The Ordinary Skincare Routine: Build Your Perfect Routine

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Interested in The Ordinary skincare routine? You’re definitely in the right place!

A good regimen provides the skin with excellent benefits while targeting specific concerns using the right ingredients. 

And no matter what your skin type or problem is, this famous brand has effective skincare products that you can choose from.

A cropped photo of a woman's side face touching her face with her hand.

A skincare routine calls for several steps using multiple products. To maximize what each product brings to the table, you need to know the right order of The Ordinary products you plan on using. 

Read on to learn how to build a skincare routine with The Ordinary products only. 

After we walk you through the best AM and PM routines, we’ll also show you a list of The Ordinary product recommendations categorized by skin type.

The Ordinary Brand

The Ordinary has taken the world by storm recently. What made them so popular? 

This brand provides high-quality skincare products that are formulated for a wide array of needs. The best part is that they offer such products for a fraction of the cost other mid-level or high-end brands sell them for.

Easily recognizable for their minimalist branding, many have raved about using The Ordinary products in their skincare regimen on social media. 

The brand also has several recommendations you can incorporate so that you can maximize each product’s effectiveness.

An Overview to the Ordinary Skincare Routine

Nowadays, the most popular skincare routines are inspired by the South Korean skincare industry. This is likely due to K-beauty’s effectiveness. 

As such, no matter where your products originate from, K-beauty’s multi-step skincare routine is a good template to follow. 

Similarly, in order to reap the full benefits of products by The Ordinary, you can make your own morning and nighttime skincare routines based on K-beauty’s multi-step routine.

Are you ready to experience The Ordinary’s famous benefits? Try the steps in this The Ordinary products routine order guide below.

The Ordinary Morning Routine

Want to know what order to use The Ordinary products in the AM? Here are the steps you can take during the morning.

Step 1: Cleanse

A cropped photo of a woman with facial foaming cleanser on her face and thick foam on her hands

Take care of your skin while helping yourself wake up in the morning.

Start the day off by cleansing your skin. This step removes all the bacteria, sebum, and sweat that may have accumulated on your skin when you slept through the night.

It also gets rid of any unwanted and old residue that has been left over from your nighttime skincare routine. This prepares your skin for fresh skincare products that bring nutrients and benefits to your skin.

For this step, using a foam cleanser will suffice. If you have dry skin, make sure to find a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away much-needed moisture on your skin. 

If you have oily skin, you may opt to double clean or use a product that can help you regulate the extra sebum on your face.

Step 2: Exfoliate

If you want to achieve healthy skin, don’t forget to exfoliate.

While this step isn’t recommended daily, a good skincare routine includes exfoliation around twice or thrice a week.

This step removes the topmost layer of your skin, particularly the dead skin cells. This should be removed to promote healthy cell turnover.

Additionally, by getting rid of this layer, you also remove the stubborn and nasty impurities that your cleanser might have left over.

Some argue that you should exfoliate at night, especially if you wear makeup during the day. 

However, exfoliating in the morning might be more beneficial.

Since the skin heals and repairs itself when you sleep, it produces a layer of dead skin cells waiting for you to remove it when you wake up.

Generally, you may choose between physical and chemical exfoliators depending on your skin type or concern. 

However, since you’re coming up with The Ordinary face routine, you’ll likely be more inclined to use their popular chemical exfoliators.

Step 3: Tone

Toning your skin is an essential part of taking care of your skin.

As we go about our lives, the pH levels of our skin change. Toners are formulated to balance the pH levels of our skin.

Some toners also have added ingredients that nourish our skin.

Many toners you can try today have hydrating properties; many are also gentle on your skin. Some are also multifunction, as some toners can also exfoliate your skin.

Step 4: Nourish

Here’s the fun part of skincare: nourishment.

Today, the world of skincare is bigger, and there’s a wide variety of fantastic skincare ingredients that you can choose from.

You can get three types of nourishing products — all of which have been categorized, thanks to the rise of K-beauty.

These three are essences, ampoules, and serums.

These products are formulated to have a high concentration of certain ingredients to help with specific skincare concerns. The difference between the three is the level of potency and concentration and the texture.

In this step, The Ordinary thrives. It’s a well-known brand for a wide array of nourishing serums that target many skin concerns.

So for the best The Ordinary skin routine you can make, get to know the serums they offer that can benefit your skin the most!

Step 5: Moisturize

Asian woman applying face cream moisturizer in the mirror.

Another crucial step in any skincare routine is moisturizing.

For our skin to be healthy, it needs the right amount of moisture.

However, due to many different factors, such as skin type and overstripping cleansers, sometimes the skin lacks this crucial substance. This is where moisturizers come in.

Apart from the obvious fact that a moisturizer provides our skin with hydration and moisture, it has another role to play. 

When you use moisturizers, it locks in the products that you’ve previously used. This is crucial to reap all the benefits of the multiple products used in the routine. 

During the day, it’s best to use lightweight moisturizers. Even better, you can find ones that can double as a primer.

You can try out the brand’s popular Natural Moisturizing Factors cream for your The Ordinary skin regimen.

Step 6: UV Protection

There are several steps in a skincare routine that you can do both daytime and nighttime.

However, there’s one crucial step that you need to do only during the daytime. It’s a step you must never ever skip in the morning: putting on sunscreen.

Prevention is better than finding a cure for most things in life, including skincare. This is where your sunscreen comes in. It helps protect your skin and prevent it from suffering any damage from the sun. 

Luckily, you have terrific options for UV protection from The Ordinary. Make sure to add one of them to your daytime routine.

The Ordinary Nighttime Routine

Now that you know what to do in the morning, it’s now time to learn the steps to your The Ordinary night routine. 

Luckily, most of the steps overlap between the two, but they have some differences that are also worth noting. 

Step 1: Double Cleanse

The first step to any skincare routine is always cleansing, be it daytime or nighttime regimens.

Your skin has been through a lot as you’ve gone through your day.

It has been exposed to a vast number of environmental irritants and pollutants that may irritate your skin or clog up your pores if not cleansed. 

Also, you may have used makeup products on your skin. These products are meant to be taken off after a long day, or else they may irritate your skin and clog up your pores too. 

On top of that, as your skin undergoes cell turnover, more dead skin cells are produced that you also need to get rid of.

For this, you need to double cleanse whether you have normal, dry, or oily skin. 

Start with a balm, and for your The Ordinary skincare routine, you can use the brand’s popular Squalane Cleanser. This will help dissolve any leftover makeup or skincare products and make them easy to remove from your skin.

After this, use a gel or foaming cleanser to wash and clear away the leftover balm cleanser on your skin along with any remaining impurities.

Step 2: Exfoliate

A side photo of a woman with a beige towel on her head smiling while applying a brown facial scrub on her face

While it was mentioned before that it’s best to exfoliate during the morning routine, there’s no set rule for using exfoliators

You can choose to exfoliate at night as well. However, it’s crucial for you to exfoliate at least twice or thrice a week only.

Step 3: Tone

Similar to your daytime routine, you also need to tone.

This step helps your skin have balanced pH levels while prepping it for the next products you’ll apply to your skin.

Do note that some toners double as nourishing products or exfoliators. Check if some ingredients counteract with each other when figuring out what The Ordinary products to use together.

Step 4: Nourish

You have to also include nourishment in your nighttime skincare regimen.

This step targets specific skin concerns that you may have. This is also where The Ordinary excels.

The Ordinary produces a lot of heavy-hitting serums that you can choose from.

Depending on what skin concern you’re dealing with, it’s likely that you’ll find a product from this brand that works well.

Apply a few drops of your chosen essence, ampoule, or serum to your face. Massage the products on your face and neck. 

Step 5: Use a Sheet Mask

Technically, a sheet mask is also a nourishing product. However, it’s best to use this product around two to three times a week.

Sheet masks soak your face with skin-friendly ingredients. Apart from that, if you cool your sheet masks, they may provide a relaxing sensation when you put them on. 

Keep your sheet mask on for around 10 to 15 minutes. Remove it after and pat the leftover product onto your face and neck. 

Step 6: Use an Eye Cream

The area around our eyes is more delicate than most of the parts of our faces.

After using a sheet mask and once the product has dried, apply a small amount of eye cream under your eyes. 

These products target specific conditions that affect this area of your face. Such concerns include fine lines and dark circles.

Step 7: Moisturize

Lastly, end your The Ordinary skincare routine in the PM with an excellent moisturizer. This both provides moisture and locks in the products you’ve previously used.

At night, you can use a heavier night cream as your moisturizer. These are usually thicker to provide protection for your skin as you sleep. 

A woman laying on a bed with moisturizer on her face.

The Ordinary Product Combinations You Can Try for Your Routine

Now that you know The Ordinary skincare order of steps, check out which The Ordinary products are recommended for your skin type.

The Ordinary Skincare Routine for Combination Skin and Normal Skin

Cleanse (AM and PM) The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser along with a gel/foaming cleanser (if double cleansing)

Exfoliate (AM or PM) AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (not for beginners) / Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution / Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Tone (AM or PM)Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (Make sure to only use it once a day, if you intend to use it as a daily toner as it can also exfoliate).

Nourish (AM and PM) “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% / Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% / 100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil

Eye Cream (PM) Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Moisturize (AM and PM)Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA 

Apply Sunscreen (AM) —  Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants / Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants

The Ordinary Skincare Routine for Dry Skin

Cleanse (AM and PM) The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser along with a gel/foaming cleanser (if double cleansing)

Exfoliate (AM or PM) Lactic Acid 10% + HA / Lactic Acid 5% + HA

Tone (AM or PM)Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (Make sure to only use it once a day, if you intend to use it as a daily toner as it can also exfoliate).

Nourish (AM and PM) Marine Hyaluronics / Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane / Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F

Eye Cream (PM) Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Moisturize (AM and PM)Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Apply Sunscreen (AM) — Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants / Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants

The Ordinary Skincare Routine for Oily Skin and Acne-Prone Skin 

Cleanse (AM and PM) The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser along with a gel/foaming cleanser (if double cleansing)

Exfoliate (AM or PM) Salicylic Acid 2% Solution / Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution

Tone (AM or PM)Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (Make sure to only use it once a day, if you intend to use it as a daily toner as it can also exfoliate).

Nourish (AM and PM) The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% / Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion / Multi-Peptide + HA Serum

Eye Cream (PM) Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Moisturize (AM and PM)Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Apply Sunscreen (AM) —  Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants / Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants

Tips and Tricks When Using The Ordinary Products

The Ordinary Serum: Order of Application

You can layer serums in your skincare routine, and there’s an order for applying them. 

According to the brand, you can use up to three serums in a single routine, and you should use them depending on what skin concern you want to target first. 

Apply the serum targeting your primary skin concern closer to your skin. Layer the other two serums after that, depending on priority.

Get Your Skin Used to Chemical Exfoliators

Some of The Ordinary’s exfoliators are pretty potent. If you’re a beginner in the world of chemical exfoliators, it’s best to avoid this.

Look for lower concentrations of AHAs and BHAs that you can use so that your skin can get used to them first!

Asian woman smiling with her hands on her face.

A Trusted Skincare Brand

Brands like The Ordinary make premium skincare ingredients accessible to more people. While the brand sells them at affordable prices, it doesn’t skimp on quality.

As such, it’s a reliable skincare brand to build a skincare regimen with.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you customize your The Ordinary skincare routine.

Maximize the benefits of each product by knowing the steps to a good beauty regimen. It makes a world of difference!

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  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

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