Where To Buy Your Acids From (Without Breaking The Bank!)

The Ordinary.

I am not alone in thinking that skincare is extremely important, especially if you want your make up to look good! Having a clean, smooth canvas makes even bad products look passable, and my mother always taught me to take good care of my skin. I have combination skin, meaning I have both oily areas (nose, forehead, chin) and dry patches (usually around my jawline), so finding a product that can hydrate without becoming kitchen grease on my face is hard to do.

There’s no denying that the most popular, well reviewed skincare products out there tend to fall somewhere between one months rent and a whole condo on the price scale. I have always been drawn to very certain ingredients in products, so I decided to try and find just those ingredients without all the pomp and frills. This led me to The Ordinary, a stylish, up and coming brand of affordable skincare.

Please let me preface this review by saying that I am not a chemist, dermatologist, or any other -ist for that matter, so do your research before putting an acid directly on your face! I have also added other products with each of these ingredients in them to give you an idea of the price difference.

Retinol 1 % 30 mL for $6.70


What does Retinol do?

“This water-free formulation contains 1% pure Retinol, an ingredient that can reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing.”

I have never been one to worry about wrinkles, because it always felt like an old lady’s problem. I have learned though that wrinkle prevention is much more effective than wrinkle eradication, so I decided I might as well start now. Retinol is your best bet for wrinkle and other age damage, but it comes with a catch. It can make your skin very sensitive to sunlight, so be sure to wear extra SPF if you use it! I have been putting a touch of this on the outer corners of my eyes (where crows feet seem to appear) and the corners of my mouth at night before bed. I don’t have any noticeable wrinkles there so I cannot really tell if this is doing anything, but I will keep doing this and tell you when I’m 40 if it worked okay?

Other products with Retinol

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil $105.00

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM $65.00

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% 30 mL for $5.80


What does Vitamin C do?

“Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant and its pure form of L-Ascorbic Acid has been shown to reverse multiple signs of skin ageing while brightening the skin when applied topically. This water-free, silicone-free formula provides 23% pure L-Ascorbic Acid which remains completely stable due to the absence of water. The system is supported with addition of dehydrated spheres of Hyaluronic Acid to offer visible surface smoothing alongside the benefits of Vitamin C.”

Vitamin C and I have always been close, because I scar quite easily but also pop every pimple I have. Needless to say I have a lot of discoloration on my chin and nose area. I put this on every other night before bed and it has already made my skin look brighter and more fresh in the morning when I wake up. On the nights that I don’t put it everywhere, I dab a dot onto any noticeable dark spots on my face to speed up the fading process.

Other products with Vitamin C

Dr. Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum $95.00

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum $105.00

Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% 30 mL for $6.79


What does Lactic Acid do?

“Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 10% formulation offers mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation.”

Lactic Acid is my favorite skin care additive when I am looking for a chemical exfoliant. It never irritates my skin, and it strips away any dullness I may be experiencing. This is a diluted formula so it isn’t too harsh, but it still gets the job done. You should only use chemical exfoliants every other day at most, because every day can be too taxing on the skin.

Other products with Lactic Acid

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment $105.00

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment $85.00

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 30 mL for $6.80


What does Hyaluronic Acid do?

“Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. The molecular size of HA determines its depth of delivery in the skin. This formulation combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight HA, as well as a next-generation HA crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for multi-depth hydration in an oil-free formula. This system is supported with the addition of Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration.”

Hyaluronic Acid is one of the only things that can hydrate my skin without leaving it greasy and congested. Not only does it remedy my rogue dry patches, it plumps up my skin making it smooth and ready for make up. I like diluting the lactic acid with this because it soothes any redness that the exfoliating brings out. If you have combo skin like me and are looking for hydration that won’t make you shiny, find yourself some hyaluronic acid ASAP.

Other products with Hyaluronic Acid

Glam Glow Dream Duo Overnight Transforming Mask $59.00

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum $49.00

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG 30 mL for $6.70


What does Caffeine do?

“This light-textured formula contains an extremely high 5% concentration of caffeine, supplemented with highly-purified Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (EGCG) from green tea leaves. Independent studies have shown that topical use of each of caffeine and EGCG can help reduce looks of puffiness and of dark circles in the eye contour. Additional studies have shown that caffeine can also reduce the appearance of cellulite. “

I have intense hereditary dark circles, and if I miss even ten minutes of sleep they go from just dark to dark and puffy. Most of the time all I can do is apply concealer and hopefully grab a nap. This product has improved my puffiness incredibly. I haven’t noticed it changing the darkness of my under eyes at all, but as soon as I apply this, any swelling disappears in a matter of minutes. This doesn’t do anything to hydrate the under eye though, so I still use an eye cream before applying make up.

Other products with Caffeine

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Cream $48.00

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream $58.00

Let me know your favorite skin care ingredients!

Glowingly yours,



  1. Melissa Krieger

    This is awesome – thank-you! I’ve been looking at The Ordinary stuff for awhile and this helps. So if I order all of these products how would I schedule them? I’ve done Vit C in the am and retinol in the pm but I’m not sure how I would rotate the HA and LA in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jessicathorneh

      When it comes to HA, you really can’t go wrong with applying it. Because it is so hydrating I have used it in the morning before make up and in the evening. The LA is a different story. Because it is a chemical exfoliant, you really want to be sure you aren’t using it every day. I like to use my LA about three times a week before bed, and I mix it with the HA to stop any inflammation caused by the exfoliation.


  2. Melissa Krieger

    Hi again! Another question – I just got my order with everything you suggested (except the C was out). LA three times a week but what about the retional? Use that on the nights I don’t use the LA?
    Thank so much.


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