The Ultimate Guide To The Ordinary Vitamin C Products

[ad_1]

ultimate guide to the ordinary vitamin C products

Ever wished for a guide to the best The Ordinary Vitamin C products? For an ordinary brand, The Ordinary sure likes to confuse people. Their Vitamin C products are the example. They have 6! How the heck are you supposed to pick the right one for you?! Choose the wrong one and you may end up with a bad case of stinging, an acne flareup, or a gritty texture you don’t want anywhere near your skin.

I’m not exaggerating. Each of The Ordinary Vitamin C product is a good product… for the right skin type. That’s why they have so many. They know one size never fits all in skincare and have created as many options as possible to serve everyone. If you don’t know which one will get on better with your skin, don’t fret. I’ve put together this quick guide to the best The Ordinary Vitamin C products to take the guesswork out of picking the right one for your needs. But first…

Vitamin C Benefits

Vitamin C is an anti aging superstar. This powerful antioxidant has several superpowers:

  • It fights the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles before they can wreak their damage.
  • It boosts collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm. The more collagen your skin has, the firmer it is and the fewer wrinkles it develops.
  • It brightens skin and fades dark spots for an even-toned complexion.
  • It boosts sun protection (it does this better when paired with Vitamin E and ferulic acid).

The catch? There’s not just one form of Vitamin C. There are a gazillion (I’ve written a post on the most popular here).

L-Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of Vitamin C, is by far the most powerful and the most effective. It’s also the most irritating. It can cause stinging and burning. If you have sensitive skin, don’t go anywhere near it.

Its derivatives, like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and Ascorbyl Glucoside, are gentler and better tolerated even by sensitive skin. But, they’re less powerful. They work. You just won’t be getting the full potency of Vitamin C. But for some skin types, they’re the better choice.

Related: Why You Need To Use A Serum With Vitamin C


Confused about The Ordinary? Click on the image below to subscribe to my newsletter and get “The Ordinary Products Guide” Cheatsheet:


FAQ ABOUT VITAMIN C

When should you use Vitamin C?

Vitamin C helps you boost the protection of your sunscreen, so I recommend you use it every morning, right after cleansing. You could use it in the evening, too but you’ll be missing out on this all important benefit.


How often should you use Vitamin C?

If you’re using L-Ascorbic Acid, the pure form, once a day, preferably in the morning, is more than enough. Derivatives, especially when they’re not the main ingredient, can be used twice a day, morning and night. The key here is not to overwhelm your skin. Overwhelm leads to irritation.


Can you use Vitamin C if you have sensitive skin?

Yes, but with a caveat. 15% or higher concentrations of L-Ascorbic Acid are often too irritating for sensitive skin. Either use 10% or less L-Ascorbic Acid or opt for a derivative.


How do I know which form of Vitamin C I need?

If your skin is not sensitive, I recommend L-Ascorbic Acid. I don’t care what brands tell you, this is the MOST effective form of Vitamin C by far. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate is the better option. It also helps treat acne. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature in any of The Ordinary Vitamin C products. Sensitive skin? You can have your pick of the derivative. Your best bet is to try a few, one every couple of months to see how your skin reacts to it, and find out which one gives you the best results.


What should I look for in a Vitamin C product?

The best Vitamin C serums contain 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, 1% Vitamin C, and 0.5% Ferulic Acid. This combination has been proven to supercharge Vitamin C, so it works better and faster. Sadly, none of The Ordinary Vitamin C products has this combination. I get why, they’re trying to keep the prices low. But this is also why I don’t use The Ordinary Vitamin C products. They’re ok if you’re on a strict budget, but they’re limited in effectiveness.

Also, L-Ascorbic Acid goes bad so quickly when exposed to light and air. Opt for skincare products packaged in opaque, air-tight tubes and bottles.

Now that you know why you need to add a Vitamin C product to your skincare routine, let’s figure out which one is best for your needs, shall we?

Your The Ordinary Vitamin C Products Guide

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone ($8.30)

WHAT THE ORDINARY SAYS

Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone is a smooth cream-like formula that uses direct Vitamin C to help visibly reduce signs of aging by brightening and balancing uneven skin tone. This water-free formula provides 30% direct L-Ascorbic Acid which remains completely stable due to the absence of water. What’s more, this water-free formula contains extra-light silicones, which lessen the tingling sensation that can be associated with topical vitamin C treatments. 

VITAMIN C FORM

Pure Vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid at a whopping 30%. 30% is way too high for most people and will make your skin tingle, a sign of irritation. It gives dramatic results, but is very unstable. The Ordinary fixed that by removing water from the formula. (L-Ascorbic Acid goes bad within weeks when mixed with water).

OTHER INGREDIENTS

This cream only contains L-Ascorbic Acid and 3 silicones that give it a smooth texture and reduce the stinging and irritation of such a high concentration. They do so by slowing its absorption down, so your skin isn’t hit with too much Vitamin C at once.

PERFORMANCE

In terms of effectiveness, it’s one of the best Vitamin C products out there. It brightens the skin tone, fades away dark spots, and prevents premature wrinkles. Plus, it also helps reduce shine during the day. Thanks to the high silicone content, the texture is only slightly gritty. But, if your skin is sensitive, this will irritate it. Oh, and it may cause pilling under sunscreen. This may be the exception to the rule and better used at night.

FRAGRANCE-FREE

Yes, it’s fragrance-free.

SKIN TYPE

Normal and combination skin.

BEST FOR

It’s best for mature and resilient skin that can tolerate high doses of Vitamin C. If that’s you and you’re looking for fast results without a super gritty texture, you’ll like this.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK, The Ordinary, and Ulta

Related: Do Silicones Prevent Other Ingredients From Penetrating Skin?


​To make this serum part of your The Ordinary routine I recommend following my scientist friend’s course called Extraordinary Skin With The Ordinary – in it she’s teaching you how to design a The Ordinary skincare routine to get makeupless skin you love. Click here to check it out now. (affiliate link)

The Ordinary Skincare Routine - Where to start with The Ordinary skincare

the-ordinary-vitamin-C-suspension-23%-+-ha-spheres-2%

The Ordinary Vitamin C Supension 23% + HA Spheres 2% ($7.80)

WHAT THE ORDINARY SAYS

Vitamin C Suspension 23% in HA Spheres uses direct vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to help visibly reduce signs of aging by brightening and balancing uneven skin tone. This water-free formula provides 23% pure L-Ascorbic Acid which remains completely stable due to the absence of water. What’s more, this water-free formula is supported with spheres of hyaluronic acid for added hydration.

VITAMIN C FORM

Pure Vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid at a whopping 23%. It’s not as irritating as 30%, but it’s still high and can cause tingling.

OTHER INGREDIENTS

L-Ascorbic Acid is encapsulated in hyaluronic acid spheres for added hydration. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most hydrating ingredients in skincare ever. Plus, Squalane to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and deeply moisturise skin. The more hydrated and moisturised your skin is, the lower the chance you’ll experience an irritation.

PERFORMANCE

In terms of effectiveness, it works. It brightens skin, prevents wrinkles and, in the long run, helps boost collagen production. If you have dark spots, it also helps fade them away. But the texture is sooo gritty, it’s NOT pleasant to use. The only way I can use it is by mixing it with a separate hyaluronic acid serum. That dissolves the gritty particles so they don’t scratch your skin (no, the hyaluronic acid in this serum isn’t enough for that – but it’ll hydrate your skin). If you can put up with that, great. But there are sooo many other Vitamin C serums out there, you really don’t have to (unless you are on a super strict budget). If you want to use it, I recommend it at night (again, it’s one of the exceptions to the rule).

FRAGRANCE-FREE

Yes, like all The Ordinary skincare products, it’s fragrance-free.

SKIN TYPE

Normal and dry skin.

BEST FOR

It’s best for mature and resilient skin who want dramatic and fast results and hate silicones.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK, The Ordinary, and Ulta

Related: How Can You Tell If Your Vitamin C Serum Has Gone Bad?

Vit C 23% Vit C 30% LAA 100% AG 12% AT 20% EAA 15%
Texture Heavy & gritty Heavy & smooth Powder Light serum Light oil Light oil
Potency Very high High Very high Moderate Moderate Low
Irritation High High High Low Low Low
Best for Vit C pros Vit C pros who want
a smoother texture
DIY fans All skin types,
esp oily
Dry and mature
skin
I don’t recommend it

The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder (£5.70)

WHAT THE ORDINARY SAYS

100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder is a powdered form of direct vitamin C that visibly reduces signs of aging by brightening and balancing uneven skin tone and protecting your skin from the effects of damage caused by environmental stressors. Because it’s made of 100% vitamin C, it’s designed to be mixed with other serums, creams, or moisturizers in your skincare routine—allowing you to create a custom vitamin C treatment.  

VITAMIN C FORM

Pure Vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid, powder. It’s the most effective, but goes bad super quickly when you add it to a product. If you don’t like silicones and gritty texture, the only other option to ensure maximum freshness is to add Vitamin C powder directly into your fave serums or moisturisers.

OTHER INGREDIENTS

No other ingredients. You just get 100% L-Ascorbic Acid powder.

PERFORMANCE

I’m NOT a fan and I do NOT recommend it. Why? It’s true that, in its pure form, Vitamin C can fight wrinkles and reduce dark spots. But, when you add it to a serum or moisturiser yourself, you may not know what you’re getting. You may add it to a product whose ingredients are incompatible with Vitamin C and deactivate it. You may add it to a water-based product that will make Vitamin C useless after a few days/weeks. You may add too much to be irritating. Or too little to be ineffective. Unless you’re a pro, this isn’t something you want to mess with at home. Creating an effective Vitamin C serum takes more than adding a sprinkle of power to a ready-made skincare product.

FRAGRANCE-FREE

Yes, it is.

SKIN TYPE

Normal, dry, and combination.

BEST FOR

DYI fans who actually know what they’re doing. No newbies here, please.,

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK, and The Ordinary

Related: Why Making Your Own Vitamin C Serum Isn’t A Good Idea


The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% ($14.30)

WHAT THE ORDINARY SAYS

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% offers a lightweight, water-based formula that helps reduce signs of aging by brightening and balancing uneven skin tone. Unlike direct forms of vitamin C, this easy-to-use serum contains a water-soluble vitamin C derivative that converts into vitamin C once applied, giving it less irritation potential. And because it has advanced antioxidant properties, it also protects skin from the visual effects of damage caused by environmental stressors, helping to maintain a more radiant complexion. 

VITAMIN C FORM

Ascorbyl Glucoside, a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. It’s more stable than pure Vitamin C, but less effective. Its forte is brightening skin, but it fights wrinkles too. It’s so popular because it works well in water, allowing for an elegant, smooth texture that’s a pleasant to use.

OTHER INGREDIENTS

Textur-enhancers, preservatives… No other active ingredient of note.

PERFORMANCE

Out of all The Ordinary Vitamin C products, this one has the best texture. It’s a light serum that absorbs quickly into your skin. It does brighten skin and prevent wrinkles, but more slowly than L-Ascorbic Acid. I also don’t like it has no other antioxidants. It’s a serum that does the bare minimum. For the price, you can’t complain. But this is a case where it’s worth spending a bit more to get more.

FRAGRANCE-FREE

Yes, it is fragrance-free.

SKIN TYPE

Sensitive, especially if it’s on the oily side.

BEST FOR

Oily, sensitive skin looking for a fast-absorbing serum that doesn’t break the bank.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK, The Ordinary, and Ulta

Related: All The Types Of Vitamin C Used In Skincare: Which One Is Better?

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% In Vitamin F (£19.80)

WHAT THE ORDINARY SAYS

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F is a lightweight oil that helps reduce signs of aging by brightening and balancing uneven skin tone. Unlike direct forms of vitamin C, this hydrating formula contains an oil-soluble vitamin C derivative that converts into vitamin C once applied, giving it less irritation potential. Plus, it has vitamin F—Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids—to help support your skin’s natural hydration barrier.

VITAMIN C FORM

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate. It’s an oil-soluble derivative that penetrates skin faster than all other forms of Vitamin C. It’s especially good at brightening skin. I’ve written an entire post about the benefits of Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate here.

OTHER INGREDIENTS

Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. They strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and moisturise skin, making it softer and smoother.

PERFORMANCE

This is my fave Vitamin C derivative serum from The Ordinary. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate penetrates skin more deeply than other forms of Vitamin C, so it has brightens and fights wrinkles better than other derivatives. Plus, it’s very moisturising. A lightweight oil, it doesn’t feel greasy on the skin. It’s runny so be careful when you apply it!

FRAGRANCE-FREE

Yes, it is fragrance-free.

SKIN TYPE

Dry and sensitive.

BEST FOR

Dry and dehydrated skin types that want to moisturise skin and fight wrinkles at the same time – and can’t tolerate high concentrations of L-Ascorbic Acid (yep, that’s still my fave).

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, The Ordinary and Ulta

The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution (£18.00)

WHAT THE ORDINARY SAYS

Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution is an advanced, direct-acting oil-like serum that helps visibly reduce signs of aging by brightening and balancing uneven skin tone. Among our other vitamin C offerings, what sets this formula apart is its ethylation which gives a small molecular size, allowing for faster visible results with less irritation potential. Ethylation is a process which helps promote the stability of Vitamin C while still retaining the direct-acting benefits when compared to other Vitamin C Derivatives. And because it has advanced antioxidant properties, this water-free formula protects your skin from the visual effects of damage caused by environmental stressors, helping to maintain a more radiant complexion.

VITAMIN C FORM

Ethylated Ascorbic Acid. It’s stabler than L-Ascorbic Acid, but there’s not much research on it. So far, studies show it helps fade away dark spots, but there’s no data on how well it works as an antioxidant or collagen-booster. I don’t recommend it until more independent studies confirm these findings.

OTHER INGREDIENTS

The only other ingredient here is Propenediol, an alcohol that helps your skin better absorb Vitamin C.

PERFORMANCE

It’s a light oil that softens skin, prevents wrinkles, and gives skin a lovely glow. But the oily base also causes acne flare-ups in some people and the results aren’t so great, compared to other options here, to make the trade-off worth it. This is one serum I do NOT recommend for now.

FRAGRANCE-FREE

Yes, it is fragrance-free.

SKIN TYPE

Dry and sensitive.

BEST FOR

I don’t recommend it. If you want to fade dark spots, you’re much better off with any of the L-Ascorbic Acid products.

Available at: Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Sephora, SpaceNK, and The Ordinary

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right The Ordinary Vitamin C product for your needs depends on your skin type, the type of Vitamin C it can tolerate and what texture it prefers. If you’re a Vitamin C veteran, you can upgrade to pure Vitamin C. Everyone else, stick to a derivative for the time being. Pick the one with the better texture for your skin type and you’ll make it a happy bunny.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Supension 23% + HA Spheres 2% Ingredients

Ascorbic Acid, Squalane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Coconut Alkanes, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glucomannan, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Trihydroxystearin, BHT.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% In Silicone Ingredients

Dimethicone, Ascorbic Acid, Polysilicone-11, PEG-10 Dimethicone.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Coco Caprylate/Caprate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Dodecane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglycerol-3 Diisostearate, Polyglycerol-3 Polyricinoleate, Glycerin, Hexamethyldisiloxane, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F Ingredients

Coconut Alkanes, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ethyl Linoleate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Squalane

The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder Ingredients

The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Ingredients

Propanediol, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid.

[ad_2]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay in Touch

To follow the best weight loss journeys, success stories and inspirational interviews with the industry's top coaches and specialists. Start changing your life today!

spot_img

Related Articles