After sitting on it for ages I am finally publishing one of the most requested reviews of The Natural Moisturizing Factors+ HA (which stands for Hyaluronic Acid, listed as sodium hyaluronate on the ingredient list) by The Ordinary. The brand calls it their “Surface Hydration Formula”
NMF is not a made up name! They are actually elements that are naturally present in the skin that help build a protective skin hydration barrier. This barrier keeps the outermost layer of the skin protected against surface hydration loss. This formula contains similar ingredients that attempt to do the same, hence the name!
Shopping & Shipping:
Along with this I got a bunch of other products from the same brand via Beautylish.com since they were shipping stuff faster than the brand itself. I ordered it to a friend’s house in the U.S and then her folks hand carried it to India. Definitely a long drawn process but at least stuff reached me safely, unlike my ColourPop ordeal.
Personally I think Beautylish carrying The Ordinary products is the best thing that has happened to Deciem-The Abnormal Beauty Company (The parent company of The Ordinary.) since they have made it much simpler to help noobs find the right stuff for their concerns and build a routine. Otherwise The Ordinary is not a mass-market brand and targets a very educated and aware audience (look at their names e.g. Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F) But let’s be real not everyone is like that and that should not be a reason to not be able to buy the right stuff. So Beautylish for the win! Check out their The Ordinary – Treatment Guide here.
5.80 USD approx 400 INR for 30 ml
- Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) are elements that keep the outer layer of the skin protected and well-hydrated. NMF are made up of multiple amino acids, fatty acids, triglycerides, urea, ceramides, phospholipids, glycerin, saccharides, sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid and many other compounds that are naturally present in the skin.
- This formula offers non-greasy hydration that acts as a direct topical supplement of impaired NMF components. It contains 11 amino acids, phospholipids, alpha/beta/gamma fatty acids, triglycerides, sterols and sterol esters, glycerin, ceramide precursors, urea, saccharides, sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid. It offers immediate hydration and lasting results with continued use.
- ph 6.50-7.00
Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Glucose, Maltose, Fructose, Trehalose, Sodium PCA, PCA, Sodium Lactate, Urea, Allantoin, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Lecithin, Triolein, Tocopherol, Carbomer, Isoceteth-20, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Pentylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
Noteworthy Ingredient Facts:
- Triglycerides are used in the form of Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides as an emollient to rehydrate and prevent moisture loss.
- Contains Sodium Hyaluronate (a smaller molecule size compared to Hyaluronic Acid, which means it is better at penetrating the skin.)
- 11 Amino Acids (simply put a lot of basic building blocks for your skin)
- PCA – Sodium PCA is the sodium salt of pyroglutamic acid (also known as PCA). PCA is a naturally occurring component of human skin and a part of the “natural moisturizing factors” (NMF) that maintain a healthy epidermis. Sodium PCA is very hygroscopic*, attracting moisture from the air.
- Ceramide precursors. Ceramides are lipids (fats) that are found naturally in high concentrations in the uppermost layers of skin.
- Urea which is hygroscopic* and a natural moisturizer. This means it improves barrier function and is a natural mild exfoliant while also having anesthetic properties.
- Contains Phospholipids in the form of lecithin, which is also hygroscopic*
- Multiple fatty acids (supplying omegas 3, 6 and 9) serve as the essential building blocks of skin’s surface layers, creating a smoother, even, younger-looking, and healthier complexion.
*Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment.
The formula is fragrance-free (hallelujah!) but it does smell a little like a packet of rolled Oats initially; very mild and nothing unpleasant at all! It come in an opaque squeeze tube, true to TO’s branding simple and no nonsense.
The the consistency is that of a thick cream almost like Soframycin! One needs to work, a little more than the thinner gels / creams to spread it all across the face. It does not feel very heavy but not lightweight either! It still does a good job of moisturizing the skin.
My skin is combination type with an Oily T-zone and comfortable cheeks. Also its the monsoons and it’s quite humid so the skin does not become as dry at it does during the winters. With that for background it does a decent job of hydration but if you are someone with dry skin this will not be enough.
Initially it feels slightly oily but gets absorbed and leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated—neither noticeably matte or dewy. In the current season this by itself is enough for me to feel hydrated throughout the day but as the seasons change and it becomes drier and colder I am positive I will need to add one more hydration step before this like a moisturizing serum to support it.
I am using this in the AM routine so I also apply sunscreen over this. Most often I don’t have time to wait till it is completely absorbed before topping it with Sunscreen; yet it holds its ground and doesn’t ball up which is a great relief.
- Contains a lot of moisturizing and skin-conditioning ingredients.
- Fragrance free.
- Will not work for dry skin without additional support.
- Not available easily in India.
- Lacks anti-oxidant ingredients.
It’s not the most amazing moisturizer I have tried but it isn’t bad either. It contains a host of great ingredients which are simple, by that I mean it cannot be compared to fancier moisturizers which contain patented high-tech formula.
It doesn’t feel like a luxurious, ultra smooth ( silicone laden) moisturizer but then this also is quite inexpensive and for that price point it does a fairly good job.
If you have tried this let me know in the comments about your experience.
The Ordinary – Brand Review
So far I have tried many products from TO’s portfolio. Namely,
- The Ordinary – Rose Hip Seed Oil
- The Ordinary- Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1 %
- The Ordinary: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
- The Ordinary: Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%
- The Ordinary: Buffet
After finishing the above products and experiencing this complete lineup over the past year I want to take a minute and share my opinion of the brand with you folks so that you can make an informed purchase decision.
The Ordinary has taken the global beauty world by storm, this has literally not happened before and there are two big reasons for that
- Their rock bottom pricing and
- Their unique (but also questionable) Marketing Strategies.
I totally understand that every one wants to try these ultra affordable skin care and anti-aging products mostly because one can collect a host of formula’s at a price of one product from the expensive high-street brands. This has attracted so much chatter about how DECIEM can rationalize the low prices of The Ordinary products when they themselves own other skincare brands like NIOD which sells similar products at a much higher price point. This difference is quite strange to be honest!
TO products feature a lot of ingredients that are also seen in expensive formulas from the high street brands. Some of these are definitely expensive to source especially so when claimed to be cruelty free/ cold pressed /organic etc. Moreover skin care products need to go through some very strict regulatory tests where right from the stability of the formula to the manufacturing units where they are bottled needs to comply with some stringent standards and obviously all this costs a lot of money. So you have to wonder how are they able to price things so low!
It feels like all the marketing budget is focused on attracting consumers to this super affordable brand via social media (and of-course the drama going on with the owner helps to do that; Like they say any publicity is good publicity) to eventually direct them to their more expensive sister brands. I have seen many famous bloggers review The Ordinary offerings and then very casually slip in the fact that with regards to certain aspects like potency/ pH value/ formulation / molecular weight of a particular ingredient etc. the other expensive sister brands are better.
The majority of TO’s products are one ingredient formulas which is unlike products from other skin care brand which offer a potent mix of varied ingredients to target the particular skin requirement. So if one wants to replicate the same they would have to purchase several products at once to round-up those many ingredients. Then there is the obvious question of what goes in what order and the massive confusion revolving around building a routine, which is well know among folks who have attempted to create a regimen using The Ordinary products.
In the end there is no doubt that low prices are very welcome but then based on the stuff I have already tried and the skin care community chatter that I am privy to; I have come to realize- in terms of efficacy there are very few products from TO that actually stand out, the rest just skim the surface and that fact is simply drowned by the noise their marketing creates.
If you agree or agree to disagree I want to hear from you in the comments or find me on Instagram and let’s have a conversation.