Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The Ordinary: Anti-Ageing at Under a Tenner

Yes, you read that title right. The latest brand to launch on Face the Future are producing highly-effective, clinically-proven serums with prices starting as low as £4.90. If you read the beauty pages of magazine or websites regularly, it's hard to avoid The Ordinary at the minute. Their no-nonsense approach to skin health has been a hit with skincare lovers across the globe.

Ever since the range launched, I have been eager to put these products to the test. Could an £8 retinol really be as good as some of its more expensive counter parts? As soon as the products landed here at FTF HQ, I just had to take some home and give them a run for their (very minimal) money.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 16.27.22Advanced Retinoid 2%

I do love a retinoid and have been thinking about stepping up my vitamin A level for a while, so when I saw this I knew that now was the time to take the plunge. The 2% strength cannot be directly related to a standard retinol, as this serum contains an advanced form of vitamin A that delivers the same powerful results without the irritations often associated with retinol. I may go as far as to say this is by far one of the best retinoids I have ever used “ it's light, does not dry out the skin at all and has really helped to improve my skin texture.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 16.28.28Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide is a hidden gem of skincare actives. I find that not many people rave about it, but it's barrier-strengthening and ceramide-boosting benefits really help to maintain strong, healthy and radiant skin. It also regulates sebum production, so combining with zinc in this serum helps to correct and prevent breakouts. The 10% concentration is higher than a lot of more expensive serums on the market, so is amazing value for money.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 16.29.59Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

HA is something that I've spoken about many times on this blog so I won't bore you again, but it will always be one of my top skincare actives. It hydrates, plumps and smoothes all skin types in an ultra light, rapidly absorbing formula. To be able to do all these things, a HA serum must be formulated with hyaluronic at varying molecular strengths, allowing it to act at different levels of the skin. High molecular weight HA locks in moisture at a surface level, while low molecular weight hyaluronic has that plumping, 'filler' effect at a much deeper level. An old-school favourite at pocket-money prices. What's not to love?

I know what you're all thinking how is the brand so cheap?

Firstly can I just say that this is in no way a 'cheap' brand. Each product is well researched and thoroughly tested. Although simple in design, each product combines in sturdy packaging that looks and feels a hell of a lot more expensive than it actually is. In an interview with skincare guru Caroline Hirons, Brandon Truaxe (the man behind the brand) explains how it's all possible:“For example, very high purity Niacinamide costs under $10 per KG and so the cost of all materials in Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is under $1 (£0.5). Most of the cost actually goes into compounding, testing (inbound and outbound) and retail costs/margins. We haven't cut any margin % and The Ordinary is a sustainable model.In the same interview, he goes on to explain that just because the price is low, it doesn't mean they're cutting corners with the percentage of active ingredients:
“If we use an active ingredient, we almost always use it at the highest, or a very high, concentration, regardless of the brand and The Ordinary is no exception. I am not sure that any of The Ordinary formulations can actually include any more % of the actives used (chemically or legally).
Personally, I love this brand and their entire ethos. While their products aren't necessarily revolutionary, they are tried and tested actives that brands always go back to; the only difference is they are now available at everyone's price range.My only negative is that each product is exactly what it says on the tin. This isn't an issue for someone who knows about skincare actives and what concerns they are beneficial for, but I'm sure that “Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F means nothing to most of us. However, fear not, as our experts are on hand six days a week to talk you through an questions you may have. Simply call 0113 282 3181 to put together your Ordinary skin regime.Written for you by: Ellie, Face the Future

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