(Before we get into this, I am by no means a dermatologist and the below information is from my own exhaustive Googling and personal experience as a skincare lover. I encourage you to do a little research of your own before putting anything new onto your skin as you may have allergies or sensitivities as I do with various products.)
Serums serums serums. Many people don’t know what they are, how to use them or if they even need them. On top of those frequent questions, a typical serum at Sephora or Nordstrom will run you anywhere from $50 – $200 which automatically puts them on the chopping block for a lot of casual skincare users. I myself only got into the serum game about two years ago and am still constantly learning.
From what I have gathered through my exhaustive Google investigations and personal experience, serums are the heavy hitter products. Serums are jam packed with teeny tiny molecules that can penetrate your skin on a deeper level than a moisturizer can whether that be for hydration, exfoliation, anti-aging or acne prevention. You should be applying your serums after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing. For best results, take 2 – 4 drops of serum on your fingertips, warm it up by rubbing your hands together and then gently press the product into your skin. Give the serum a minute or two to really sink in before following up with your day or night time moisturizers.
Now that a basic knowledge of serums is out of the way, today’s post is about The Ordinary. Like I said earlier, most serums will run you in the mid to very expensive range…UNTIL The Ordinary came along and changed the game. The UK has been spoiled with The Ordinary for much longer than we have as they just recently launched on Beautylish for the first time in America. All of The Ordinary’s serums run between $5 – $20. Yes you read that correctly, a serum in the single digits price range. Just because these wonders are cheap in price does not mean they are cheap in quality. I’ve been using my The Ordinary serums for over a month now and I can honestly say I like them just as much, if not more than my expensive serums. I use them on a daily basis depending on what my skin is needing and I’ve found they really do deliver on what they promise.
At first glance, the names of The Ordinary serums sound scientific and intimidating but do no fret, I am here to help break it down. A little Googling goes a long way in finding out what each active ingredient is actually doing for your skin. I figure if you (like me) actually care about your skin enough to be venturing into serums, you should be Googling what the ingredients are anyways. You’ll find many of the expensive serums on the market all have these exact same ingredients but at a much higher price point. It really pays off to do your homework and find out what you need, what you want, and what you’re getting in your skincare products.
Below are the five serums from The Ordinary I have been using, testing and loving over the past four weeks.
- Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% ($6.50) // Lactic acid is an exfoliant that helps to break down and remove dead skin cells. This serum does the same basic work of an exfoliant face scrub but in serum form. I went for the 5% rather than the 10% because I’ve been known to be extra sensitive to acidic skincare products. After four weeks, so far so good! No rashes or sensitivities which is A+ for me. I use this one every three days or so as a part of my night time routine. (As a note, anything acidic may may you more sensitive when out in the sun so this is your 1000th reminder to WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY.)
- Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA ($8.90) // The primary purpose of the alpha arbutin serum is to help fade hyperpigmentation (acne scars, melasma, dark spots, aging, etc.). I have a bit of acne scaring along my cheeks from picking at my skin throughout my early 20s so I’ve been using this every other night to help fade them.
- Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80) // This is my favorite serum of the bunch. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is your best moisturizing friend. This stuff keeps you hydrated, plump and fresh looking all year long. Compared to the other serums, this one is fairly thicker in texture and I highly suggest giving it a minute or so to fully sink in before applying your next product. You can use this both morning and night but I’ve found I use it in the morning in combination with the ascorbyl glucoside serum below to pack a real one two punch before moisturizer and makeup.
- Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% ($12.90) // Ascorbyl glucoside is essentially Vitamin C in serum form. This serum helps to brighten your complexion and can be applied both morning and night. Like I said above, I like using the AGS in conjunction with the HA + B5 to hydrate and brighten my skin before applying makeup in the morning.
- Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% ($5.90) // Last but certainly not least, the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Both niacinamide and zinc are found in a lot of acne prevention products which is exactly what this serum is geared toward. I like to take a few drops of this as a part of my night time routine and gently pat it into my skin wherever I’m having a breakout or blemish so it can work overnight to tone my skin down by the morning.
There you have it, the new five serums that have made their way into my daily and weekly skincare routine. There are so many more serums to explore in The Ordinary’s line but these are the few that made the final cut in my personal skincare shelf. For more info on each particular serum, check out this guide that The Ordinary made detailing ingredients, application and skincare concern.
As always, wishing you clear AF skin for all of your days.