Ever since it debuted in 2017, The Ordinary has been selling out left and right thanks to its limited-ingredient skincare saviors at wonderfully affordable prices (we’re talking most under ten dollars). Because nearly all of its products have just one or two active ingredients, they’re easy to mix and match for a one-of-a-kind skincare regimen. But that also means there are lots of choices to make. How do you know which ones to use? Let us do the honors. These are all the products we swear by for a clear, glowy complexion this summer.
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1. The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
Salt, sand and sea might feel pretty damn good after winter, but they don’t do anything for our skin in the moisture department. That’s where this cleanser comes in. Thanks to plant-based squalane oil, it removes dirt, makeup and general grime without stripping skin of essential moisture.
2. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Another moisturizing hero, this best-selling serum features three molecular weights of hyaluronic acid to ensure it penetrates every layer of skin. HA is a humectant, meaning it draws water to skin to plump it with hydration. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water without being greasy or heavy, so it’s ideal for all skin types.
3. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
If your complexion is looking dull or you have dark spots from one too many days in the sun (tsk, tsk), adding a skin-brightening vitamin C to your routine will help bring your glow back. This one is combined with hyaluronic acid to add even more hydration when you need it most.
4. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
One skincare staple you’ve likely been using for as long as you’ve been cleansing is moisturizer. And this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s non-greasy, so it won’t clog your pores. Just remember to apply it after your serums (but before your oil!) for max effectiveness.
5. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
If you like the idea of retinol, but not the sun sensitivity and dryness that often come along with it, opt for rose hip seed oil. It’s a natural form of vitamin A (aka the active ingredient in retinoids) and even Kate Middleton is a fan.
6. The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Miss the afterglow of your monthly facial appointments? Apply this cult-favorite peeling solution once or twice a week for a deeper exfoliation. It will slough off dead skin to reveal newer, more youthful (read: radiant) cells underneath with zero downtime. Just be sure to patch-test before going full throttle in case it’s too intense for your skin type.
7. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
This gentle toner can be used every day (unlike some of The Ordinary’s more potent products) to exfoliate your face and slowly but surely reveal clearer, more even, radiant skin. It’s an excellent option for those with more sensitive skin types or anyone who prefers to stick to one simple daily routine rather than keeping track of products best used every three or four days.
8. The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder
Mix a small amount of this powerful in with just about any water-based moisturizer or serum (provided that the pH of the base is between 5.1 and 7.0) to help combat visible shine, enlarged pores and irregular skin texture.
9. The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil
Chia seeds aren’t just delicious to eat, they also boast some serious skin-enhancing abilities—it can help fight irritation, UV damage and even tackle stubborn blemishes. This serum, intended for daily use, will help soothe and calm your skin, something we often need a little more frequently after days spent sitting in the summer sun.
10. The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
Whether you suffer from acneic skin or excess oil, apply this charcoal and clay-infused mask once or twice a week to detoxify skin and soak up any blemish-causing bacteria. It’s ideal for summer, because it helps mattify shine and clear pores.
Don’t Forget the SPF!
The Ordinary doesn’t make an SPF product—but it’s too important not to mention. So here are three from other brands we love. Just add it in as the last step of your skincare routine right before your makeup, and please, use it all year long.
Supergoop! Mini Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++
A PureWow favorite, this sunscreen also helps protect against blue light emitted from your phone and computer screens.
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
We love a good multi-hyphenate product. This tint offers excellent SPF protection while simultaneously providing coverage for a more even skin tone.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Instant Radiance Sun Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40
This powerful skin protector uses a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to physically block harmful rays. Unlike many physical sunscreens, however, it won’t leave any white residue on your skin.
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