The Ordinary Products Conflicts Guide

The Ordinary Conflicts

The Ordinary Conflicts – Updated September 2022

The Ordinary Conflicts – Apart from all the confusing names and how to layer The Ordinary, you also need to understand The Ordinary and Deciem products that can and cannot be used in the same routine.

Some products conflict, and some shouldn´t be used together as they may cause irritation (marked*). There will be conflicting advice from other people and brands, but my personal advice is to avoid all products listed as conflicts, particularly if you are new to skincare. I would also advise that you patch test each product before using it, or at least take it very slowly when you start layering/mixing products.

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The Ordinary Conflicts

Below this chart, you will find explanations from The Ordinary explaining why some products should not be used in the same routine.

The Ordinary/Deciem is constantly updating its conflicts chart. One of the latest changes is to avoid Peptides with Resveratrol & Ferulic Acid, only use one antioxidant in a routine, and avoid Niacinamide with Vitamin C Derivatives, not just in pure/direct form.

The Ordinary Conflicts Chart

Category/ProductsConflicts | Possible Irritation*
Peptides
Buffet
Matrixyl
Argireline

Direct Acids
Vitamin C Pure/Direct LAA/ELAA
Resveratrol & Ferulic Acid
Copper Peptides
Buffet + Copper
NIOD CAIS3
NIOD CAIL

Direct Acids
Vitamin C Pure/Direct LAA/ELAA
Resveratrol & Ferulic Acid

Retinol/Retinoids*
Direct Acids
AHA 30%
Azelaic Acid
Glycolic Acid
Lactic Acid
Mandelic Acid
Salicylic Acid Masque

Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution
Salicylic Acid 2%

EUK 134
Peptides

Copper Peptides
Niacinamide Powder
Direct Acids *
Pure/Ethylated Vitamin C *
Retinol/Retinoids *

Retinol/Retinoids
Retinol in Squalane 0.2%, 0.5%, 1%
Retinoid 2%
Retinoid in Squalane 2% & 5%

Retinol/Retinoids
Copper Peptides
Direct Acids
Pure/Ethylated Vitamin C
Pure Vitamin C & Ethylated Vitamin C
Vitamin C 23% & 30%
L-Ascorbic Acid
Ascorbic Acid & Alpha Arbutin
NIOD ELAN

Ethylated Ascorbic Acid*


Peptides
Copper Peptides
Niacinamide Serum & Powder
EUK 134
Direct Acids *
Ethylated/Pure Vitamin C *
Retinol/Retinoids
*
Vitamin C Derivatives
Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution
Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmistate Solution
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Niacinamide Powder
Niacinamide Serum
Niacinamide
The Ordinary Niacinamide
Pure/Ethylated Vitamin C
Vitamin C Derivatives* (see below)
Niacinamide PowderPure/Ethylated Vitamin C
Vitamin C Derivatives
Direct Acids
Check pH of products before mixing
Antioxidants
Pycnogenol Copper Peptides
Resveratrol & Ferulic AcidCopper Peptides
Peptides
EUK 134

EUK 134
Copper Peptides
Direct Acids
Pure/Ethylated Vitamin C
Resveratrol & Ferulic Acid

The Ordinary Conflicts

On the individual product review pages within this site, you will find more information about conflicts in FAQs. If you know The Ordinary, you will know that they can often contradict themselves, so you may find a few more products they suggest avoiding with certain products.

The Ordinary Response to the Vitamin C Derivatives Conflicts

Nov 2020: Deciem updated The Ordinary conflicts, and there were quite a few changes. The main difference was Niacinamide and Vitamin C Derivatives. Since The Ordinary launched back in 2016, you could use Vitamin C Derivatives with all products. There were routines with both these products. From November 2020, Deciem said to avoid using them in the same routine. Since then, there have been a few posts on their own social media using both together again. When questioned about this, Deciem replied, “if you have used both with no irritation, you may continue to do so”.

The Ordinary Products With No/Few Conflicts

Deciem Vitamin C Derivatives should not be used with the Niacinamide Powder or the Niacinamide serum. Although, Deciem has mentioned that if you use Niacinamide Serum with Derivatives without irritation, you may continue to do so.

More Molecules

Oils & Hydration

The Ordinary Explains Why Certain The Ordinary Products Should Not Be Used Together

Vitamin C pure & derivatives & Niacinamide

We do not recommend combining Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid, Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid or Vitamin C Derivatives) with Niacinamide with Direct or Ethylated Vitamin C and Vitamin C Derivatives due to the formation of a salt complex that has the potential to reduce the integrity of both compounds. If you wish to combine both products into a regimen, we recommend using them on alternate days and/or nights. 

Why can´t you use The Ordinary Peptides & Acids in the same routine?

Our rule against combining strong antioxidants only applies to our copper peptides products. We would not recommend combining direct acids with peptides due to the susceptibility of peptides to hydrolysis (which breaks the bonds between peptides, reducing their efficacy, and making them into individual amino acids). At low pH, the peptides undergo processes such as deamidation (the removal of an amide group) and oxidation, which compromise the activity of the peptides.

Suppose you have previously combined peptides with acids and have not experienced any negative side effects or discolouration. In that case, you may continue to combine the two products so that the combination does not pose any potential harm. Our recommendations are meant to serve as a preventative measure to avoid incompatibility between those combinations because skin tolerance is subjective. 

Why can´t I mix The Ordinary Niacinamide with pure Vitamin C?

Deciem says: Our contraindication is specific to our products and their concentrations. If you’ve used them together in the past and the combination has worked for you without any issues, you may continue to do so.

You can find lots more Deciem FAQs here. Q&A found on Social media.

Other The Ordinary Conflicts & Conflicting Information

There’s a lot of conflicting information, particularly about Niacinamide and Vitamin C. Deciem suggests avoiding using Vitamin C & Niacinamide in the same routine. Others say they are ok together. The more you read on the internet, the more confusing it will be.

If you are an experienced skincare user, then I’m sure you have done your homework and know what’s best for your skin. For those of you who are new to skincare, it´s really down to you to decide whose advice to take. Personally, if using Deciem products, then I would take their advice, especially if you are new to skincare. Remember, they do recommend patch testing, and it´s good practice to patch test when you introduce 2 products in case of irritation.

NEW – NIOD Conflicts & Targets Chart

You can now find NIOD conflicts and targets here.

The Ordinary Skincare Routines