August 04, 2017

The Ordinary: Serums

PSA: DECIEM, the umbrella brand of The Ordinary, offers worldwide shipping (except to mainland China, more details below). International Shipping (which includes the Philippines) is done through BPost, with a shipping fee of 38 USD. A minimum of 250 USD is needed to qualify for free shipping.

Residents in the Philippines can also try ordering The Ordinary via

Looking for Cheaper Alternatives

A while back, I tried out Glossier's The Super Pack. Each bottle of serum emptied exactly a month after first use (I was using them daily), which means that I would have to subscribe to their Never-Run-Out Service if I want to add the products to my daily routine. That's $65 every month with no discount at all (the only perk is that you get free shipping, but they offer free shipping on their one-time products anyway), and I'm not willing to spend that much on one brand alone. Besides, nothing remarkable happened to my skin after a month's worth of using those serums. Lugi.

Some of my friends suggested that I try out The Ordinary, as it is known for providing cheaper skincare alternatives. I've heard about it from Wayne Goss, when he featured its foundation on his vlog.

Who wouldn't be hyped up after seeing how enthusiastic he is in the video??

Shortly after Wayne Goss' video was published, The Ordinary's stock has run low, so I had to wait a while before I was able to purchase stuff to try out.

Minimalist Aesthetic, Practical Packaging


When my package arrived, I noticed immediately the simplicity of the packaging. The boxes are colored white with black sans-serif text; any accents are colored silver/gray. The bottles are frosted to give a look of elegance, but still enabled the consumer to see the contents. Any opaque and/or darkened packaging has a purpose (as there are some serums that should not be exposed to ultraviolet light), which is also indicated in the labels.

As per website, all DECIEM products (including The Ordinary) do not test on animals. Because of this, they do not ship to mainland China; part of registration there includes animal testing.

TIP: For those who are against animal testing on cosmetic products, one indicator if a brand is TRULY cruelty-free is whether or not they ship to mainland China. If they do, then they are not 100% cruelty-free.

Product Feedback

Disclaimer: Prior to using The Ordinary serums, I've been using a couple of products I've already been hiyang to: Differin Gel as acne treatment, and Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner as toner. My skin has cleared up significantly compared to the time I was using Glossier, but I still have blemish marks to remove, thus my decision to try out another brand of serums. 

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 

Glossier price (i.e. Super Bounce): $28/15mL | The Ordinary price: $6.80/30mL

Right of the bat, you can see that The Ordinary offers more product at a lesser price.

A Hydration Support Formula with Ultra-Pure, Vegan Hyaluronic Acid
The Ordinary has a ton of useful information on their product website. What I like the most is that they are able to explain the difference of their formulation, as compared to other skin products. Case in point (this came from their website):
Note: Hyaluronic Acid is found in the skin naturally but its natural function within the skin is not hydration. Many products have used HA to claim hydration benefits, but HA is too large of a molecule to penetrate the skin and instead sits on the surface and can draw moisture out of the skin making the surface feel soft and hydrated temporarily, while making you feel like you need more HA after the product is rinsed. This formula uses three forms of HA with varying molecular weights, as well as an HA crosspolymer, to offer multi-depth hydration and visible plumping without drawing water out of the skin solely to improve temporary surface hydration.
Consistency-wise, I honestly think that Glossier's Super Bounce is better as it applies more smoothly. The Ordinary's serum has a stickier consistency, which has the tendency to become tacky before you are able to spread it completely on your face.

Regardless, I can say that The Ordinary serum is effective in providing moisture to my face, especially now that I'm using an exfoliating gel. The dry, scaly patches around my mouth and nose diminished within a week of using the serum, without counteracting Differin's exfoliating properties.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Glossier price (i.e. Super Pure): $28/15mL | The Ordinary price: $5.90/30mL

High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula

I've changed my routine to use this serum in the evening (contrary to what is written in the product website), but as precaution I still don't layer this serum with a Vitamin C serum.

Consistency-wise, there's not much difference compared to Glossier's Super Pure.  As for efficacy, I expect that it would take time to see significant results, as I imagine that lightening skin blemishes isn't an overnight feat. As long as this works with my Differin (and it does), I'll keep on investing in it.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%

Glossier price (i.e. Super Glow): $28/15mL | The Ordinary price: $9.60/30mL

This isn't an exact equivalent of Glossier's Super Glow, as this comes in a light cream form instead of a serum.

A Brightening Hydrator with Stabilized Vitamin C Derivative

The Ordinary offers several Vitamin C formulations, depending on packaging, texture, potency, stinging level, absorption and cost. I chose this one as this contains Magnesium like Glossier, just to have a point of comparison. Next time, however, I'm considering trying out the other formulations as I'm having difficulties dispensing a proper amount of product from this tube.

Because this product comes in an opaque tube, I cannot monitor how much is left, compared to the other serums. Also, since I am still wearing moisturizer on top of this cream, and THEN I also have to wear sunscreen if I'm going out, I have a feeling that not all of these products will get absorbed into my skin, consequently losing effectiveness throughout the day.

I apply this in the morning, as I've read somewhere that Vitamin C boosts the UVB protection of sunscreen.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

(No Glossier equivalent) The Ordinary price: $6.70/30mL

Reduces Appearance of Eye Contour Pigmentation and of Puffiness

DECIEM's minimum for free shipping to the US is $25, so I bought this eye serum in order to reach the amount. I really don't mind, since I'm out of eye care products anyway.

I don't have bad under-eye circles or visible wrinkles; nothing that concealer can't fix. My eyes do tend to get puffy, especially in the mornings and whenever I get nasal allergies. Since using the product, I do notice that my eyes don't get that much puffy in the morning, and that I do look more awake throughout the day. 30mL is a LOT of product too, as I only use a drop per application. This will last me the rest of the year.

Final Verdict

As these serums contain twice more product than Glossier, I think that this will last me two months, at more than half the cost. That's a lot of savings!

Also, even though there are initial challenges when applying the serums, I believe that daily application will result in me getting better in portioning the product (as well as applying it). Give me a couple of weeks, and I'm sure that putting on these products on my face will be second nature.

Since I don't see this as becoming a monthly investment, I'm more open to repurchasing The Ordinary products, as well as exploring other stuff from DECIEM.

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