Your Expert Guide To Upgrading From The Ordinary

Active ingredients are a whole new ball game, and can deliver amazing results - but what hap

I know I caught you with that headline. Let me guess - you're a big fan of The Ordinary? Great, so am I, so we're on the same page with that. But there are a few things we should cover off, especially if you've been using The Ordinary for a while now. It might be time to upgrade, ladies and gentlemen.

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Why Would I Want To Upgrade?

"Upgrade" probably isn't quite the right word, but I can't think of another one to replace it, so let's just stick with that. Whenever anyone asks me what I think about The Ordinary, I tell them I think it's great. I love that the affordable price point and effective formulas get people excited about skincare, who otherwise might've gone another 5 years without touching actives (or sunscreen for that matter).

If you were one of those people, you likely would've seen some great results when you started using these products, right? Active ingredients are a whole new ball game, and can deliver amazing results - but what happens when you're 12 months down the track and you aren't seeing those same results anymore?

That's when it's time to consider amping up your routine. The Ordinary's products have such an affordable price point for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the no frills packaging, and secondly, the formulations are tried and true - expensive scientific research isn't required to formulate these products, or modify their delivery systems. That's not to say they aren't good products, but when you compare the technology of NIOD for example, you'll find NIOD's products are more advanced.

What Should I Know About NIOD?

I'm using NIOD as an example here, because this brand comes from the same company as The Ordinary - Deciem. And since I know you guys love The Ordinary so much, I figured what better comparison? Fun fact: NIOD stands for Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science.

You'll notice straight away that there's a clear price difference between The Ordinary and NIOD, there's no shying away from it. But I think it's very important to communicate why that's the case.

Skincare technology can be really complex, and a lot of brands spend a lot of money on scientific research to advance the effectiveness of their formulas, including enhancing how well products penetrate the skin. NIOD are one of these brands, and as a result, they boast some very effective products in their range. And for the sake of a clear comparison, their packaging is also a little more bougie.

Which Products Should I Swap In?

If you're using The Ordinary, maybe you'll considering swapping in a couple of NIOD products to up your skincare game overall? There's no need to change your entire routine because that can be a very expensive exercise, but a couple of products can make big a difference to your skin.

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Buffet VS Copper Amino Isolate Serum

Both of these products are peptide serums. They both contain high-quality, effective ingredients and are designed to help the cells communicate more effectively for healthier, more youthful skin. Buffet is one of The Ordinary's most popular serums, so how does it stack up against NIOD's Copper Amino Isolate Serum (CAIS)?

  • Buffet is formulated to target the signs of ageing using peptides, amino acids & HA complexes

  • CAIS uses the technology of multiple advanced peptides to target overall skin health

  • Buffet is designed for skin types displaying early signs of ageing (or as a 'preventative' serum)

  • CAIS contains ingredients that mimic the effects of retinol & encourage healthy collagen production

  • CAIS is a great option for those with more mature skin, or who have already been using Buffet

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 VS Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex

I've tried a lot of Hyaluronic Acid serums, my friends - including these two. The trickier thing with HA serums is that it's harder to differentiate between formulas unless you know what's happening under the surface of the skin. If you have very dehydrated skin, or have more mature skin, this upgrade might be worth it.

  • The Ordinary's HA contains 3 forms of HA at different molecular weights, NIOD's contains 15

  • NIOD's MMHC also features a peptide-charged delivery system for better penetration & absorption

  • The Ordinary's HA includes B5 for surface hydration

  • MMHC has a mushroom-derived complex that offers 400% more surface hydration than HA

  • MMHC also supports increased elasticity & the production of more collagen

Caffeine Solution + EGCG VS Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate

Okay, so this is less of a comparison, because these two products differ so much. The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution + EGCG is designed to only target two concerns, whereas NIOD's Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate has been specifically designed to combat all eye concerns. In fact, it's Deciem's most advanced and concentrated serum across all of their brands.

  • The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution can help to reduce the appearance of puffiness & dark circles

  • It can only be used under the eyes (not on lids) & doesn't address ageing, hydration or texture

  • NIOD's FECC is a hyper-concentrated serum containing 28 clinical technologies

  • FECC targets ALL signs of eye ageing, puffiness, dark circles, pigmentation & hydration

  • You can notice visible results from using FECC within 3 days (which continue to improve over 8 weeks)