While The Ordinary is the definition of skincare made simple, the Deciem-founded cult beauty brand is certainly not simple to understand if you’re a skincare newbie.

Its simplicity lies in its minimal-ingredient approach to its product library, where every single item comes labelled with its hero ingredient, and little else. Names like “Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion” or “Matrixyl 10% + HA” reads like the Da Vinci Code to people who don’t have a firm grasp on the wide world of skincare ingredients, and this, for many, is a barrier to giving The Ordinary’s products a much-deserved try.

Cryptic labels notwithstanding, The Ordinary really represents a revolution in skincare that everyone should get on board with. Its ingredient-first approach and unadulterated formulas spell transparency for a skincare industry that tends to throw a veil over consumer understanding. Topping that with the seriously affordable price point, and The Ordinary truly lives up to all the hype.

We’re covered the where to find The Ordinary in Singapore, but we haven’t gotten to the what to buy. With that, let us take you through the best The Ordinary products.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 30ml

If the fact that this product is consistently sold-out isn’t a testament to its prowess, then let the fact that it went viral on TikTok be. This heavy-duty chemical exfoliant doubles as an at-home peel, of sorts, and has been credited with helping revitalise skin, even the most acne-riddled ones. We’d caution having some experience with gentler chemical exfoliants around the 10 to 20 percent territory before giving this blend a go. High concentration exfoliants with little exposure to AHAs prior can be potentially aggravating.

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The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum

Niacinamide is a miracle ingredient that has too many benefits to count with one hand. In sum, this manages breakouts, minimises pores, decongests your skin, regulates sebum production and helps improve your complexion overall. Zinc in the mix also aids with the repair process. It is a one-product fix-it.

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The Ordinary "Buffet" Multi-Technology Peptide Serum

One of The Ordinary’s bestsellers since its launch in 2016 is the Buffet serum, an all-in-one anti-ageing powerhouse. Dubbed a feast for the skin, this daily serum uses matrixyl to stimulate collagen synthesis, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, and 11 amino acids to smoothen and guard against the onslaught of fine lines.

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The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Superficial Peeling Formulation

For a more gentle chemical exfoliant that is appropriate for daily use, turn to The Ordinary’s lactic acid serum. The 10 percent concentration of lactic acid gently decongests the surface of your skin, ridding it of visible blemishes and fine lines, while hyaluronic acid is included for hydration. Lactic acid is also less aggressive than glycolic acid, which makes it better for people who have sensitivities. Use this for two weeks and it makes all the difference, trust us.

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Retinol 0.5% in Squalene

Retinol is dubbed as the most effective skincare ingredient there is, but this form of Vitamin A can be shaky ground for those who have never used it before, as it is incredibly potent. Get your introduction to retinol’s anti-ageing and blemish-combating properties with The Ordinary’s gentle range of retinol products, especially its 0.5% serum suspended in squalene. Gentle, hydrating and highly stable, this is the regular shot of goodness your skin needs. For the extra cautious, the brand also has an 0.2% serum that is even gentler.

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100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

Rosehip oil is a natural carrier of Vitamin A, an anti-inflammatory skincare ingredient that also doubles as an anti-ageing booster. This wonder oil also helps clarify the skin, and thus, can cost a fair amount when bought in its purest cold-pressed form, but The Ordinary manages to make them available for a seriously little cost. For a power-packed moisturiser, this is a must.

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100% Plant-Derived Squalene

Squalene is a naturally-derived lipid that offers intensive hydration for your skin. Already naturally present in sebum, this essential emollient is also an antioxidant that helps to detox and care for your skin. Squalene also has the added prop of being able to reverse skin damage and combat free radicals. You just want to make sure what you’re buying is plant-derived, such as The Ordinary’s version, as some squalene products can be sourced unethically from shark liver.

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Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

We cannot express how crucial it is to use Vitamin C, as it really is your ticket to brighter skin. If you don’t believe us, we’ll let The Ordinary’s 23% suspension do the talking. This harnesses a potent concentration of Vitamin C to give your skin a serious overhaul, so get ready to say goodbye to dull complexion days.

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Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.