The Student
Lifestyle
The Ordinary: luxury skincare with an extraordinary price point
by Laura McLay, 18/10/20

Have you ever stopped to wonder what makes your skincare product so pricey? What each chemical ingredient actually does for your skin? If the word ‘cleanser’ really tells you anything?

These were the questions asked, and answered, by The Ordinary – the star skincare and beauty brand of label Deciem. Founded by ex-computer programmer Brandon Truaxe; Truaxe discovered one of the darkest, now exposed, secrets of the beauty world –  the unexplained void between the cost of the actual product and its component materials. The Ordinary cuts out, or rather, does not put in the questionable extra ingredients that turned, for example, the label salicylic acid into the label ‘exfoliator’. Instead it offers us what skincare ultimately is: a chemical for a problem. Pure and simple.

The high prices that seemed to appear out of thin air have been swapped for reasonable, honest ones. Celebrating the value of these ordinary chemicals is symbolised by the distinctively plain ‘dropper’ bottles and simple white labels that The Ordinary has come to set its brand image by. In a market where style used to be everything, precisely what makes The Ordinary extraordinary is this ordinariness. And it works: when their seven-pound foundation was launched, the waiting list was over 75,000 people long.

While The Ordinary has exposed the public to the science of skincare, this type of science may not have featured in your school chemistry classes. As bottles are largely labelled by chemical name and percentage concentration, it is important to do your research to understand the benefits of each, and the problem area it is aimed at combating. To get to know your peptides from your retinoids, check out The Ordinary’s page on Deciem’s website for a helpful guide to understanding which chemicals do what. There are also suggested skincare routines and recommended products for various skin types including dry, oily and sensitive.

Popular products include the much raved about Niacinamide 10 per cent + Zinc 1 per cent serum. This is the product of the moment for tackling blemishes, enlarged pores and oily skin for only a fiver. With winter setting in, a couple of drops of Hyaluronic Acid 2 per cent + B5 is your go-to for a moisture boost. Or, if you are looking for a quality foundation, look no further than the Serum Foundation in 21 different shades for a flawless finish. You can buy selected products from The Ordinary in the UK in certain Boots stores, or online at Boots, Next and ASOS.

With growing customer pressure for transparency in the beauty and skincare industry, knowing clarity and safety of ingredient sources, and environmental and social impact have become increasingly important. Instead of hiding ingredients away in a tiny box on the back of a tube, The Ordinary pushes these to the front to take centre stage. Products are also made by The Ordinary’s specialist teams in Canada, with a no animal testing policy. Ratings include whether they are nut-free or vegan. The Ordinary is therefore pioneering, in part, a move to greater honesty in this industry.

So in short, if you are looking for skincare products that are out of The Ordinary, then look no further than the paradoxically most, and least, ordinary brand around.

Image credit: Valeriia Miller via Unsplash.