The Ordinary product range can be tough to navigate for people with sensitive skin: many products feature high concentrations of active ingredients making them unsuitable for reactive skin. On the other hand, all The Ordinary products are fragrance-free, most do not include potentially irritating plant extracts and most formulas use a minimal number of ingredients - the features that are crucial for those of us with sensitive skin.
Here is an example skincare routine that suits sensitive skin using products from The Ordinary.
Step 0: Skip your morning cleanse. Your skin isn’t dirty in the morning if you have removed your makeup, sunscreen and pollution from the previous day before going to bed. If you’d like, you can splash your face with tepid water to feel refreshed.
Step 1: Serum Amino Acids + B5 from The Ordinary to support hydration. It contains 5% of soothing panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) in combination with humectants sodium lactate and PCA, as well as amino-acids that also function as humectants and might provide additional support for the skin barrier function.
Step 2: Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants from The Ordinary. This sunscreen will suit most people with sensitive skin, but, because it contains a few plant extracts (Rosmarin leaf extract, Tasmanian Pepperberry extract, and Black Spruce bark extract), it can cause trouble for very reactive skin. Patch test is definitely recommended, and this should be the first product to stop using in the routine if you are experiencing any reactions. We wish The Ordinary would release a more minimalist version of a mineral sunscreen to provide a safer option for people with reactive skin.
Step 1: Squalane Cleanser from the Ordinary. Its formula is based on a complex of mild surfactants that provide effective yet gentle cleansing action.
Step 2: Serum Amino Acids + B5 from The Ordinary (same as AM).
Step 3: Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA from The Ordinary. It is an effective light moisturizer with fatty acids, humectants including Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Urea, as well as a complex of amino-acids.
This fragrance-free, gentle routine covers all the basic skin needs, and would cost you about $35 for the full set of products. The weakest "link in the chain" is the sunscreen though, so you might want to for a non-Ordinary product instead if would like to avoid unnecessary plant extracts.