I did not panic buy toilet paper during quarantine. Instead, I panic bought skincare products from The Ordinary. Now, several months, many frustrations, and a couple of empty bottles later, I can talk about their effectivity with some sort of authority.

NOTE: my skin can tolerate A LOT of actives that others might find too harsh. My selection of products and skincare routine reflects this. Keep this in mind if you are reading this in the hopes of choosing your skincare routine.

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

This particular product is like your manipulative ex who tells you it’ll be different this time, and you believe him, so you give him another chance, only for him to somehow ruin everything again… I swear by Vitamin C to keep my skin blemish-free, and this devotion made me blind to all the red flags surrounding this Vitamin C suspension: the gritty texture, the pilling that would occur after applying it, the stinging sensation (!!!), the heavy feel of it on my skin. It was horrible, but I believed the beauty enthusiasts on the internet who insisted I give it another chance–it is my fault this is not working out between us, I thought, as I gently patted the product into my skin and felt the sting all over my face. Again.

Until one day, tired at last, I chucked the tube into the trash for good. (yes, I threw the tube into the trash many times, only to pick it up and put it back in my makeup bag.)

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This chemical exfoliant is one of The Ordinary’s most popular products, and now I understand why. This tiny little bottle is NO JOKE! I was already familiar with chemical exfoliation, but I was blown away by the immediate results I saw with this product. A little bit goes a long way (if you look up this product online, you’ll see photos of people who look like they’ve just applied jam to their face. Don’t do that; that’s too much!) and I only need to use it once a week. I attribute this product with keeping my skin even and glowy despite the relentless Florida sun.

Warning: this product is STRONG! If you are at all sensitive to some products, proceed with caution

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

This toner has been part of my skincare routine for years, but I might as well talk about it. This is a great chemical exfoliator that will make your skin look radiant and soften any rough patches. I use it at night, followed by a moisturizing night cream. This product, along with Vitamin C, has lightened up my dark spots considerably, and unclogged my pores, leaving me with smooth skin.

Any The Ordinary products you love? Any products you hate? How do you feel about the brand in general?

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