The Ordinary review part 1 – Hyaluronic acid, Lactic acid 5%, Niacinamide & Zinc

Not sponsored. All the thoughts and opinions in my posts are my own at the moment. The posts and reviews aren’t sponsored yet and the links I share aren’t affiliate links yet. For the case IF I’ll mark the sponsored/affiliate content.

Special thank to user from Pixabay for amazing free picture: Gustavo Ferreira Gustavo.


Few words at the beginning

One of the readers of my blog asked me about two months, ago whether I do use The Ordinary and I wrote back that I’m going to write a post about in the next two months. Actually, I’ve been planning to write about The Ordinary for a long time and don’t want to wait any longer.
At first, I planned to write about the brand and my personal opinion of its cosmetics, but the variety is too big. There’re too many lines to try out and though I’ve been using The Ordinary since two years, I’m still not familiar with many of its lines. So, I decided to make a series of separate posts about only those products I’ve already used. In these posts I’m planning only to give my opinion about the products (how did it work for me and what I think about) and not a full review of each of them. There’re too many reviews about TO’s cosmetics, so I don’t think there’s a necessarity for this. And for a talk about the brand and my personal opinion about it I’m going to give in a conclusion at the end of the series.
But there’s a thing I do want to mention here, namely: the lines of TO. This is necessary to understand what’s a product, what to expect and how to use. The brand contains, as far as I know, eleven lines:

Antioxidants – some antioxidative serums,
Cleansers – squalan cleanser,
Colours – makeup foundations,
Direct Acids – inluding all the acids,
Hair Care – multi-peptide serum,
Hydrators and Oils – including moisturizers and cold pressed oils,
More Molecules – all the other treatments.
Peptides – anti-aging line,
Retinoids – retinol in several concentrations,
Suncare – sunscreens,
Vitamin C – including vitamin C in several varieties except of Pycnogenol which belongs to Antioxidants, though it is called a vitamin C serum.

I got familiar only with products from four lines till now, overall I’ve used seven products from TO and decided to choose three of them for this post.



Hydrators & Oils
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum



This was my very first acquaintance with TO and first hyaluronic acid serum at the same time. Somehow the big hype of this acid didn’t touch me for a while and because I simply didn’t want to give much money for a product I didn’t know, I decided to try it first from a cheaper brand.
I have to say, I like it that they put it not only in a glass, but also offer a pipette too. Not every brand, even from highends do this. Sometimes I find expensive serums in plastic bottles and without pipette.
The serum itself is unscented transparent gel in texture and thick enough in consistency not to run from fingers. Spreads well and leaves pleasant moisturizing and refreshing feelings. Absorbs quick. After absorbing, by thicker application leaves a tightening film on skin.

What should it do? – Deeply hydrate the skin. Key ingredient: hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid is wrongly called an acid, but it isn’t. It is more a substance which is found in a human body too. Its main task is to bind water and prohibit dehydration of cells, this is how I understand it. And because human body consists to 70 % of water, this is what makes HA so important for it. Because of its ability to bind more water than its weight, it is widely used in cosmetics for hydration. One of the specifics of HA is the weight of its molecule – it is too big for the skin to be absorbed, stays on the surface of the skin and can even draw water out from skin which can lead to dehydration. Nowadays it is possible to split the molecules to smaller sizes and create different kinds of HA for better absorbtion.

TO claims of using three kinds of HA for this serum low-, medium- and high weight molecules of HA for a multi-depth hydration. That means each of these three kinds of HA deliver moisture on other levels of the skin: on the surface and deeper. Further, this cocktail of HA is supported through vitamin B5 “which also enhances surface hydration”, says the brand.


My opinion:

First of all I like the consistency of this serum, it is not too watery, hence it is light to apply with hands. Absorbs quick, but not fully and leaves a film on the skin, which doesn’t feel unpleasant to me. The second thing I like is that the list of ingredients doesn’t contain silicones like some other HA serums. For me definitely a plus point as I dislike silicones in cosmetics. Yes, sometimes I find good stuff with silicones too, but it’s rather an exception.

As to it’s hydrating properties I find so far so good, makes the skin softer, smoother and gives some elasticity, helps against dehydration. Does not irritate the skin.

The low price is another plus point, if I think of what some other brands demand for a price. Furthermore, as I mentioned above, I find it good that they use glass bottles instead of plastic and a pipette for more comfortable applying.
The main Con I see in this serum is that it balls up. I joined to a discassion several months ago where some girls argued the TO serums simply pill from face. At that time I have already used some of TO serums and wrote back that I hadn’t such an experince. Well, this was right for the time before I started to use more acids in my care. When I added more acids, then it happened: the serums simply started to ball up. This made it problematically to apply makeup. Everything is rubbing from skin. F…! I cannot say what’s the reason for it.

Overall I liked this serum more than disliked so I purchased the second bottle. But because of the pilling effect I decided to look for some other serums with better compatibility with other cosmetics.

Recommendation: I think, everyone can use it without any concerns, so mild it is.



Direct Acids
Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%


One of my first acids. Key ingredient: Lactic acid plus hyaluronic acid.

Lactic acid belongs to alpha hydroxy acids alias AHA. AHAs are acids found mostly in fruits, vegetables or diary products like Lactic Acid, this is from where its name derives. AHAs are widely used in cosmetics for exfoliating reasons. They work on skin’s surface and peel dead cells off to stimulate cells renewal. Lactic Acid is one of the mildest acids under AHAs. It gently exfoliates, unclogs pores, removes black heads. Further it is a part of NMF (natural mosturizing factor) which can bind and hold water in the skin to protect from dehydration. Using of Lactic Acid helps to improve skin’s texture and complexion and because of its gentlness it’s suitable for sensitive skin too.

This exfoliator contains Lactic acid of 5% concentration, but the brand offers also a stronger formulation of 10% LA. To calm inflammation or other irritations caused through exfoliation, TO uses Tasmanian Pepperberry derivatives. Hyaluronuc acid of 2% concentration cares for more hydration. TO suggests to use it once per day and dilute with other treatments to reduce strength until skin develops tolerance. Main tasks: mild exfoliation, improving skin’s texture, reducing of pigmentation, stimulation of cell renewall through removing dead cells from skin’s surface.


My opinion:

The serum is of light peach colour and watery consistency. Smells a bit of vinegar. Applies well, leaves a thin film on the skin’s surface. After applying I had a feeling something between tingling and burninng for 10-15 minutes.

I used it in two ways: 1. Solo on cleaned dry skin till morning; 2. applied solo on cleaned dry skin for 1-2 hours and then rinsed off and applied my usual care. I never diluted it with other treatments I use, simply because it isn’t the way I like. And I never used it every day, in my opinion this is too much and can lead to irritations.

Peels off the skin mild, but not gently. After 2-3 months of usage of 2-3 times a week, I have to say that my skin didn’t get used to it. During every applying the skin turned red and got small pimples (the good thing is that they disappeared quick). The serum felt very unpleasant on skin. The effect I got were glass-like smoothness and very tightened skin. I really disliked this feeling so much that I don’t use it anymore, though I have used only half of the bottle. And don’t want to try the 10% version, though it was planned. Plus points: it really improves skin’s complexion and reduces breakouts a little bit.

Recommendation: This stuff is not my cup of tea, but what did not suit me can be perfect for others. Thank to its low price evryone can try it and maybe someone can find his solution.



More Molecules
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%


This serum I bought only to treat my breakouts. I read a lot of reviews before and watched many vids on youtube before I decided finally to purchase this treatment. I have mixed feelings for this serum.
The serum’s key ingredient is Niacinamide aka vitamin B3. Beauty blogs and cosmetologists praise it to heaven for its ability to fight skin blemishes, acne and breakouts. Further it regulates sebum production, evens skin’s tone, minimizes pores, reduces pigmentation, reduces fine lines and even moisturizes etc.

Another active ingredient is salt of Zinc in 1% concentration which also regulates sebum production.

I have tried many treatments before: cosmetics and from pharmacy over the years which didn’t give much visible results. So, I had “big hopes” in this little bottle,

Caution: this serum is not compatible with Vitamin C, contains niacinamide in high concentration! Don’t forget to check your remedies you’ll going to use with this serum!

There’s a dispute in the beauty world: is niacinamide compatible with vitamin C or not? One side says – No, because niacinamide neutralises vitamin C and can cause redness. or irritations The other side says: it’s all nonsense! I checked the website of Deciem and the brand itself warns for using these both ingredients together with the forms of vitamin C L-ascorbic acid and ethylated L-ascorbic acid and better use them at different times. There’re not so active forms of vitamin C too, but I think to be a bit more cautious wouldn’t harm. I, for myself, decided not to use them together.


My opinion:

First of all: the treatment works! Though in an unpleasant way.
The serum is a liquid unscented transparent gel. I used it in two ways: 1. applied solo on the whole face; 2. applied on the whole face with emulsion or cream over. After applying gives first a moisturised and refresh feeling, then dries out very quick, leaves a heavy and sticky film that doesn’t absorb at all even by thinner application. 30 minutes after application the skin feels very dry and tighten. Emulsion or cream softens the skin a bit, but together gave such a heavy feeling! Yuck! I very disliked the days I had to use it and tried to apply only as night care.

The effect: reduces breakouts very well through the night. I couldn’t believe my eyes in the first morning I saw my face in the mirror. Reduces red spots of post-acne, improves skin’s colour. I used it during two or three months and my skin got much clearer.I haven’t seen any pore minimizing or reducing of sebum. Another negative point of this serum is that, like a youtube blogger I watched said in her vid: “girls, it works, but you must use it every day”. She was right. By discontinued application, you’ll have your breakouts!

Recommendation: highly recommend to all who suffers from breakouts. Helps a lot. If you cannot bear it like me, then I suggest to apply it localy only on pimples or areas with most breakouts.


Conclusion: Hyaluronic Acid gets a like and I can imagine of a repurchase. Lactic acid gets dislike and no repurchase. Niacinamide and Zinc get a dislike, but it works, so I’d like to buy it again.


Stay beautiful 🙂

8 thoughts on “The Ordinary review part 1 – Hyaluronic acid, Lactic acid 5%, Niacinamide & Zinc

    1. Thanks for commenting. And they suggest to use it daily) I don’t mean it is bad, but not for my skin. I explained in the post, that I want write only about my experience.


      1. Yeah, I honestly would not use any acid on daily basis 🙂 Maybe in winter might be still OK, but not now. I totally understand you, my skin is very sensitive, better not take chances 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I use an AHA fruit peelings from Hildegard Braukmann it is a wash off mask and very good. There’s another fruit peeling from Annemarie Börlind on my wishlist. That’s all I could find here.:-) Cosrx has very getnle formulas this is why I like their products.


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