DECEIM’s The Ordinary

skin quench

Product Review

I’ve been obsessed with DECEIM’s The Ordinary since before Sephora carried their products. I remember they only had around 10 items when I first discovered them! Over the past couple of years or so, I’ve tried many of their products. I think it’s time for a review! This one’s going to be a bit of a read, so grab some popcorn and a cozy blanket.

DECEIM is known as “The Abnormal Beauty Company.” They umbrella multiple brands, including The Ordinary. The Ordinary is so popular and unique because their packaging is simple and minimalistic (I love the dropper bottles!), they only use key ingredients that are needed, and they are ridiculously affordable. It’s important to note that DECEIM does NOT test on animals, nor do they associate with companies that do. I always have to commend companies like these! Their products can be found on their website, and certain ones are on

I initially heard about The Ordinary through several YouTubers who were using the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, and seeing spectacular results! It was one of the first products I’ve tried from the brand, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Now that’s not to say that I haven’t tried products from them that aren’t so great for me. That is sort of the beauty of this company! While some people like having their skincare handed to them, I thoroughly enjoy learning about the ingredients and trying out my own cocktail over time. This can be a bad thing if your skin reacts negatively, but even then, at least you know what NOT to use in the future.

Without further ado, I really want to just dive in and tell you all about my experience with this brand. Here we go!

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution


You may know this exfoliating facial as the mask that makes your face look like it’s bleeding. It’s scary looking, but it’s truly a holy grail! I use this peeling mask once a week and it’s by far my favorite exfoliant out there. This goes on after your nighttime double cleanse, once your face is completely dry. It should sit for 10 minutes, and 10 minutes ONLY. Trust me! You will feel a tingly sensation which might be a little uncomfortable at first, but it should subside after a little while. There is definitely an acid smell, but it doesn’t linger. The consistency is viscous, yet still runny. I always store it in a dark, cool place, and NEVER mix with retinoids or vitamin C!

Key ingredients include glycolic acid, aloe leaf water, salicylic acid, lactic acid, tasmannia lanceolata extract (what makes it red), and sodium hyaluronate. DECEIM made sure to combine these acids with hydrating and soothing components, so your skin won’t feel too irritated. The results are so worth this product! You won’t see a change right away, but you’ll wake up to baby smooth, glowing skin with drastically reduced blemishes and dark spots. Just make sure you’re always using sunscreen, especially with this sensitizing mask! This peel can be used up to twice a week. All the dropper bottles hold 1 oz. of product, and for this one, a little goes a long way!

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

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This was another product I tried from my first order. It’s an eye serum that is meant to help de-puff the skin around your eyes, and brighten the area! The ingredients include caffeine, glycerin, soybean seed extract, lactic acid, and more. The serum doesn’t smell like coffee, but I can smell caffeine. I know it sounds weird, but when you smell it you’ll understand. It is also fairly viscous, yet runny and has a brown tint to it. I try to avoid having any of my products in sunlight, but brown bottles especially should be kept in dark and cool areas.

I loved using this serum in the morning, just before my eye cream. It absorbs really quickly and works well to de-puff drowsy, morning eyes. While this does brighten the eye area, I did not find these effects lasting long term. With that said, I would absolutely purchase this again as a quick pick-me-up in the morning or if you’re going to an event and need to look alert.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

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People rave about this serum because it works to decongest your pores and reduce blemishes. The ingredients include niacinamide and zinc PCA. I very much enjoyed using this serum. There isn’t much of a smell, and it’s a clear, watery texture. I did notice it would help shrink my breakouts, however I felt that when I used it for extended periods of time, the effects sort of plateaued and didn’t do much after a while. I would take breaks and when I’d use it again, then I’d see positive results again. This can happen sometimes when your skin sort of gets “immune” to an ingredient.

I will say it’s vital to apply this serum at the appropriate stage, or else it will pill– not a cute look! I’d apply it after an essence and before a moisturizer. Also PLEASE only use a tiny amount! Why? Say it with me–because it will pill! I’d also like to add that it’s okay to use niacinamide and vitamin C in the same routine. There are myths that state they cancel each other out, but I’ve learned that that’s simply not true. Definitely give this a try (in moderation) if you struggle with acne and congested skin!

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5


Hyaluronic Acid is the girl in school that everybody loves! This particular serum has great plumping effects, and really helps your skin draw moisture in and hold onto it throughout the day. On top of the hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 is added for even more hydration.

I love adding this into my routine morning or night! I apply it at the serum stage. It makes my skin so bouncy, bright, and smooth. You’ll find that it really brings life back to your skin. The serum is runny, but quite thick–almost like snail mucin. Some people find it sticky, but I don’t think it’s that bad. There is no scent either. I highly recommend for every skin type!!

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

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This was the first facial oil I ever tried! It’s meant to reduce photo-aging, and help keep your skin bright and smooth. I’ve also heard people have found it helps prevent acne. It is quite a thick oil and you should only use it at night. The sole ingredient is indeed Rosa Canina Seed Oil, or Rosehip.

While I did enjoy the floral aroma of this oil–and it did make my skin glow–after a few weeks of use, I found that it was just sitting on top of my skin and not really doing anything for me. In fact, it felt like it was just making a mess because it wouldn’t fully absorb. Again, The Ordinary is all about cocktailing products to find the right fit for you, so you might really like this product! I believe that an oil like this might work better for dryer skin types. It’s always worth a try, especially at this price!

100% Plant-Derived Squalane


Cue the oil of my dreams! After my lack of success with the Rosehip oil, I tried Squalane! As you guessed, the only ingredient is squalane. It’s meant to prevent hydration loss and mimic the natural squalane that our skin already produces. This oil is great for all skin types! It’s clear, runny, and has no scent.

I still use it to this day because it’s fast-absorbing, it keeps my skin hydrated FOREVER, and it’s non-comedogenic. The fact that it sinks right into the skin, makes it great for morning and nighttime use all year! I love giving my skin an extra boost at night by adding a few drops of this to a rich sleeping pack. This oil is absolutely worth it!

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

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You can use this product as a serum or spot treatment for blemishes. It contains BHA salicylic acid and witch hazel. It is slightly viscous with a minor witch hazel scent. This is another serum that showed results for a short period of time, then plateaued. It did help shrink some of my blemishes, but after a while it just felt like an extra thing I was adding that wasn’t doing much. I have great suspicion that this was the case because my skin is used to stronger percentages of acid, so this would probably work better for someone else with more sensitive skin. Just be sure that you don’t mix it with retinoids or vitamin C.

Lactic Acid 5% + HA


Here is another gentle acid serum. It includes lactic acid, hyaluronate crosspolymer, and Tasmannia Lanceolata extract (hence the light pink color). This is a runny serum with minimal viscosity, and a slight acid scent. It should be applied during the serum stage and only at night. You also shouldn’t mix it with retinoids or vitamin C.

I enjoyed using this serum as it did provide some light exfoliation. I’d use this 1 to 2 times a week. The brightening results were very gradual with this one. I eventually stopped using it because I use other acids throughout the week that are more effective. Using too many acids can cause over-exfoliation, sensitized skin, and dryness as well. There is a stronger version of this serum with 10% Lactic Acid, but I’m not super interested just yet. I’d recommend the 5% to people who are just starting out with acids.

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion


I tried this retinoid serum a few months ago (formerly known as Advanced Retinoid 2%) and I have a lot of feels about it. First off, retinoids are a form of vitamin A. They are meant to slowly resurface the skin by increasing the cell turnover rate. This results in a brighter, smoother, and more even toned/textured skin. While I haven’t tried retinoids in a long time, I was eager to give it another go since so many people with hyperpigmentation and signs of aging have benefited from it. This particular retinoid is an off-white color, and it has a viscous milky consistency. It smells kind of like Play-Doh, which I don’t really like, but it’s easy to get used to.

You do have to be careful with retinoids because they can sensitize the skin. It’s recommended that you only use them at night, gradually introduce them into your routine (once a week for several weeks, leading up to twice a week for several weeks, etc.), and you should NEVER mix them with acids or vitamin C. I say that last part especially because I have seen a lot of people in the skincare community mixing these harsh ingredients in one routine, or using products that include 2 or more of the “DO NOT MIX” list together. I’m not sure if there is some new information out there, but with my skincare research I have always seen that these things don’t go together. So for my sake and yours, please just don’t do it!

I definitely saw great results from this product! It helped with resurfacing my skin, and fading my dark spots very quickly. My issue is that I love using acids and vitamin C, and when you are alternating acids every other night with retinoids or vitamin C, it can be a little intense for your skin. My skin was starting to breakout more after a couple months of this. This was also around the time that I started having problems with my tap water; I think it all was a little too overwhelming for me, so that’s why I stopped using it.

All this is to say, that the retinoid worked really well for my skin. I just believe that you have to decide which active you prefer, and stick to it rather than mixing up your week with too many different ones. It’s just too harsh on the skin. Acids and vitamin C are always so good to me, but maybe one day I’ll spend some alone time with retinoids again.

Mandelic Acid 10% + HA


Please meet my knew holy grail! I started using the mandelic acid serum a couple of months ago and I’m so happy I discovered it! Mandelic acid is a mild AHA, that gently exfoliates the skin on a superficial level. Some people may find that lactic or glycolic AHAs are a bit too harsh on their skin. If that’s your concern, mandelic acid might work better for you because it has larger molecules, that penetrate the skin at a slower, gentler rate. I’m not quite sure why, but this tends to work in favor of people of color who may be working to brighten hyperpigmentation.

This particular serum also includes hyaluronic acid and Tasmannia Lanceolata Extract. Not only is this serum gentle, but it’s very hydrating. It has the consistency of a fast absorbing oil, and there is a very mild acid scent. I use this on off nights of my vitamin C. Sometimes I’ll use it when I do an acid peel if I want an intense exfoliation and need my skin to look nice for an event (not often though!). I love how I don’t get any irritation and that it smooths onto the skin so nicely. It comes in an amber dropper, which usually means it really shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight. I like to store it in my skincare fridge. I highly recommend it for those who have sensitive skin and still want to exfoliate, or those struggling with hyperpigmentation. It’s works a little slower than other AHAs, but you will definitely see amazing results!

Salicylic Acid 2% Masque


I was very excited to purchase and try the first DECEIM wash-off mask! It’s a detoxifying and exfoliating mask that contains so many of my favorite ingredients like: kaolin clay, squalane, salicylic acid, and charcoal powder. This mask works to draw impurities out of your pores, while exfoliating. It is recommended to use once or twice a week.

The mask is black and has a very mild grit to the creamy texture, due to the charcoal. You don’t need to apply much, just make sure you’re getting an even layer on the skin. There is definitely an acid and charcoal smell to this mask, but it is not overbearing. You are only supposed to let it sit for 10 minutes, and then wash it off.

While the mask dries, there is a tingly and cooling sensation which I really enjoy. It gets a little tight, but I’ve had worse. Once you rinse this mask away, it’s instantly clear that it’s working! My pores appear smaller and my skin feels fresh. The real results are the next morning. I’ve used this mask for a few weeks now, and every time I wake up with ridiculously soft skin! Any uneven skin tone has brightened, and my overall completion is improved. There are more expensive masks out there (which I’ve tried) that don’t work as well as this guy. I cannot express enough that you MUST try this for exfoliation, brightening, and detoxing the skin!

I know we went on a journey, but I needed to do this brand justice and be thorough. The Ordinary is so great because you can curate your ingredients to work for your skin type. While it may take some time, I can almost guarantee you’ll be able to find a combination of products that work for you. What are your favorite The Ordinary products?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Alexia says:

    Hey, I just found out your blog, it’s great! I also love their products. For the rosehip seed oil, I had the same kinda issue. Now I add three to four drops of it in my moisturizer at night to make sure it will get absorbed and it works great that way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skinquench says:

      That’s a great tip! Thanks for sharing! 💕


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