From exfoliating acids to various vitamins, it's increasingly difficult to navigate the multitude of skincare brands, products and ingredients out there. Whether you're dealing with skin complaints like acne or dry skin, or you're interested in trying new trends, we all want our skincare purchases to be worth it. Often, though, it's impossible to tell whether your skin will love or hate a product until you give it a go.
As a result, putting together a failsafe skincare routine means a lot of trial and error, which can be expensive. But skincare brand The Ordinary might have the solution in the form of its new Regimen Builder. If you've bought skincare from The Ordinary before, you'll know that there is an incredible array of products to choose from. Admittedly, it can be quite daunting. Is lactic or glycolic acid best? Where does retinol factor in? Launched this week, the brand's smart digital service puts together your ultimate skincare routine, cherry-picking serums, cleansers, moisturisers and more from the many products which make up its collection in a bid to save you from playing a guessing game.
Navigating the Regimen Builder takes all of four minutes. Simply enter your name to get started and fill in the questionnaire. You'll be quizzed on which skin concerns you'd like to address (congestion and spots or dryness and dullness, to pinpoint a few), the severity of those concerns and your level of skincare experience to make things easy. There's also a focus on which textures of skincare you prefer to use (creamy, oily or gel) to ensure you find the perfect fit.
As a longtime fan of The Ordinary, of course I had to give the Regimen Builder a go. I don't have much faith in artificial intelligence when it comes to beauty; it's often inaccurate and there's nothing like speaking to a skin expert in person. But with Deciem stores closed until further notice, I went for it and was surprised to discover that the result was spot-on.
My skin is oily and clogged pores are my main issue. I'm starting to think about adding anti-ageing products into my skincare arsenal, too. As part of my morning routine, I was recommended the very gentle Squalane Cleanser, £13.90 and oil-reducing Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5 (both of which I'm actually already using). In the evening, I was suggested the exfoliating serum Lactic Acid 10% + HA, £5.75, and a simple moisturiser, Natural Moisturising Factors + HA, £4.95. These are products I have used in the past and really enjoyed. In fact, they were both recommended to me by top dermatologists so get the expert seal of approval.
The rest is easy. There's an option to add the entire bespoke skincare collection to your basket or you can pick and choose which products you'd like to slot into your current skincare routine. At a time when beauty counters are closed and it's difficult to book face-to-face time with a skin expert, a digital routine-builder like this makes perfect sense. Even better, with most products under £10, anything you do stock up on shouldn't stretch your budget too much.
If you're looking for extras to add to your order, R29 loves 'Buffet', £12.70, a serum which tackles fine lines; Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, £5.80, which TikTokers are using as a tightening eye serum; and the brand new Concealer, £4.90, available in 36 shades with a particular focus on undertone for the perfect match.
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.