TikTok Beauty Sensation ‘The Ordinary’ has an Ingredient-Led Philosophy That Works!

A new era of intelligence, transparency and information has arrived. Within six short years, The Ordinary has exploded in popularity amongst “skintellectuals”, thanks to their powerful, fuss-free formulas and pocket-friendly price points. We review their Multi-Peptide Lash and Brow serum (a new launch), the Squalene Cleanser and their AHA Peel.

By: Niyoshi Shah

Posted on: March 3, 2023

The Ordinary skincare 

A recent survey by market researcher Mintel shows that 40% of consumers think that beauty brands must do a better job explaining what ingredients they use and why. A trend started by “skinfluencers” and adapted by generation Z world-over, the pandemic, increasing blind consumerism, and a flailing Earth accelerated such demands. Instead of relying on "miracle" marketing slogans, consumers are adopting an almost analytical, research-led approach for their beauty routine. They are educating themselves about the best ingredients for every stage in their beauty routine and opting for only high-performance products. Me included, as general awareness and interest increases, I look for solutions to specific skincare issues – acne, anti-ageing, dehydration – which requires transparency of ingredients to drive faith. 

The Ordinary is hailed for its simplicity. It sells high quality ingredients at an affordable price. Period. 

This is where The Ordinary has created a strong foothold in the global market. Stripping back unnecessary packaging and marketing jargon, the affordable skincare brand serves simple targeted beauty formulas. Started by Brandon Truaxe, a beauty industry disruptor in Canada, The Ordinary is hailed for its simplicity. It sells high quality ingredients at an affordable price. Period. Without them, you still would have had no clue that hyaluronic acid is something you apply to your face, or that salicylic acid is good for fighting spots. And instead of adding fragrant fillers to your products, they add more of the important ingredients, thus keeping the costs down!
Not getting swept by the TikTok fans or even the naysayers flooding the internet (yes, there are many!), we decided to, well, decide for ourselves. So, I reviewed three products by The Ordinary.  


Multi-Peptide Lash & Brow Serum 

The Ordinary Multi-peptide lash and brow serum

It is essentially a concentrated, lightweight serum that is designed to promote thicker, fuller and healthier lashes and brows. It features 11 efficacy focused active ingredients, including Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3 in combination with Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Larix Europaed Wood Extract and Zinc Chloride, and a peptide complex that helps target multiple pathways and boost hair density and thickness. 
It is designed with an applicator brush wand and bristles that allow you to easily use the product on your eyelashes and eyebrows. It comes in their characteristic white tube and the formula is lightweight and dries almost immediately. 
I’ve been using this multi-peptide serum twice a day every day for more than three weeks, sketching a thin layer across my lash line and brows in the morning and evening. My natural lashes are light and short, so I was hoping to at least see some lengthening.

The Ordinary Multi-peptide lash and brow serum
The Verdict: While there are very few options in the market for lash and brow serums, I saw a considerable improvement in my brow thickness after consistent use. Although everyone may experience different results, I will continue using it to see if my lashes continue to lengthen and have new growth. If you have scanty lashes and thin brows, I would recommend The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Lash and Brow Serum. 
LF Says: ★★★

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling solution

As someone who has spent considerable time and money fighting congestion and breakouts for years, a weekly chemical exfoliation treatment has always been an integral part of my beauty routine. The AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution was always on my agenda. It's one product from The Ordinary that you've definitely heard about (whether you've seen the viral TikTok videos or otherwise).
Armed with a potent blend of glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric, and salicylic acid (the lone beta hydroxy acid), this at-home peel claims improvement in skin texture and reduction in the appearance of blemishes.  
The formula is strong, and a patch test would be advised before using on sensitive skin. I used it once a week, for four weeks, as a 10-minute application on a dry face after cleansing before bedtime. The formula tingles a bit for about 10 seconds before fading away. The peeling solution is easy to wash off and does not leave any stain despite the strong colour. After washing, my skin stayed slightly red and puffy for about 15 minutes. I moisturized my skin and did not use any actives that day and the next. 

The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling solution
The Verdict: I could see clinic-worthy results at home, similar to an effective facial. The next day, my complexion looks a little more even, and surface scars from past acne seem a bit less severe, there was a noticeable improvement in texture. 
LF Says: ★★★

Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

Carefully formulated for all skin types, this clever potion dissolves make up, sunscreen and dirt build-up while simultaneously moisturising with a combination of squalene and other lipophilic esters professing to clean unwanted grime for clean and clog-free pores. 
The formula feels balm-like when first applied, changing to a clear oil-like texture when warmed on the hands to activate it. It is packaged with an easy flip-cap top so you can travel with it and dispense as much product as you want. I used it daily for three weeks as a part of my night-time routine. 

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
The Verdict: I apply foundation almost every day, and the Squalane Cleanser has become a favorite for me after only three uses! I’ll always have this one on my shelf. This gentle cleanser is anything but ordinary, removing make up and impurities as it retains your skin’s moisture – unlike some harsher cleansers. The formula is designed to be gentle enough for daily use, without over-drying the skin, making it suitable for all skin types. I personally use this as my second cleanser in my double cleansing routine. It works well with a lightweight face wash. 
LF Says: ★★★★

Not only does the emerging beauty consumer want more bang for their buck, they want new science and technology-backed solutions with an edge of convenience. Products must cater to specific skin needs, and also beliefs like vegan and animal cruelty-free formulas, recycled and eco-friendly packaging. 

Are they worthy of the hype? That is debatable as each skin type and level of concern is different. But The Ordinary certainly has an edge above other beauty brands in the market.

The Ordinary serves a brilliant, formula backed product for almost every skin concern. Their uncomplicated yet potent solutions, with an adherence to sustainability, make it a front-runner in this segment. Are they worthy of the hype? That is debatable as each skin type and level of concern is different. But The Ordinary certainly has an edge above other beauty brands in the market.
Available at: Only Nykaa stores and Nykaa.com in India.

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