04, 04, 2017

Not so Ordinary

You might’ve noticed by now that I’ve been on a skincare roll. Yeah, I know I always talk about my constant struggle and past with having major acne and breakouts, but anyone who’s had horrible acne knows it can be very traumatizing to your self-esteem. It’s been an ongoing battle, but for the last while things have looked up. I’ve been on a personal quest for the perfect skin and the results have really started to show-through.

When you have acne or are breaking out, finding the root of the cause can be tricky. That’s why I decided to scratch everything out and completely start over. I didn’t want to hold onto skincare products that “kinda helped” anymore. I wanted everything to make sense and do exactly what it said it would do. Although I went back to using Korean skincare products (you can see what I use in my Skincare Renovation article here), I was curious to experiment more and take things to the next level.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding this homegrown Canadian DECIEM skincare brand, The Ordinary, that I needed to check out for myself. If you’re a fellow Canadian, you know things ain’t that cheap here, so if I can help support a local brand (an affordable one at it as well) while getting the skin I want, then by all means! If you’ve already checked out The Ordinary website you’d know it can be quite overwhelming for those who don’t have a clue on skincare chemistry. Even as someone whose studied a bit of skincare in college, I needed to use Google to it’s full advantage. From what I understood, I picked up 4 precious goodies that were most suitable for my skincare needs.

My skin type:        




Skin concerns:


Acne & Scars,


Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
For the last month—after I cleanse, essence, and tone my face, I’ve been applying the vegan Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 to prep before the rest of my treatments. I’ve talked about the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid before, but just to break it down: it’s a substance naturally found in our bodies that’s a very high concentration of fluids, which makes it perfect for hydration, repairing, and anti-aging for any skin type. Not to toot my own horn, but I truly believe this is the reason to why my complexion has been reminding me of how it looked when I was in my late teens-early twenties. Before we scream ‘hallelujah’, to be fair, I haven’t seen too many sights of aging on my skin just yet, but I have definitely noticed remarkable changes since. This is a forever staple in my AM and PM skincare routine.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
In all honesty, my under eyes have always been a part of my face that I never really paid much attention to until recently. I’ve tried out a few eye creams and eye serums and had great results with them. The Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG for me kind of just does what the other eye products I’ve tried out before do. This formulation of high-solubility caffeine and green tea extracts claims to reduce the appearance of eye contour pigmentation and puffiness; it does help with the puffiness much more than the pigmentation. Perhaps this one needs more testing out,  but for now I’m just okay with it. I have to admit that the tightening effect you get after application is quite nice though.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
After the Caffeine Solution, I apply this in the AM before I put on my moisturizer. In combination with everything I use, the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is one of the biggest reasons to why my acne has really been under control. If you’re wondering what the hell Niacinamide is, it’s Vitamin B3 (don’t worry, I was scratching my head too). With the added Zinc this is a wonderful product to fight off acne. Where I normally get the most congestion has been clearing up and feeling smoother. The Korean beauty products I use already minimize the appearance of pores, but a little extra help from this never hurts! I could be imagining things, but I’ve also noticed that my skin hasn’t been overly producing oily since using this. Regardless, I’m in love!

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
I’m new when it comes to Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) for skin, and I’ve heard so many benefits to it. That’s why I watched a few videos before purchasing the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. Most of the reviews were 50/50, but I needed to try it out for myself. If you’re not use to or a fan of tingling/almost burning sensations, then you’re not going to like this. The first few times of applying the Suspension was weird. First off, it’s a very grainy texture (but does dissolved overnight…or maybe just rubs off on my pillow, who knows); and second, it can make you feel like you’re on fire or that your face is being eaten alive by ants if you slather on just a bit too much (I’m telling you this from experience). Call me a freak, but I learned to accept and love the feeling. Aside from the horror this product may bring, I absolutely love the way my skin has been evolving with each nightly use. My skin looks brighter and it has really been helping with evening out my skin tone.* Note: Niacinamide and L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) cancel each other out and no longer work when layered together. Always alternative between the two.

Have you tried out any of The Ordinary products yet?

34 responses to “Not so Ordinary”

  1. I’ve been trying this brand too, though different products, and I’m so impressed!

    xo, Liz

  2. Katherine Tran says:

    I keep hearing so many good things about this brand, I really need to try it!


  3. writingmonique says:

    I actually haven’t heard anything about this brand (who’s name I just love!) but it sounds absolutely amazing! 🙂 WritingMonique

  4. Julia says:

    You certainly know your skin care! This was quite informative, not only about the product, but also just about ingredients to look for in general to help my acne. I’ve had pretty bad acne for as long as I can remember, and you’re right, it can be really annoying self-esteem wise. I’m in college now, I thought I was supposed to be done with this!
    Great post.
    Julia || juliainbluhm.com

    • Stacey says:

      Well I suggest you try out this line! I know as a college student especially you might be on a budget but these products are sooo affordable, even cheaper than drugstore and are just as if not 10 times better than those anyways. I’m much older than you and I still struggle with acne but these have helped a lot!

  5. I love how specific this is hahah. Love to learn more about skincare, so thank you for this love. The serum (?) for the eyes sounds quite good though, I want a speicific serum for that area. And love the packaging, haha love the medical vibe! Xx


    • Stacey says:

      Hahah I did a lot of research before I made a purchase :] and a lot of people rave about the Caffeine Solution so perhaps you would love it too!

  6. Love this post! I love how the muted colors really work well with the greenery you have!
    LOL at the “Niacinamide” section…I was definitely looking at the screen weird when I was reading it. You caught me. But that sounds so interesting! I’ve been looking for a good acne fighting agent so I can switch to a more gentle cleanser, because I feel like only some areas of my face get congested but I don’t want to use an acne cleanser for all over, yaknow? Let me know how that continues to work – please!!!

    My package just arrived yesterday actually, I got the Rosehip seed oil, Hyaluronic acid and AHA and BHA peeling solutions. I tried the Rosehip seed oil and the hyaluronic acid solutions last night, so nice! I can’t wait to see what regular use will do for my skin. But the problem is, I’ve JUST made a purchase and now you make me want to purchase more!!! AHHH, my heart can’t actually handle! ♡


    • Stacey says:

      Which cleanser are you using now? I find that just switching to a gentle cleanser has surprisingly helped with my acne. I use the COSRX pH one and it’s pretty good. I’m not entirely sure what rosehip oil does but I will need to do research since everyone is talking about this oil lol. I know what you mean! Just like a week before I posted this they came out with new products so I was like ahhh I want more!! But I’m going to try and be good and sit down until I finish up the rest and need to restock lol :]

      • I’m using the First Aid Beauty Deep cleansing red clay one. I know it says “deep cleansing” but surprisingly it’s super gentle. It doesn’t feel stripping at all! And every other night I’ll use the Caolion cleanser that I talked about. I really want to try the Fresh Soy cleanser! But I’ll also take a look into the COSRX pH one. I’ve never heard of that brand though, is it purchased online or?

        And rosehip oil is amazing for nourishing the skin as well as fading scars! I used to use it but with all the other serums and creams i’ve been trying i have been neglecting it for sure so since I saw that The Ordinary had one, i definitely got one for myself <3

        I know the struggle girl – There's just so many skincare products I want to try D:

  7. I’ve been interested in trying the Ordinary, but have yet to do it! The Vitamin b3 serum sounds really good. I’ve had a lot of horomonal breakouts recently and could really use some help getting those under control. Is it weird that I think your description of the Vitamin c serum when applied too heavily made me actually imagine what that would feel like? Ugh. I hate ants!


    • Stacey says:

      LOL I hate ants as well!! When I was a kid and watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids, I got nightmares from the giant ants :'(!!

  8. Kate Rattley says:

    I’ve been using their primer and it works so well, my make-up is smoother and stays on longer! I fully back the Ordinary brand! Really great post with perfect amount of detail.
    Kate || http://www.katerattley.com

  9. KarenH says:

    I’ve never try this brand. Sounds interesting.


  10. Wow…what cool products…seems like an awesome brand….great post babe…xx, Neha


  11. yuka says:

    I’ve gotta look into this brand! I love the packaging and the products sound awesome!


  12. itsjessiejane says:

    Such cool packaging! X

    ♡ itsjessiejane ♡

  13. The Nerdy Me says:

    Oh, I know the struggle of having acne, trust me. It’s horrible. I haven’t heard about this brand but I like the sound of the products that you tried out. I’m up for anything that actually works and does the job 🙂

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  14. Emily says:

    Wow, I’ve been seeing the Ordinary products everywhere in the bloggersphere so they must be good! I really like the simple packaging too and you speak so highly that I will definitely have to invest!

    Musings & More

    • Stacey says:

      It’s worth all the hype! I also absolutely love how affordable it is because you know skincare can be crazy expensive these days with mediocre results.

  15. I want to try this brand soo bad, their packaging is absolute perfection!

  16. Avant-garde says:

    I’ve never heard of this brand before… so glad to know more about it… love your blog 🙂 <3

  17. Serene says:

    I’ve heard so much about this brand! And I am yet to try it! I like the sound of the Caffiene solution for the under eyes! Hehe I get a lot of puffiness and I’m not sure but I’m looking for something to remove lines under the eye !

    I need to check The Ordinary out :p

    Serene | iamserenel.com

    • Stacey says:

      Yes girl, you need to get on the ordinary train 😛 I’m just about ready to make another order soon :]….shopping addiction is out of control LOOL

  18. I’ve heard so many good things about this brand and I was really curious but then I heard some not so really great things from one blogger that I actually value her opinion so I decided to steer clear from the brand but I am also aware that everyone’s skin is different as we all have different reactions to certain things. I’m more on the dry side and my skin concerns are antiaging and a little bit of acne scarring. I may still look into it but not sure yet.

    • Stacey says:

      That’s a shame it didn’t work for her, but like you said everyone’s skin is different and reacts all different as well, and I mean hey everything from The Ordinary are under 12 bucks so why not? Since using their products I have been been able to go without foundation so this stuff is pretty much miracles for me <3

  19. mizzjblog says:

    Your results sound amazing! I love using Niacinamide as well. I’ve only used the Rose Hip oil so far from The Ordinary and it’s a great soothing oil that I think would benefit anyone whereas I’ve heard some iffy reviews about the other Ordinary products.


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