The Complete Beginner´s Guide to How To Layer The Ordinary Products
- Water-Based Solutions
- Emulsion *
- Suspension *
How To Layer Ordinary Skincare Products
If you´re reading this page, you have probably just heard about The Ordinary, ordered lots of products and now wondering what to do with them!
Well, I am pleased to tell you that you are not alone! I did it, and thousands of #deciemaddicts in The Ordinary & Deciem Chat Room Facebook Group have done it too. When I first started using The Ordinary, I really needed help which is why I created The Ordinary & Deciem Chat Room Facebook Group and a page like this, so I hope this helps you. Download the How to Layer The Ordinary PDF.
The Simple Way To Layering The Ordinary Skincare
The simple way to layer your skincare products is generally the thinnest/clearest to the thickest/opaque. But remember, you DO NOT have to use all these layers. You may just cleanse and apply Multi-Peptide Serum and a Moisturizer. They are layered in this order so they can penetrate the skin.
How to Layer The Ordinary – Layering Guide from The Ordinary
This is the how-to-layer guide from The Ordinary. The Ordinary recommends no more than 3 serums in a routine. Whilst there are many steps here, they are not saying you have to do them all. You may just cleanse – water-based serum – cream – SPF. If you layer too many products, you may experience “pilling”, where you will have lots of bits coming off your face once you apply your SPF or makeup, and it is not a nice feeling.
How To Layer The Ordinary Skincare Products
Here´s a quick chart with most of The Ordinary products listed by their solutions. You would add them in the order from left to right, water-based – anhydrous/oil – emulsion – suspension, although there are a few exceptions. So make sure you continue to read the rest of the page!
How To Layer The Ordinary – Easy PDF Guide To Layering Skincare
There are more products, but they are masques or haircare, which do not apply to the chart.
The Ordinary Solutions
The Ordinary Water-Based Products = 1
Apply water-based products directly after cleansing. If using acids, this would go first. If using numerous water-based solutions, you can apply the one that targets your main skin concern first.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% * 10 minute rinse-off masque
Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
Argireline Solution 10%
Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (Buffet)
Multi-Peptide + Copper Peptides 1% (Buffet)
Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution after cleansing/before serums
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Lactic Acid 5% + HA
Lactic Acid 10% + HA
Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
Matrixyl 10% + HA
Multi-Peptide + HA Serum (Buffet)
Multi-Peptide Eye Serum
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
The Ordinary Anhydrous Products = 2
These should be applied after water solutions (if used) and before oils/creams.
Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
EUK 134 0.1%
Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane
Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%
Retinoid 5% in Squalane
Retinol 0.5% in Squalane
Retinol 1% in Squalane
Salicylic Acid Anhydrous Solution
High-Spreadability Fluid Primer (last step before makeup)
The Ordinary Oils = 3
Oils should be applied after water solutions but before creams/emulsions. Some people use these as the very last step. Deciem recommends oils before heavy creams like Natural Moisturising Factors. See which way works for you. You can always mix a couple of drops of oil into the Natural Moisturizing Factors.
The Ordinary Emulsions = 4
This is where you need to do a bit of free thinking. Emulsions/Creams are supposed to be the last step, but there are some exclusions, as you can see below
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
Natural Moisturizing Factors + PhytoCeramides
Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan (GEL)
Mineral UV Filters SPF 15 with Antioxidants
Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants
Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (after water solution, before oil/creams)
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% (after water solutions, before oils/creams)
High-Adherence Silicone Primer (last step before makeup)
The Ordinary Suspensions = 5
Originally it was recommended to use these before NMF moisturizers, and then it was recommended to use them after. Then it was mentioned to use as you wish.
The Ordinary Powders
How to layer The Ordinary products skincare tips
- Firstly, do not stress. Relax, learn and enjoy pampering yourself.
- You can now build your very own personalized The Ordinary Skincare Routine.
- Always start with cleansed skin. If using acids, these would be applied directly after cleansing.
- 2/3 drops of each serum is all you need. If you feel you need more, use more.
- A pea-sized amount of creams for the face and neck. If you feel you need more, use more.
- Massage or pat until each product is absorbed before applying the next.
- The Ordinary says to use no more than 3 serums in one routine.
- If using multiple water-based products, use the one for the skin concern you wish to target the most.
- If a product has too many conflicts (e.g. Buffet + Copper Peptides), you could find it challenging to use alongside your other products. Think before buying. Make sure you check The Ordinary products you can and cannot mix.
- Don’t buy too many products of the same solution or category, and stick to the same routine for a good few weeks for the best results.
- I know from experience that when you first hear about The Ordinary, you will fill your basket up because the products look so cheap. But please, don’t waste your money. You will end up with lots of products that conflict and not enough time to use them all.
- Always check conflicts and when the product should be used, ie. AM/PM. If you have products that conflict, use them in alternate routines.
Why are The Ordinary products pilling?
When you have applied your serums, moisturizer and SPF, you might touch your skin and feel “bits”. This is called “pilling” or “balling”. It´s not your skin, it´s the product. Read more about The Ordinary pilling and how to prevent it.
The Ordinary Regimen Examples
Firstly, please don´t think you need to use 15 layers of skincare as seen on Instagram and Tik Tok. Less is more!
You can see numbers (as above) in bold, which hopefully will help you understand how to layer The Ordinary. Remember, thinnest / clearest to heaviest / opaque. This is the order, but it doesn’t mean you have to always use all 4 of them. You might do 2+3 or 1+1 or 1+2.
The Ordinary Skincare Routines – How To Build Your Skincare Routine
Below are some examples of skincare routines. You can find lots more routines here. The Ordinary routines include rosacea, signs of ageing and lots of personalised routines.
Signs of Ageing Skincare Routine Morning: Squalane Cleanser, Multi-Peptide Serum + HA (1), Natural Moisturising Factors (4), SPF Evening: Squalane Cleanser, Multi-Peptide Serum (1), Retinoid Dehydration Routine Morning: Hyaluronic Acid & Natural Moisturizing Factors (1 + 4) Evening: Hyaluronic Acid, Plant-Derived Squalane (1 + 3) Note: Alternatively, Marula Oil or Moroccan Argan Oil can be used instead of Plant-Derived Squalane in the PM.
How To Layer The Ordinary by The Ordinary
Video by The Ordinary – how to layer
The Ordinary Conflicts – products you should not use in the same routine
Hopefully, you are a bit clearer on how to layer The Ordinary and all the different solutions. Now to the really confusing part, the conflicts. The Ordinary products you should not use in the same routine. There is also a NIOD conflicts chart too.
Keep The Ordinary Simple
The Ordinary recommends only using ONE of the following in any routine.
- Direct Acids
- Pure/Direct Vitamin C
- Peptides/Copper Peptides (non-copper peptides can be used with Retinol/Retinoid)
Why start slowly with The Ordinary?
If you use 3 products all at once for the first time and your skin has a reaction, how will you know which product caused it? That’s why it´s important to introduce one product at a time.
Patch Testing The Ordinary
The Ordinary recommends patch-testing all products before use. In reality, the majority of people will not patch test, but you have been warned! If you decide not to patch test, at least introduce one product at a time. Read how to patch-test The Ordinary here.
How To Use The Ordinary Step-by-Step
Hopefully, this page has helped answer all your questions about how to use The Ordinary step by step with regard to layering, conflicts and routines. Make sure you use the search box at the top of this website and look through the menus for more information.
The Ordinary Skincare Routines
- Rosacea Regimen
- Pigmentation Regimen
- General Signs of Ageing Regimen
- Dehydration Regimen
- Look of Blemishes & Congestion
- Oily Skin Regimen
- Sensitive Skin Routine
- Personalized Skincare Routines in the Facebook Group
The Ordinary Guides