Last Updated on April 27, 2023
Using the wrong type of moisturiser or even foundation can trigger acne. Finding the right products might be a big challenge if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Reading the ingredients is overwhelming and trying out anything branded as anti-acne feels like a waste of time, especially when you’re just going to add another brand to your ‘don’t buy’ list. And it’s probably getting longer.
So if you’re hesitant about trying affordable skincare brands like The Ordinary because the promises seem too good to be true, you’re not alone.
Investing in expensive skincare products might sound like the best thing for your skin, but skincare is not one-size-fits-all. Our skin is unique, so products you might find repeatedly on best-seller lists might not work for you.
When shopping for skincare products, you have to be wary. That’s why I advise you to buy samples first before committing to a specific product or brand. Not only do you save money, but it pays to be careful with your skin. The last thing you want is to trigger your acne-prone skin and pay a premium for it.
Another rule I follow when looking for skincare products is reading reviews from other people who have tried them before you I did. Reviews from beauty forums on Reddit were the reason I first gave The Ordinary a chance.
In this Reddit thread I found recently, I was pleasantly surprised by the praise The Ordinary’s skincare line has received—especially from people with acne problems.
So if you’re curious about The Ordinary and if their affordable skincare products are effective, I’m sharing the products most recommended by acne sufferers.
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The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, £11.50 – buy now
Exfoliating feels like the last thing anyone with acne should do, but it’s about choosing the right type of exfoliant.
The Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is a gentle exfoliator. As well as the Glycolic acid, its key ingredients are aloe vera and ginseng root, both known to soothe the skin.
Another interesting thing about this toning solution is that it contains Tasmania pepper berry, which helps acne inflammation and reduces skin redness.
100% Plant-Derived Squalane
100% Plant-Derived Squalane, £8.90 – buy now
One Redditor even mentioned that the Plant-Derived Squalane made her face feel baby soft, and after putting it in her skincare regimen, pimples have become rare. What’s in it, and can it do the same for you?
The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane is non-comedogenic (ingredients won’t clog or block the pores on your skin), which is a good thing to look out for when you’re looking for gentle skincare products.
Squalene also regulates oil production, making it suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. At the same time, it locks in moisture in your skin, leaving it feeling plump and smooth.
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane, £6.90 – buy now
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane is a skincare product that helps improve the appearance of fine lines and uneven skin texture. It contains 0.2% retinol and is supported by squalane for hydration.
This product is recommended for entry-level retinol users and must be used with sun protection. It should not be used in conjunction with other retinoids and is not a treatment for acne.
Once opened, it should be refrigerated and used within three months.
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £9.00 – buy now
Another favourite among fans of The Ordinary. So, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the brand’s best-sellers—it has oil-controlling and pore-minimizing agents, making it great for all skin types.
Niacinamide help reduce redness and control inflammation caused by acne. It is a common ingredient in other skincare products because they help improve skin texture and brighten the skin.
It’s important to use this during the treatment step of your skin regimen. It has a running texture, so it’s good to use it with thick creams and moisturizers.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque
Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, £22.70 – buy now
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that works deeper than most anti-clogging acids. Combined with charcoal and Amazonian clay, this face mask will do wonders for minimizing pores and cleansing the skin.
The clay and charcoal absorb excess oils on the skin. Meanwhile, the 2% salicylic acid cleanses and hydrates the skin. This means your face will feel supple, smooth, and glowy after incorporating it into your skincare cycle.
AHA 30% + BHA 2%
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, £8.40 – buy now
The AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a strong at-home peel that uses alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids to exfoliate multiple layers of skin for a brighter, more even appearance.
It also includes a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to reduce irritation and hyaluronic acid and pro-vitamin B5 for comfort and hydration.
This product is recommended for experienced acid exfoliation users only and has a pH of around 3.6 for maximum effectiveness and reduced skin discomfort.
Multi-Peptide + HA Serum
Multi-Peptide + HA Serum, £25.90 – buy now
Formerly known as The Ordinary “Buffet,” this serum is another product Redditors can’t stop raving about. This serum wasn’t originally developed for acne-prone skin, but it became popular because of its 11 skin-friendly amino acids that help reduce unwanted blemishes.
It includes Matrixyl 3000, Argirelox, and SYN-AKE—all three peptides have skin-smoothening effects and collagen-boosting properties that target acne scarring and discolouration.
The skincare brand also developed a guide that offers regimen suggestions depending on your skincare needs. You can check it out here.