At the end of last year, I started testing out some of the budget brands that Deciem offers. If you haven’t heard of Deciem’s umbrella then you’ve sadly been living under a rock.
Some of these I finished up months ago, so this review is long overdue. I will keep it quite short and don’t go into too much detail other than my final thoughts about the products.
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The Ordinary Organic Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is something you’ll always find in my beauty cabinet. I’ve tried a few, from low end to high end, and I’ve always come back to Pai’s Rosehip oil. Just before trying out the Ordinary, I used Trilogy’s organic rosehip oil, which is actually even slightly more expensive than Pai, counting the price per ml (but it depends much on the £ and where you buy it).
The Ordinary rosehip oil doesn’t feel much different than the one from Trilogy, except for a slightly lighter color and it doesn’t feel as “dry” as others tend to do(?). If you find this to work just as good or even better for your skin, then go ahead. I really can’t say anything bad about it. But it’s still not comparable to Pai’s rosehip oil. None are. Pai’s still the only brand to sell a rosehip oil with both the seed and fruit oil in it (+ Vitamin E and Rosemary Extract), and therefore it is simply more effective. Nonetheless, if you’re just looking for a light oil to hydrate your skin, this is a great and affordable option! But if you want your rosehip oil to do more, invest in a bottle from Pai.
The Ordinary Squalane
Squalane was a hot topic at the start of 2017 thanks to brands like Squalan, Indie Lee and Peter Thomas Roth. I got very intrigued by the claim of using it as your only moisturizer and was about to purchase one from Life Flo, which offers an inexpensive one. But then I saw that The Ordinary was coming out with one, and decided to wait. (Note that Life Flo offers 60ml and is still slightly cheaper than The Ordinary!)
I won’t go into much detail about what it is or what it does, SqualEne vs SqualAne, and so forth, ’cause that would only take more time and make this post double in size. But it’s simply a very stable and non-comedogenic oil that’s found in olives and even argan oil.
I’ve seen many praises given to this oil and hype it as their Holy Grail product, but me? I just see it as any other oil, to be honest.
It has a silicone texture and feels very light on the skin; it softens and feels hydrating. But that’s about it. Though it hasn’t caused any breakouts it hasn’t either performed miracles.
After a few months of use, I can’t say I’ve felt this to make any difference to my skin. I use it mostly in oil blends to thin out the texture. Some of my moisturizers already contain squalane, and so I’ve only used it with products that lack it.
As for using it as your only form of moisturizer, well... You can do that, but it also depends on if you have dry skin or dehydrated skin. It works best on dry skin that lacks lipids and someone who tends to find other oils too heavy. But I personally believe the skin benefits more from a moisturizer with a formula that has both water-based and lipid-based hydrators and added antioxidants. You can, of course, use an antioxidant-rich serum and this on top. But I wouldn't go as far to say that squalane is or should be your only moisturizer. Don't go thinking this will solve all your skin problems.
To sum it up, this oil should definitely not cost more than what The Ordinary is offering. I haven't tried other brands, but like, not to offend anyone, you'd be stupid to pay otherwise. Because this is not actually an oil, but more of an oil extract/compound, the quality can't differ that much.
I've almost stopped using it completely as I just don't see it being better than my regular trio (Jojoba/Rosehip/Argan). But if I decide to repurchase, I'll go with the one from Life Flo; it's cheaper and also got added vitamin E to preserve it longer. It has just as many rave reviews, and the ones complaining I'd say expected too much from squalane.
The Ordinary Buffet
This one I originally purchased for my mother, so my testing was more or less sporadic. I would always "steal" some when I visit my mom.
Although I haven't had the proper amount of time testing it as I've had with the other products, it still managed to impress me. But take my review with a grain of salt.
I don't know if my mother's experience is any more valid, to be honest. When I asked her about the Ordinary Buffet, she mostly shrugged and said: "it's good". But I guess there are not much peptides can do on already aged skin? (she just turned 60) I don't know why she only felt it was "okay"? I, on the other hand, was highly impressed by Buffet, especially when used together with the HA+B5! It totally transformed my skin and made it feel more hydrated, softer and plumper, within just one week! I truly loved it compared to other peptide serums – like the Mizon Peptide 500 ampoule that did absolutely nothing for my skin.
I'll be repurchasing it, and if anything changes, I'll rewrite my opinion on it.
UPDATE 2018: I've tried the new Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%, however, I'm still a fan of the original.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% and B5
My reason for getting this was to help with hydration and recovery after my TCA peels and Dermastamping. But after learning that my skin tends to become hydrated, it all made sense how and why this helped my skin so much!
However, I did have an accident with it which made me more careful at how I look at hyaluronic acid in general. As I mentioned, I mainly bought it to boost hydration after skin treatments as I never felt like the cream I was using was enough. My facialist always used a sheet mask with hyaluronic acid in it, so I thought, how much harm could this serum do? The cream I was told to use after treatments also contains HA.
Well, as I was starting to peel, I put this on together with my recommended cream, and I got a bad reaction to it. It burned as I applied, it kept on burning, so I washed it off, but the harm was already done. The next few days I kept on peeling on my "new skin", which is not normal! I, of course, didn't use the serum until 3-4 weeks later and only carried on using the cream that was recommended. But that one time was enough to leave "peeling scars" behind on my chin.
I felt really stupid, and will never try using anything else concentrated like this after a treatment ever again. (I say this as I've used creams and lotions that wasn't recommended but worked just fine) My facialist tried to calm me and said that she couldn't see any new scars from the peeling. But it doesn't help when I still can see them 1 year later. They are superficial and are only seen with a close eye. But they are definitely there, and they weren't before.
I, of course, emailed Deciem who replied that HA+B5 had no other acids in it and should be safe using post-peel. So whatever happened, and what my skin reacted too, I will never really know.
But after some research, I've read that HA can, in fact, dehydrate the skin further, especially if the air is dry. Considering this happened during winter and maybe because it was "new" and vulnerable skin, something just went chemically wrong?
So yeah, be careful using this post-treatments, wait at least a week after you've peeled/recovered. Other than that, I didn't have any trouble using The Ordinary HA+B5. It plumped my skin, made my sebum and skin softer and of better quality.
My only hick-up was that it felt like it lost its effectiveness in the last month of use as well as it does make your makeup pill up. But will definitely repurchase for the price!
Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age
After falling in love with the Buffet serum, my mom decided to buy me the SubQ anti-age serum as it's supposed to be better and more advanced. I initially was really impressed by the lighter and more liquid texture, but that was sort of all I could notice about the upgrade.
With the Buffet I noticed much plumper and softer skin within a week. And while the SubQ definitely delivered hydration in some form, it took longer to notice the same effect I felt. But other than that, I didn't notice a huge difference in performance.
When I had finished the bottle I concluded that SubQ has a better overall texture to sink into the skin. If that is of importance than I highly recommend going with SubQ. It kept my skin smooth and I didn't find I needed to use acids as much.
Buffet, on the other hand, delivers faster results in terms of hydration but doesn't necessarily help with overall texture as SubQ.
I also had the same experience as I had with the HA+B5, that after 2 months or so the effectiveness was decreasing.
It's more a matter of personal preference. I will switch between the Buffet and SubQ in the future. I find both to be fairly priced and effective peptide serums to combat signs of aging, hydration, and textural issues.