The Ordinary: Hyaluronic Acid Vs. Marine Hyaluronics

The Ordinary has quickly become a staple skincare brand for any beauty lover. Even if you have never used their products the likelihood is you have heard of them, or one of their sister brands. The Ordinary is owned by the umbrella brand Deciem who have rapidly made a name for themselves within the skincare market. The brand filled a void within the industry for cheap skincare that is simple. If you are looking for a cheap skincare brand who's products get the job done, then most people will probably recommend The Ordinary, I know I certainly recommend them to a lot of my friends and they aren't even necessarily that interested in beauty.

For anyone, like me, who wants to learn more about skincare and different ingredients, The Ordinary is an amazing brand who promote knowledge. It is very easy to go to a skincare counter to buy a product and never actually find out about the ingredients or how they make a difference. We have all been there, where a sales assistant is listing of a bunch of ingredients that you are pretending to know but really you have no clue. That sums up my skincare buying experience for a very long time! I never really took an interest in skincare as it never really made a difference when I was younger, I was taken in by the instant transformation of makeup but as I get older, it is something that I have a keen interest in.

I have never really known much about skincare as I have always felt overwhelmed by the complexity of it. When I first started to see products from The Ordinary I automatically felt excluded from the brand as I just had no idea what any of it did or what any of the names meant. I had no idea what would work for me or how it would work so I gave up. After that, I made it my mission to learn more about skincare and ingredients and I think I have definitely made an improvement over the year. Now I know more about skincare, I can fully appreciate The Ordinary for what an unusual and simplistic brand they are. I don't mean simplistic in the sense that it is dumb, I mean the exact opposite. The brand literally lays everything out for you so that you ultimately make your own skincare routine using targeted products rather than using a pre-made blend.

I have written about The Ordinary before. I am an avid fan of their Hyaluronic Acid and the AHA and BHA Peeling Solution. If you want a product that is really going to sort out any skin concerns, the AHA and AHA Peeling solution with do it! After the success of these products, I have purchased other items from the brand and I have been slowly testing them out. As I am writing this, I've had quite a bad breakout so I have started to use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid as a spot treatment so I will keep you updated on how I get on with it. More recently I have finished a bottle of the Hyalurnoic Acid. Instead of opening of my second bottle of Hyaluronic Acid, I have been using an alternative product which is also from The Ordinary, the Marine Hyaluronics. 

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

As an ingredient Hyalurnoic Acid is a good one, it helps to attract moisture to the skin. Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring sugar that is naturally created within our bodies but our production of the sugar starts to slow down as we reach the age of 26 which is why it features in higher concentrations in products designed for more mature skin. You may have noticed that I am calling it a sugar opposed to an acid, well that is exactly what it is. I have no idea why it is classed as an acid but it does not exfoliate or strip the skin, it practically does the exact oppose. Instead of resurfacing and exfoliating the skin, Hyaluronic Acid attracts water to your skin as it can actually hold up to 1000x its weight in water. If you are struggling with dry, tired looking skin this is a wonder product.

At the moment it seems to be the super ingredient everyone is talking about with a lot of brand bring out water based gel moisturisers which contain high concentrations of Hyaluronic Acid. You are going to get the best results from using a Hyaluronic Acid in humid climates as there is moisture in the air to be attracted to your skin. As I said, I have recently finished a whole bottle and I did notice a difference in skin throughout the duration of using the product, my skin looked more plump and fresher whenever I used it. Typically I used this as my morning serum as it was very light so it didn't take very long to sink in and it gave me the appearance of being slightly more fresh faced rather than looking knackered. I hoped the Marine Hyaluronics would be a similar product as that was sort of what it was sold as.

Marine Hyaluronics

Let me tell you how I first found out about the Marine Hyaluronics. As with any new launch, I saw it on Instagram and from the moment I read the description I really wanted to try it. I had been using the Hyaluronic Acid for a few months by this point and I was absolutely loving it but I was intrigued to try a light-weight version. The Marine Hyaluronics is described as, 'a lightweight alternative to The Ordinary's (Hyaluronic Acid + B5,) this advanced formulation features marine-derived water reservoirs which will attract and hold moisture, much like Hyaluronic Acid.' This is the intro that Cult Beauty gives the Marine Hyaluronics and on the grounds that the concept of the Hyaluronic Acid and Marine Hyaluronics were similar products, I wanted to do a full comparison post on the two to see how they really compared to each other.

When you read about the Marine Hyaluronics, it does sound slightly scary and bewildering. It contains, 'Glycoproteins from antarctic marine sources, micro-filtered blue-green algae and several health-supporting amino acids.' (Cult Beauty) Something about it being marine based freaks me out a little bit. In my mind it makes it sound like it is slightly alive. The marine water is the ingredient that holds hydration like Hyaluronic acid. I have to say the ingredients of this product really mean nothing to me. I thought my knowledge of skincare was getting better but this makes me feel like I'm taking a step back. I really do not understand much about this product compared to some of the more well known products.

Does the Marine Hyaluronics work? 

The answer is yes! I find it does leave my skin looking hydrated and fresher. This is an incredibly light formula so it is hard to believe it can do the same work as something thicker but it can. I drop this on the back of my hand and then apply it to my face. There is one problem with this technique, it just runs off of my hand. It basically has the same consistency as water so it is moves around a lot. As you apply this to your face you can feel that this definitely isn't just water, it does have a slightly oily feeling, the more you spread it onto the skin. It has that almost dry oil feeling on the skin but not as heavy. I do find I use more of this product than I would the Hyaluronic Acid for this very reason. As this is so thin it doesn't spread across the skin quite as well. I use around 5 drops for my face and even that is missing out a particular part of my face. I do have to miss out the area underneath my nose, as to be honest, this product stinks! To me, this has the faint waft of warm sick which is actually disgusting when you think about it and whenever I smell it, it makes me feel a bit sick. Because of this I will not use it around my nose but I do like the product, especially for Summer. As this is such a light texture, it does not leave much of a residue on the skin and it sinks in very quickly. This makes it perfect for Summer as I never want anything too thick, I much prefer lighter textures, Luckily for me the scent of this product goes as soon as you put something over the top.

With any product like a Hyaluronic Acid, it is attracting moisture to your skin so the key part is not what you are doing to your skin but actually the atmosphere around you. These types of products work best in humid climates as the air has the moisture to attract to your skin. If there isn't much moisture in the air, you need to make sure you are using a moisturiser over the top of any Hyaluronic Acids or equivalent products because if you don't it can actually have the opposite effect and dry out your skin. I realise most people would use a moisturiser anyway but it is always helpful to know and you might assume that you don't necessarily need a moisturiser as a Hyaluronic Acid would be doing to the work of a moisturiser for you.

How Does the Marine Hyaluronics compare to the Hyaluronic Acid?

I have been using the Marine Hyaluronics for around a month now and prior to that I had used an entire bottle of the Hyaluronic Acid so I've given them both a good test run. The Hyaluronic Acid is the product I would go for out of the two. It was the product which made me fall in love with this type of hydrating serum and it worked wonderfully. I never used to use a serum in the morning as I didn't want to overload my skin but including Hyaluronic Acid has made me look fresher and plumper. The Hyaluronic Acid is a much thicker consistency which does leave a bit of a sticky feeling to the skin, personally I don't mind that but I know some people prefer something that is going to sink in immediately so they can get on with the rest of their routine. Really, other than the smell, the texture is the main difference. They are going to give you similar results but leave you with a different feeling to your skin. I find the Marine Hyaluronics gives my skin a bit more of a glow which I don't tend to want, I prefer a product which is going to give me a fresher look with a natural shine from within rather than on the surface of my skin. Personally the smell is also enough to make me use the Hyaluronic Acid over the Marine Hyaluronics. The smell is quite strong and not very nice but I am persevering as I do like the product and I would like to use it up. I love that The Ordinary do not add any fragrance but in this case maybe they should have thought about it?

The Ordinary are an incredible brand, for the price point and both the Hyaluroinic Acid and the Marine Hyaluronics are amazing products. I do not think you would be disappointed by either one but for me I would chose the Hyaluronic Acid over the Marine Hyaluronics. It works better for what I look for in my skincare and it doesn't have a scent. Plus I think the thicker texture makes it easier to apply and can act as a sort of primer for foundation. I will continue to use the Marine Hyaluronics but after that I am going to stick to the good old Hyaluronic Acid. That is as long as I can buy it. The Hyaluronic Acid spends most of its time out of stock so it can be harder to get your hands on.

I am in awe of everything The Ordinary has achieved over the past few years and no one can take that away from the brand/Deciem. They have made skincare more accessible to the average user and if nothing else, they have inspired me to learn more about what is in my skincare. However a lot of people have taken problem with the Instagram comments the owner of Deciem makes. Yes, I have seen them, does it take away from the products they make? No. No matter what is said on social media, the products are good and I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. People say all kinds of crap on the internet and I guess people who own businesses can do the same. Just remember we never see what goes on at the top of these beauty brands and at the end of the day, they just want to make as much money as they can. Most people wouldn't dare share their views with the internet but trust me, even CEOs of big beauty brands have opinions!

You might also like:

Summer Skincare
Mid Year Empties
London Shopping
Intro to The Ordinary
Shopping in London


  1. I love The Ordinary range. The packaging is plain but makes a statement and the products just seem to work. I picked up a couple of products online but haven’t been into a store yet but I’m hoping to go in October when I go down to London so I’ll hopefully pick up some more then! I’ll defenitly take a look at the Hyaluronic Acid!

    Samantha |

    1. The store is amazing. Everything is laid out so it is really simple to find and the staff are super helpful. If you know your skin type and your skin concerns they will pick out products for you. Word of warning, the section for The Ordinary is quite small so if 5 people are in the store it is automatically busy.

  2. I’ve never tried the ordinary range, but seen so many reviews about their products, and feel like I need to try them out :) have you used their primer or foundation before?

    Emma |

    1. You should definitely test them out if you can manage to find the products you want in stock. I was looking for a Hyaluronic Acid for ages and it was always sold out online. I'm not a massive fan of pirmers so I probably wouldn't try one from The Ordinary but I am desperate to try their foundations, I just have no idea what shade I would be.

  3. I recently picked up The Ordinary foundation and I’ve never loved a product more! I was in awe of my skin when I used to so I’ve been meaning to pick up some of their skincare for a while now. This post was super helpful, I’ve bookmarked it so I can come back to it when I make my online order. Fresh is my go-to promise for skincare so I’ll need to pick up the Hyaluronic Acid.
    Zara x

    1. Thank you so much for bookmarking it! I definitely need to try the foundation but I think I need to go into store to find my shade. I am so pale that I can never trust online swatches. Which foundation did you get?

  4. I've heard a lot of good things about The Ordinary range but wasn't really sure where to start with all their products. Really helpful comparison there! It's a shame about the scent of the marine variant. I will definitely have a look at the original. I really need to sort of my skincare routine!

    1. Same looking at the brand the first couple of times is so overwhelming!! It is worth looking into the brand though because the products are completely worth the money.

  5. Great post so detailed I love your writing!

    1. Awww thank you, I always worry that I don't know enough about skincare to write about it so your comment is greatly appreciated!

  6. I really need to try some products from them, I always hear so many good things about it!

    Beth x |

    1. You should definitely try some. I’ve loved everything I have tried so far!


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