Anything But: The Best of The Ordinary You Need to Add to Cart Now

Anything But: The Best of The Ordinary You Need to Add to Cart Now

The Ordinary has arrived at Kalista Beauty, and I’m very excited for all of you who haven’t had a chance to experience this brand before.

Some beauty brands are like a designer coat: lush, luxurious, but maybe not needed for everyday. Others, on the other hand, are like a perfectly cut white tee—indispensable, endlessly versatile. For me, The Ordinary is that perfectly cut white tee. At first glance, it’s plain and utilitarian. On closer inspection, that simplicity is exactly the point. It goes well with anything and enhances everything.

Among The Ordinary’s many products, my favorites all come from the Direct Acids line. Those are the ones we’ll be talking about today.

 

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

I can only use this peel about once a month (if that), but that once a month is plenty. The AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution contains a high concentration of water-soluble glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids for strong resurfacing as well as 2 percent oil-soluble salicylic acid to decongest pores, all at a pH of about 3.5 to ensure effective exfoliation. The pH of AHAs is important, since they must be formulated at an acidic enough pH to actually work.

 

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On my skin, it stings a bit, and I almost never leave it on for the 10-minute maximum time indicated on the label. Those seven to eight minutes of mild discomfort are worth it for me, though. One session with this peel leaves my skin noticeably brighter, clearer, and smoother, as soft to the touch as a fresh, plump baby cheek.

Tips: Be warned. This is a peel, not a daily use serum, and should be treated with appropriate caution. Overexfoliation can lead to all kinds of unpleasant complications, like sensitivity, rough texture, increased breakouts, and extreme dryness. After using this peel, make sure to hydrate and moisturize your face generously. Use with caution, starting at about once a month and only increasing the frequency if your skin can tolerate it. Also remember that alpha hydroxy acids are photosensitizing, and apply sunscreen generously every day after use. Otherwise, the increased UV damage will completely negate any of the benefits you may receive from this peel.

 

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

Seven percent instead of 30 percent: Where the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is most decidedly not for daily use, the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution slots in nicely to my almost-everyday actives routine. I find AHAs at a concentration between 5 to 8 percent appropriate for frequent use, and this product offers 7 percent AHA at about the same pH as the stronger peeling solution.

 

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I use this watery, fast-absorbing liquid on bare skin immediately after cleansing and let it dry down for a few minutes before moving on to the rest of my routine. With regular use, it maintains a refined skin texture and minimizes any bumps or clogs that might arise. I personally haven’t experienced any irritation or overexfoliation from this product, either.

Tips: The big bottle this product comes in makes it perfect for full-body use, since body skin can benefit from exfoliation too! I use it as a body product about three or four times a week and have found that doing so keeps ingrown hairs under control remarkably well—my legs are nearly bump-free at all times these days. The narrow nozzle tip also makes this perfect for use as a scalp clarifying treatment. I massage it into my scalp about once a week, wait half an hour, and shampoo and condition as usual. My hair always looks and feels bouncier and livelier the next day. Just remember that since this is an AHA product, you will need sun protection on any skin you use this on.

 

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

Under normal conditions, I’m not much of a clay mask person. I used to use them more frequently, particularly for my three-step pore clearing method, but after years of daily BHA use on my nose, I hardly feel the need for any extra pore care.

 

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The times we live in now are anything but normal, however, and frequent wearing of (protective cloth) face masks has left my nose and chin much more congested than usual. The Salicylic Acid 2% Masque comes to the rescue by combining salicylic acid to break down oil-based clogs with clay to suck the gunk right out. Like the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, this mask does sting a bit, but I find the mild discomfort worth the results.

Tips: Clay masks are drying, so after using this mask, I like to make sure to replenish my skin’s moisture with plenty of hydrating layers, a sheet mask, and a rich moisturizer at the end.

 

Honorable Mention: The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

I’ve been hesitant to post much about this product yet, since I still consider myself to be in the testing phase with it, but I have to mention it.

 

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The Ordinary treads very carefully with its claims for the Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density, simply saying that it “is designed to support hair health so that it looks thicker, denser, fuller and healthier.” I’ve been using it on the top of my head and on my eyebrows, which have never recovered from my tweezing excesses of the late 1990s.

While it’s hard to say whether the increase in my hair’s volume is due to the product just yet, I will say that the effect on my eyebrows is becoming unmistakable. I’ve had to pluck several strays lately from places I haven’t had to pluck in years, and a few new hairs have sprouted in the bald patches I’d grown accustomed to filling in with pencil. I’m keeping a close eye on this one. In the meantime, however, it’s so inexpensive that it seems worth a shot if you’re curious about OTC products for fuller-looking hair.

I’ve been using The Ordinary’s products for a while now, and while I’ve had some misses, the hits are truly remarkable. The Direct Acids line is especially appealing—simple and effective exfoliants at ultra-low price points are hard to pass up. If you’re looking for budget-friendly exfoliation, give them a shot and let us know how you like them afterwards!

 

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