 skin-friendly amino acids that get to work nourishing, smoothing and brightening your skin.

Melt away the day with The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser. It gently removes make up and impurities without making skin feel tight or dried out. That’s because it’s enriched with squalane – a super-hydrating ingredient found naturally in our bodies. It mimics our skin’s natural oils to boost moisture and suppleness.



Brighter skin, minimised pores and more even tone – what’s not to love? The Ordinary have conjured up this multitasking miracle with the help of azelaic acid – a naturally-occurring acid found in grains. Acting as an antioxidant, it protects your skin from environmental aggressors, while soothing redness and banishing blemishes.

Glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) is a powerhouse ingredient for oily skin types. Because it helps regulate oil production and exfoliates dead skin cells, a few sweeps of this toner over your skin – morning and night – will soon unclog pores and refine your skin’s texture.

Retinoids are best-loved for their age-defying results, but they’re brilliant at accelerating cell turnover too. And The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Serum 2% is no different. Kickstarting the skin’s cell renewal process, The Ordinary retinol slays breakouts, blackheads* scarring and blemishes* texture, all while softening the appearance of wrinkles.


More suitable for breakout-prone skin can swap for AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution



  1. Firstly, you’ll want to identify your skin type, plus any concerns you have.
  2. Then you can select the treatments that work best for your skin. You can always read our {A-Z guide on The Ordinary} products if you need a hand with this.
  3. It’s best to always start your routine with a cleanser (we’ll get into how to layer The Ordinary products later)
  4. If using serums, 2–3 drops should be all you need.
  5. For any creams, use a pea-sized amount for your face and neck.
  6. Make sure you massage or pat each product into your skin before moving on to the next step.
  7. You shouldn’t need to use more than 3 serums in one routine.
  8. Check when’s best to use your products (AM, PM or both) and how frequently (daily, weekly)
  9. Patch test and introduce one new product at a time



Follow this fool-proof, step-by-step guide to building your own personalised The Ordinary skin care routine.


  1. Start with your fave cleanser.
  2. Follow with a water-based solution (like {The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5} or {The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%])
  3. Massage in a small amount of eye serum.
  4. Now’s the time to apply any anhydrous solutions (for example: {The Ordinary Salicylic Anhydrous 2% Solution})
  5. If you want to use any oil treatments (this might be something like {The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil}) then massage those in now.
  6. Choose a moisturiser that suits your skin type and massage it in.
  7. Time for suspensions. These look like {The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension} and {The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension Cream}. *Suspensions go after water-based serums and before moisturiser
  8. Finish with an SPF (we love {The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30}), before applying your fave The Ordinary Foundation. Check out our guide to The Ordinary Foundation shades to find your perfect colour match.




Cult Beauty

Cult Beauty

Writer and expert