Friday 25 August 2017

More Skincare From The Ordinary

The number one skincare brand that I love to talk about with other people has to be The Ordinary. I'm a huge fan of their products & the simplicity of their highly potent formulas. Their low prices have helped to make high end skincare ingredients accessible to the masses & thanks to them, my once bank-breaking skincare routine is now a lot more affordable. I previously reviewed five other serums from The Ordinary & was so impressed with what I had bought that I ordered five more. If you're not particularly well versed in the world of skincare I think that their products can be slightly confusing as they don't really give you an extensive breakdown of what each ingredient does & which skin issues they can be used to treat. That's why I love sharing my own experiences with their products as they have some truly wonderful formulations in their lineup & I would hate for people to miss out on something that could help them!

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% (£5.50 / 30ml)
Azelaic Acid is a naturally occurring acid that comes from grains & is also produced by yeast living on healthy skin. It is primarily used to treat rosacea as it has anti-inflammatory & antibacterial properties. It also helps to stop pores from clogging & can be used as an acne treatment. Until I tried this product I had personally never heard of Azelaic Acid before but that might be because I don't suffer from rosacea. However I do experience a lot of surface redness in my skin so I wanted to see if it would help with that. The Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% comes in a lightweight cream-gel formula that absorbs quickly & gives your skin a velvet matte finish. I used it every other night before my moisturiser. This product is designed to brighten the skin and like most of the acids I'm used to, it helps with uneven skin tone, dullness & bumpy texture. I found that it helped to calm any irritation in my skin, shrank my pores, smoothed over textured areas & cleared blemishes so I can definitely vouch for it as an effective acne solution. The biggest difference that I noticed when using this product was the reduction in redness. It made my skin look so much clearer simply because it wasn't as red anymore. I feel like Azelaic Acid would be a much better choice as a chemical exfoliant than Glycolic or Lactic Acid for those with reactive or sensitive skin. It does all the things you want an AHA to do but without any of the redness or irritation that's involved.

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA (£7 / 30ml)
In my first review of The Ordinary's products I wrote about my experience with their Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. I bought it to help brighten up my skin & reduce hyperpigmentation but the unpleasant gritty texture stopped me from using it. Alpha Arbutin has a similar lightening effect so I decided to try this out instead. It's related to the controversial skin lightening ingredient hydroquinone but has been shown to safely brighten skin without irritation. It helps to inhibit melanin production which prevents further scarring & also works on existing dark spots to give the appearance of clearer skin. Even when my skin is completely blemish free it never looks fully clear because I have a ton of freckles, moles & acne scarring. I started using this serum twice a day in the hopes of tackling these issues & I'm very pleased with the results so far. It feels very light, silky & hydrating on the skin. Sometimes it makes my face look slightly flushed but I haven't experienced any other skin irritation from using this product. I think that your opinion of this serum will depend on what kind of hyperpigmentation you're experiencing. It seems to be most effective on melasma, sun spots, post-blemish scarring & uneven skin tones. It has helped to brighten up my complexion, even out my skin tone & clear up an annoying sun spot. My freckles are also less prominent which is fantastic in my opinion. Sadly it hasn't done much for my moles but I doubt anything other than a laser will fix them!

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG (£5.80 / 30ml)
Eye skincare products can be such a tricky thing to review. They tend to be a preventative measure, aimed at reducing crows feet & wrinkles when we're older. By the time you've got these fine lines it's probably too late for anything topical to work on them! We're always told that we should be using an eye cream but without getting any visible results I find it hard to remember to use one regularly. The opposite is true about this Caffeine Solution. I love using this lightweight serum because it feels really nice under my eyes & the results are so worth it. Caffeine helps to brighten & tighten the undereye area. It reduces inflammation & temporarily constricts blood vessels which immediately reduces puffiness. EGCG stands for Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside. This is the name of a compound found in green tea leaves & like most things to do with green tea, it's packed full of antioxidants. Both of these ingredients have been scientifically proven to help reduce the appearance of dark circles & puffiness in the eye contour area. It really does work & is especially good for treating puffiness first thing in the morning. After using it for a few months I do think that my dark circles are less noticeable. The area looks brighter and feels tighter & smoother. However it won't work on puffiness due to fatty deposits or dark circles due to hollowness so that's something to bear in mind. One welcome side effect I've noticed from using this serum is that it also helps with milia & by tightening up the area, these tiny dots under the eyes look much smoother. My concealer also sits better under my eyes now & I don't need to use as much of it as a result.

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (£3.80 / 15ml)
Salicylic Acid is one of the best spot fighting ingredients out there. It exfoliates inside your pores so it helps to eliminate blemishes from the very root of the problem. It also reduces excess sebum production which is often a cause of acne. In terms of results this serum works really well. It heals up my spots quickly & is especially good at stopping painful ones from hurting. This product has also been formulated with witch hazel which helps to soothe the skin & encourage healing. I wouldn't use it as an all over chemical exfoliant like the BHAs from Paula's Choice or CosRX, this is definitely more of an individual spot treatment. This is mainly down to the consistency of the product. It has a watery gel texture & foams up as you rub it in to your skin so it's not the most pleasant thing to use. Once applied it feels slightly tacky but it soon dries down & is undetectable on the skin after applying moisturiser. It's a decent spot treatment but I'm not totally in love with it. Probably because my heart belongs to the next product...

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (£6.30 / 30ml)
I've saved the best for last. This intense skin peel has fast become not just one of my favourite products from The Ordinary but one of my favourite skincare products of all time! It is quite simply amazing. Formulated with a blend of Glycolic, Lactic, Tartaric, Citric & Salicylic Acids, this chemical peel is extremely potent. Do not buy this unless you've been using other acids for a while! You should also avoid it if you have sensitive skin. 32% is pretty hardcore & even I was slightly worried about the effects it might have on my skin. I've been treating my skin with acids for five years now but 10% is the highest percentage I'd ever used. When you use acids at lower percentages you can use them every day or every other day with no ill effects. This peel should only be used once or twice a week maximum.

The AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is designed to deeply exfoliate the skin. It clears congested pores as well as active blemishes. The formula also helps to refine skin texture & improve skin radiance. You just apply this peel with a fan brush or your fingers to clean, dry skin. Then you simply leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. It's really easy to use & there's no need for a post-peel neutraliser. Just finish off your skin routine like normal with a hydrating serum or oil & a good dose of moisturiser. When this bottle first arrived in the post I thought it looked like a vial of blood. The deep raspberry colour comes from the inclusion of Tasmanian pepperberry & black carrot extract. These ingredients are full of antioxidants & have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. Their healing properties help your skin to cope with the intensity of this peel. The colour is also important for a couple of other reasons. It allows you to clearly see where you have applied the peel to your skin so that you can wash it off thoroughly & it deters people from using it as a leave on treatment.

Since I started using this peel I no longer need to use any other chemical exfoliants on my skin. It literally does it all! My complexion looks so bright & even now. It works wonders on post-blemish scarring, minimises pores & makes my skin feel super smooth. I've had textural issues with closed comedones on my forehead for years & after a few months of using this peel every week, they've finally nearly gone! I will say one thing though - as with any chemical exfoliant, be prepared for purging. The first couple of times I used it my skin looked fab, then all of a sudden I started breaking out. For a while I wasn't sure if it was a purge or a breakout. The spots only appeared on my forehead & my chin which tend to be my most congested areas, they were small & turned into whiteheads which then cleared up pretty quickly. These are classic signs of a purge so I realised that it would be okay in the end & after getting through it, my skin looks better than ever. If you have dull skin, persistent blemishes or textural irregularities like me, I really can't recommend this product enough!

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