The Ordinary’s Best Products for Brightening on a Budget

The Ordinary’s Best Products for Brightening on a Budget
Photo: ImaxTree.

What costs less than $10, can be found at two of the biggest beauty retailers and has a cult following? Pretty much anything from Deciem, including the best The Ordinary products for brightening. Getting glowy is a skincare goal for many, but finding a product or routine that doesn’t take forever to get there can lead to plenty of dead ends and detours.

Trust me—I’ve tried my fair share of smelly vitamin C serums that promised brightness but only left me with breakouts. I know this isn’t a one size fits all situation, but The Ordinary formulas are potent, highly researched and crazy affordable. As far as I’m concerned, that means they’re at least worth trying once. (Plus, I’m already obsessed with the sister brand.) If targeting dark spots or achieving a brighter complexion are on your beauty to-do list, here are The Ordinary products you shouldn’t overlook.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder


100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder

With the exception of products containing peptides, niacinamide and The Ordinary’s EUK 134, this very fine L-ascorbic acid powder is formulated to be mixed with other treatments while targeting uneven skin tone, dullness, and signs of aging.

*Note: The format of this formula provides the most direct exposure of extremely high concentrations of Vitamin C topically, so a very strong tingling but non-irritating sensation is expected during the first 1-2 weeks of use until the skin’s tolerance to such high exposure is elevated.

The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%


Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

A combination of highly potent ascorbic acid and gentle alpha arbutin visibly target dark spots, dullness, uneven tone and multiple signs of aging.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%


Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This high-strength vitamin and mineral formula helps diminish blemishes and signs of congestion. Though niacinamide has also been shown to have a visible brightening effect, it shouldn’t be used alongside L-Ascorbic Acid and Ethylated Ascorbic Acid since it can impact the integrity of these forms of vitamin C.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%


Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

A water-free, silicone-free formula that provides 23% pure, stable L-Ascorbic Acid to target uneven skin tone, dullness, textural irregularities and signs of aging. If your routine also includes topical vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid and/or Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid), this should be applied at alternate times with products containing Niacinamide or The Ordinary’s EUK 134.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%


Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

A multifunctional brightening direct acid formula that visibly targets uneven tone and texture, and the look of blemishes.

beauty newsletter banner