Hype Hound: Is The Ordinary Worth It? | Clozette
The Ordinary took the beauty world by storm earlier this year. Beauty editors and enthusiasts went gaga over them, to put it lightly. With a promise to give an “evolving collection of treatments offering familiar, effective clinical technologies positioned to raise pricing and communication integrity in skincare” it was definitely difficult to resist the brand’s pull. And so we were sold, and in our carts the products went. After testing them out, however, we have mixed views. Here’s what happened.

I've had problematic skin ever since I hit puberty. My skintone is uneven, I have a bad case of acne scarring and large pores, and I have to admit that it took me quite a while before I actually realised the importance of skincare.

I am also a very nit-picky buyer so it took me weeks of research and hours of watching review videos on YouTube to see how The Ordinary is like in general. There were a couple of rants among the raves, but considering that the price of this is actually reasonable enough for me to try, I gave it a shot.

The products

I purchased the Advanced Retinoid 2% (now renamed as the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion) for anti-ageing, the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% for my acne spots and scars (this is one of the brand's best-sellers), and the Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% for a water-soluble Vitamin C variant to help brighten my skin. 

I rarely use The Ordinary in the morning other than spot treating with Niacinamide. The bulk of my skincare really happens at night in which I double cleanse, tone my face using an AHA/BHA toner, throw in a sheet mask on some days, then use the Advanced Retinoid, Niacinamide, and Magnesium Ascorbyl in intervals of 3 to 5 minutes in between before going in with my moisturiser. 

The effect

I luckily didn't experience any purging considering that I have sensitive combination skin.  After two weeks of incorporating these into my routine, I noticed that they did help control my hormonal acne. They also helped fade a scar that a cystic acne left around my jawline and my skin does look brighter to the point that I use less foundation and concealer now. I also like how my makeup sits on my skin even better. 

It didn't really help much with my pores and oil control, but considering that they're doing an 'okay' job so far, I guess I will consider repurchasing these once I run out. They gave a good enough result considering the price point, so that's a plus for me. 

I do think, though, that they're never good enough on their own. You still have to work your way into balancing your skincare routine around it and I suggest you do a lot of research to make sure you get the balance of acids and vitamins right and not pair them up with a product that would affect their potency. It's like chemistry back in high school all over again, to be honest!

I was impressed by the branding of Deciem's The Ordinary. I love the idea of a skincare line that's effective, has 'formula integrity' yet affordable. It also helped that the minimalist packaging looks so chic. So out of sheer curiosity, I bought the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. I understand that this product is marketed as a treatment for blemishes but my reason for buying it is to just boost my skin's overall condition since Niacinamide is a known antioxidant with anti-aging and UV protection properties. 

The experience

Upon opening, I noticed that there's a faint glue-like smell but it's tolerable. Right after my toner, I applied about five drops of product onto my skin. I tested the product for a week and was disappointed to find out that it caused breakouts. I have combination skin and this rarely happens to me. I thought that maybe I was just purging and I gave it another try but got the same results. Another problem that I encountered was the product balled up on the surface of my skin instead of being absorbed. 

I was already thinking of tossing the product already when I came across a reddit thread that advised to add drops of the Niacinamide to my moisturiser instead of applying it by itself. I tried this and it worked! Not only did the breakouts stop but I also saw a positive change in my skin. It's brighter and smoother now. Would I repurchase? Maybe, if the good results continue but I want to explore other options as well.

Living in the city? Here's how to take care of your skin properly.



It’s no secret that we’re fascinated with anything that has to do with skincare. So imagine our delight upon receiving an invitation to meet the iconic Dr. Wu in Taipei. We’ve already given you a glimpse of what transpired during our trip, and now we’re ready to give you access to the gold mines of beauty — courtesy of Dr. Wu himself. Here’s what you should know about taking care of your skin better.

1. Try refreshing your skincare every two years

While the onset of an allergy attack is abrupt, it actually takes a while to develop – around two years to be exact. In this span of time, the skin also changes in terms of its texture, general state, and needs. So it’s always good to refresh your skincare every two years or so. This is also the reason why Dr. Wu upgrades his products every two years. He wants to ensure that no matter what the concerns of the people are at the time, his products will be ready to help solve them with a fortified formula.

2. What instant brightening?

There are a lot of products in the market claiming that you’ll get brighter skin instantly. But Dr. Wu says that there’s no such thing as an instant result when it comes to skincare. Good skin takes time and consistency.

The key is something you might be overlooking: exfoliation. There are two ways to do it; you can either go the physical route or tread the chemical way. But the best way to get the brightening you want though is through chemical exfoliation. Among the more popular chemicals used for exfoliation are alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), but there are more modern and effective acids to use now, like mandelic acid.

Speaking of mandelic acid, we already revealed that Dr. Wu was the first to bring mandelic acid from a professional clinic to the public, so people can have easier access to it. And as per personal tradition, the brand recently launched an innovative take by introducing the DR.WU Daily Renewal line with mandelic acid. The essence contains three acids (mandelic, salicylic and pyruvic) and three probiotics (brewer’s yeast, lactic acid bacteria, and Bifidobacterium) to renew the skin deeply yet mildly.

3. Make moisturising your top priority

The different steps in a skincare routine are for different reasons and needs, but Dr. Wu says the most important of them all is moisturisation. If you’re a skincare rookie, put moisturising on top of your to-do list. You wanna know why? Here are just a few things that could happen if you don’t moisturise: you can get wrinkles; your skin will look dull and flaky; your acne will worsen; and your skin will get itchy. Being well-hydrated also makes the skin act like a healthy base and help the other skincare goodness you'll be putting on your skin to get absorbed better.

For starters, try the DR. WU Skin Recovery Moisturizer with Tri-Ceramides. It has a light and creamy texture that won’t make you feel icky and sticky. Plus, the ingredients are top notch. The combination of American sunflower seed extract, β-glucan, saccharide isomerate, and multiple vitamins ensure that the skin is properly moisturised, soothed from dryness and irritation, and well-hydrated.

4. Treat it topically

Once you see trouble, address it right away. Think of it the way you would react to any other problem; you’d want to solve it quickly before it gets worse.

You can also see it this way: when you treat a skin problem topically — as in you put the treatment on the problem — you concentrate it there, making the chances of it going away higher. Dr. Wu also gave treating a burn as an example. Yes, a good lifestyle composed of a healthy diet and an exercise routine is great and Dr. Wu still champions a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. But you can't really tell a person to eat healthily or exercise and just wait for the wound to heal. You need to address the burn or wound directly, otherwise, it can get worse.

While the results of products may take a bit to manifest, urgency is needed when it comes to treating skin problems for faster results, says Dr. Wu. There’s nothing wrong with being early, and prevention (and early treatment) is always better than repairing when big damage has been done.

Enjoy the new DR. WU line when it hits Singapore stores in October.


It's often believed that a job in fashion modelling is a great jumpstart if you want to ultimately pursue other related careers. We've seen numerous fashion models penetrate and thrive in other industries. Alexa Chung became a fashion designer, and Cara Delevingne transitioned to acting, among others. And then there are some who launched their own beauty brands.

Armed with a recognisable name, familiarity with the best beauty products and industry connections, these ladies are in the perfect position to influence the beauty community and start a new beauty empire. Let's take a look at what they've got to offer. 

Miranda Kerr: KORA Organics

Founded in 2009, KORA Organics has been in the market for quite some time now and the brand has already garnered several beauty awards. They offer a wide range of certified organic and natural products for every skin type. Some of their most popular offerings are the Kora Organics 3 Step Systems, Noni Glow Face Balm, and Noni Glow Body Oil. So far, so good, Miranda!

Claudia Schiffer: Claudia Schiffer Makeup

Claudia Schiffer's capsule makeup collection, in collaboration with Artdeco Cosmetics, was launched just this month but it's already creating buzz. Kudos to Claudia for the beautiful, elegant packaging. As for the makeup products, the beauty community is yet to give its verdict. But by the looks of them, the creamy lipsticks are promising. Other products that we're anticipating are the No Colour Setting powder in Sheer Cloud, Illuminator Precision Highlighter in Glow and the quad eyeshadows.

Josie Maran: Josie Maran Cosmetics

Josie Maran Cosmetics is guided by the motto "luxury with a conscience". True to their word, their star ingredient — pure, organic Argan oil — is obtained through fair trade from co-ops of Moroccan women. It's especially worth noting that Josie started her brand back in 2007 when the use of Argan oil was not as ubiquitous as it is today. Despite the increased competition in the market, her OG Argan Moonstone Drops remains a best-seller. 

Cindy Joseph: BOOM by Cindy Joseph

Most supermodels enter the industry at a young age, sometimes even before they were of legal age. But Cindy Joseph has a different story. She started her modelling career in her middle age. Before her rise as a model, she was a makeup artist and now she already has her own cosmetic brand called BOOM.

BOOM by Cindy Joseph is a "pro-age cosmetic line for women of every generation." Both the products and what the brand stands for have gained praises from consumers worldwide. Their Boomsilk moisturiser and Boomstick Trio are favourites among the beauty community. Great job, Cindy!

Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid (Iman): IMAN Cosmetics

Supermodel Iman knew firsthand how challenging it can be for women of colour to find the right shade of makeup for their skin. And so, when she had the opportunity to create a beauty brand that caters to women of all colours, she launched IMAN Cosmetics. Almost two decades after its establishment, IMAN Cosmetics is now considered by many to be a pioneer in creating cosmetics especially for women of colour. Recently, they launched an improved version of their celebrated foundations, the New Luxury Concealing Foundation.

(Cover photo from: @koraorganics)

Are you a beauty geek? Then you'll find the meaning of these beauty brand names very interesting.