Extra-Ordinary skin care



Family and newborn photographer, mum of three, wife of one and tea obsessed eneagram eight.



How I discovered my skin care saviour.

It was spring 2018 and I was stood in a bustling farmhouse style kitchen full of photographers ready to start  ‘day one’ of our photography retreat. We’d had welcome drinks the night prior and I was in serious need of some caffeine to shift my brain into gear. As I flicked the kettle switch down, my head jolted upwards noticing that Clare one of our trainers had floated into the room.

Before my brain began to register, my mouth ran away with me… “you’re literally glowing, whatever you are using I need to know exactly what it is, now” Apparently half the room were thinking the same thing and were pleased I’d asked.

I’ve always been ‘that’ person who just says what’s on their mind. Surprised and smiling softly, Clare began to divulge to the room her skincare secrets and so now nearly 2 years later I’m telling you mine.

First and foremost I am no beauty or skincare expert, just a normal un-fussy Mama in her mid-thirties. Similar to most, I spent my teens and early 20’s with moderate acne and intermittent skincare flare-ups, mainly down to poor diet and hormone imbalances or trying ‘rich’ heavy creams with added crap and perfumes in them. For the record, I’ve never smoked but did previously sunbathe a lot.

I used to say to my own mum, “by the time I start getting wrinkles they’ll have invented something non-invasive to fix it”  then lay baking in the sun or go to sleep with 10 layers of foundation on.

Such an adolescent attitude, but I wasn’t entirely wrong in this prediction though. Just this month, Cosmo’s beauty writer Kate Pasola published an article on bespoke DNA focused skincare creams, basically, skincare specifically matched to your personal genetic code! It sounds like Sci-fi and it’s yet to trickle down to the highstreet beauty market – but it’s coming.

But how about now?

What about that portion of women for who time is ticking and cant wait for DNA creams? Or those who don’t want to inject themselves, don’t have the time to research and try expensive facials? Those women who need something reliable, effective and affordable, something… ‘Ordinary?


What is ‘The Ordinary’ all about and why is it so cheap?

The ordinary is results-driven, no-frills skincare. The parent company, DECIEM have basically cut through any unnecessary crap and focused the brand products simply on high concentrations of pure quality active ingredients.

Their philosophy is ‘clear clinical formulations with integrity’

So where your ‘more expensive’ lotions and potions have a million different ingredients, fancy packaging and some superstar plugging it on every magazine cover, The Ordinary, takes the key ingredients contained in these high-end wonder creams and strips it back to the active ingredient, pops it in a reassuringly transparent bottle and gives you the science without the fluff.

For someone like my sister who suffers from multiple allergies (silicone, almonds and tree pollen to name a few) and myself who doesn’t want the risk of spending money of pricey wonder creams, this pick-a-mix product offering where you can specifically select what skincare issue you’d like to target and know exactly what the active ingredients are is ideal.


  • The packaging is reassuringly plain and functional there is no wastage with the pippet bottles.
  • They have an app available to help you understand, apply and track progress download here:  Apple users or Google play
  • Everything is around £5 – £12. Less than I spend on coffee and cake in Costa and much better for my health
  • It’s not tested on animals and they have a very minimal and clear ingredients list.
  • They do some hair and suncare too.
  • The positive reviews and word of mouth for this brand are plenty.
  • It’s great for gifting!


  • They don’t sell it everywhere. Mostly, online beauty retailers or larger beauty stores (my local Fenwicks in Bracknell stock the full range)
  • It’s harder to select the foundation shades because of this.
  • The desk in my local store doesn’t have dedicated staff.
  • There is a certain level of reading and understanding involved more so than other brands. (But it’s rather nice to know what you are putting on your skin and therefore what exactly is working)


Great, so what are you using?


Remember glowing Clare? She started me on Matrixyl. I use this mainly on my forehead. It sinks in quickly and gives me an instant tightening effect and a nice glow.  I went through a few trials of azelaic acid a bit too grainy for my liking. I think it works well in terms of layering with the other products i have.



I also use Granactive Retiniod 2% Emulsion. I love its milky consistency and it sinks in well. When left overnight it makes my skin feel plump and hydrated. I’ll let the science bods do the explaining online. Two years in, I think it’s reduced my existing forehead lines and kept any frown lines and crows feet at bay.




Niacinamide 10% +Zinc 1% has reduced my adult acne by about 90% If I go more than a week without using this, I flare-up with underskin spots and blackheads. I probably get through 2 pot a year and use it every other day. It really works.



Natural Moisturising Factors +HA, this always goes on last for me as it’s the thickest product. It goes on very smoothly sinks in quickly and leaves no residue. My skin gets that ‘just had a drink’ feeling. Again, it just works!




Coverage and Serum Foundation. So I’m standing in Fenwicks pumped up ready to buy all these wonder creams for less than a lunch date, and I see the  make – up foundations. I figure that I am putting all of this effort into researching and caring for my skin, it makes total sense to then purchase The Ordinary foundation also. Logic says to me, it should work in tandem well and have no pore-clogging skin drying nasties. I purchased both the light and full coverage and was pleasantly surprised by the consistency and length of wear. It’s seamless and I got the colour correct first time (2N). I use a mix of them both depending on my make up look.












What I have my eye on.

I’ve heard some great feedback on the Caffeine Solution 5%- EGCG  for  puffy eye areas and I’m going to try their sunscreen on my face this year – Mineral Uv filters SPF30 with Antioxidants

I hope this was a helpful read. The Ordinary has truely transformed my skin these past two years and I’m forever recommending it to my family and friends and now you to 🙂 Happy clicking!

This post is not affiliated with anyone and I have not been asked to write or review this brand.







11 May 2020

Hi, I'm Lisa

Family & Newborn photographer, mum of 3, wife of  1, tea obsessed, eneagram 8

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