The Ordinary “Buffet” Review: Does It Work?

Deciem’s The Ordinary is one of my favorite skincare brands. It’s affordable, nicely packed, and formulations do their job well. The Ordinary Buffet is one of their best-selling serums, and for good reasons. 

But is it the right product for you? Well, that’s what I am to uncover in the Ordinary Buffet review!

No products found. is a multi-active serum that targets aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. It combines a slew of powerful ingredients, mainly peptides, which are well-known in the world of skincare as anti-aging. Peptides rival the holy grail of anti-aging ingredients, retinol, so you know they work. 

Key Takeaways

  • The Ordinary Buffet is an anti-aging, hydrating serum with multiple peptide complexes, humectants, amino acids, and probiotics. 
  • While its main target is early aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin texture, it also packs in the benefits of skin hydration and barrier repair. 
  • It’s a lightweight, non-oily serum with a gel-like consistency that you can wear both morning and evening. 
  • It’s effective for preventing and fighting aging signs but may take a few weeks to show results, so consistency is key. 
  • You can use the Ordinary Buffet with other serums in your routine, except for any products with direct acids or vitamin C, as it’s incompatible with such acids. 
  • While it’s suitable for all skin types, it’s best to patch test if you have acne or very sensitive skin. 

The Ordinary Buffet Ingredients 

The Ordinary Buffet gets its name from restaurant buffets, as it contains a wide array of actives and other ingredients that are supposed to help with multiple aging skin problems. While I’m not a big fan of food buffets, I do appreciate the idea of combining several active ingredients in a product. 

While the list of the Ordinary Buffet serum ingredients is quite exhaustive, I’m going to talk about in detail the actives in the formula.

Matrixyl 3000 Peptide Complex

The star ingredient in this Ordinary product is Matrixyl 3000 Peptide Complex, which is a combination of Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7. This peptide complex is formulated to help reduce wrinkles by improving skin elasticity and increasing collagen production. Research supports this benefit of Matrixyl, as it can penetrate the skin well and enhance collagen secretion. 

Matrixyl Synthe’6 Peptide Complex

The Matrixyl Synthe’6 is another peptide complex that targets visible and non-visible photodamage signs via collage synthesis and hydration. The complex is made of six different components, and it’s specifically effective for treating wrinkles on the forehead and crow’s feet, according to one manufacturer of the compound. 

SYN-AKE Peptide Complex

The SYN-AKE peptide complex contains amino acid peptides that target wrinkles, especially those around the mouth (laughter lines). This tripeptide has been tested and shows efficacy at just four percent. It may reduce wrinkles by relaxing the skin.

Argirelox Peptide Complex

The Argirelox Peptide Complex is made of acetyl hexapeptide-8 (Argireline) and pentapeptide-18, both of which target wrinkles. Much like other peptides in the formula, this complex also increases collagen production. A Chinese study confirmed the anti-wrinkle benefit of Argireline. This complex is also used in botox. 

Probiotic Complex

The Ordinary Buffet serum also includes lactococcus ferment lysate, a probiotic that helps restore skin barrier function. As a result, it can help improve skin texture. Many studies support the topical benefits of probiotics, so this is yet another useful ingredient in this serum. 

Multiple Hyaluronic Acid Complexes

Besides the various peptide complexes, the Ordinary Buffet is also chockful of hydrating ingredients with multiple hyaluronic acid complexes. This includes sodium hyaluronate and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer. The latter is particularly beneficial for the skin’s hydration as it forms a mesh of hydration across the skin. These ingredients help draw moisture to the skin and keep it hydrated. 

Amino Acids

The Ordinary Buffet serum is also a buffet of amino acids that offer a range of benefits from moisturization to damage repair. The amino acids in the Buffet are alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, and valine

The Ordinary Buffet Review


The Ordinary Buffet is a mixture of peptides, humectants, and probiotics, so it’s supposed to be a super serum that deals with multiple skin issues. More importantly, after searching online for quite a bit, I didn’t find many similar formulations at this price point. The affordability alone is a big winner for me!

But, of course, for most people, it all comes down to whether it works. Let me summarize what the company claims to do before I talk about its performance. 

  • Targets wrinkles, fine lines, and dynamic lines
  • Increases surface hydration
  • Fixes textural irregularities

So basically, it’s a jack of all trade kind of serum that can target multiple signs of aging, hydrate skin surface, reduce dark spots, and improve uneven skin tone

Texture and Skin Compatibility

Let’s talk about the texture of the serum first. It’s a water-based serum, so it’s not oily per se. However, it is still somewhat sticky on the application. Since it has a gel-like texture, you don’t need much of it. A few drops are more than enough to cover the face. 

As for skin compatibility, it should work with all types of skin. For dry skin, it’s particularly beneficial as all the hydrating ingredients ensure the other actives don’t dry out the skin. 

So is the Ordinary Buffet good for sensitive skin? There’s no reason it shouldn’t be, as peptides are similar to the actives the skin is already used to. Plus, it’s a water-based, lightweight serum that shouldn’t irritate sensitive or acne-prone skin. It may even be a great anti-aging alternative for those sensitive to retinol. 

I have oily skin, so I found it suitable for my skin. Even though it’s a little sticky, it doesn’t leave that shiny residue some serums, and oil-based skincare products do. 

Anti-Aging Benefits

The formula is packed with not one but multiple peptides, all of which have been tested in the real world individually. All these peptide complexes, one way or another, help deal with aging signs and photodamage. By increasing collagen production, they increase skin firmness and reduce wrinkles

So it’s safe to say that the Ordinary Buffet is an effective anti-aging serum. How long does it take to work? That’s hard to answer as there are multiple factors at play. Peptides, like retinol, can take weeks to show results. But as this product contains multiple complexes and hyaluronic acid complexes, it may show progress in a couple of weeks

I’m in my late twenties, so I use it as a preventative measure for aging signs. And I think it’s the perfect serum for those starting out on anti-aging skincare, like those in their late twenties or early thirties. That’s not to say it’s not strong enough for someone in their forties or fifties. 

Hydration and Skin Texture Improvement

Humectants in anti-aging serums are no new concept. However, the Ordinary Buffet takes it to the next level with sodium hyaluronate. This ingredient, along with sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, delivers ample hydration to the skin’s upper layer, which helps it keep plump and fresh. Many people don’t realize the important role hydration can play in slowing aging signs of skin. 

Similarly, the peptides and other amino acids in the serum can help improve the skin’s natural barrier, which in turn helps improve skin texture. So those with marks or bumps on the skin may also find it helpful even if this product isn’t exclusively made for that. 



Here are its advantages:

  • Safe and effective peptide complexes for fighting multiple signs of aging
  • Hydrating ingredients keep the skin well moisturized
  • Helps with improving skin tone and texture
  • No greasy residue
  • Great value for money


Here are some of the drawbacks I found:

  • Takes a bit to absorb, so you have to wait before applying another serum or moisturizer
  • Cannot be combined with some skincare ingredients like ascorbic acid

How to Use the Ordinary Buffet?


According to the instructions, the Ordinary Buffet serum can be used in the AM and PM. They do advise doing a patch test when using for the first time, especially if you have sensitive skin that irritates easily. 

You should ensure that you cleanse your face before applying this serum. If you use toner, that step also goes before serum application. 

You only need a few drops of the serum, which you can drop directly on your face or first in your palm and then apply it on the face with your fingers. Massage it gently and let it absorb for several minutes before applying anything else. 

If you’re using other serums in the same skin care routine with the Buffet, I’d suggest going from thin to thickest. As the Ordinary Buffet’s water-based and contains multiple actives, I’d suggest applying it first. 

What Not to Combine?

While the ingredients in the Buffet serum by the Ordinary are mild, they do not pair well with certain ingredients. This serum and peptides, in general, should not be paired with direct acids (like exfoliating acids) and vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid and EL-ascorbic acid).

This incompatibility is because it’s susceptible to hydrolysis with vitamin C and has a different pH level than vitamin C. 

The Ordinary Buffet vs. Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%: What is the Difference? 

The Ordinary also makes another variant of its sought-after Buffet serum, the Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%. As you can guess by the name, it’s essentially the same serum with a one percent concentration of copper peptide (Copper Tripeptide-1). In other words, it’s a more potent form of the Buffet. 

Copper peptides impart not only anti-aging benefits but also anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidating benefits. So this serum can also prevent radical damage and deal with scar tissue. The regenerative and protective properties of copper peptide (GHK-Cu) are backed by science. It produces elastin and collagen, which help increase skin firmness and elasticity. 

The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% is more suitable for those with visible aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. Also, it’s more expensive than the Buffet serum. 

The Ordinary Buffet Alternatives

If the Buffet isn’t for you for any reason, there are some similar products you can try that offer the same benefits. Here are my recommendations:

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The Paula’s Choice BOOST Peptide Booster is the brand’s answer to the Buffet with its eight peptides strong formulation. It also contains a mix of amino acids that target wrinkles and hydrate skin at the same time. 

As with most Paula’s Choice products, this serum is paraben-free and fragrance-free. Furthermore, it’s made for all skin types, so you don’t have to wonder if it’s even compatible with your skin type. 

It offers the same benefits I discussed in the Ordinary Buffet serum review, i.e., it reduces fine lines and wrinkles while increasing skin elasticity. However, it’s more expensive than the Buffet serum. 

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Consider Eva Naturals Collagen Peptide Complex Serum if you’re looking for an alternative at a similar price. This cruelty-free brand has developed a formulation with hyaluronic acid and amino acids

The amino acids deliver anti-aging benefits, while hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin. Made exclusively with plant-based ingredients, it’s suitable for vegans too. In addition to hyaluronic acid, it contains jojoba, another reliable moisturizing ingredient.

While it doesn’t contain strong peptide complexes like the Buffet, it uses amino acids for collagen stimulation. This is a good option for those seeking an anti-aging serum for preventative benefits. 

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The Ordinary Buffet Review: Verdict

To conclude my Ordinary Buffet serum review, I’d say it’s a product that does exactly what the company claims. It’s a powerful formula that uses multiple active ingredients to prevent or reduce aging signs but not at the expense of your skin’s hydration or texture. 

Even though it has many actives, it’s not necessarily potent or irritating, which is the best thing about it. So anyone can try it and see if it works for them. I’d recommend it to those who are just starting with an anti-aging serum and looking for something good but not too risky. 

On the other hand, someone late to the game with many visible wrinkles and loss in skin firmness may want to combine it with other anti-aging products in their routine. 

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