Product Reviews

Gender Neutral Skincare: Review of The Ordinary Products

Looking for gender neutral skincare? I’ve been desperately trying to solve a skincare problem: How do I keep my face clean and looking good while on the road, camping, outdoors, hiking, swimming, etc?

I have combination skin on my face, meaning I have the fun combination of acne and congestion with flaky, dry skin. I decided to try The Ordinary products for the first time and I’ve been using them for the last few months. I’ll let you know exactly how it’s going!

Hi, I’m Rey, a nonbinary writer! I share resources for trans and nonbinary people and allies to build a supportive community. Be sure to join my email list for more stories and info.

This post is all about gender-neutral skincare. Read on for my honest review of The Ordinary products.

My goal is to leave on a car camping trip and have my face look almost as uncongested as when I left the house. Have I achieved that yet? Sometimes. Let me tell you about my latest regimen.

Rey floating in a lake wearing a hat and sunglasses

I have strict guidelines for products I want to use while traveling and outdoors. Note that this is not for backpacking. I wouldn’t bring any products if I had to carry them all day. These are my ideas for car camping or just spending a lot of time outdoors in the summer.

I want my skincare to be:

  • Vegan, clean, and cruelty-free
  • Affordable
  • Preferably without gendered branding
  • Does not greatly increase sunburn risk

For spending time outdoors, I also consider how much products would increase my risk of sunburn. Many products that treat acne also remove the skin’s natural sun protection so I will get sunburnt even if I wear sunscreen and a hat. These include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol (like Differin, which I love, but it does increase risk of sunburn).

For travel, my products must be:

  • In a reasonably small, closed container (no pump-tops)
  • Unscented
  • Able to be used with a small amount of water (while camping)

I decided to try a set of products from DECIEM’s The Ordinary collection. I chose from their suggested regimen for congested (oily or acne-prone) skin. I selected a cleanser, anti-congestion serum, and moisturizer, omitting the suggested salicylic acid treatment as I wanted to avoid an increased risk of sunburn.

The Ordinary has some of the most gender-neutral marketing I’ve seen for personal care products. They focus on the quality of the ingredients and what they can do for your skin, without mentioning or assuming gender as many other product lines do.

5 The Ordinary gender neutral skincare products photographed on a black surface

The products I chose:

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% with Zinc 1% Serum

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

(These products are sold on Amazon so you can check them out there, for convenience. I purchased directly from The Ordinary’s website at lower cost while they were having a sale.)

When starting any new skincare regimen, the skin can break out, releasing trapped blemishes lingering under the surface. I had some breakouts the first week of trying these new products, and I wanted to try it for at least two weeks.

The Squalane Cleanser surprised me when I read the directions. You’re supposed to massage it into your skin without water, then rinse it off. A cleanser that doesn’t need water to start with is great for camping because it cuts down on the amount of water required. The cleanser feels like an oil once it melts on your fingers and you rub it into your skin. I give myself a little face massage while working the cleanser into my skin. It does rinse off with water, unlike oil.

Tube of Squalane Cleanser, gender neutral skincare

Niacinamide 10% with Zinc 1% is an antibacterial vitamin and mineral serum for clearer, brighter skin. Niacinamide is the chemical name for one of the B vitamins. The serum doesn’t strip away the surface like most acne treatments. I need about three drops to cover my face while it’s still damp from washing off the cleanser. I take a minute to let the serum dry before applying the moisturizer.

Bottle of Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum, gender neutral skincare

A little goes a long way with the moisturizer, Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA. I suspect this tube is going to last me a long time. The moisturizer helps mattify the shine from the serum and leaves my skin feeling moisturized all day (no flaky skin here).

Tube of Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA moisturizer, gender neutral skincare

I’ve been using this regimen of products morning and night. My skin feels more moisturized (goodbye, dry and flaky). I don’t get the occasional irritation like from other acne products.

I’m excited to take my new gender neutral skincare regimen on the road. I hope this will keep my skin clean, protected, and not irritated while I spend some more time away from my cozy bathroom.

I feel good about using vegan and cruelty-free products at a reasonable price point for me (these three products were less than $20 combined, and I expect them to last for months). Also, I appreciate the lack of gendered marketing from DECIEM’s The Ordinary. They tell me what’s in their products and how to use them, not what gender I should be – very inclusive!


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