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If you’ve been looking for affordable, yet high-performing, skincare products, you may have come across The Inkey List and The Ordinary during your searches.  Both of these are trusted companies known for their quality products.  But, which is the best choice for you?  Today, we’re going to take a look at The Inkey List vs The Ordinary and how some of their top products compare.  Keep reading to discover which skincare line you’ll want to add to your shopping cart.

Which is better Inkey List or The Ordinary?

The Inkey List and The Ordinary are both pretty exceptional companies.  Choosing either could greatly benefit your skincare routine.  Below, we’ve highlighted some key points to help you compare these two companies and decide which you’d like to try.

Ease of Use

If finding easy-to-use skincare products is important to you, you may prefer The Inkey List.   While both The Ordinary and The Inkey List offer products featuring just one or a few key ingredients, The Inkey List makes it a little easier to understand exactly how the product will help you and where to add it in your routine.  With The Ordinary, you’ll need to have more background knowledge of skincare and beneficial ingredients.


The Inkey List’s and The Ordinary’s products are also packaged differently.  The Ordinary’s serums come in glass bottles, while the Inkey List uses plastic containers.  There is nothing wrong with either of these packaging options, so it all comes down to your personal preferences.


As we mentioned above, The Inkey List and The Ordinary both offer affordable skincare solutions.  The Ordinary’s products are generally a little cheaper than The Inkey List, but only by a few dollars.  Depending on your budget, this may or may not be a sticking point for you.

The Inkey List vs The Ordinary Products

OK, let’s take a look at how some of The Inkey List’s and The Ordinary’s similar products compare.

Alpha Arbutin

Alpha arbutin is a powerful skincare ingredient.  It can help reduce dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma, brighten the skin, and improve the skin’s tone.  Which alpha arbutin is better Inkey List or The Ordinary?  We like the formula of both companies’ products for this one.  The Inkey List’s alpha arbutin formula also includes squalene to hydrate the skin, and The Ordinary’s alpha arbutin also features hydrating hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid offers a number of benefits to the skin, including keeping it well hydrated.  Which is better The Inkey List or The Ordinary hyaluronic acid?  Ingredient wise, both are excellent options.  Peptides to help plump the skin are added to The Inkey List’s hyaluronic acid, while hydrating ahnfeltia concinna extract is found in The Ordinary’s hyaluronic acid.


If you want to help repair your skin and fight the signs of aging, you may be interested in comparing The Inkey List retinol vs The Ordinary retinol.  For this one, we’d have to give the edge to The Ordinary.  They offer different retinol formulations, including 0.2% retinol, 0.5% retinol, and 1% retinol.

Anti-Aging Serums

Those looking for the best anti-aging serum, may be looking to compare The Ordinary Buffet vs The Inkey List’s Q10 Antioxidant Serum.  Both of these serums feature impressive ingredient lists, but the right one for you may depend on your specific needs.  The Ordinary Buffet Anti-Aging Serum could be the best choice if you have large pores or acne-prone skin, since its formula also includes citric acid.  On the other hand, you may find that The Inkey List’s Q10 Antioxidant Serum is the right choice for you if brightening your skin is a priority.  The vitamin E tocopheryl acetate will be effective in helping you achieve this goal.


Niacinamide helps keep oil production regulated, prevents acne breakouts, minimizes the appearance of pores, and more.  So, which is better:  Inkey List niacinamide vs The Ordinary niacinamide?  If you have dry skin, you may decide that The Inkey List’s Niacinamide is best for you due to the added hyaluronic acid in the formula.  However, if you deal with inflammation, then The Ordinary’s Niacinamide, which also includes zinc, may be best.

inkey list niacinamide vs the ordinary

Caffeine Treatments

Now, let’s take a look at The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream vs The Ordinary Caffeine Solution.  These products are formulated a little differently.  The Inkey List’s is a caffeine cream, while The Ordinary’s is a liquid.  Both products can help rejuvenate your eye area, so you may need to consider whether you prefer to use a cream or a liquid serum around your eyes.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is an exfoliant which can help control acne breakouts and clear your pores.  If you’re trying to decide between The Inkey List lactic acid vs The Ordinary lactic acid, consider their ingredient list.  The Inkey List’s lactic acid is formulated with 10% lactic acid and 1% hyaluronic acid.  The Ordinary, on the other hand, offers two different formulation options.  10% lactic acid plus 2% hyaluronic acid or 5% lactic acid plus hyaluronic acid.

the inkey list lactic acid vs the ordinary

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that can exfoliate the skin and clear up clogged pores.  When it comes to The Inkey List vs The Ordinary salicylic acid, both companies offer a variety of formulations featuring this powerful ingredient.  Determining your specific needs can help you decide which is best for you. 

Some of the different formulations include:

Rosehip Oil

Finally, let’s take a look at rosehip oil The Ordinary vs The Inkey List.  For this one, we’d have to give the edge to The Inkey List.  We like that The Inkey List’s rosehip oil also includes omega-6 fatty acids to nourish the skin.  Rosehip oil is great for smoothing out the skin, and we think that the added omega-6 fatty acids really give you the biggest bang for the buck.    

Closing Thoughts: The Inkey List vs The Ordinary

As you can see, both The Inkey List and the Ordinary offer a wide selection of quality products at a low price point.  Adding either company’s skincare line into your routine would be a wise decision.  Which do you think is right for you?

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