The Ordinary – How To Create A Skincare Routine

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After writing my article The Ordinary – The Definitive Review, I knew there were going to be lots of questions asking for recommendations due to the sheer number of products. With so many options available I realized many of you would (and did) find it confusing and overwhelming when it came to picking the ingredients that would suit your needs. This is why I also wrote The Ordinary – A Regimen For Every Skin Type as I wanted that article to serve as a general guide to help you find the best products for each skin type and while that helped, a new question started being asked, which lead to me writing this one.

As it turns out, aside from wanting to know what to buy, you also wanted to know when to use certain products and/or what order everything goes in. I know that many of you are new to this crazy skincare world (welcome!) and have no idea what a “complete” routine looks like and are eager to create one that incorporates The Ordinary and this step by step guide will show you exactly how to do it. We would love to be able to give all of you a personalized skincare regimen, but it’s just not possible, so instead you now have “The Ordinary Trilogy”. A trifecta of articles to help you learn about each product, choose the right ones for your skin and understand when to use them.

Before I get into the steps, I want to first make it clear that not all of them are necessary and some will not be right for your skin type, so please read the whole thing carefully. You are also not required to do every step to have a “complete” routine, instead this should help you understand what order the products are used in and why, as well as help you find the steps that will work for you. 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.

It’s also important to note that unlike in my review where I grouped the products by ingredients, when you are actually using the products the order is determined by the texture. The general rule is “lightest to heaviest”, which just means you use products with light, thin, watery textures that absorb quickly before those with heavier/thicker textures like oils, balms and moisturizers. The reason for this is not only will the products layer and “sit” more comfortably on your skin, but they will also penetrate and perform better too.

Here’s a look at what an average AM and PM routine should look like with a focus on how to incorporate The Ordinary products effectively.

Morning

  1. Cleanse

In this step you want to use something light, gentle and non-drying to refresh your skin from the night before and prepare it for the products you will apply next. This is a pretty important step because it affects how your skin behaves throughout the day. I know many of you have commented that your cleanser leaves your skin tight and dry after you use it, yet throughout the day you get very oily, and that’s because what you are using is too stripping. No matter what your skin type, your cleanser should not leave your skin feeling uncomfortable or lead to oiliness as the day goes on. As my skin can be somewhat sensitive I like to use cleansers that emulsify (rinse off with just water), so I can skip the washcloth and some of my favourites are the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser, de Mamiel Pure Calm Cleansing Dew and NIOD’s Sanskrit Saponins. I choose what to use depending on how my combination skin is looking (dry, oily, irritated etc) and the season. For example, I wouldn’t necessarily use NIOD SS when my skin is dry or during winter because of how purifying it is.

What you choose for your morning cleanser depends on your skin type and texture preference, but here are some options:

  • Acne Prone: Try a gel texture like iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, which won’t aggravate existing blemishes.
  • Combination: Consider a gel-oil hybrid like de Mamiel Pure Calm Cleansing Dew because it is the perfect balance between purifying and hydrating.
  • Dry/Dehydrated: Choose a balmy or creamy formula like iS Clinical Cream Cleanser as this is hydrating, but won’t feel heavy.
  • Dull/Uneven/Hyperpigmented: Use something like de Mamiel Botaniques Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate, which is a gentle powder to paste formula that will cleanse, exfoliate and brighten.
  • Mature: Try something like iS Clinical Warming Honey Cleanser because it will help boost circulation while protecting the ceramide barrier.
  • Normal: You can use pretty much anything, but something like Sarah Chapman Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse, which is a light balm to milk formula that balances the skin would be a nice choice.
  • Oily: Check out NIOD Sanskrit Saponins because it is a creamy paste texture that will remove excess oil without stripping the skin.
  • Sensitive: Choose a soothing milk or cream texture like Aurelia Miracle Cleanser, which will calm, soothe and balance the skin as it cleanses.

Of course, these are just examples of the type of cleansers that should suit each skin type, but it really is all down to personal preference.

  1. Exfoliation or Masking (Optional)

This is a completely optional step (skip to number 3 or 4 if don’t want to do this) that depends on how your skin looks when you wake up and how much time you have. If you’re not a fan of doing multiple steps in the morning then skip this one and move on to the next. For everyone else, if you wake up and find your skin is congested or flaking from retinol (or both), then this is where you could do something extra to fix whatever is going on. This step isn’t necessarily about skin type, but more focused on issues like dull tone or dryness etc.

You do not “need” to do this step at all, but if you like the idea of it then here are some options:

  • Dull/Uneven Tone: Dermasuri Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator, de Mamiel Botaniques Brightening Cleanse or any of The Ordinary acids washed off after 5-15 minutes (only use these products if you did not use the de Mamiel product as your cleanser and please always wear sunscreen).
  • Dryness/Dehydration: Sarah Chapman Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion.
  • Congestion/Inflammation: NIOD Flavanone Mud.
  • Enlarged Pores: NIOD Mastic Must.
  • Irritation/Sensitivity: iS Clinical Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque.

Alternately, you can leave your cleanser on as a quick treatment (depending on which one you use) and I have done that with NIOD SS, Aurelia Miracle Cleanser and iS Clinical Warming Honey Cleanser. Again, this step is completely optional, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little pamper session in the morning if there’s time.

  1. SDSM2 and/or CAIS (optional)

Being the faithful VH Addicts (who’s excited for CAIS2?!) I know many of you are, this step is one that a lot of you have probably already being doing for years. For me it is one of the most important parts of my routine, but if you’re not a NIOD convert yet then skip to step 4 or 5. This duo comes after cleansing and before everything else, but if you used an acid to exfoliate then please wait at least 30 minutes before applying.

Most days I spritz SDSM2 all over and then while my skin is not quite fully dry I apply CAIS (1% or 5%). I like doing this because I find I use less CAIS and the combo just works so well together. You can also use the CAIS alone (which I often do with the 5%) and then use SDSM afterwards as a traditional toner.

I pretty much recommend these two products to everyone because they focus on supporting a healthly functioning dermis, which is at the core of great skin, no matter what issues you have. If you find you’re looking for something more advanced than what The Ordinary has to offer then this is it.

SDSM2. CAIS 1%. CAIS 5% (review).

  1. Acid Tone (optional)

This is a step that has been popularized by Caroline Hirons and I know many of you love to do it. I’m not a fan anymore and don’t acid tone, but if you can’t live without this step then it would come after cleansing (and SDSM and/or CAIS if you use them) and before everything else. If you use CAIS then please wait at least one minute before apply the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution to make sure the copper serum has fully absorbed. When I acid toned I actually waited about 5 minutes.

Pretty much all skin types (except very sensitive) could potentially benefit from doing this step, but it is important to pay attention to how your skin reacts to it. Despite the benefits of using an acid regularly, some might find that it causes irritation or just doesn’t suit their skin. Start off by doing it 2-3 times a week and see how your skin responds before working up to daily use. Also, be careful not to exfoliate in multiple steps, so if you used the de Mamiel Botaniques Brightening Cleanse as your morning cleanser or exfoliated with any of the products for “Dull/Uneven Tone” then don’t do this step.

  1. Toners/Mists/Spritzes

This is somewhat of a controversial step with a few who wonder if it’s even worth it, but for me it is an essential. Hydration is so important for healthy, balanced skin and with the right product you can get so much more. If you don’t use SDSM2 with CAIS after cleansing then try using it here. I use SDSM2 daily before CAIS and then a different mist before my serum, just because I love to use them and I like how plump, soft and hydrated they leave my skin. I also find that my serums absorb better when applied on to damp skin, but that’s a personal preference and you do not have to do the same.

If you don’t already use SDSM2 I would highly recommend it and these are some other favourites that would work well for all skin types:

  • Aurelia Brightening Botanical Essence.
  • de Mamiel Botaniques Dewy Facial Mist.
  • Dr Hauschka Clarifying Toner.
  • iS Clinical Copper Firming Mist.

With this step you don’t need to worry about having something overly targeted to your skin’s needs because that’s what serums are for. I suppose that’s why many view this step as optional and if you are on a budget then definitely don’t feel like you have to use a toner. The focus here is hydration (which all skin types need) with a lean towards addressing your personal skin needs. Each product listed goes beyond the basic toners or mists out there and I have even skipped using a serum on days when I’m short of time because the ingredients are that good. This summer especially I have often simply cleansed, applied CAIS, spritzed with any of the five here, applied sunscreen and that’s it.

  1. Eyes

This step is the one I struggle with the most and to be perfectly honest I end up skipping it most days in favour of taking SDSM and CAIS around the eyes, but I am trying to change that. If you are diligent with this step or want to be then this is where it slots in. The reason for this is to get it straight on to the skin before you apply anything heavier that could act as a barrier.

What you choose to use for this step is again completely dependent on the concerns you want to address and your preference for texture. I personally like gel textures or light creams because even though my area is quite dry and prone to darkness, it is also quite sensitive and I can’t use anything too heavy.

Here are some options to suit the usual eye area issues:

  • General: NIOD FECC or Aurelia Eye Revitalising Duo.
  • Puffiness/Dark Circles: The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG.
  • Dark Circles: Derma E Even Tone Dark Circle Reducing Eye Cream.
  • Dryness: The Skin Shop Dry Eye Gel.
  • Fine lines/Wrinkles: Sarah Chapman Skinesis Eye Recovery or The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%.
  • Sensitive: Dr Hauschka Eye Revive.

There are so many options when it comes to this step, so I recommend perusing the site and finding the product that seems best suited to you.

  1. The Ordinary Water Based Serums

This is where the “lightest to heaviest” concept most significantly applies. Whatever serums you use, make sure the water-based (usually gel textured) one comes first, especially if it’s a hyaluronic acid like NIOD MMHC2 or The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. Products won’t be able to penetrate or perform at their best if they are not layered correctly, especially with something like the hyaluronic acid because it draws whatever you apply on top deeper into the dermis for even better results.

I would recommend using the HA 2% + B5 first then whichever products from the range that suits your skin next. Here are the ones that would be used in this step:

  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.
  • The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%.
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%.
  • The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA.
  • The Ordinary Buffet.
  • The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA.
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA 1%.
  • The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution.

All these products have a water base so that you can mix and match the ingredients and create a custom serum. You don’t need to layer each one on top of each other if you use more than one at a time, instead try mixing a drop or two of your picks and applying that concoction as one blended serum. This way you won’t have too many layers and your skin won’t feel overloaded with product. You can also add any of these to your other water based serums if they don’t include these ingredients and the same applies – just mix a few drops and apply as one product. One of my favourites mixes is N+Z + AA + AGS + SAS for a great purifying yet brightening combo. Oh, and for all those wondering, you can use this form of vitamin C with niacinamide as any concern is regarding L-AA, which is different.

With the salicylic acid, if I am using it as a spot treatment I like to either apply it directly on my skin after toning or after the HA serum and before everything else, otherwise I use it in the mix described above. You can use it how you choose, although make sure it’s before anything oil or cream based, so there isn’t a “barrier” between it and the skin.

Other serums I use and/or recommend are:

  • NIOD MMHC2.
  • NIOD Survival 0 (if you don’t use 10-20).
  • de Mamiel Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir.
  • Aurelia Revitalise & Glow Serum.
  • iS Clinical Active Serum.

As with the eye step, there are so many serums out there and it’s all about finding the one that suits your skin. Lastly, this step is also where you would apply essences or “lotions” like the ones popular in K-Beauty and Asian skincare.

  1. Moisturizers/Emulsions/Suspensions

This step is where you would use your usual moisturizer that typically has a cream based texture (usually contains a mix of oils/butters etc) and depending on the ingredients can do a number of things beyond just moisturizing the skin. I don’t always use a moisturizer as pretty much every sunscreen I use is hydrating, but if you’re not wearing sunscreen then this would be the last step in your routine and it’s an important one. Even if you have oily skin, you need to use some type of moisturizer to make sure your skin stays hydrated, balanced and nourished in order to prevent that excess production of oil.

These are the four products from The Ordinary that I consider potential moisturizers:

  • The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA.
  • The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%.
  • The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%.
  • The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%.

Obviously Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is an excellent traditional moisturizer, but Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% would work well too for those who are looking to incorporate a gentle Vitamin C without having too many layers. If you use the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% then it would be used as or before your moisturizer, followed by sunscreen/primer. With the Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% this could work really well for those with acne-prone skin as a treatment-moisturizer-primer in one.

If you like to use oils during the day instead of moisturizers then this is where you would use them. If you like to use moisturizers AND oils then the oil would be used second, or you could mix the two.

These are the oil based products from The Ordinary suitable for daytime use:

  • The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil.
  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil.
  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil.
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F.
  • The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane (not an oil, but has an oily texture).
  • The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% (again, not an oil, but has an oil-like texture).

For anyone looking for options outside of what The Ordinary offers, here are some of my other favourite moisturizers and oils:

  • NIOD Hydration Vaccine
  • Aurelia Cell Revitalise Day Moisturiser.
  • de Mamiel Summer Facial Oil.
  1. Sunscreen

This is such an essential step because without it you are basically undoing all the results your other products are achieving. Sunscreen protects against all aspects of skin aging and without it you will have a harder time fixing whatever issues you have, even if you have acne. As many of you will know by now Deciem have recently released three NIOD sunscreens with more on the way from The Ordinary and there will be something for everyone. Picking the one for you depends on whether you want a chemical or mineral formulation, what factor you want (SPF 15-50) and again texture and/or price point.

Since The Ordinary haven’t released their Sun Care range yet, these are the ones I love and highly recommend:

  • NIOD Survival 10, 20 and 30 (20 is my favourite).
  • de Mamiel Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar SPF30.
  • iS Clinical Eclipse SPF50+ Translucent.

These three are all mineral sunscreens and I prefer this type of protection because chemical ones irritate my skin and to be honest, I don’t find them as “safe”. There are of course lots of options out there and it’s important you find one that works well and that you enjoy using, otherwise you’ll never want to put it on, which defeats the point.

That pretty much concludes what a morning skincare routine could look like and how The Ordinary products would fit in to each step. The only thing to add now would be primer then makeup (if you wear them) and you’re done. This might seem extensive, but I wanted to make sure I covered everything you could do in the morning as part of a routine and as I said before, you just need to choose the steps you want to do. If you’d prefer to keep things simple then just follow steps 1, 5, 7, 8 and/or 9, but if you want a fuller routine then add as many additional ones as you’d like. The beauty of skincare routines is that they are completely flexible and customizable.

Evening

  1. Makeup/Sunscreen/Daily Grime Removal

At the end of the day it’s important to cleanse as soon as you can. Most of us have had makeup and/or sunscreen on our faces for hours or have just been out in the world exposed to pollution/dirt/grime etc, so I always like to cleanse as soon as I get in rather than before bed. This way you’re not too tired to do your nighttime routine and the products will have a chance to get to work/absorb well before your head hits the pillow.

Usually an oil or balm is a good choice for a first cleanse, but you can use whatever texture works best for you. These are some excellent evening first cleanse options:

  • NIOD Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester.
  • de Mamiel Botaniques Restorative Cleansing Balm.
  • Mrs White’s Classic Cold Cream.
  • Time Bomb Take-Off Time Cleansing Cream
  • The Original MakeUp Eraser.

Unlike with your morning or evening second cleanse options, this one doesn’t need to be particularly geared towards your skin type as it’s going to be thoroughly removed. What you want to look for is something that effectively removes the level of makeup you wear and is a texture you enjoy using.

If like me you don’t like to always use washcloths, this is the step to consider using them. I find they work very well to help fully remove my makeup and sunscreen, especially if they’re silicone heavy like many primers, foundations and sunscreens are. I always use a washcloth to remove Survival 20 because that stuff has excellent longevity and without one I can still feel the slippy texture on my skin.

If you don’t already “double cleanse” then please consider giving it a try. It could make all the difference to your skin’s health and I definitely noticed a big improvement when I first started doing it.

  1. Skin Cleanse/Product Prep

After the first cleanse to remove makeup etc, the second cleanse is all about cleaning your actual skin and you can use the same cleansers recommended in the Morning Cleanse step. I personally like to use something that caters to my skin’s needs that day so if it’s oily I will use NIOD SS or the de Mamiel Pure Calm Cleansing Dew, if it’s dry or irritated I’ll use Aurelia’s Miracle Cleanser. Just make sure whatever cleanser you use doesn’t dry out the skin too much, no matter what your skin type is.

  1. Exfoliation or Masking (Optional)

If you are more of a nighttime masker then this is where you would use one (if not skip to number 4, 5, or 6). The beauty of masking at night is you usually have more time and can “multi-mask” or leave one on for hours, which is what I often do with NIOD Flavanone Mud. Again, you can use any of the masks listed in the morning Exfoliation/Masking routine (including the acids and especially the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution).

If you would like to “multi-mask” you either apply an exfoliating mask first, followed by a purifying on and lastly a hydrating one. Alternatively you can apply a purifying mask to you congested areas and a hydrating one to your dry areas, or any combo that suits your needs.

There are also no real rules when it comes to masking. You can stick to once a week, a few times a week or nightly, as I know some of you like to do. If you have particularly dry skin for example, it could be good for your skin to use a hydrating mask every evening to keep it plump and moisturized overnight, so you wake to nourished skin.

  1. SDSM2 and CAIS (optional)

You apply this step in the exact same way as you would in the morning, being sure to wait at least 30 minutes if you have used an acid to exfoliate. If you don’t use these products then skip to step 5 or 6.

  1. Acid/Retinol/Retinoid Nights

Unlike in the morning with acid toning, this is a pretty versatile step where you can use the Toning Solution or one of the Lactic Acid serums, but only do this step if you didn’t use an acid to exfoliate with already in this routine. Also, don’t forget to wait at least a minute before applying an acid on top of SDSM and/or CAIS.

With the acids it’s important they are applied first so they can actually work on the skin and this is also where I would personally use the retinols/retinoids for the same reason (and I have read this recommended too). I feel like applying them directly to the skin gives the best results and it allows me to keep my acid/retinol routine nights simple.

With acids you can carry on with the below steps as usual, but if you want to apply your retinol/retinoid here instead of an acid, then you would double cleanse, mask if you want to (I don’t recommend exfoliating before retinols/retinoids though), apply SDSM and/or CAIS if you use those, spritz a mist or toner (optional) and then apply one of the retinol/retinoid products.

You could also apply The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 or NIOD MMHC2 beforehand if you have sensitive skin to act as a “buffer” and/or an oil or moisturizer after if your skin is very dry, but if not I recommend keeping retinol/retinoid use in this step simple. All the formulas are so hydrating now that most people wouldn’t need to add more and I think it is better that way.

Lastly, to be clear, I do not recommend you use an acid and retinol/retinoid together. They should be used on alternate nights and with a simple routine.

These are the products that you would use for acid/retinol/retinoid night:

Acids:

  • The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution.
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA.
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA.

Retinols/Retinoids:

  • The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%.
  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane.
  • Acid/Retinol alternative:
  • NIOD NAAP.
  1. Toners/Mists/Spritzes

Just like with your second evening cleanse, your evening toner step can use the same product as you did in the morning. Again, I like to choose something that suits my skin’s needs and you can use any that you like as long as it doesn’t contain alcohol, which can be very drying and create unbalance for the skin. If you used an acid then do this step after, but if you used a retinol/retinoid then do it before, if you don’t want to put those type of products directly on to your skin.

  1. Eyes

Again, this step is the same as in the morning, except some of you may choose to use something richer or creamier to help keep the area hydrated while you sleep. You can use the same products listed in the morning routine.

  1. The Ordinary Water Based Serums

As with the morning routine you can use whichever serum suits your skin’s need and just be sure to apply them lightest to heaviest. In the evenings your serums will usually be more treatment based and contain more active ingredients that focus on your main skin concerns. I like to alternate between tackling acne and hyperpigmentation when it’s not retinol/retinoid night.

  1. Oils or Balms/Creams

Oils are another somewhat controversial product because of the fact that many from green beauty brands contain essential oils, which some find irritating and because some people believe they can get all the hydration they need from them, which isn’t true. Saying that, they are a beautiful and important step to nourish, heal, soothe, protect, treat and fortify the skin. If you don’t like to use oils then consider a cream or balm.

There are so many oils out there and whatever you use it will be the last step in your evening routine (after your balm/cream or mixed together, if you use those). From The Ordinary you have the four traditional oils as well as the Vitamin C 20%, which has an oil texture. You would also use the Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% in this step because of the texture and DECIEM recommend mixing it with your usual oil 2-3 times a week, which I think works really well, but do not use it if you acid toned or exfoliated or if it’s acid/retinol/retinoid night. This is an alternative to those type of products and should not be used with them unless you are an experienced/long time acid user.

The following products are options for this step:

  • Moisturizers/Emulsions/Suspensions
  • The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA.
  • The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%.
  • The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%.
  • The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%.
  • The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone.

Oils:

  • The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil.
  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil.
  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil.
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F.
  • The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane (not an oil, but has an oily texture).
  • The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% (again, not an oil but has an oil-like texture).
  • The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%.

One of the reasons I love these single oils is that you can create a blend that is completely customized to your own skin. The only thing to note is I would not recommend mixing ALA 5% with any of the Vitamin C’s as they are quite high strength and it could be too much for most people’s skin to handle.

Also, if you want to use the retinols/retinoids in a “traditional” routine then you would cleanse and possibly mask (but not exfoliate), then apply SDSM and/or CAIS (if you do), tone, use an eye product, then a water based serum containing hyaluronic acid then the following:

  • The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%.
  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane.
  • The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane.

You could finish with NMF or any of the oils, except the Vitamin C 20% and ALA 5% because again, you don’t want to use too many actives at once.

Even though it seems like a lot of work, these routines take around 5 minutes or less, depending on what you’re using and how much time you want to spend. I can do my full morning routine in under 5 minutes if I am rushing, but I can also take hours for my evening routine if I am indulging in facial massages or multi-masking.

While pretty much anything goes when it comes to skincare because everyone’s skin is different, there are some “rules” I would recommend taking in to consideration. I wouldn’t recommend using too many different acids or using them too often because you could risk over-exfoliating your skin. I also would suggest keeping acids and retinols/retinoids to separate nights and not using the high strength Vitamin C’s on those nights because it is an acid and could be too much for your skin. Don’t mix niacinamide with L-AA (Vitamin C 23%) if you’re worried about them reacting and please don’t introduce a bunch of new products at once because your skin might freak out. Take it slow, pay attention and build as you go along. Most of the products will not be right for you so please read The Ordinary – The Definitive Review and The Ordinary – A Regimen For Every Skin Type before making any purchases.

Once you have got the hang of it, you should find doing routines effortless, quick and hopefully fun! Of course, you can pick and choose which steps you need and what works for you and don’t be afraid to experiment. Sometimes I do just two steps when I don’t have time, so don’t feel pressured to do them all because not every step will be necessary or right for you. It’s all about what steps you want to do and what your skin needs, which nobody knows that better than you. This is just a guide to give you a general idea of how skincare routines work and where to incorporate the products from The Ordinary for the best results. I hope it helped and good luck!

Arly

Please Note:  We are really sorry, but Arly is unable to respond to requests for personal regimens.

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  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Jocelyn,

    Both are great products at great prices.

    Arly

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Ramona, SDSM is NIOD’s Superoxide Dismutase mist which hydrates skin and protects against free radical damage.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Kay,

    It was for me when I used the other version. I peeled quite a bit, but of course everyone’s skin is different. I would try the 5% first and see how you get on with that before the Retinol 1% is released.

    Arly

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Lynne,

    Yes they will be. Just need to test them for a bit longer and then they will be added.

    Arly

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Ana,

    I would definitely skip the glycolic acid in the evening in favour of a retin product, which work great for scarring and acne. I would also only use the Peeling Solution once a week as you are not used to acids and consider using the acid toner every other day to give your skin a chance to get used to it.

    Arly

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Laura,

    I would recommend following the routine for sensitive skin because the mix of products can help dehydration and blemishes too. You can also add the salicylic acid to treat any active blemishes.

    Arly

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Ana,

    I’m so glad the information has been helpful. Good luck with your new picks and please keep me posted on how you get on.

    Arly

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Mar,

    You are very welcome. I would recommend you use the lactic acid and retinoid only at night because they are quite potent and swap the Azelaic Acid to daytime use with sunscreen. The only thing I would suggest adding is the Niacinamide + Zinc as both ingredients work well to heal blemishes, balance oil production, fade pigmentation and it absorbs very well.

    Arly