The Ordinary Anti Aging Skincare Guide: The Complete Routine Guide

image of bottles and post title The Ordinary Anti Aging Skincare Guide

During the last three years, I tried many of The Ordinary anti-aging products and decided to write my experience with products as well as the experience of popular mature bloggers in this article for your convenience.

If you are looking to build a new anti-aging skincare routine from scratch, or incorporate one or two new ingredients, a brand like The Ordinary is a great place to start. This brand is well known for its high-quality ingredients and for affordable prices.

The Ordinary is a Canadian child company of megabrand DECIEM. All the products in this line are focused on proven self-communicating ingredients.

NOTE: You have to use the product for at least 12 weeks to see any noticeable difference.

The Ordinary line is for people who are serious about their skincare and continuous what they put on their skin.

Each product is identified by a key ingredient in the formula. These formulas are highly concentrated and really focus. Should I even mention the price, it’s very affordable.

What most of us do with this line is just go through things in our cart and once it arrives it’s like “What do I do now?

photo og four bottles from The Ordinary company and title 10 best anti aging products

The Ordinary 10 Best Anti Aging Products, According to Dermatologist

For skincare for mature skin, we need anti-aging elements, hydration, and brightening. Those ingredients combine will give our skin the best benefits.

Don’t use all of them at once, choose only 3 that address your most pressing skin concerns, use these products for 3 to 6 months to see results.

  1. Best for fine lines and wrinkles: Matrixyl 10% + HA
  2. Best for plumping the skin and skin health: “Buffet”
  3. Best to minimize pores and tighten skin: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc
  4. Best to fade dark spots: Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
  5. Best for skin nourishment: 100% Organic Cold-Press Rose Hop Seed Oil
  6. Best for skin repair and barrier support: Amino Acids + B5
  7. Best for puffy eyes: Caffeine Solution 5 + EGCG
  8. Best for fine lines: Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
  9. Best exfoliant: Lactic Acid 10% + HA
  10. Best Skin Brightening: The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

The Ordinary Anti-Aging Evening Routine: Product Layering Guide

  1. Double Cleanse (see my favorite products here)
  2. Tonner/Essence (optional)
  3. Occasional Face Mask (optional)
  4. Liquid Treatment (Azelaic Acid or Niacinamide 10%)
  5. Acids, Retinoid or Serum (alternate every other day)
  6. Oil (Rosehip Oil or Marula Oil)
  7. Moisturizer
  8. SPF

You can create a personalized routine on the DECIEM site “The Ordinary Regiment Gide”. Here they will recommend you the newest products suitable for your skin type and needs.

RELATED: Guide to properly layering The Ordinary products

The Ordinary Anti Aging Morning Routine

My skin concerns skin dryness, dullness, sensitive skin, and redness on my chicks.

Also, my skin is sensitive to many harsh products like acids, scent, and natural essence.

I have an age-dark spot, and fine lines but they don’t bother me. I also have a little bit of under-eye circles and hide them with makeup.

And that’s why I choose this skincare regime for now.

  1. Wash face with water
  2. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
  3. The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% only on the cheeks and nose
  4. Moisturizer
  5. SPF

I tried The Ordinary Vitamin C 23% suspension and Resveratrol 3%, but my skin is too sensitive to use strong antioxidants like that.

The Ordinary PM Anti Aging Routine

  1. Double cleansing
  2. Prescription Tretinoin
  3. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  4. Alpha Arbutin only on cheeks
  5. Moisturizer

As you can see from my 55-year-old face, a skincare routine doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to get a great result.

My face as a 55 year old women without makeup
My face of a 55 year old women without makeup

The Ordinary Anti-Aging Skincare Routine for Wrinkles, Dryness, and Dullness from Fabulous50s

Skin concerns: Wrinkles, Dryness, and Dullness.

AM

  • Cleanse face
  • “Buffet” + Copper Peptide 1%
  • The Ordinary MATRIXYL 10%
  • Amino Acid B5
  • Vitamin C serum
  • Moisturizer

PM

Alternate every skincare regime every second day.

A-Days (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

  1. Glycolic acid
  2. Amino Acids B5
  3. Moisturizer

B-Days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

  1. Matrixyl
  2. Amino Acids B5
  3. The Granactive Retinol 5% in squalene
  4. Moisturizer

See the full video “THE ORDINARY | My Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Over 50 | Morning & Night” for more details.

The Ordinary Anti Aging Products Set From Pretty Over Fifty

  • AHA BHA Peeling Solution
  • Resveratrol 3% Ferulic Acid 3%
  • The Buffet

See the video “The Ordinary – Best Anti Aging Products Over 50” for more details.

I tried all of these products. I liked The Buffet, but AHA/BHA Peeling Solution and Resveratrol 3% Ferulic Acid 3% didn’t suit my sensitive skin.

in post banner with 4 page images from Basic Skincare e-book

Basic Guidelines on How to Use The Ordinary Anti Aging Products

The liquid formulation comes before oil applications and cream once. And you can layer up to 3 products in each routine.

Best For Fine Lines And Wrinkles: Matrixyl 10% + HA

Best For Fine Lines And Wrinkles: Matrixyl 10% + HA

Best for age 55+ addresses the wrinkles that we already have.

Matrixyl is known as an anti-aging ingredient. The three types of Matrixyl used in this formula

  • MATRIXYL
  • MATRIXIL 3000
  • MATRIXIL SYTHE’6

are particularly effective together. They work together to stimulate the growth of collagen, elastin, and naturally acquiring hyaluronic acid in our skin. All of this thing really slows down and diminishes as we age after the age of 30. So Matrixyl will help to build it all up so skin can look youthful for longer.

This is perfect for anti-aging, wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging. Very lightweight formula and perfect for under the eyes area as a serum. Be careful if your eyes are very sensitive.

Give this a try!

Best For Plumping The Skin And Skin Health: “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%

Best For Plumping The Skin And Skin Health: “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%

Best for age 45 – 55 to prevent the appearance of wrinkles.

This is more like a traditional serum. It combines a bunch of ingredients and technologies, that are formulated together for better results.

This product has a combination of amino acids, humectants, and fermented probiotics and doubles the price of other products. It helps your skin to build the collagen in our skin

  • 25%
  • Probiotic
  • Matrixyl 3000
  • Matrixyl Synthe’6
  • Syn-Ake
  • Agirelox
  • Relistase
  • Base of 11 amino acids
  • Hyaluronic Acid

Are you having a hard time choosing between Matrixyl or the Buffet? Buffet has the same compound as the Matrixyl and more.

If you are looking for an all-around really well-priced anti-aging serum, then go for Buffet.

This liquid serum is quick absorbent, will leave your skin feel hydrated. Best to use after tonner and before oil essence or cream moisturizer. 1-2 drops are sufficient for a whole face application.

The Ordinary Buffet is a water-based solution and can be used in the morning and in the evening. Start with cleansed skin and use a couple of drops over the entire face. It’s a water-based solution so this will be the first or one of the first layers of your skincare routine.

Should I use “Buffet” before hyaluronic acid?

START: with “Buffet,” which combines peptides, hyaluronic acid, and amino acids to prevent multiple signs of aging and skin strengthening. THEN: add the Hyaluronic Acid, which has additional hydrating ingredients like B5 to plump skin with moisture, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Best To Fade Dark Spots: Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Best To Fade Dark Spots: Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Arbutin is really popular in again skincare products for a long time. It’s basically what is in all whitening and brightening products. It’s not strong enough to bleach your skin.

Alfa Arbutin is a melanin inhibitor. It helps with hyperpigmentation, sunspots, freckles any area that may have access pigment. It will help to fade those spots and prevents them from getting darker.

It’s also a great ingredient if you have redness or red blotchy skin. Any type of uneven complexion, that’s what this is for.

The thing with hyperpigmentation is that you constantly have to treat it or otherwise it will come back.

In my personal experience for the 30 – 40 years old skin, it will help in all before mention skin concerns, but for 50+ skin it’s only helps with redness on my cheeks and nose.

Any over-the-counter brightening cosmetic product is just not strong enough for mature 50+ years of sun damage skin. It will prevent the appearance of new age, sunspots but will not remove or even lighten the old ones.

HOW TO USE ARBUTIN: Use it twice a day by spot treating your age spots or redness.

Expect to see the result in 6 months.

Best to Minimize Pores and Tighten Skin: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Best to Minimize Pores and Tighten Skin: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

One of my most favorite ingredients.

Niacinamide is a Vitamin B3 and is a proven ingredient to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. It also helps with uneven skin tone, wrinkle prevention, and balancing hydration. Niacinamide has been shown to increase levels of ceramides and fatty acids in your skin, which in turn helps to hold on to water. This will help your skin to look healthy, youthful, and plump.

This is also inflammatory and will help with blemishes and rosacea.

And if you have uneven skin tone Niacinamide 10% + Alfa Arbutin 2% will make a real difference.

For me, it lifted my hooded eyes, to which I am enormously happy.

You can read more in a detailed review of niacinamide in “Learn The Truth About Niacinamide Skin Benefits In The Next 60 Seconds. “.

HOW TO USE NIACINAMIDE 10% + ZINC: Use it at night, 1-2 drops are enough, if you apply more you can experience “pilling”. Wait until it’s fully absorbed into your skin before applying other products.

CLEANCE/TONE -> ALPHA ARBUTIN -> NIACINAMIDE

Best For Skin Nourishment: 100% Organic Cold-Press Rosehip Seed Oil

Best For Skin Nourishment: 100% Organic Cold-Press Rosehip Seed Oil

Rosehip oil is a natural form of vitamin A. It’s very nourishing on your skin. High in linoleic fatty acids, which means it’s a relatively dry oil, consistency is thin, it’s absorbed in your skin very quickly, it’s nongreasy. It’s also great to balance out oily skin.

  • Natural source of Vitamin A, C, E
  • Omega 3, 6, 9, fatty acids
  • High ratio linoleic vs. Oleic Fatty acid
  • Treats wrinkles, pigmentation, acne
  • Non comedogenic
  • Nature’s Retin A

WHEN TO APPLY: Because this oil is on a dry side it’s best to apply after serums and before moisturizer

Best Skin Brightening: The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

Best Skin Brightening: The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

There are many versions of vitamin C out there.

RELATED READ: Benefits of Vitamin C in Skincare.

L-Ascorbic Acid is the most potent and well research ingredient that protects your skin from environmental stressors, hyperpigmentation, lightening it, and keeping your skin a more youthful appearance.

I just can’t use strong antioxidants like Vitamin C (any form) or Resveratrol it’s just doesn’t agree with my skin.

If this is something that you already have or want to try out The Ordinary recommend using it after your liquid application and before your moisturizers.

NOTE: It’s not recommended to use Vitamin C products with Niacinamide, Acids or Retinol.

in-post image advertisement for free cheat sheet about Vitamin C derivatives
Best For Skin Repair And Barrier Support: Amino Acids + B5

Best For Skin Repair And Barrier Support: Amino Acids + B5

Hydrates the top layer of the skin smoothes wrinkles, and fine lines, improve hydration and overall water retention in the skin.

Signature ingredient is Panthenol and Vitamin B5. Panthenol the same as Hyaluronic Acid has the ability to bind water and add hydration into the skin but it also stimulates skin cell growth. It’s great for the recovery of the skin barrier.

HOW TO APPLY: Right after you cleanse the skin, apply it on still-damp skin and before applying a moisturizer to really seal hydrating ingredients.

Best For Puffy Eyes: Caffeine Solution 5 + EGCG

Best For Puffy Eyes: Caffeine Solution 5 + EGCG

It’s an antioxidant serum that helps with hypopigmentation, puffiness in the morning because it can temporarily reduce swelling.

It also helps with irritation because caffeine is anti-inflammatory. Caffeine also can help to reduce some types of dark circles.

EGCG derived from green tea will help to reduce skin photodamage from the sun.

Lactic acid is an exfoliate that will help to hydrate your skin.

HOW TO USE: It’s an antioxidant and usually used in the morning routine.

Best Exfoliant: Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Best Exfoliant: Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Gentle less irritating exfoliant. AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are humectants, they don’t feel slipping or drying on the skin. They are also fabulous for the exfoliation of dead skin cells from the skin surface.

If you ever have a problem with dry flaky patches of skin and when you wear makeup it becomes very pronounced, then AHA is a good WEEKLY exfoliating treatment to get read of all of that.

They are also great at fading post-inflammatory pigmentation (spots left after acne).

Lactic Acid is formulated with Tasmanian Pepperberry extract, which is a very soothing ingredient, and it helps to soothe the irritation that usually comes with acids

  • Chemical exfoliant
  • For glowing skin
  • Helps photo-aging, PIH
  • Hydrating
  • Derived from sour milk

HOW TO USE IT: Use once or twice a week, after liquid serums but before oil applications. Best to be used at night as it makes your skin sensitive to the sun.

Best For Fine Lines: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

Best For Fine Lines: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

It’s a great product if you can’t use prescription tretinoin. They don’t cause skin irritation, sensitivity, or peeling.

This formula combines two forms of retinoids the more traditional Retinol and the second Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR) which is a highly advanced form of retinoid. In fact, it provides a better effect against signs of aging than retinol, retinyl palmitate, and nearly all other forms of non-prescription retinoid.

What’s great about this formula it’s doesn’t require metabolic conversion to gain the benefits and results that you get from Retin-A. The other benefit is that it’s more stable than Retin-A.

Usually, it takes 6 months before you see any difference in your skin!

  • Hydrating
  • Skin plumping
  • Light as air
  • Absorbs completely
  • Spark’s collagen production

What Is the Difference Between Retinol From The Ordinary?

Strength is one of the most important deciders for choosing a retinol cream, serum or oil and irritation potential.

NAMEIRRITATION POTENTIALSTRENGTH
Granactive retinoid 2% in SqualaneNO to LOW irritationMODERATE
Granactive retinoid 5% in SqualaneNO to LOW irritationHIGH
Granactive retinoid 2% emulsionHIGH irritationHIGH
Retinol 0.2% in SqualaneMODERATE irritationLOW
Retinol 0.5% in SqualaneHIGH irritationMODERATE
Retinol 1% in SqualaneVERY HIGH irritationHIGH
  • VERY SENSITIVE SKIN – start with The Ordinary Granactive retinoid 2% in Squalane.
  • OILY, MATURE, and NOT sensitive – try The Ordinary Granactive retinoid 2% emulsion 
  • DRY SKIN – stick to one of The Ordinary’s Granactive retinoids in Squalane.
  • MATURE SKIN – go with the Granactive 5% retinoid in Squalane. And consider trying The Ordinary Granactive retinoid 2% emulsion in the future.

What Does Granactive Mean?

Granactive is simply a name. The same as deciding to call your car Betty. Granactive retinoid or Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate is made by a company called Grant Industries. Granactive is a lot, a lot easier to say and remember than Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate.

What Is Retinol In Squalane?

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A.  And Squalane is a skin-similar, lightweight, and fast-absorbing oil. The Ordinary Granactive retinol in Squalane also contains a helper ingredient to make formula quickly absorbing.

in post banner with 4 page images from Basic Skincare e-book

You Don’t Have To Use Them All

Let say you choose a skincare regime. You are also not required to do all the steps in the skincare regime, use it as a guide in to order of the products are used and why.

You can do as many as you choose and ultimately, it’s all about finding a routine that is manageable, enjoyable, and will keep your skin looking its best.

The Ordinary is a fantastic skincare resource, making ingredients with proven effectiveness at decent concentrations available to the masses without a hefty price tag.

The key message is not to get overexcited by a wealth of affordable choices – do your homework first and choose a small selection of key ingredients. AND USE SUNSCREEN

Frequently Asked Questions about The Ordinary Anti-Aging Products

Can I Use The Ordinary Retinol Every Night?

The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane—a natural antioxidant that hydrates without being heavy. Use every night, but if peeling occurs, consider using it every other night or trying the Granactive retinoid 5% as an alternative.


Can I Use Hyaluronic Acid With Retinol?

It’s okay to use hyaluronic acid with retinol. In fact, using these two ingredients at the same time may help to make certain side effects, such as dry skin and irritation.


Why Is The Ordinary Brand So Cheap?

Nothing costs more than $20. In fact, most of it is less than $10. To keep the prices low, The Ordinary took the in-demand ingredients people were after, split them across serums to keep the margins low. You just have to look at the ingredient list to see how much shorter it is than normal skincare products. Fancy ingredients are omitted for high concentrations of good-quality ingredients.
 
The marketing costs from The Ordinary are much less than other cosmetics companies. Their costs simply go on testing and producing the products.
 
The Ordinary is not really a mass-market brand as it only really caters to people who are interested in the science behind skincare and are prepared to take the time to heavily research the ingredients they use.


Is The Ordinary Safe?

Yes. The Ordinary uses synthetically derived ingredients in many of its products. Synthetic ingredients can be safe, as long as they are non-toxic and part of a “clean” formula. Each ingredient has been tested and is considered safe for topical application. When pregnant or breastfeeding, it is recommended to avoid any skincare products containing retinoids such as formulations with Granactive Retinoid or Retinol.


Is the Ordinary made in China?

All of The Ordinary’s products are owned by DECIEM, but for some products, the raw materials are imported from another country and bottled and packed in DECIEM Canada. You can find more information here.


Is Ordinary Natural?

The Ordinary uses synthetically derived ingredients in many of its products. Synthetic ingredients can be safe, as long as they are non-toxic and part of a “clean” formula. Products from The Ordinary line are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as being free of parabens, sulfates, and mineral oil. Excluding their makeup range.


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