The Ordinary Skincare Regimen For Acne Prone Skin

the ordinary skincare regimen

Today I want to share the ordinary skincare regimen I followed to get rid of the adult acne and the scars that were left on my skin. It was something that troubled me a lot and played with my self-esteem, so finally being able to share it after a year of following it makes me extremely happy! Shall we?

My acne story

As a teenager, I never experienced severe acne. I had a few pimples here and there and that was it. I used to be very happy with my face because it never troubled me. I just used a cleanser, a light moisturizing cream and that was all it took to look healthy.

However  3 years ago, my skin started to have breakouts more often, bigger in size and number that showed up from nowhere. I was frustrated and sad to the bone, and it was then that I realized that adult acne is not just a physical problem. It can affect your self-esteem and your mood to a point I never expected.

Causes of acne

There are many factors that cause acne, like hormonal level fluctuations, stress, using the wrong hair care, and skin products, genetics, and bad eating habits. I think what caused mine, was mostly stress, constant anxiety, and some wrong lifestyle and eating habits. Luckily I managed to identify the causes pretty early (mostly because they were the most obvious changes that happened in my life) so I knew where to target and work on.

However, I needed an immediate solution for my skin’s condition because the appearance of my face added to my anxiety and frustration. I was planning to consult a dermatologist who I knew would probably prescribe me pills and heavier medication, but before that, I felt compelled to give a try to the ordinary products. After all, I had nothing major to lose. They were extremely affordable, so no serious money would be spent. They would either make the problem worse and I would end up to my dermatologist, as I was planning from the beginning, or solved my problem entirely.

You can guess by now which of the two actually happened. Keep reading to see the 3 products from “The Ordinary” that made my acne go away!

(Disclaimer: Along with this skincare routine, improving my eating habits, drinking a lot of water and trying to control my stress levels helped a lot. Please remember that not everyone’s skin is the same and there is a good possibility that reacts differently to the exact same products and ingredients. There is no “one size fits all” recipe. Taking care of your skin requires patience and consistency, trial and error in order to see results. These are just recommendations on how I take care of my acne-prone skin, but there is no 100% guarantee that they will work for you too.)

The Ordinary Skincare Regimen For My Acne-Prone Skin

the ordinary skincare

After a lot of research on the web and The Ordinary’s website learning how each ingredient and product can benefit the skin, I decided to start with 3 products which I believed could help with my acne and the scars that were left.

(*Disclaimer: These links are affiliate links which means that when you buy something through them I earn a little commission, which keeps this blog running. That, of course, doesn’t affect the price of the products.)

For start, I needed a product to help calm down the pimples.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

I choose this option because it is not very heavy, in order to see how my skin would react. I’d heard very good reviews so I thought why not? If the problem got persistent, I would try other, stronger products, but I wanted to start light and if needed I go heavier. This serum is mostly for oily skin and regulates sebum production. That means that it will reduce the oily appearance and target the blemishes. It can be applied to the whole face or in specific areas depending on your needs. If you have dry skin, you may want to apply it only to the areas that are oily.

This little bottle was more than enough to get rid of the bumps and blemishes on my skin in a surprisingly short amount of time. I never felt any discomfort using it, nor caused any irritation. It was actually the first product I incorporated into my routine. This is how I started:

AM: Cleanse, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, Day Moisturizer, Sunscreen

PM: Cleanse, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, Night Moisturizer


Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

After about 2 weeks I added the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% in my routine. Vitamin C is the holy grail ingredient of skincare and there is a reason. It is a highly acidic product, so it triggers the skin to heal itself by speeding up the production of elastin and collagen. This is why it has skin healing properties like getting rid of spots and blemishes, brightening and evening the skin tone and if used for a really long time it can also reduce the appearance of aging signs.

In the beginning, you can feel a tingling effect that is not irritating and supposed to leave after 1-2 weeks after using it religiously. However, if you can’t tolerate it you can mix it with your moisturizer and the uncomfortable feeling will disappear. One thing to notice is that Niacinimide (Vitamin B3) can affect the integrity of Vitamin C, so it is suggested to be applied at alternating times. The ideal application is Niacinimide in the AM and Vitamin C in the PM, so this is what I did. My ordinary skincare regimen after I incorporated the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% looked like this:

AM: Cleanse, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, Day Moisturizer, Sunscreen

PM: Cleanse, Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, Night Moisturizer 

Occasional physical exfoliation on PM.


Lactic Acid 5% + HA

Lactic Acid 5% + HA

After almost 6 months of following as consistently as possible this routine (I believe I could do better though :P) my skin had no severe acne anymore, just a few spots appearing here and there at a certain time of the month. It was then that I decided to add a light chemical exfoliant. I didn’t know where to start so I kind of experimented by trying lactic acid. Lactic acid is an AHA chemical exfoliant derived from natural substances. It improves the skin’s texture and the natural moisture factor, so the skin is kept hydrated. When used regularly it can also stimulate collagen and firm your skin. It is known to be gentler than other chemical exfoliants, so I thought it was the best place to start. The 5% concentration was the lower on the ordinary’s range, but you can go higher if you want to.

So I finally present to you the ordinary skincare regimen that I currently follow to keep my acne-prone skin looking healthy and beautiful!

AM: Cleanse, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, Day Moisturizer, Sunscreen

PM 1: Cleanse, Occasional Physical Exfoliation, Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% mixed with my Night Moisturizer 

PM 2: Cleanse, Lactic Acid 5% + HA, Night Moisturizer 

(PM1 5 times per week PM2 2 times a week alternating according to my skin’s needs)


  1. Don’t add the products all at once in your skincare. Add one every few weeks.
  2. A small quantity (2-3 drops) goes a long way, so make sure not to overdo it.
  3. I suggest you wait for a little before each step so that the products have some time to get absorbed.
  4. If you feel your skin dry skip the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% that day.
  5. Do not combine chemical with physical exfoliation because you can strip your skin.
  6. Do your best to be consistent.
  7. Skincare products can only reach a certain point and work better combined with a healthy diet.
  8. For all the above products, and especially if your skin is sensitive, I would recommend doing a patch test first. Also when it comes to lactic acid or any other chemical exfoliators it is recommended to start with the lowest concentration and gradually go up when your skin needs it.

So this is it for today. I am definitely not an expert, but I really enjoy researching and learning about skincare products and ingredients. If you have experienced or still experiencing acne you know how it can affect your self-esteem and confidence, this is why I decided to share with you my ordinary skincare regimen, that helped me get rid of it.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to tell me in the comments section below!




  1. Tasneem
    November 12, 2019 / 1:49 pm

    Thanks for this. I’m glad to hear from someone who has tried and tested the routine. I really like that you’ve also mentioned that the breakouts are possibly as a result of lifestyle changes. Did you change any of these along with using the the ordinary products?

    • Kate
      November 12, 2019 / 2:18 pm

      Hello dear Tasneem.
      Yes, I definitely did! I started drinking more water and reducing the quantity of processed foods. I also tried (still trying up to this day) to control my anxiety levels.

  2. November 12, 2019 / 10:25 pm

    This is just what I have been looking for. My daughter has started having bad breakouts and is getting very self conscious. We have tried several other products but are not having great results. Are these products suitable for younger skin?

    • Kate
      November 14, 2019 / 1:27 pm

      Hello dear Pamela,
      I have no idea if these products are appropriate for younger skin, but you should ask a dermatologist or the customer service of The Ordinary. From my experience, I can say that I was very satisfied and helped me with my adult acne, but maybe your daughter’s needs a different treatment.

  3. November 19, 2019 / 2:17 pm

    I love this brand, easily one of the best out there. Great in-depth review you have here dear!

    Jessica |

    • Kate
      November 19, 2019 / 2:45 pm

      I love it too! I never thought that I could find so affordable, yet effective skincare products!

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