My New Skincare Routine | The Ordinary by Deciem

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Do you find skincare a bit of a mystery? I think many of us are really unsure as to what exactly we should be putting on our skin to address individual concerns.

We know one size doesn't necessarily fit all when it comes to formulations, but beyond the classic ‘dry/oily/sensitive/combination’ groupings, struggle to see through the marketing hype.

Skincare companies are generally very good at claiming theirs is the cream that will erase all our skin woes in one hit. But are these expensive creams really worth it? Do big skincare companies hide behind jargon too much, convincing us that commonplace ingredients are ground-breaking and worth vastly inflated prices?

Enter Deciem, the brains behind a new way of caring for your skin. The company have made headlines with NIOD, their first line, and even more with The Ordinary – often described as budget-friendly products for skincare geeks.

The general ethos behind both lines is that functional skincare products are often overpriced and include ingredients you don’t really need. What if you could ‘build your own’ by combining specific ingredients into a custom routine?

This is the thinking behind The Ordinary – a line of ten (and counting) relatively simple products that you purchase separately and combine into your skin’s ideal routine.

These are the building block products you often see listed in creams and serums – retinoids, Vitamin C serum, hyaluronic acid – and some base products such as moisturisers, oils and primers.

The most expensive single product is £13, with a lot of the ‘ingredients’ sliding under the £5 mark. Deciem believes that customers shouldn’t be overcharged to fund expensive packaging and marketing campaigns, so everything is very streamlined and clinical looking, but I really like this – I think it looks chic and minimalist and actually quite expensive!

You do need to educate yourself a little bit about what the products are, and more importantly, how to combine them, but there are a couple of excellent downloads on the site that make things clear. What you will end up with is a targeted skincare routine for day and night that uncompromisingly delivers what your skin needs.

For quite a while now, I’ve been relying on a catch-all anti-aging serum, a generic moisturiser, and something to try and sort out my under-eye area. My new routine is a lot more targeted towards my skin type – normal to combination skin with some early lines and wrinkles and a few pigmentation issues.

The point is very much that these routines are customised but I thought I would share what’s working for me at the moment (products in italics are not from The Ordinary):


  • Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG 
  • Buffet peptide serum
  • Rituals SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen 
  • Natural Moisturising Factors + HA 
  • REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Brightening Beauty Shot Eye Lift 
  • High Adherence Silicone Primer 


  • No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Oil
  • Garnier SkinActives Micellar Water
  • Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Facial Cleanser
  • Freedom Glycolic Radiance Exfoliating Toner
  • Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% 
  • Buffet 
  • 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil 

In the morning, after washing and drying my face, I start off with The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG. This is a treatment designed for puffy eyes and dark circles – all of which I have in spades! Caffeine and extract from green tea leaves are in there to tackle the hollowness in the eye contour which can increase the look of dark shadows. This will treat my under-eye issues over time.

Next, I follow up with some Buffet, which is as close to a multi-purpose product as you’ll find in the range. It’s a peptide-based serum that’s intended to tackle fine lines and wrinkles. It includes complexes such as Matrixyl, Syn-Ake (a synthetic form of botox that inhibits the formation of new wrinkles), a pro-biotic complex and a base of 11 skin-friendly amino acids and hyaluronic acids that plump and freshen the skin. This one I use for day and night to try and ramp up my anti-aging efforts!
Then I apply a high-factor facial sunscreen. This is the absolute one essential thing that you must do for your skin, and the primary method of guarding against both skin-damaging UVB rays and ageing UVA rays.

Also, when using products with retinoids, exfoliating agents or vitamin c, it's really important to protect skin as those things can make it more sensitive. With that all in mind, I’m quite surprised that The Ordinary don’t offer a sunscreen in their line. It seems very counter-intuitive. But perhaps one will appear in the future. In the meantime, I just use one from Rituals as its light and easily absorbed.
On top of that, I then add my daily moisturiser, Natural Moisturising Factors + HA. This gives a non-greasy hydration packed full of compounds that are naturally occurring in the skin and work to boost hydration all day long.

After that, I like to go back in with another eye treatment, because that really is my main problem area. I’ve been using REN’s Instant Eye Lift for a few months now and I love it. It’s a pearlescent gel that instantly brightens and lifts that area. It does have a longer-term effect, but the results are also instant and cosmetic, so I like combining it with the caffeine treatment.

Finally, The Ordinary also released a couple of different primers quite recently. Because of my lines, I prefer the Silicone one, which is mattifying, blurring and smoothing, while also containing hydrating ingredients. It makes makeup look higher definition and stick to the skin for longer.

Decent primers can be quite costly – my favourites have always been the Laura Mercier Smoothing Primer or the Benefit Porefessional, both of which are £25. This stuff does the same job but the cost? £3.90!

In the evening, I triple cleanse. First, I use an oil cleanser around my eyes to break down my mascara, indelible eyeliner and lash glue, as I wear lashes most days.

Then, a micellar water to take off the rest of my make-up and grime, and then I use a face wash with my Foreo Luna cleansing brush as a final deep cleanse.  Then I use a very mild exfoliating toner. This increases cell turnover and helps treatments to absorb, without damaging the skin.

After that, it's time for a Vitamin C treatment to brighten my skin, fight pollution damage from free radicals and reduce the uneven pigmentation I have. That is the Ascorbyl Glucoside, which blocks excess pigment production and also increases cell turnover. There are many forms of vitamin C available within this line, but this one is very easily absorbed into the skin.

Finally, it's time to pack some hydration on and I love to use an oil at night, when it can really sink in. The 100% Organic Cold Pressed Argan oil really smooths out and plumps the skin. I also love Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for this, so I may go back to that in time, but adding an oil in feels super luxurious and comforting at night.

I definitely like this build-it-yourself approach to my skincare. It takes a little getting used to, but I believe that with some learning you can create a tailored regime with genuinely effective products that doesn’t cost the earth. The cost for all my products from The Ordinary is just under £40, which is only £10 more than I was paying for one serum before.

If you want to create a skin customised regime with products tailored to you, check out The Ordinary and see what they have to offer for you.


  1. The Ordinary are fast becoming my favourite brand of skincare too, so much to offer and so kind to the skin!

    Parie x
    Class and Glitter

  2. I literally sent your blog post link to myself because it's a keeper!