Mastering Your Glow: A Step-by-Step Guide to The Ordinary Skincare Routine


In the realm of beauty and skincare, few brands have stirred as much buzz as The Ordinary. Known for its integrity, transparency, and wallet-friendly prices, The Ordinary has become a beacon for skincare enthusiasts who crave simplicity and efficacy in their beauty routines. This revolutionary brand strips back the unnecessary frills and focuses on high-quality ingredients that deliver results.

The Ordinary’s philosophy is rooted in honesty, fighting against the notion that good skincare must be overpriced and overcomplicated. With its straightforward product names that tell you exactly what’s inside, The Ordinary has made it easier for consumers to understand what they are applying to their skin and why.

But even with such simplicity, navigating the plethora of options can be overwhelming. That’s where this guide comes in, offering a comprehensive approach to building a skincare routine with The Ordinary’s products, tailored to your unique skin needs. Let’s embark on a journey to unlock the full potential of your skin’s health and radiance.

Understanding Your Skin Type

The first step in any skincare routine is to understand the canvas you’re working with—your skin. Identifying your skin type is crucial because it influences every other decision in your skincare regimen. The Ordinary’s range caters to all skin types, ensuring that whether your skin is as dry as a desert or as oily as a well-seasoned pan, there’s a solution for you.

The Different Skin Types:

  • Normal Skin: This type is the ‘Goldilocks’ of skin textures—not too oily, not too dry, and with few blemishes. It’s all about maintenance and protection for this skin type.
  • Oily Skin: Characterized by excess shine and a greasy feel, oily skin is prone to acne and large pores. Look for products that regulate sebum production without stripping the skin.
  • Dry Skin: If your skin often feels tight and you spot flakes more often than not, you have dry skin. Hydration and rich moisturizing ingredients are your best friends.
  • Combination Skin: With dry and oily patches, combination skin requires a balancing act to manage different areas effectively.
  • Sensitive Skin: Reactive and prone to redness or irritation, sensitive skin needs gentle, soothing ingredients to calm and protect.

To determine your skin type, cleanse your face and wait for about an hour without applying any products. Then, observe how your skin feels and looks, particularly in different areas of your face.

Mastering Your Glow: A Step-by-Step Guide to The Ordinary Skincare Routine

The Core Components of The Ordinary Skincare Routine

Creating a skincare routine with The Ordinary is like building a culinary masterpiece from a well-stocked pantry. You have all the ingredients at your disposal; it’s just about combining them correctly.

Cleansing: Starting with a Clean Slate

The foundation of any skincare routine is cleansing. The Ordinary offers cleansers like the Squalane Cleanser, a gentle, moisturizing formula that removes makeup and daily grime without compromising the skin’s natural barrier.

Toning: The Balancing Act

After cleansing, a toner can help to further purify and prep your skin. The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution provides mild exfoliation to refine skin texture and reduce dullness.

Serums: Potent Actives for Targeted Concerns

This is where The Ordinary truly shines. Their range of serums addresses various skin concerns:

  • For Hydration: The Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a hydration powerhouse, drawing moisture into the skin.
  • For Acne-Prone Skin: Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% balances sebum activity and reduces blemishes.
  • For Anti-Aging: The “Buffet” serum combines peptides and amino acids to target multiple signs of aging at once.

The Ordinary Regimen for Morning

Your morning routine sets the stage for your skin to face the day’s environmental stressors.

  1. Cleanse with a gentle formula to remove any overnight buildup.
  2. Tone to refresh your skin and ensure it’s perfectly prepped for the next steps.
  3. Apply a serum such as the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 for deep hydration.
  4. Use a vitamin C product like The Ordinary’s Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% to brighten and protect against free radical damage.
  5. Moisturize with a product like The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA to lock in moisture and strengthen the skin barrier.
  6. Sunscreen is your final and most crucial step. A broad-spectrum SPF will protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, preventing premature aging and maintaining overall skin health.
Mastering Your Glow: A Step-by-Step Guide to The Ordinary Skincare Routine

The Ordinary Regimen for Evening

Evening routines focus on repair and rejuvenation, as this is when your skin naturally goes into recovery mode.

  1. Cleanse thoroughly to ensure all makeup and sunscreen are removed.
  2. Tone as in the morning to maintain skin pH and remove any residual impurities.
  3. Apply an exfoliating serum with AHAs or BHAs, like The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 5% + HA, to gently exfoliate and renew the skin surface.
  4. On alternate nights, use a retinoid such as The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion to support skin renewal and combat signs of aging.
  5. Moisturize generously. Nighttime is when your skin can handle richer textures, so opt for something like The Ordinary’s 100% Plant-Derived Squalane for extra nourishment.

Weekly Treatments and Extras

Incorporating specialized treatments into your skincare routine can address specific concerns and enhance your skin’s overall health. The Ordinary provides options that can be used weekly to give your skin an extra boost.

Exfoliation: Why, When, and How

Exfoliation is crucial for removing dead skin cells that can clog pores and leave the skin looking dull. The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a potent blend that exfoliates at multiple levels of the skin. Use it once a week to unveil a brighter and more even complexion. Apply to a clean, dry face, leave on for no more than 10 minutes, and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Masks and Peels for Deeper Skin Concerns

For those seeking deeper treatment, The Ordinary offers masks like the Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, which targets lackluster tone and textural irregularities. Apply a thin layer on the face using fingertips, avoiding the eye area, and leave on for no more than 10 minutes before rinsing off.

Additional Products for Enhanced Results

Consider adding antioxidants like The Ordinary’s Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% to your weekly routine. These can be used either in the morning or evening and can help fortify your skin against environmental stressors.

Tips for Maximizing The Ordinary Skincare Routine

To get the most out of your The Ordinary skincare routine, it’s important to use the products correctly.

Combining Products: Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do research which products can be used together. For instance, hyaluronic acid can be combined with almost any other product.
  • Don’t mix niacinamide with vitamin C, as they can negate each other’s effectiveness.

Layering Products Effectively

  • Apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency to ensure proper absorption.
  • Wait a minute or two between each product application to allow each layer to fully absorb.

Addressing Common Mistakes in Skincare Routines

  • Over-exfoliation can lead to irritation and sensitivity. Limit acid use to a few times a week and always follow with sunscreen during the day.
  • Using too many active ingredients at once can overwhelm the skin. Start with a simple routine and gradually introduce new products.

FAQs About The Ordinary Skincare Routine

Here are some common questions about The Ordinary skincare routines:

How to Adjust the Routine for Different Climates or Seasons?

  • In dryer climates or seasons, increase hydration with heavier moisturizers and more frequent use of hyaluronic acid.
  • In more humid climates or seasons, you may need to lighten up on moisturizing products and increase exfoliation to manage excess oil.

Product Shelf Life and Storage Tips?

  • Most products have a shelf life of 6-12 months after opening. Check the period-after-opening symbol on the packaging.
  • Store products in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to preserve their efficacy.
Mastering Your Glow: A Step-by-Step Guide to The Ordinary Skincare Routine


The Ordinary has democratized skincare, making it accessible and understandable. With this guide, you’re equipped to navigate their range of products and create a routine that caters to your skin’s unique needs. Remember, skincare is personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s all about listening to your skin and adjusting accordingly.

The beauty of The Ordinary lies in its simplicity and effectiveness, allowing you to take control of your skincare journey. So, whether you’re a seasoned skincare aficionado or a curious newcomer, embrace the process and enjoy the radiant results.

Kelly Rodriguez
Kelly Rodriguez
Where Sophistication and Style Meet.

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