Oily, blemish prone skin and The Ordinary

Oily, blemish prone skin and The Ordinary


Hi there, I’m looking at The Ordinary skincare products and trying to decide which would be best for my skin. My skin gets oily at certain times of the month (normal at others) and is prone to blemishes. I’ve found glycolic acid wipes a few times a week really help the situation. I guess I’m looking for an ordinary product to replace my current exfoliating (glycolic) product and a moisturiser to go with. Any thoughts from those of you who’ve had some experience with the brand?


Good question. I’d like to know too.


Hey @chloeduncan I have very similar skin to you. I just purchased the The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid and will be trying it for the first time tonight. I will keep you posted on how I go. Sometimes I get worried about putting serums/oils on already oily skin!


@chloeduncan I’ve been having the same questions! I have been using ASAP skincare and alongside Alpha-H liquid gold a couple of times a week which is good - but I am curious about The Ordinary and how it goes for oily blemish prone skin. It seems to be such a reasonable price too!


This thread may help :slight_smile: I’m currently learning so much and getting heaps of info about The Ordinary range in it.


Thanks @kyliecavanough I had a quick look through the thread and it’s great. I think I’m torn between the glycolic toner and the lactic 5% (and maybe 10%) because the product I’m looking to replace are the glycolic wipes I use now a few times a week. I want something gentle enough to use daily so I have a consistent result, but also effective. Salicylic acid could be a go too… grrrrr too much to choose from.


I haven’t had much luck with retinol so far @jackie_d and wondered if I was immune to its awesome effects. I felt like it broke me out for way too long and didn’t do much else. Although, it was a neutrogena product that maybe didn’t have the best or right concentration :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I’m looking forward to hearing how you get on :slight_smile:


Glad I’m not the only one that’s confused! Shannon_Staff has been incredible at helping me with choices and suggestions. I’m using the skinstitut retinol and love it, I really notice the difference when I stop and then restart. I just started by using it once a week, and slowly built to every night. Other then that, I’m not really much help as Im still also exploring and reading review after review. The Ordinary sounds great, but now I’ve read some really good reviews for Liquid Gold on blemished skin so feel I’m running in circles!


Intriguing! I always give my skin two weeks to settle down when I start using a new product. Like you I tend to breakout a little whenever I change products. If it was continuing on longer than that it might be too strong for your skin. I only use it every second night and use a simply rosehip oil on the others.

I’ve also had another friend break-out really badly from a Neutrogena cream as well though so there might be something a bit harsh in their products.


Hello hello! Sorry just saw this thread now, great topic!! :smiley:

@clodunc which glycolic wipes are you looking to replace? I can recommend which Lactic Acid would be better based on the concentration that you’re already using :slight_smile:

For oily skin more generally, I’d recommend the following products - I’ll walk you through which products and why, and that might help you decide what will fit into your routine.

If you’re still lost, you want to run your routine by me, I’m happy to take a look at that too to see what can slot in where :smiley:


Which product should combination and oily skin types use?

  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: Your new daily serum. Congestion, shininess, redness - this will help! It’s extremely good!
    This balances the skin and has really helped me with shininess throughout the day without making my skin feel weird, and best of all it helps to minimise redness and seems to speed up healing time. I’ve reviewed this if you click through if you want a more thorough idea of what it’s like.
  • Hyaluronic Acid Serum:
    This can be used day and night. Use in the morning after your Niacinamide, or in the evening after you use a chemical exfoliant - or just on its own underneath moisturiser.
    Long story short, oily skin is often dehydrated (usually because of the things we try to treat the oiliness with, funnily enough) so one way to keep on top of the shine is to make sure your skin is hydrated enough. Hyaluronic acid serums like this one are lightweight but will keep your skin plump, hydrated, and will help to protect and heal your skin as well!
    Hyaluronic is best used in conjunction with a chemical exfoliant - if your skin has a lot of dead skin cells sitting on top, putting a hydrating serum on the top might not be doing much. Hard to say without seeing your skin though :slight_smile:
    For more info, the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid are covered in How Do I Use Hyaluronic Acid, And Why Do I Need It?, so I hope that convinces you :slight_smile: it’s something you might not see short term results with, but long term your skin will thank you!
  • Some kind of chemical exfoliant. OK I’ll be straight up here - I don’t want to say something like ‘all oily skins need THIS particular exfoliant’ because I think there’s a bit of “your mileage may vary” and jumping right on in with a chemical exfoliant might not give you the results you want - for instance, breakouts, flakeyness, redness.
    For this reason, my top pick, without knowing anything else about your skin condition and which products have worked in the past, is probably the Lactic Acid 5%, or the Salicylic Acid.
    Lactic Acid is an AHA just like glycolic, but it’s more gentle and hydrating. The 5% is a great starting point, before you go up to the 10%.
    Salicylic Acid is a BHA, which means it’s a bit more suited to treating breakout prone skin. You’ll notice it comes in a smaller tube though, this is because it’s intended to apply just where you need it :slight_smile:

  • This is another your mileage may vary one as I think moisturisers are really personal - but I think the NMF moisturiser is a brilliant night time moisturiser for oily skin types. It’s lightweight, yet emollient. It’s worth giving a shot! It’s great if you don’t want to mess around with serums but still want Hyaluronic Acid and heaps of really protective, nourishing ingredients in your life. I recommend this one for guys a lot!

Also, before anyone says these two things…

Shannon I have oily skin and you just missed my favourite product!

Haha - yeah! There’s actually quite a few great products from The Ordinary for oily skin types, especially when it comes to exfoliators. Their Glycolic 7% comes to mind!

Shannon, you sure are talking an awful lot about The Ordinary…

I’m brand agnostic! Haha. I promise I’m just a big ole skincare nerd who likes active products at excellent prices, and so far I’ve had a lot of luck with The Ordinary - the hype train is justified! I’m also not a replacement for your skincare specialist, I’ve just got a lot of training/reading up my sleeve :slight_smile:




Wow @Shannon_Staff I do believe you’ve been sent by the skincare God’s :rofl:
That’s all great advice and I will go over it with a fine-tooth comb before I make my final decision. I’m def going to buy the NMF though, I need something to fill in for clinique dramatically diff moisturising gel. Just to confirm, the NMF has hyaluronic acid?
I’m currently using the Nip Fab extreme glycolic wipes a few times a week and I’m not sure what the glycolic percentage is but I’d love something I could use every night so The ordinary products are appealing to me.


Ahahaha thank you!

Yes, NMF is a fantastic replacement for that moisturiser, you might find NMF is more rich and sits on the skin a bit more - but stick with it and you’ll see results. NMF sure does contain hyaluronic :smiley: it also contains a lot of excellent protective ingredients.

Ah! OK excellent, Nip + Fab Extreme Wipes contain 5% glycolic, which from memory is about half that of what is in Liquid Gold, but the wipes are also souped up a bit with some salicylic for blemishes. With both of those things in mind, I think Lactic 5% might be a bit gentle unless you do want it for daily use.

So to sum…
My pick for something a few times a week would be the Lactic 10% :slight_smile:
My pick for daily use would be the Lactic 5%! Still, as it’s a new active ingredient I’d ease into it just in case.


Thanks @Shannon_Staff that’s great advice. I still have an almost full tube of Dermalogoca night treatment which I know has salicylic acid so I’m probably covering that base already anyway.
One last question, would you say for someone who hasn’t had much luck with retinol, a suitable substitue could be a good combo of aha’s bha’s and hyaluronic acid?


Yes, definitely! Glycolic is already working for you, and often this is exactly what oily skin types really need - some chemical exfoliation that works on the surface of the skin so all that hydration and barrier protection from hyaluronic (and ingredients like niacinamide too) can start doing their job :slight_smile:

For those looking for a replacement for retinol, I’d go for something like Lactic 10% or Liquid Gold, they’re more hardcore but if you’re considering retinol, you were already looking at hardcore! :smiley:


Ive been using the HA serum with b5 before bed and its really helping heal up my acne. And occasionally using the Nicamide in the morning for daytime use (as they cancel each other out if used at same time). Ive got the Vit C cream with HA spheres for once my acne is less troublesome to fade the scars, and Ive also got the HA moisturiser that Ive used a few times after showering to help with dryness after shower to avoid more oil production later in the day.


I recently purchased a whole heap of the ordinary products and my skin is better than ever! i went from having terrible dry / oily skin with ance and now my skin has cleared up better than ever & is hydrated and scarring is fading quickly!!

I love having a whole heap of their products as their so affordable its amazing !! it allows me to toss between products daily depending on how my skin is feeling. The 3 i toss between most between are The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution 30ml (absolute favorite and has made the biggest improvement on ance / scarring! ) , and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ( which i use every morning, its amazingly hydrating and prevents those break outs caused by dry skin! , leaves skin dewy and sinks into the skin so well , however i always follow with a moisturizer from dermatologica and toner) and thirdly the The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil ( which i use 2 times a week by patting a small amount on my face this restores any dryness caused by e.g. using the The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% which exfoliates your skin and helps to heal my scarring. rosehip oil gives an amazing glow!! and is a miracle on days your skin is feeling dry or flaky. I recommend using at night)

Iv just ordered the The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% which im hoping will complete my skin care routine and fight the odd pimple i get now! however im so happy with results my skin is far clearer and has a glow after using the ordinary!! My only tip is to be constant in your routine with these products for maxim results and swap daily between products depending on how your skin feels!