The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Borage Seed Oil - review


As you may know, I've used a few different oils from The Ordinary before - and up until now I've liked and recommended them all.

This one however hasn't grabbed me, and it's taken a while for me to put my finger on why because it's not as though it's obviously awful (and in fact I don't think I've ever used a terrible oil), but what I think is happening is that it's not sinking into my skin properly - so it's not doing what a good oil should do: that is, hydrate. 

The Ordinary claims/product details:

  • This formulation contains 100% pure borage seed oil that is sustainably sourced, organic and cold-pressed
  • This soothing and nourishing oil contains an exceptionally high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an important essential fatty acid, as well as linoleic, oleic, stearic and palmitic acids
  • Offers a calming effect, helps maintain healthy skin and is suited particularly well for dry and/or irritated skin conditions, as well as sensitive and acne-prone skin types
  • Ingredients: Borago Officinalis Seed Oil
  • Water-free, silicone-free 
  • Gluten-free, nut-free, cruelty-free and vegan 
  • RRP $7.20 AUD for 30ml


While this product isn't awful, it doesn't work well for my skin and I wouldn't buy it again. Do note that it's the cheapest of The Ordinary's oils, and perhaps there's something in that - maybe it's true sometimes that more expensive ingredients can produce a better product. Who knows.

It's a pale, yellow-coloured oil with a strong meaty scent. Do note that I've seen quite a few people say that they can't use this product due to the scent, and I can see why because it is quite strong and unusual - so do be aware of that because it may bother you if you're sensitive to fragrance.

While I could live with the scent if the product worked for me, it doesn't so I'll most likely wind up using this on my body because I need something that works better for my dry skin. What I find with this is that it sits on top of the skin and my face still feels quite dry underneath it, so it's not absorbing as well as it should and delivering nourishment where I need it most.

I'm not entirely sure why this is happening but it feels the same when I try applying it elsewhere (eg my hands or dry elbows/knees). Yes it has a thick texture but that's not necessarily why it isn't sinking in properly: I've used thick oils before that hydrate a lot better than this one does, so I suspect that borage seed oil itself just doesn't gel with my skin.

On the claims: no I don't think it's soothing or nourishing; no I don't think it's calming; no I don't think it works well for my dry skin; and no I don't think it's done anything positive for skin irritation (I've tried using it after chemical treatments and peels, and it does absolutely nothing for me).

Overall I don't think this is a good product and it's the first oil from The Ordinary I've come across so far that I don't like. As alternatives, I would try either the Rosehip Oil (reviewed here) or the Argan Oil (reviewed here). This one's a pass for me.

Doesn't work for my skin.

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