The Ordinary Buffet Serum: Before and After Review

For our fourth edition of “does this product actually deliver results,” we bring you The Ordinary’s Buffet Serum review with before and after pictures!

I grew up spending all my summers in the sun until quite recently. Admittedly, I did not wear sunscreen regularly until this year. Knowing what I know now about skincare, I’m always on the lookout for protective and anti-aging products to compensate for my earlier sun exposure.

I discovered my holy grail exfoliating product through my The Ordinary Peeling Solution before and after review. So I was excited to try a different product from The Ordinary again!


I used this product as my secondary serum in my PM routine. I cleansed with Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, applied the Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum, followed it up with the Buffet serum, and finished with a light layer of my favorite Mad Hippie Eye Cream. My skin type is combination and can be occasionally sensitive to ingredients.

The Buffet serum is advertised to be an effective hydrating and anti-aging serum, loaded with multiple peptide complexes and hyaluronic acid. I’ve personally been underwhelmed with hyaluronic acid serums in the past, so I was skeptical going into this trial.

before The Ordinary Buffet

About The Ordinary Buffet Serum

First, like most the Ordinary products, this serum comes in the standard 30 mL vial with a built-in dropper. The serum itself is clear with a thicker consistency. There are no high risk substances in the ingredient list.

At a $13.90 price point, the Buffet serum is also a killer dupe for the Eve Lom Intense Hydration Serum which has a very similar ingredient list but is priced at $95.

Based simply on ingredients, this serum is best for dry and sensitive skin due to its hydrating and non-irritating properties.

Hero Ingredients

Matrixyl 3000 and Matrixyl Synthe’6 Peptide Complexes: Help to reduce the look of lines, wrinkles, and surface irregularities.

Hyaluronic Acid: Supports hydration and acts as a delivery system to enhance skin exposure to actives.

Full Ingredient List

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Pentapeptide-18, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Acetylarginyltryptophyl Diphenylglycine, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Trehalose, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, Urea, Sodium PCA, PCA, Sodium Lactate, Citric Acid, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

When To Use The Ordinary Buffet Serum In a Routine

Generally speaking, The Ordinary Buffet Serum should be used after your cleansing products and before your moisturizer. This serum is thicker than your average serum or treatment, but still thinner than a true moisturizer.

How to use the The Ordinary Buffet Serum in your skincare routine:

  1. Cleansing Oil (PM only)
  2. Cleanser (optional in the morning)
  3. Toner (optional)
  4. The Ordinary Buffet Serum
  5. Moisturizer
  6. SPF (AM only)

Need help sorting out your skincare routine? Take our skincare routine quiz to get one recommended for you.

The Application

This product has a thicker texture and has no scent. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite the thickness, the serum absorbed into my skin within a few minutes without getting tacky.

Week 1 Thoughts

After a few days of applying the product daily, I started to feel underwhelmed. My skin showed no visibly discernable difference. Moreover, I was expecting at least a feeling of more hydration – which I didn’t get. 

Being in my 20s, I wasn’t sure how to measure the efficacy of an anti-aging product. I knew there weren’t any thin skin or fine line areas that I’d see change in. Ultimately, I was hopeful that Buffet was working silently but I couldn’t really tell at this point.

Week 2 Thoughts

Despite my initial disappointment, I started to feel differently during week two. Slowly but surely, I started noticing that my skin felt more elastic and hydrated. This was most prominent particularly around my cheek area.

I wasn’t sure if I could expect any discernible results from my first experience with an anti-aging product but I was pleased to see an improvement in my skin.

the ordinary buffet before and after

Results of The Ordinary Buffet: Before and After

After two weeks of application, my skin didn’t look crazy different, although I did notice more dewiness around my cheeks. 

The Buffet serum is often reviewed as a standout in the anti-aging category due to its mix of peptides. However, I didn’t see a huge impact in this area. Because I have no visible fine lines (yet!), I don’t have a litmus test for the efficacy of this product in terms of wrinkles.

Instead, I saw the biggest difference in the renewed elasticity and texture of my skin. It felt far more supple and smooth after two weeks of daily usage.

My verdict? The Buffet serum is good, but you shouldn’t expect it to change your life. For those who need an extra boost of hydration in drier climates or during long summer days, this is an ideal, low-maintenance serum.

the ordinary buffet serum before and after
    1. Hi Evaile, thanks for your feedback. We’re definitely trying to add additional reviewers of all ages and walks of life. Let us know if you’d like to help contribute to our reviews!

      1. Hello,
        Actually I would be pleased to help out. I just purchased a regime of The Ordinary skin care products and have begun a “trial” of my own. I just turned 59 years old & my skin was showing the years. So, I decided it was time to get serious about the products I was using & find some stuff that really could (potentially) make a difference in the appearance of my skin. I’ve researched every cosmetic ingredient & skin treatment on the market. And there are Kazillions of crappy overpriced “snake oils” & hoodoo voodoo treatments. But When I came across The Ordinary products & looked at their ingredients, I was very impressed. They are, also, very very reasonably priced. So, I’ll be happy to share my experience with you .

        1. Please do..I am 41 and I’d like to start a better face remedy program.
          I am very close to saying F it and doing botox

    2. Its actually good to use anti age products to prevent wrinkles. It works much more efficient. She didnt waste her money. Maybe her review wont help people who want to see some results, but she is doing good job for her skin.

    3. I find the younger review helpful. I came here with 44 year old skin, no wrinkles to see if anyone else had a similar experience with this product. I was excited to read the miss had experienced a more bouncy dewy complexion as well.

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