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4:46 PM

What if I told you that you could purchase skincare that was:
  1. Free of: parabens, sulphates, mineral and animal oils, dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, and oxybenzone
  2. Cruelty-free
  3. Filled with the same ingredients included in most luxury skincare products (Retinol, AHA and BHA, hyaluronic acid, etc)
  4. Carefully formulated by a team of chemists and biochemists to develop formulas to effectively target specific skincare issues
You would be intrigued, right? But you would say, "of course, Madison. Haven't you ever heard of LE MER?!?"

Well, what if I told you that all of the products in this line cost less than $20, with the majority costing under $10? 

You would probably call me a liar. But, baby, I'm not lying. Welcome to the Ordinary.

The Ordinary is a Canadian brand (a part of the DECIEM group of companies). This (wordy) quote from founder Brandon Truaxe sums up the philosophy behind the brand: "We created The Ordinary because brands, big and small, continue to disguise commodity for ingenuity through creative use of packaging, communication and pricing. No one in the world of vitamins can charge $300 for a tin of vitamin A tablets because that industry comes with more transparency but you can easily find virtually the same formulations ranging from $5 to $500+ in the world of beauty." (article)

Translation: Big brands can charge a lot for their products because they claim they have "innovative technologies" and also rely heavily on marketing, which results in high price points. However, most of the ingredients don't actually cost that much. The Ordinary prides themselves on providing "skincare with integrity" and not overcharging people.

Now, this is not an ad. I was just honestly so intrigued by this brand from the moment I heard of them, that I felt the need to share with you a little bit of their back story.

Now, for the products. Through their website, the Ordinary's products fall under eight different categories: Retinoids, Vitamin C, Direct Acids, Antioxidents, Hydrators and Oils, More Molecules, Sun Care and Colours (foundations and primers). While the sheer amount of products they offer (and their scientific names) may seem overwhelming at first, a click on each product will provide a detailed description. The website also provides a "Regimen Guide" for all of their products, which breaks down when you should use the products (AM/PM/Both) and in which order, depending on the products you already have in your skincare routine.

So far, I've tried four products from the Ordinary. Three skincare, one foundation.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% and the Serum Foundation. Today I'll be discussing my experience with the first three items, and leave the foundation review for a future post.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5 ($6.80 cdn, 30 ml)
This "Hydration Support Formula with Ultra-Pure, Vegan Hyaluronic Acid" is supposed to keep skin hydrated. I've tried products with hyaluronic acid in the past and have enjoyed them, so I thought this would be a good place to start. I've been using this serum consistently in the evenings for the last couple of weeks, prior to applying a night cream, and I honestly don't know if it's making a difference, but, my skin is looking hydrated and clear, so that's a good sign, right? The product itself is clear and quite liquidy, and is a bit sticky upon application, eventually sinking into the skin. For the price, I am not mad at it, and will continue to work this into my skincare routine.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% (12.90 cdn, 30ml)
While it has a fancy, dancy name, this is essentially a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C helps to brighten skin and reduce signs of aging. If you read the description of this product, it outlines the science behind it, but all I can tell you is that I like it. I've been using it in the evenings and I think it's helping to speed up the healing of my acne scars. My skin just looks better lately, and I'm going to attribute at least a little bit of it to this. Again, it's quite a sticky formula and doesn't smell the nicest, but for $13? I'll take a little tackiness. I would just avoid putting makeup on directly after application.

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA ($7.70 CDN, 30ml): 
This product is the Ordinary's example of a daily moisturizer. It's a "non-greasy" cream which comes in a tube, as opposed to a dropper bottle. The directions say "apply after serums for needed surface hydration," so that's what I've been doing. But to be honest, I'm not a total fan of this one as a daily moisturizer. It really seems to sit on top of the skin, instead of absorbing. I have been enjoying it as a night cream, though.

Total cost, shipping and delivery: I ordered these four products off the Ordinary's website, for a total of $37.03 CDN on August 4th, 2017. I selected free Standard Shipping. I received a shipping notification on August 11, and it was delivered on August 15th via Canada Post. It came nicely packaged, and the packaging itself is great.

Overall thoughts: While every product I tried wasn't a smash hit, I am so glad I learned about the Ordinary (thanks to the Glowing Up Podcast Facebook Group!) and look forward to trying more products. And the best part? It won't break the bank. As a 26-year-old with a low-to-average income, I really appreciate the philosophy behind the brand.

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