The Ordinary – A Recommended Routine For Every Skin Type

(This post is not an ad, sponsored or paid for and does not contain any affiliate links. All products sent for review unless otherwise stated.)
Ever since The Ordinary launched my number one question is now “what should I buy?”. People are excited and somewhat confused, which I can completely understand. Choosing the right products for your skin type and needs can be a daunting task, especially when there are so many options. In the beginning it was pretty easy since there were only ten products, but now there are almost forty (with more on the way), so it has become even harder to not only know which ones to buy, but how to use them. I wanted to create this guide of recommended regimens and example routines in the hopes that in addition to my review, it will make it as easy as possible to use these products and get the most out of them.

Before we begin, it is very important to note that everyone’s skin is unique and will react differently to the exact same products or ingredients. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” product and these regimens are recommendations, not guarantees. Taking care of your skin is a process and results require consistency and patience, and in a lot of cases, simplicity. Even though there are a lot of products in this range, you do not need them all. I would suggest starting with around 5-7 depending on your skin type and recording your routines to track the effects before adding more.

Even though each skin type will require a different set of products to maintain a healthy dermis, there are some ingredients that I believe everyone could benefit from. Of course, sunscreen should be a priority as sun damage can cause a variety of issues both long term and short, as well as antioxidants, retinoids/retinols and moisturizing factors that support barrier function. These ingredients form the basis of a good “all-round” routine that should keep the skin healthy and able to protect and repair itself effectively.

I know many of you have only discovered Deciem since The Ordinary launch, so I want to point out that their other skincare line, NIOD, has brilliant products. Some of them will be mentioned here and I highly recommend you check them out. The Ordinary doesn’t have it all (yet), so if you’re looking for a complete Deciem routine, NIOD will definitely help fill in the gaps.

The Routines

In general, typical skincare routines look like this:

Morning: – Cleanse, NIOD SDSM and CAIS (if you use them), toner, water-based serums, emulsions, creams/balms/oil, sunscreen/primer.

Evening: – Double cleanse, NIOD SDSM and CAIS (if you use them), exfoliating toner or retinol, water-based serums, emulsions, creams/oils/balms.

Of course, this is not set in stone and depends on the texture of the products you are using (see The Ordinary – How To Create A Skincare Routine for more information on this) and some products are to be used twice daily, others just a few times a week and some just once a week, so please read all instructions carefully and again, keep an eye on how your skin is reacting.

Acne-Prone Skin

The goal of this routine is to calm inflammation, support a healthy functioning skin barrier, balance oil production, heal blemishes (including red marks/scarring) and prevent new ones from forming. Hydration is extremely important for compromised (acne prone) skin and improving barrier function will help it to heal and protect itself from infections and bacteria that lead to inflammation and blemishes.

Morning:

Evening:

Extras: Salicylic Acid 2% Solution to spot treat, NIOD FM as an anti-inflammatory masque and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% if it does not cause irritation as an alternative antioxidant product to EUK 134 0.1%.

Dry/Dehydrated Skin

Obviously with this skin type the goal is keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized. Each step does exactly that and should help the skin stay plump, smooth and soft.

Morning:

Evening:

Extras: Buffet if wrinkles are a dry skin side effect and AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution as a weekly treatment.

Oily/Combination Skin

With oily or combination skin the most important thing is balance. These products will help the skin regulate its oil production by providing it with the moisture and hydration it needs. The acids will help stop pores getting clogged by the excess oil and sebum.

Morning:

Evening:

Extras: Salicylic Acid 2% Solution or AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution as a weekly treatment.

Dull/Uneven/Hyperpigmented Skin

Improving dull skin takes time and patience, but this routine should help the skin shed it’s hyperpigmented cells revealing a bright, clear, uniform skin tone.

Morning:

Evening:

Extras: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution or Lactic Acid 10% + HA as a weekly treatment.

Sensitive Skin (including Rosacea)

With sensitive skin the important thing is to support a healthy barrier function that will protect it from adverse reactions and keep it calm and balanced.

Morning:

Evening:

Extras: EUK 134 0.1% or Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% for some antioxidant protection if your skin can handle it.

Mature Skin

Mature skin needs lots of hydration and targeted treatments to keep skin smooth, soft and youthful, which is exactly what these products should help you achieve.

Morning:

Evening:

Extras: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution or Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% as weekly treatments and Argireline Solution 10% for deep wrinkles.

Normal Skin

If you have normal skin you’ll find that your skin functions very well most of the time, rarely breaks out, heals itself quickly and is generally balanced and hydrated. Because of this you don’t need an overly complicated routine, just some basics to support the equilibrium with some extras to tackle any issues you may have like sun damage, on set of fine lines or wrinkles or hormonal congestion.

Morning:

Evening:

Extras: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution and/or any of the targets treatments mentioned above that suit your needs.

As I said earlier, skincare is not an exact science and your skin may react exactly as it should or not at all. These recommendations are a guide to help you choose the right products for you, but once you have them, it’s important you track how your skin responds and adjust accordingly. You might find you like using an ingredient more or less or some products might work really well and others not at all. The beauty of The Ordinary is that you can mix and match the products to create a routine that is perfectly tailored to you with ingredients that will address your specific issues. Don’t be afraid to experiment (with caution) and really try to discover what your skin responds to so you can be a more informed consumer.

If you would like to read more about The Ordinary then check out my other two articles:

The Ordinary – The Definitive Review

The Ordinary – How To Create A Skincare Routine

Arly

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127 thoughts on “The Ordinary – A Recommended Routine For Every Skin Type

  1. Hi. I can’t get Azelaic Acid working for me. It’s piling and rolling. Please help me. I’m 38 years old, particular skin concerns are oily, pigmentation and acne scars. This is my routine..

    AM

    Cleanse
    NIOD SDSM
    Caffeine Solution
    Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
    Alpha Arbutin
    Niacinamide
    Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution
    Azelaic Acid Suspension
    Sunscreen

    PM;

    Double Cleanse
    NIOD SDSM and CAIS
    Caffeine Solution
    Balancing Toner
    Hyaluronic Acid
    Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% mix with Vitamin C Suspension 23%
    Advanced Retinoid 2%
    100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

    Extras: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution or Lactic Acid 10% + HA as a weekly treatment.

    Like

    1. Hi Leen,

      With AA 10% it’s important to make sure that whatever you use beforehand has completely absorbed/dry and then you don’t use too much or it will roll off the skin. Your routine looks fine, so keep it up and let me know how you get on. ❤

      Like

  2. When I use the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, once a week in the evening… do I use my evening daily usuals like the Hyaluronic Acid 2% and the Niaviamide 10% after I wash off the AHA? Or do I just use a light moisturizer like the Azelaic Acid or my CeraVe p.m.?

    Like

    1. You can use your normal routine as long as it doesn’t include exfoliating acids like glycolic, salicylic etc because that would be too much for the skin. HA and Niacinamide is fine and you can use whatever moisturizer.

      Like

  3. I am currently following your oily/combination routine. I was wondering if i were to use Salicylic Acid 2% Solution or AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, where do I fit it into the regiment.

    Like

    1. The salicylic acid is used as a spot treatment as described in the articles so after cleansing and toning and then the Peeling Solution goes after cleansing and before everything else. There is another article that explains the steps, so please check that out. ❤

      Like

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