I've gone and done it. I bought a whole load of products from The Ordinary by Deciem from Victoria Health. Before I start on the product intro, I just have to say how impressed I was with VIctoria Health - my order was placed on the 12th May at 3am in the morning (because I have unhealthy sleeping habits) and it arrived on the 13th May. That, and their customer service is fantastic. I accidentally purchased an extra bottle of Niacinamide and noticed it 2 minutes after I've placed the order in. I've emailed them (at 3am in the morning) and they've dealt with it promptly the next day and refunded into my paypal very promptly too. Honestly, I've never encountered an e-comm site run that well and would highly recommend ordering from them. Plus their newsletters are always really informative, even if you're not ordering anything, it's worthwhile to sign up to their newsletters.
This isn't actually all of my order - I've also ordered a couple of full coverage foundation (because my Urban Decay one just decided that it wasn't going to work well on my skin any more) and because they're so in demand, they're kept on pre-order only. But you won't need to wait for the rest of the stuff to pack together (like Yesstyle) and VH will ship what's available and packed first.
Here are the skincare products I've gotten and 3 of them are actually repurchases as I just loved them so much:
- Hylauronic Acid 2% + B5 (repurchase)
- Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (repurchase)
- Advanced Retinoid 2% (repurchase)
- Matrixyl 10% + HA
- 100% Plant Derived Squalane
- Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
- High Adherence Silicone Primer
- High-Spreadability Fluid Primer
So let's start with the repurchases! I've actually used these products religiously for a few months now and have been really liking them! My skin is actually quite sensitive so when I use a product that doesn't mesh well with it, it will protest by breaking out and these, so far, haven't done that to my skin at all.
1. Niacinamid 10% + Zinc (£5.00): this is a skin treatment serum and has done quite a lot for me in terms of balancing sebum and for blemishes. I still get the occasional hormonal breakout or when I eat too much fried foods, but it's reduced quite a lot since I've started using this. This also helps with congestion as well. VH advises to not use with Vitamin C as it may affect the effectiveness of it, so I've used this separate from my Vit C in my routine.
2. Hylauronic Acid 2% + B5 (£5.90): I must have sworn off using any other forms of Hylauronic Acid after this one. I tend to use this in the morning when I don't have a lot of serums to use to make sure my skin stays more or less hydrated throughout the day. This is some serious hydration serum - the hylauronic acid hydrates the deeper layers of the skin and the Vitamin B5 maintains surface hydration. I can't stress how important hylauronic acid is to your skin - in fact, all good hydration products are so important in my skin routine as they make a very visible difference in cell turnover and fading acne scarring on my skin. VH reminds you that there are a lot of products that claim to have hydration benefits, but the molecule size of the HA is too large to penetrate through the skin, whilst this formula uses all 3 forms of HA with different molecular sizes, which means it offers hydration at different depths. This serum is super fast absorbing and doesn't leave the skin feeling sticky like some other hydration serum I've used before, and you really truly feel like your skin is hydrated.
3. Advanced Retinol 2% (£8.00): Retinol is a funny thing, because some people will react to it - Vitamin A is a strong anti-aging ingredient and can come in different forms and strength. This is actually a more stablised formula compared to their Retinol 1%, which means if you're new to using Retinol in your routine, you can actually use this one, especially if you have sensitive skin. I've started using Retinol in my routine (I started with Medik8 Retinol 3TR). It's really hard to tell whether the product is actually doing something to my skin, but with anti-aging, I always feel that you need to prevent the problem rather than deal with it when it comes. This Retinoid 2% helps with cell turnover and elastin production and because the retinol is stablised it avoids the irritation/purging (although some people might still get them) that some people might get when using retinoid and retinol. Since I've last bought this it seems like they've improved on their technology so I am looking forward to better anti-aging effects! VH reminds us that if you're looking at a more pure retinol product, you need to go with the 1% pure retinol (which, by the way, is pretty high compared to some other products which are only 0.3% or is a cocktail serum instead of pure retinol). Please only use this product in your evening routine because your skin is more prone to sun damage when you're using this product. Always use sun protection!
New products now - I haven't actually tried all of these, but I have tried a couple and will go through those first impressions. The rest I will have to come back to but will tell you why I bought them.
1. 100% Plant-Derived Squalane (£5.50): I was pondering about this for a long time before getting it and I'm glad I did! squalane helps with surface hydration, so your skin feel very moiturised and my first impression is that it keeps the skin feeling moisturised too. I've tested this by using hylauronic acid and niacinamide first, then layering this on top without any other moisturiser and I am pretty impressed at how my skin didn't feel dry throughout the night. My skin will still produce sebum that helps with that feeling but it didn't feel oily either, so it's been a good balance so far. I'm really hoping to try this underneath makeup as well because the problem with caking/creasing foundation and products for me is dry skin. VH tells us that this prevents ongoing loss of hydration, but is non-comedogenic and so suitable to use on all skin types. Apparently you can also use it on hair to increase heat protection, add shine and reduce breakage potential!
2. Matrixyl 10% + HA by The Ordinary (£9.00): Out of all the products I was most excited about this - reducing fine lines and anti-aging? Yes please! I have a lot of tugging and products on my skin when I do photoshoots, also I freak out at the slightest line I have on my face, because I'm obsessed with looking young like that. This serum softens fine lines and wrinkles and the best part? You can use it on your eyes. Which is my problem area and no eye cream seem to be strong enough to deal with the skin texture and wrinkles there, at the same time not causing protein bump aka milia. I feel like I can see the difference immediately around my eyes, but it could be placebo effect. Either way, it hasn't caused lil bumps (I've used other products around the eyes before and got them the next day, so this is how I know), and it also makes the skin around the eyes feel tighter as well.
3. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F (£14.90): Probably one of the most expensive products in the Ordinary range. I decided to give this a go because I wasn't really fond of the Vitamin C suspension I got last time - tingling and pilling comes with it, but maybe just wasn't my thing. This one is supposedly a mild skin treatment that blocks pigment production and increases cell turnover. VH tells us that it's a high-strenghth oil-solubilized Vitamin C derivative in Vitamin F. So essentially it should have most benefits of Vitamin C, i.e. antioxidant, skin brightening, and reduce signs of aging. This formulation is more stable, but because it's a derivative it can't really compare to the pure stuff. The Ordinary has a Vit C guide and I'd recommend taking their word if you're looking for something more specific or something stronger.
4. High Adherence Silicone Primer (£3.90): I've always had a love-hate relationship with primers. I feel like some of them really drys the crap out of my skin, or just doesn't mesh well with my skin. But primers are essential to makeup routine, especially for a heavy coverage foundation, so I decided to get this and the high spreadability one to see if they work. So this one is supposed to blur the surface and make the skin smoother, mattify and is also hydrating. This is probably close to Benefit's pore eraser and another one from Maybelline and Nyx but I haven't used them before so can't really compare. I tend to choose illuminating and hydrating primers based on how my skin is quite dehydrated. VH tells us that this fomula will make the makeup look higher in definition and sticks for longer, and you can use it alone as a non-greasy hydrator (probably because of the silicones in the product). Frankly speaking, this would be a pretty high performance primer for the price. I've briefly tried it with a full cover foundation (Urban Decay all-nighter), unfortunately it didn't work quite well for me and immediately caked over the drier bits on my face, e.g. my forehead. Just trying to remember if I actually applied any on the forehead, probably not... But to be fair, I personally think it's 'cause I haven't moisturised my face enough for it - so hold that thought and I shall come back with trying it again.
5. High-Spreadability Fluid Primer (£5.50): This primer would be the "dewy" version of the 2 primers. It's in a different form too so you can tell it's more lightweight and apparently "high-flexibility". I'm not entirely sure what it means but VH tells us that it's like a serum in texture and it increases the spreadability of makeup so you won't get uneven spread of pigments, especially around eyes and dry skin. This is really good news for me because that's exactly the problem I have, especially with full coverage foundations. After unsuccessful attempt of the High Adherence primer, I've tried this and I quite like the finish of the product and the foundation went on all right. I still get cakey bits on the forehead, where I may or may not have applied product on, so again, I will need to test both products out again. On first try though, this would be my preferred one as the foundation hasn't caked in other areas (yet).
A huge well done if you've made it this far down! I hope everything has been useful to you and I've recommended this brand to almost everyone I talk to when it comes to beauty/skincare product. The Ordinary is a no-bullshit marketing/packaging and focuses on the goodness of the products and technology. Deciem also produces higher-end brands Hylamide and NIOD. I'm really liking the Ordinary at the moment but no doubt would try some of the other 2 brands' products. At the moment though I'm really looking forward to my next Ordinary haul, which would likely contain acids for some good chemical exfoliation!
Huge thanks for making it this far too! Have you tried these products before and how do you find them? Will you be trying out some products from this list? Let me know your thoughts - leave your comment here or come over to stalk me on instagram (@jayey12)! See you next week!