God bless The Ordinary for making products that work and making them affordable for all. As a woman in your 20s, you don’t have an excuse not to establish a proper skincare routine anymore. And you’d think that having incredibly potent skincare products with ridiculously low prices would make your skincare a breeze in your 20s.
But the funny thing is having too many choices doesn’t always help. You’re presented with a ton of products or “acids” or “solutions”. Unless you’re an expert on the products, you experience what they call a “decision paralysis”.
And you’re either too turned off to give the products a try or you dive in and grab whatever’s in stock without a clue as to whether it’s even suitable for your skin. That’s why we did the research and found the best products from The Ordinary to use in your 20s based on your issues.
You don’t even have to create a whole routine for this. As a matter of fact, when you’re incorporating a new ingredient or a new product into your routine, it’s better to keep things minimal.
This will save you a lot of doubt and possible irritation. You’ll be able to clearly observe your skin’s reactions to the products. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with questions like “is this new thing working or is it the other one that’s working?” or “which one is making me break out?”
That’s why it’s better to focus on one product when you’re just starting out. Free shipping can be tempting, I know. But your priority is finding the right product for your pressing skin issue in your 20s.
Later on, you can modify the rest of your routine and start to introduce new products. Plus, keeping things simple will prevent you from accidentally mixing in products.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but The Ordinary has a whole guide on which products you should mix or avoid mixing or the right time to maybe mix them or something like that. It gets so confusing (and annoying) and it requires a lot of mental organizational skills that most of us lack! And to be honest, it takes all the fun out of skincare.
For that reason, we’ll be focusing on one single product to add to your routine. For the rest of your routine, go with the basics. Make sure you’ve got yourself a cleanser suitable for your skin type, a moisturizer, and an SPF. As these products contain active ingredients, make sure your cleanser or your moisturizer doesn’t contain any.
The good thing about using The Ordinary’s affordable products is not having to deal with “budgetary acne”. That’s a term I use for breakouts that are caused by the stress and guilt from spending money you don’t have on luxury skincare.
Below are the best The Ordinary products to use in your 20s.
When you have oily skin, your default skin concerns also include pores, congestion, blackheads, and obviously, acne. Even though this product is definitely not the only option from the brand, it’s neither too gentle nor too aggressive as the other options may be.
The salicylic acid solution is a chemical peel in serum form. It’s an exfoliant and a type of beta-hydroxy acid. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It’ll dissolve what’s clogging your pores and push them out.
At the same time, it’ll fight bacteria and prevent acne while also reducing existing ones. Salicylic acid is super great for stopping acne at its tracks. It’s one of the most effective ways to clear up your skin.
If you’re dealing with excess oil and breakouts in your 20s, add this one into your evening routine. Start using it a couple of times a week at first until your skin builds tolerance. You’ll achieve more clear and brighter skin with reduced pores and blackheads in no time!
Be on the lookout for this one as the product is currently being updated. Meanwhile, see #5 below.
If you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, or acne scars in your 20s, this vitamin C serum is a great one to add to your routine. It’s made with a stable form of vitamin C and it’s less irritating than pure vitamin C.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps with collagen production, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation. It lifts dark spots and evens out the skin tone and promotes a brighter complexion.
As the serum is a gentle one, you can try using it both in the morning and in the evening. Additionally, the serum will also cover the anti-aging aspect of your routine. It’s an antioxidant, so it’ll protect your skin from free radical damage caused by UV exposure, pollution, and blue light.
When you have a compromised skin barrier, your skin gets dehydrated and irritated easily. Without a functioning protective barrier, which is your skin’s physical defense, your skin is more prone to problems.
And you deal with severe dryness, redness, sensitivity, and flakiness. So if dryness is your main concern in your 20s, this is the product to use from The Ordinary. It’s made with a ton of amino acids, which are essential to maintaining a healthy skin barrier.
They increase hydration and help repair the damaged skin barrier. Additionally, the serum has vitamin B5, which is a humectant that hydrates with additional soothing properties.
The combination helps your skin get back on its feet and helps with any of the concerns associated with dryness. Hydrated skin looks plumper with an even skin tone and less visible lines. Plus, it becomes stronger against free radical damage.
If you’re in your late 20s and you’re more worried about fine lines and wrinkles, The Ordinary has some great options to help you deal with those. Let me introduce you to peptides.
Simply put, signal peptides help with wrinkles by stimulating new collagen formation. Neuropeptides, on the other hand, help with wrinkles by limiting muscle movement.
Much like Botox, they work by “relaxing” wrinkles. And one of the most popular signal peptides out there is acetyl hexapeptide-8, aka Argireline. This serum contains 10% Argireline to target expression lines like forehead lines, smile lines, and the lines between the brows.
As a result, you soften the look of wrinkles without having to worry about skin purging that’s usually associated with heavier actives.
Let’s stop fooling around for a sec. Realistically speaking, there’s no other ingredient that can smooth out wrinkles as effectively as retinoids. Retinoids refer to vitamin A derivatives. And retinol is the term generally used for non-prescription options like retinaldehyde, retinyl palmitate, and of course, retinol.
Retinol speeds up skin turnover, fires up collagen production, improves your skin texture and tone, and even helps with acne. It’s both anti-aging and anti-acne.
But it can be irritating for the skin. And your skin generally requires some time to get used to it. It’s a potent active and it’s important to know how to use retinol to avoid the potential “side effects”.
Whether it’s acne or wrinkles or whether you’re being anti-aging or preventative, using some type of retinol in your 20s is a great investment in your future skin.
The Ordinary has different types of retinol in different concentrations. If you’re a first-timer, start with the non-irritating alternative Granactive Retinoid 2%. This will familiarize your skin with the ingredient.
Meanwhile, it’ll help with adult acne and wrinkles you deal with in your late 20s. It’ll help with congestion, pores, and breakouts you commonly deal with in your early 20s. If you’re already familiar with retinol, you can start with this serum. It’s the lowest concentration but still does wonders for your skin.
Once your skin makes peace with it, you’ll become addicted to retinol. It’s a real multi-tasker that can help with all your skin concerns. Again, learn how to properly use retinol if you want to benefit from it!