If you’ve read any of ANY of the other post I’ve published on this blog, then you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I’m a big fan of The Ordinary.
Despite the sometimes questionable mental state of The Ordinary’s CEO, Brandon Truaxe, I like supporting this brand because their products do genuinely seem to be high-quality, and they won’t charge you an arm and a leg for them.
So, DECIEM drama aside (The Ordinary’s parent company), I’ll keep buying this brand’s facial oils and skincare products for as long as Truaxe keeps the company open.
That said, I wanted to write this post to concisely discuss what the best Ordinary products for acne are and explain them in more depth than I’ve really gone into in previous posts.
Before we dig into the specific Ordinary products I use and love, I think it’s important to understand a bit about The Ordinary brand first.
Keep scrolling to read some commonly asked questions about The Ordinary products or, if you know a specific question you want to ask, use the list below to jump to a specific topic.
Is The Ordinary Organic?
While some of The Ordinary products specify that they are organic, I’ve found no information to suggest that the brand as a whole is focused on providing only organic products.
Is The Ordinary Vegan?
For the majority of products, yes.
In the FAQ section of their website, The Ordinary clarifies that the “majority” of their products are vegan. The FAQ section also specifies that all DECIEM products are free of animal oils.
Each product on their site includes a handy key that will immediately tell you if that product is alcohol-free, silicone-free, vegan, nut-free, etc. So if you’re vegan and want to verify that a specific product is vegan, you can do so on the product’s page.
Does The Ordinary Test on Animals?
No. This is one thing that the Ordinary website is very clear about.
According to the FAQ section of their website, “DECIEM and The Ordinary do not test on animals and do not ask others to do so. For this reason, none of our brands or products are sold in mainland China since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes.”
Is The Ordinary Cruelty-Free?
Is The Ordinary Pregnancy Safe?
In most cases, it would seem that yes, The Ordinary’s topical products are safe for pregnant women. The Ordinary specifies that all of their products are free from potentially harmful or controversial ingredients like, as listed out on their website, “parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone.”
However, it is important to note that pregnant and breastfeeding women SHOULD NOT use retinoids or take any supplements without consulting their doctors.
Therefore, The Ordinary advises pregnant and breastfeeding women: “[A]void any skincare products containing retinoids such as formulations with Granactive Retinoid or Retinol. We also recommend not using any of our supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding.”
Is The Ordinary Shutting Down?
Though CEO Brandon Truaxe posted to DECIEM’s Instagram page that the company would be shutting down, the announcement seemed to come from a less-than-stable Truaxe, who has since been removed from the company as DECIEM’s CEO and board member.
The Instagram post has since been deleted, and The Ordinary has continued to operate.
Subscribe and get new posts sent to your inbox!
Now that all your burning Ordinary questions have been answered, let’s get into the good stuff.
Here are, in my opinion, the best Ordinary products for treating acne, acne scarring and for just taking care of your skin in general.
This. stuff. is. amazing.
As I mentioned in my post about how I finally got rid of my acne, The Ordinary’s rosehip oil was essential to helping me stop my breakouts and improve the overall condition of my skin.
The Ordinary’s rosehip oil is alcohol-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free.
According to the description on The Ordinary’s website, this rosehip oil stands out from others like it due to the cold-pressing process DECIEM uses.
“While cold-pressed extraction is complex, it preserves all of the quality of this important oil,” the site says, noting that the vitamin A and acids found in the oil “degrade when the oil extraction process involves heat.”
I especially like that this oil has NO added ingredients or fillers. The only ingredient in it is “rosa canian seed oil.”
My Personal Experience With This Rosehip Seed Oil
I started using this oil after I had cleared up the majority of my acne. I was already on birth control and spironolactone (you can read more about how those helped my acne here), but the trentinoin topical cream I was applying before bed each night didn’t seem to be helping my skin at all.
And I’m not saying it wasn’t helping after only using it for a few weeks. I’d been using the trentinoin for months at the suggesting of my dermatologist, but I didn’t notice it helping my active acne at all, nor did it seem to be making the rest of my skin look especially healthy.
I purchased and started using The Ordinary’s rosehip oil after watching some YouTube videos about how rosehip seed oil can be good for acne scarring. I had already used some other products from The Ordinary, which I’ll talk about in a minute, so when I learned that they made a rosehip oil, too, I figured I’d buy it from them.
I know my skin pretty well, so I knew that if I started using a new facial oil I’d probably experience a few breakouts no matter what. So, to help my skin adjust to the new oil, I introduced it gradually over a few weeks.
After my skin got accustomed to the rosehip oil and I was no longer noticing any new pimples in the mornings after I used it, I started using it more often — two to three times a week.
I then noticed that, on the mornings after I’d used the rosehip oil, not only would I wake up with dewy, glowy and healthy looking skin, but any active pimples I had would often be 60%-70% smaller.
Once I started noticing that, I stopped using my trentinoin altogether and resolved to only use the Ordinary rosehip oil each night, and I haven’t looked back since.
Niacinamide is essentially a B vitamin extract derived from B3. Niacinamide is naturally found in many foods like fish, eggs, milk and green vegetables.
In terms of topical applications, niacinamide can be used to treat skin conditions like eczema, as well as acne. It is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce redness, hence its use to treat eczema and acne.
Some experts, like those at The Ordinary, also claim that niacinamide can also balance sebum activity in the skin (the oils that cause you to break out) and reduce the appearance of acne. However, they note that, while this serum can reduce the look of blemishes, neither niacinamide nor zinc is a treatment for acne.
Therefore, while this serum can be a good addition to your skincare routine if your goal is to reduce the appearance of acne scarring or active breakouts, it won’t actually prevent new acne from forming.
The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum is alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, gluten-free, vegan and cruelty-free.
My Experience With The Ordinary’s Niacinamide Serum
When I first started looking into ways to reduce the look of acne scarring and hyperpigmentation, using a B vitamin serum was a suggestion that I came across time and time again.
So, eventually, I decided to give The Ordinary’s serum a try, mostly because I knew this brand was less expensive than others.
At this point, I had already gotten most of my acne under control and I knew the serum wouldn’t really do anything to prevent acne. I applied this serum a few time a week in the morning, mixing it in with my moisturizer and working it into my daily skincare routine that way.
It is very important to research the best times of day to wear facial oils and serums before using them, especially if they have an “active” ingredient in them like vitamins A, B or C. Since niacinamide is derived from vitamin B3, it’s okay to wear in the sun, which is NOT true of vitamins A and C.
So, after using this serum somewhat regularly, I did think it helped my skin in terms of some slight scarring reduction. It also seemed to help keep my skin hydrated and healthy looking. However, I hadn’t yet discovered The Ordinary’s rosehip oil at this point, so I didn’t have that to compare this to.
In hindsight, I don’t think this worked any miracles for my skin. At least, not like the rosehip oil did, but I thought this was a good serum with some minor benefits to it nonetheless.
If you’re new to using serums and facial oils, I think this is a good, safe product to start with to get used to using something like this in your skincare routine.
Vitamin C has long been recommended by skincare experts a good part of nearly anyone’s daily skincare regimen. Vitamin C is said to stimulate collagen production, which can not only reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles in mature skin, but also even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.
For this latter reason, especially, many people suffering with acne or acne scarring turn to vitamin C products and serums. Unfortunately, many vitamin C serums and creams use a silicone base.
There’s been a lot of debate about whether silicone-based products aggravate acne or not but, for me personally, I have definitely noticed a negative trend in my acne when using products that contain silicone. For that reason, I would recommend trying to use silicone-free skincare products when possible, like this one from The Ordinary.
However, if your skin doesn’t react negatively to silicone this might not be as much of a concern for you.
One other factor that needs to be considered when purchasing a vitamin C serum is how the product is packaged. Vitamin C should always be stored in an opaque, non-translucent package so that no sunlight can get into it. This is because exposing vitamin C products to sunlight can actually de-stabilize and deactivate them, making them less effective.
For this same reason, you shouldn’t wear vitamin C out in the sun during the day but, rather, save it for your nighttime skincare routine.
This is why I love The Ordinary’s silicone-free serum so much, it not only eliminates the use of silicone, but the serum is also packaged in an opaque, squeeze-tube package, ensuring that the vitamin C remains active and stable, so you’re not wasting your money.
The Ordinary’s vitamin C serum is also alcohol-free, oil-free, vegan, cruelty-free, nut-free and gluten-free.
Please note: The Ordinary also has a silicone-based vitamin C serum. That is NOT the one I’m recommending here.
Be sure you’re paying attention to these details when ordering this product.
My Personal Experience With This Vitamin C Treatment
View this post on Instagram
For me, this serum falls right in between The Ordinary’s rosehip oil and niacinamide serums: It seemed to do more for my acne scarring than the niacinamide serum, but still did less than the rosehip oil, which is pretty much the holy grail of skincare products.
Again, because vitamin C becomes deactivated in UV light, you should not use this product during the day, as it won’t do anything good for your skin.
I applied this serum once or twice a week in the evenings after the rest of my makeup was off and my moisturizer was already applied.
It feels a tiny bit grainy when you rub it on your skin, almost like wet sand, but not as course. Also, like many vitamin C products, it causes a bit of a tingling sensation on your skin, which can almost feel somewhat itchy and irritating. The feeling goes away after a bit, but I did find it somewhat uncomfortable when I would use this.
However, this serum did seem to brighten my skin and help with my hyperpigmentation, so I forced myself to just deal with the slight itchy feeling.
Nevertheless, if that sounds like something you wouldn’t be comfortable with, you might want to try the rosehip oil or niacinamide serum instead.
The feeling isn’t bad or alarming in any way; it’s just slightly annoying.
The Ordinary’s Best Products for Acne and Acne Scarring?
While I haven’t tried every product The Ordinary offers, I really believe these products are some of the best out there for acne and acne scarring. Obviously, I’m extremely partial to the rosehip oil. After all, it’s the only product of these that not only reduces the appearance of acne scarring, but that can also prevent and reduce active acne as well. (At least, that’s been my experience with it.)
I plan to keep trying new products from The Ordinary in the future, so if I find more worthy contenders, I’ll be sure to add them to this list!
In the meantime, I hope you found this post helpful!
Have you used these products or any others from The Ordinary? Tell me your thoughts on them in the comments below!