Everything You Need to Know About The Ordinary (Straight from the Source!)

BeautySkin CareEverything You Need to Know About The Ordinary (Straight from the Source!)

Everything You Need to Know About The Ordinary (Straight from the Source!)

Well.ca customers can’t get enough of The Ordinary! This beautiful and affordable skin care line from the Toronto-based company, DECIEM, flies off our virtual shelves! But let’s face it – these products are labeled with scientific names that can be confusing for the inexperienced (and experienced!) user. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate? Hyaluronic Acid Spheres? Not to worry – we’ve got your back!

We teamed up our friends Tamara and Jynessa from DECIEM to help demystify some favourites from The Ordinary so that you can narrow it down the right ones for whatever skincare concern you have. Read – and watch – on for the inside scoop, directly from the brand!

The Ordinary offers a broad range of familiar and effective skincare technologies, but offered at honest prices. Each product contains one or two active ingredients to target specific skin concerns. With The Ordinary, you can add a variety of products into your skincare regimen. It is an evolving collection of clinical formulations with integrity. So let’s get started!

The Ordinary products are most easily sorted by their main ingredients and use cases. Tamara and Jynessa divide their favourite products into categories – watch each video to hear a brief description of the products, see how to apply, and get their recommendations on which might work for you!

Vitamin C & its Derivatives:

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant that visibly targets signs of aging and uneven skin tone. If a vitamin C formula turns color, this means it is oxidized. We offer stable formulations of pure Vitamin C and derivatives.

In its pure form, vitamin C is unstable in water, so we also offer oil- or water-soluble derivatives of vitamin C, which provide some of the benefits of pure vitamin C plus more. Check out the video below for the scoop on 4 product faves:

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + Hyaluronic Acid Spheres 2%: For Brightening and Anti-Aging

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + Hyaluronic Acid Spheres 2% is a water-free, silicone-free stable suspension. It offers the most direct exposure to pure vitamin C at a 23% concentration. This is a powdered suspension, so it requires a few seconds for it to feel full absorbed by the skin. And don’t be alarmed if you feel a strong tingling sensation upon application, as it can take a while for your skin to build up a tolerance.

Directions: Apply a few drops to face in the AM or the PM.

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F: Also for Brightening and Anti-Aging

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% is an oil-soluble vitamin C derivative in vitamin F. It is one of the most stable vitamin C derivatives. This is a very lightweight oil solution that can be offered in a higher potency formula, with very minimal stinging upon application. We recommend applying this after your water-based serums.

Directions:  Apply a few drops to the entire face in the AM and/or PM, ideally after water-based treatments.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%: Also for Brightening and Anti-Aging

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is a water-soluble vitamin C derivative. At a 12% concentration, it is stable in water and won’t oxidize. This is a lightweight, fast absorbing serum, and there’s very minimal stinging upon application. We recommend applying this before heavier formulas such as oils or creams.

Directions: Apply a few drops to face AM and PM, before applying oils and/or creams.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%: Also for Brightening and Anti-Aging

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% is a water soluble vitamin C derivative. At a 10% concentration, it has a very low stinging sensation. This is a lightweight hydrating cream formulation. You would apply this after your water-based serums, before application of makeup.

Directions: Apply a small amount of this cream formula to face AM and PM, after application of water-based serums.

More vitamin C (click the link to read up!):

Which Vitamin C Is Right For You?

For experienced users who want pure vitamin C and for aging concerns, we recommend Vitamin C Suspension 23% + Hyaluronic Acid Spheres 2%.

For specific brightening benefits, we would recommend trying one of our vitamin C derivatives.

For newer users of vitamin C, it’s best to start with one of our derivative formulated at a lower concentration. This would include Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% or Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%. At a higher potency with minimal stinging sensation, we recommend Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F.


Both the oil and the water content of the skin have to be in check in order for the skin to feel comfortable and smooth. This is why oily skin can actually sometimes feel dehydrated. The Ordinary offers different formulas that target hydration. Watch the video below to hear about 3 favourites:

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: For Multi-Level Hydration

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a hydration support formula with ultra-pure, vegan hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid can attract 1,000 times its weight in water. This contains three forms of hyaluronic acid at different molecular weights to target multi-depth hydration and visible plumping. It also contains vitamin B5 for added surface hydration. This is a very lightweight serum that should be applied before heavier formulations in your skincare routine.

Directions: Apply a few drops to face AM and PM before creams.

100% Plant-Derived Squalane: Hydrates and Prevents Moisture Loss

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is a lightweight solution to support healthy hydration. Squalane is found naturally in the skin. This solution is derived from sugar cane and beets.  This is a lightweight surface oil hydrator for dry skin conditions. It leaves a very non oily finish to the skin, and should be applied after water-based serums.

Directions: Apply a few drops daily or as needed to entire face, ideally after water-based treatments.

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA: For Non-Greasy Hydration

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is a surface hydration formula. Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) are elements that keep the outer layer of the skin protected and well hydrated. This cream formula offers non-greasy surface hydration, and should be applied as the last step in your skincare routine.

Directions: Apply after serums as needed for effective surface hydration.

Which Hydrator Is Best For You?

For oily skin that feels dehydrated, we recommend our Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.

For drier skin types, we recommend applying Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, followed by 100% Plant-Derived Squalane.

All skin types can benefit from our Natural Moisturizing Factors + Hyaluronic Acid.

Other Hydrators by The Ordinary (click the links to read up on each!):

Direct Acids (click the links to read up on each!):
More molecules (click the links to reach up on each!):

We hope this helps demystify The Ordinary at Well.ca! And remember – this line has a very accessible price point so you don’t have to feel guilty about experimenting a bit to find the right fit for you. Stay tuned for upcoming additions to the line, and let us know if there are other products from The Ordinary you want to know about!

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