How do you layer The Ordinary serums

If you’re looking to build a new skincare routine from scratch, innovative brand The Ordinary are a great place to start. With high-quality ingredients for affordable prices, you will notice instant results no matter your skin type or skincare concern.

The best way to use products from The Ordinary is to layer them up to ensure your skin gets everything it needs to stay healthy. Building a routine from The Ordinary may seem a little overwhelming, however knowing which order the products should be used in will help build your morning and evening routines.

After Cleansing

The Ordinary mainly focus on treatments as opposed to the more traditional three-step cleanse, tone, moisturize routine. When using products from The Ordinary you should always use an additional cleanser before any step to ensure your skin is free from makeup and dirt so the treatments work most effectively.

If you’re using The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, it’s recommended you use this after your cleanser and before any other products.

Water Solutions

The Ordinary products typically are either water-based or oil-based, and it’s important you apply your water-based products first. For your morning routine these include:

  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%
  • The Ordinary Buffet
  • The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

If you are using a retinol such as The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane or The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%, these should be used only at night time as retinol can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays and they work best overnight.

After Water Solutions

The Ordinary Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% has an emulsion formulation, meaning it should be applied after water solutions and before oil-based products and can be used in both the morning and the evening.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% should also be applied after water solutions and before oil-based products but should only be used in the evening, and not in the same session as The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% as the two ingredients can react and weaken each other.

Oil-based Products and Creams

Once you have applied you water-based solutions and suspensions, it’s time to use your heavier oil-based products and creams. These can all be used in both the morning and the evening. It’s recommended you start with only using one of these especially if you have an oily complexion.

  • The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil
  • The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
  • The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F

The Final Step

The Ordinary do offer a more traditional moisturiser, The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA which can be used in the morning and evening to rehydrate skin. It should be the final step of your skincare routine to lock in moisture.

There are also two primers available which are a hybrid of skincare and makeup, the The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer and The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer . If you want to find out which is best for your skin, you can view our guide ‘Which is the right primer from The Ordinary for my skin type?’

If you’re still unsure as to which products you should be using, The Ordinary Skincare Guide will help you find the best products for your skincare routine.

60 thoughts on “How do you layer The Ordinary serums

  1. Tahira Zahid says:

    Hi, I’m 40 yrs old n my skin is very sensitive, i can see dark circles around my eyes, dullness on my face n uneven toned skin. I’ve heard retinol should be used after 30. Do u think it will suit me as i have a very sensitive skin?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Any serum for dark lips?

    1. admin says:

      100% Plant derived squalane oil

  3. Bushra ali Shigri says:

    Hi im bushra Ali Shigri im a regular customer of yours and i wanted to know some suggestions for puffy eyes and wrinkles in the corner of my eyes also im 41 years old

    1. admin says:

      You may explore Multi-peptide Eye Serum.

  4. Saafia says:

    I have melazma skin which products of ordinary I will you

  5. Aima Asghar says:

    Hello…i have dark circles uneven skin tone darker on the forehead and lighter on the other and normal skin. I m 21 and need a skin care routine kindly suggest possible options

  6. Saba says:

    I m 30 and have dull skin with dark circles around my eyes. Open pores too. Already using retinol .5% with hyaluronic acid from ordinary at night but still there is lack of glow on my face. Suggest something plz

  7. Zainab says:

    Hello, I wanted to ask how should I layer Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, Hyaluronic acid, retinol 0.2% in squalene, moisturizer and at what time should I be using the following products? Also, do you have a lightweight non-sticky moisturizer available? Also, is vitamin C necessary in my routine for my skin because i have combination skin, minor acne problems and hyperpigmentation?

  8. Asif Naeem says:

    Aoa how to layer hyaluronic acid and mandelic acid in layers? And how mNy times mandelic acid is used?

    1. admin says:

      Hello, you may apply Hyaluronic acid on damp skin (AM,PM) and layer Mandelic acid over it 3-4 times a week at night.

  9. Shumaila Ahmed says:

    I have melasma on my cheaks and forehead and dark spots on my cheaks ad around my mouth my skin is rough and dark,my skin type is oilyand my age is 42

    1. admin says:

      You may explore Azelaic Acid Suspension along with Buffet

  10. Aimen says:

    I have combination skin with uneven skin tone specially my t zone and around lips, am 32, have acne issue and scars too, porous and not bright skin

    1. admin says:

      You may explore Azelaic Acid Suspension along with Buffet and Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

  11. Paghunda says:

    I have pores on cheeks bones and forehead. Which product would be suitable?

    1. admin says:

      You may explore Niacinamide along with Mandelic Acid

  12. Rizwana says:

    Aoa. M 35 n want to add retinoids in my skin regime.kindly suggestion what should I opt for? Granactive active retinoids 2% emulsion or sqalene?(iv oily skin , no acne no scars, already following skincare mornings n night routine)

    1. admin says:

      We would suggest you to explore Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion.

  13. Rabbia Nadeem says:

    Hey can i use glycolic acid with other acids and niacinamide?

    1. admin says:

      Wash your face properly
      Apply Glycolic Acid (PM)
      Apply Niacinamide (1-2 drops only), AM,PM

  14. mamoonaumer says:

    which product should i layer first , retinol or peptide? plz guide me?

    1. admin says:


    2. admin says:

      Hello, apply a pea sized Retinol/Retinoid and layer it with Peptide <3

  15. Rabia says:

    I have wrinkles around my eyes. Which product will be suitable for me to fade these wrinkles?

    1. admin says:

      Hello, you may explore Argireline Solution

  16. Ghzala syed says:

    Helo I have black and white head skin is not too much oily but facing the acne BLK and white head problem specilay on chin and cheek area is.peel solution will b enough for my skin?

    1. admin says:

      You may explore peelings solution along with Salicylic acid masque.

  17. Farah says:

    I have oily and acne prone skin with acne scars blackheads dark spots dull skin. My age is 30.what would you suggest me?

  18. Farah says:

    I have acne scars blackheads dark spots dull skin. My age is 30.what would you suggest me?

    1. admin says:

      We would suggest you to explore Peeling solution along with Salicylic acid masque and Azelaic acid suspension

  19. Hafsa Khalid says:

    Can you please guide me how I should layer niacinamide and mandelic acid?

    1. admin says:

      Niacinamide is applied twice a day over properly cleansed face. Aplly Mandelic acid at alternate nights over cleansed face. Once absorbed, layer Niacinamide over it.

      1. Pakeeza says:

        Hi … age is 41 having dry skin…..i have some dark spots on my both jawlines and under eyes too….my skin looks dull and lifeless…..can I use the ordinary’s niacinamide 10%and zinc1%?

  20. Zahra says:

    I have uneven skin tone and have brown spots on my cheeks and nose area. What ordinary products should I buy to get an even toned, brown spot free skin? I have a combination skin type, only my nose area is oily,the rest of the skin is dry to normal. Please guide in detail so that I can purchase accordingly .

    1. admin says:

      You may explore Azelaic acid suspension.

  21. Sofi says:

    Hi my skin is un even tone with some blemishes So which product i should use and do lemme know for dark lips

    1. admin says:

      Hello, for blemishes we would suggest you to explore Azelaic acid suspension. For lightening lips, you may apply 100% Plant derived squalane oil.

  22. Muhammad Faheem says:

    Can I layer mandelic acid and retinol 0.5% and rosehip seed oil?

    1. admin says:

      Hello Yes.
      Apply Mandelic Acid and Retinol alternate nights. Layer Rosehip Oil over both every night. <3

  23. Muhammad Faheem says:

    Can I layer mandelic acid 10% or retinol 0.5% in squalane with glycolic acid toner?

    1. admin says:

      Hello, Glycolic Acid is applied over properly cleansed face at PM. You may apply the other two at alternate nights after its application.

  24. haya zaheer says:

    my skin is very oily and has a lot of acne scars blackheads
    suggest me which product suits me

    1. admin says:

      Hello, You may explore Niacinamide, Mandelic Acid along with Salicylic acid masque.

  25. Esha says:

    Hello, I’ve got acne and eczema prone skin with blackheads on the apples of my cheeks and some whiteheads on my nose could you please recommend what products would work best for me? Thankyou

    1. admin says:

      Hello, please share your age and skin type so that we may suggest accordingly.

  26. Aiman says:

    Hi there. I am 25. Have dark circles. Sensitive skin
    Uneven skin tone especially around lips chin and eyes
    Dark circles
    Dry to normal skin
    And occasional acne breakouts
    I want one product to make my skin glow, Even toned and clear with lessening of daek circles

    1. admin says:

      You may explore Ascorbic Acid Alpha Arbutin.

  27. Helllo plz tell me what should i use for my eyes’ extreme dark circles. Also have oily skin with dark pimples spots

    1. admin says:

      Hello, you may explore Caffeine solution and Azelaic acid suspension along with Salicylic acid masque <3

  28. Saira Jabeen says:

    Can I use Hyaloronic acid and vitamic C suspension 23%+ HA spheres 2% together?

    1. admin says:

      Yes, they are compatible to be used together.

  29. samra says:

    hello..i m 18 my skin is combination type..there are brownish pimple scars on my face and pigmented ski..kindly suggest me something good that actually work well on my skin

    1. admin says:

      Hell Samra, you may explore Azelaic acid suspension for mentioned concerns 🙂

  30. Nadia says:

    My skin is super oily acne prone scars n pigmented too…which one would be best for me?

    1. admin says:

      Hello Naida,
      We would suggest you to explore
      1. Squalane Cleanser
      2. Mandelic Acid
      3. Azelaic acid Suspension
      4. AHA BHA Peeling Solution

      1. minahil says:

        i have wrinkles and puffy eyes and my age is 55

        1. admin says:

          You may explore Argireline Solution 10% along with Buffet.

  31. Tahira Bashir says:

    i have pigmentation and wrinkles around my eyes n forehead . i have normal skin and i m 46 years old . what should i use and how to layer?

    1. admin says:

      Hello Tahira, You may explore Alpha Arbutin and Argireline Solution from The Ordinary Range.

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