The ‘Not So’ Ordinary…………..Retinoid 5% in Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid 2%+B5 & ‘Buffet’.

Hi Everyone,

I have been going through the menopause for the past two years and my skin has started to age and dry out quite quickly as a result. I’m trying to avoid the botox needle at all costs because, I hate seeing that unnatural plumped frozen look. Its terrible and very obvious.

Therefore; my quest is to find affordable skin care treatments that actually work at reducing lines, plumping skin and giving my skin back its dewiness.

I think i may have cracked it this time.

I had read about The Ordinary brand last year and tbh, didn’t think it was going to be that great. I mean 30ml of products ranging from £4.50- £12.00. Each product consisting of literally only a couple of main ingredients and one or two minor ones. Could it work?

The Ordinary (The Abnormal Beauty Company).

The Ordinary’s ethos is, clinical formulations with integrity.

The brand says:

All DECIEM products, across all brands including The Ordinary, are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone.

The Product.

The Ordinary is a spin off from its parent brand Deciem skincare. Partially owned Canadian brand by Brandon Truaxe and Pasquale Cusano.

Their ideas are ingenius. ‘Build your own skincare’ at very affordable prices. This way you get to control what is going on your face.

Each product has a high concentration of one/two ingredients and you can wear up to 3 types of products at a time. Water bases first, followed by oil bases. The website gives a full rundown of how to use them if your not sure.

The products are cruelty free and mostly vegan, nut free, gluten free and free of parabens and silicon.

I am completely smitten!

I will concentrate on the first 3 products i have bought and used.

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane.

Retinol is the buzz word in skincare at the moment. You want a product to target acne scaring and uneven skin surface, uneven colour and ageing, this is for you. Retinol itself is known for harsh side effects to the skin and induces peeling and redness.

Granactive Retinoid is shown to be even more effective at targeting the signs of ageing without the harsh side effects.

The bottles all contain a pipette, because most of them are serums. It makes it easier to use.

I have been using this every other night for the past two weeks and already my skin is feeling so much softer and plumper without any irritation or breakouts at all.

I have only needed to use a few drops. It dries down within a couple of minutes. For me personally, i have not needed to add another moisturiser under or over it. I find its enough.

I have noticed especially, the marionette lines have faded quite considerably as have my forehead lines but my uneven skin tone is still noticeable.

It is two weeks in so, i will report back at a future date to give my full verdict.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5.

Contains low, medium and high molecular weight to support hydration at a deeper tissue level as opposed to drawing water out of the skin to the skin surface, as many HA’s do. B5 also supports hydration on the surface of the skin.

There are more complex versions of this from NIOD, another brand from Deciem but i find this one is great on my skin.

I use this every other morning under my moisturizer. It is fantastic because it sinks right into my skin and acts as a nice all round serum without affecting my moisturiser or making my skin greasy. It does not disrupt my makeup in any way either.

The main difference i have noticed is, when i wear makeup all day, my lines become more prominent towards the end of the day. This hasn’t been happening when i have been using this serum.

This does feel sticky when first applied but dries down really quickly. Patting onto skin is the best way to apply.


One of the brands top sellers. I had read so many positive reviews i had to buy it.

Multi Technology Peptide Serum. Referred to as ‘Buffet’ because a lot of other brands more expensive products have described their ingredient list like it was a buffet you eat, which TO finds distasteful.

This one targets the various signs of ageing and matrixyl promotes firmness in the skin. For full effect, it is to be used alternatevly with the Vit C and direct acids. I am guessing this will target dullness and skin discolouration.

I use this every other day as a serum and again, it is fantastic under makeup.

The Pro’s and Cons. 

Great skincare at a very low price.

No chunky jars.

Can target your own personal skin care needs.

No unneccessary ingredients.

Good for all skin types.

No fragrance in the products which is noticeable.

Company has great integrity.

Can ‘pill’ if you apply too much.

Some products start off sticky but soon dry down.

No products in this line for eyes alone.

Simple packaging.

Final Thoughts.

I have found that most of The Ordinary products i have bought, have done wonders for my skin in just over 2 weeks. My skin has never looked so fresh, healthy, plumped and the lines have diminished.

There has been no irritation or break outs..

Its actually hard to believe that i have been spending £70+ on one product in the past, i now spend roughly £25 on just 3 products that target all my concerns.

Don’t get me wrong i still love my Estée Lauder ANR and Dior Capture Totale Eye and will continue to use them; however, i have to be a bit smarter about spending money on non-proven clinical skincare.

Take care and i will see you all soon. 😉

Brandon has recently closed Deciem down temporarily, citing financial irregularities. There are many concerns about his current mental health. I am not about politics and can only wish him well. He needs compassion and understanding at this time.  Estée Lauder own a 28% stake in Deciem and have called in their lawyers to re-instate ex. co CEO Nicola Kilner as sole CEO. There are 450 jobs worldwide at risk so this is very understandable. The Ordinary is still available to purchase at time of printing.