I was very naughty last summer. The CC cream with SPF 30 that I had been using had run out and, instead of getting a replacement, I thought I would slum it and just use a bit of concealer with a daily moisturizer that had SPF 15. Big mistake. An SPF 15 might be all right for periodic exposure to winter sun but is woefully insufficient as protection against the glare of an angry summer sun. The result was that by the end of the year, I had a face covered in freckles and sunspots. Wah! Vitamin C has a proven track record at tackling uneven skin tone but the prices of quality Vitamin C serums, meaning ones with a high percentage and a stable formulation, will give you a heart attack right on the (sun)spot. I had been hearing a lot of buzz about The Ordinary, a skincare line by The Abnormal Beauty Company with targeted ingredients and a price point that will make you salivate but all the buzz seemed to be coming out of the UK. So, naturally, I assumed that they were a UK brand. I was so sad and resigned myself to making reluctant friends with my sunspots. It was quite by chance that I discovered the line is manufactured in Canada and that a freestanding store had opened, quite literally, down the street from my home!
You can bet that I made tracks there so fast that I left smoke trails behind me. I picked up the Vitamin C Suspension 23% with HA Spheres 2% and the Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%. And the price you ask? The Vitamin C was an astoundingly low $5.80 CAD and the Azelaic Acid $7.90 CAD. At this point, I really do have to give props to them for coming out with a skincare line that is so easy on the wallet. In all seriousness, even those on very, very tight budgets want and need to feel good about their skin. Whether you are a poor student battling pimples from too many late nights cramming for exams and scarfing chocolate bars or a middleaged woman on a fixed income dealing with menopausal skin that has decided to undergo its own midlife crisis, I think that an affordable skincare range that delivers is such a blessing. In a weird way, their philosophy of "clinical formulations with integrity" is the skincare equivalent of Everlane in terms of transparency and delivering a product without a lot of marketing faff. A word of warning, you do need to have a chemistry degree or a pretty good understanding of how the ingredients work alone and in combination to navigate their line. I read over their website very carefully before going in to the store which helped a lot although the website can make you think you have stumbled across the syllabus of a Chemistry 101 class and cause even more confusion and angst. The store is a reflection of the line with its exposed brick walls and simple industrial shelving. If you are one of those skincare mavens that loves lots of pampering with chandeliers, satin, ribbons and over the top, vague promises, then this might not be the place for you. But if you are a cosmesceutical junkie, then you will take to The Abnormal Beauty Company like a duck to water.
I have been using both lotions for 2 months now with the Vitamin C on my face and the Azelaic Acid on my hands and feet. The packaging of the Vitamin C warns that a slight tingling sensation can be expected but, unless I really slap it on, I don't feel anything. It could be my skin has acclimatized to vitamin acids after years of prescription strength Vitamin A but I stopped Vitamin A years ago because I couldn't stand the constant peeling and flaking anymore. I think my skin just reacts better with Vitamin C. Within 3 days, I noticed my skintone was so much brighter. I still have the freckles but I do think it helps to fade a tan. I wear bareMinerals Complexion Rescue tinted cream with SPF30 during the day as I do think it is important to use a high SPF whilst tackling sun damage. I tried the Vitamin C under the tinted moisturizer but the moisturizer balled like mad so I switched to using the Vitamin C at night. I was told by the store clerk that the Azelaic Acid is slower at tackling uneven skin tone. The tan lines on the tops of my feet caused by wearing sandals all summer did fade away but I wasn't sure if it was because I wear boots all winter or because of the Azelaic Acid. I tried the Azelaic Acid under the tinted moisturizer in the daytime but it caused balling as well. All in all, I am really impressed and went back to buy a second tube of Vitamin C. I am really curious to try the Lactic Acid as I have never tried an acid peel before and I have heard that lactic acid is very mild and a good introduction into the genre. I am even tempted to give their retinoid offerings a go. Have you tried anything from The Ordinary? If so, what are your impressions?
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