The Ordinary’s New Online Chat Answers All Your Skin Questions – & It’s Free

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
If you're a regular at any one of the 35 Deciem stores around the globe, you'll know just how enthusiastic and knowledgeable the skincare ambassadors are. Whether you have a question about buzzy ingredients (like retinol or hyaluronic acid), skin concerns like acne and rosacea, or simply want to know how to use a product from the company's umbrella brands, which include The Ordinary and Niod, they are always on hand with honest, straightforward advice.
Since government guidelines forced the closure of all non-essential businesses, The Ordinary is no longer operating from its bricks and mortar stores – but it has moved things online. From 5pm today, the brand's website features a live virtual consultation tab, which links customers up with their closest Deciem skin expert via instant message, video chat or a phone call.
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Every day from 8am-8pm in the UK, you'll be able to discuss all things skin, should you be experiencing quarantine breakouts, skin irritation as a result of over-pampering or simply want to know how to transition your skincare routine to spring. No query is too small or too niche, and you can expect a response in as little as 90 seconds.
Similar to beauty editor-approved online dermatologist Dermatica and The Inkey List's new #askINKEY service, there's a picture and video sharing function, which enables the ambassador to assess your complexion a little more closely. There's also an opportunity to check back in with your expert three weeks down the line to update them on how you're getting on with your new routine.
While lots of beauty brands and skin clinics have moved into the virtual space during this time, not many of them are free like this one. And just like an in-store experience, there's no obligation to purchase recommended products. In fact, one of the best things about single-ingredient brands like The Ordinary is that you don't have to commit to them entirely; products can be mixed and matched depending on your skin goals and preference.
A beauty editor favourite is Squalane Cleanser, £5.50, a creamy face wash for all skin types which moisturises skin while it lifts away oil and dirt. Team it with Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, £67, followed by Avène Cleanance Sunscreen Very High Protection Tinted SPF50+, £18.50, for the ultimate daytime routine. If your skin is prone to sensitivity, skip the vitamin C and go straight for the sunscreen.
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Also a winner among skincare obsessives, the Lactic Acid 10% + HA, £5.80, is a non-sticky serum that exfoliates skin, prevents breakouts and tackles hyperpigmentation when used regularly as part of an evening routine. If your skin is on the dry side, follow it with a lightweight moisturiser such as The Inkey List Snow Mushroom, £9.99, or Paula's Choice Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturiser, £32. Dermatologists also rate the Granactive Retinoid 2% In Emulsion, £8, a milky vitamin A serum that combats spots and fine lines over time.
If you're using acids or retinol, always use SPF during the day, as they can make skin sensitive to sunlight.

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