I Tried Deciem’s Affordable ‘The Ordinary’ Line and It Completely Changed My Skin

On a recent lunch date, a girlfriend I’ve known since childhood asked me: “Did you get Botox?” Girl, no. Needles are not my jam, and I’m not really one to mess with anything invasive on my sensitive, pale Irish skin. But…I did start using Deciem’s new skin-care line, The Ordinary. Not only is it working wonders (hello, Botox compliments), but it’s also so affordable, you’d be crazy not to try it. (More on that later.)

The tale of my skin history goes like this: I’ve gone from super oily and acne-riddled to parched and congested over the past few years. Plus, I turned 30, which means on top of trying to balance the mix of peely, dry skin with random breakouts, I need to get in front of the whole aging thing. So last fall, I invested (it cost $78) in a vitamin C and collagen serum for hydration and anti-aging benefits. Alas, it wreaked havoc on my chin (read: new pimples daily).

So when my sister brought home The Ordinary’s AHA/BHA Peeling Solution, I figured, “What have I got to lose?” I noticed a difference in my skin instantly. Designed to be used one or twice a week for ten minutes a time, the exfoliating formula transformed my skin in front of my eyes—it was smoother, clearer and brighter than it had been in months.

An easy convert, I visited The Ordinary’s website to buy my own bottle of this miracle elixir and found it offer different regimens recommended for specific concerns. Here’s what ended up in my shopping cart and quickly became my skin-care routine:

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: This is the exfoliant I had already tried and loved. I use it roughly once a week and see instant results each time. My breakouts are less frequent and not nearly as intense.

Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane: I apply this anti-aging formula at night and wake up with a healthy glow with no irritation at all. (Still, I make sure to wear sunscreen since retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.)

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: I rub a couple drops of this serum on my face and neck in the morning before my moisturizer, and it keeps my skin hydrated all day. I’m thinking about trying the H.A. moisturizer, too. 

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil: Every night after my retinoid treatment, I slather a few drops of this oil on my face and neck. A little goes a long way, and I always wake up feeling rejuvenated, not greasy or congested as some oils have done for me in the past. 

Considering my $78 vitamin C purchase (SMH), I was shocked at the price for four Ordinary products: $33.40. I figured that maybe the low cost was because they’re all sample-sized? But when my loot showed up, each bottle contained 30mL of product and cost less than $10 each. 

So no, I haven’t had Botox. But I did spend $33.40 on four products that have completely changed my skin for the better. Worth. Every. Penny.

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