How to Layer The Ordinary Products for a Perfect Complexion

Layering The Ordinary products means combining complementary ingredients that are more potent together. Make sure never to layer more concentrated products.

The Ordinary delivers clinical-grade solutions free of common toxins like parabens—without a cringe-inducing price tag.

More from Glowing Gorgeous: Find out here the Best Silicone-Free Moisturizers And Why Do You Care

Predictably, much of their inventory remained sold out for almost a year after their launch in 2017. Fortunately, things have since settled down, and the brand has a sizable catalog of serums, creams, and more to choose from.

However, since many of these items contain powerful ingredients such as retinoids and various acids, it’s important to know how to combine them to achieve the best results.

We share how to layer The Ordinary products to create the ideal routine for your skin type.

What The Ordinary Products Don’t Mix?

Two of The Ordinary’s strongest solutions are the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution and the Salicylic Acid 2% Masque.

Although both the chemical peel and the mask have countless positive reviews, you need to use them cautiously. Avoid applying products that contain potentially drying agents such as retinoids.

How to Layer Products Correctly

If you want to commit to The Ordinary for all your skincare needs, you should follow layering 101: always go from light to heavy.

Fast-drying, lightweight serums should go on before heavier ones. Anything creamy or heavy goes on last as the final touch.

Don’t Forget SPF & Moisturizer!

The Ordinary isn’t big on traditional creams, but moisturizer and SPF are vital components of any routine.

The Ordinary does have a sunscreen—Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants—but it’s currently unavailable.

More from Glowing Gorgeous: Find out here Hyram’s Recommended Face Sunscreens For The Summer

You can use Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA, which we mentioned earlier. Or, stick to your current moisturizer if it’s working for you.

Best The Ordinary Combinations for All Skin Types

Whether your primary complexion concern is blemishes or uneven tone, discover which The Ordinary products are worth considering:

Best for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin


  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

Niacinamide works to calm existing blemishes and discourage new ones from popping up. The 1% zinc helps to regulate oil production for clearer skin overall.

Rosehip seed oil is generally well-tolerated by oily complexions and can promote skin healing.


  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
  • 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

Stick to the same serum in the morning routine and layer on this retinoid-derived solution before the oil.

It suits all skin types and should promote a brighter complexion without the irritation that usually accompanies traditional retinol.

Once or Twice Weekly

  • Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

Thoroughly clean your pores out with this exfoliating mask. The salicylic acid will get rid of nasty dead skin cells and dirt that can provoke blemishes.

Best for Fighting Wrinkles


Start the day with the anti-aging Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. Granactive retinoids can target aging signs like standard retinoids, and you won’t have to worry about adverse effects.

The concentrated caffeine serum can spot-treat puffy, tired-looking eyes. Nothing makes you look older than dark raccoon circles, right?


  • Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
  • “Buffet”

In the evening, you’ll keep up with the caffeine serum. Add the comprehensive formula in “Buffet” to attack various aging signs from dryness to fine lines while you sleep.

Once or Twice Weekly

  • AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Give your skin a rejuvenating refresher with this peeling solution. Exfoliating ingredients are ideal to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and dullness.

Best for Dry, Sensitive Skin


  • Hyaluronic Acid 2% + BA
  • 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
  • 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

The hyaluronic acid formula includes different weights of this hydrating acid to penetrate your skin and combat dryness.

Squalane is a plant-based solution that is exceptionally hydrating to keep your complexion supple throughout the day.

Finally, you’ll finish off with rosehip oil to lock in all that moisture.


  • “Buffet”
  • 100% Plant-Derived Squalane
  • 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

Your routine will stay the same, except you’ll begin with “Buffet.” The multi-peptide formula contains amino acids for hydration, as well as hyaluronic acid.

Once or Twice Weekly

Opt for a hydrating mask—The Ordinary’s chemical peel and salicylic acid mask are too strong if you suffer from persistent dryness.

Best for Dark Spots and Texture


  • Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
  • Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin

Begin with alpha arbutin, which helps to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Then, apply the ascorbic acid solution. Also known as good old vitamin C, ascorbic acid has anti-aging and skin-brightening properties.


  • Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
  • Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F

In the evening, you’ll put on a potent glycolic acid toning solution that smoothes and clarifies skin. It also contains amino acids and aloe vera for hydration.

Finish up with the high-strength Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate oil (what a mouthful!) to further even out your skin tone and improve texture.

Once or Twice Weekly

  • AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The AHA will encourage smooth, even skin tone by exfoliating your skin’s inner and outer layers.



This article was taken from Cherie to make it available to all, credit to @Miranda.Brockman.

Jen Roberts Glowing Gorgeous

Jen Roberts

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About our Chief Editor

Jen Roberts, is a passionate beauty specialist and blogger with a deep love for skincare and wellness. More about me here.


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