During 2016 we came across a new cosmetic brand in the market, The Ordinary. We were really surprised with the ingredients, the marketing strategy and price. All looked to be rather unusual so we decided to take a closer look.
We acquired some of them product and during a couple of month three close collaborators used them under our close control. But before gettin into the details let’s start from the basics.
The Ordinary – the brand
The Ordinary is a Canadian brand part of the DICEM group. At the moment The Ordinary sells a total of 24 cosmetics. The first thing that surprised us is the name of the products. Let me give you an example: “Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%“. This is the name of the product, and surprisingly, it is just what it is; a solution with 12% concentration of Ascorbyl Glucoside. Full stop.
Pointing out this aspect may look a bit ridiculous but in the cosmetic industry is really unusual to find a company that name a product for what actually is. This looks to us an exercise of transparency really uncommon in this industry. We understand that for those not initiated may look confusing but we believe it is actually an exercise of honest communication. Anybody can log into them website, look at the product page and read what “Ascorbyl Glucoside” actually is, for whom is indicated, how should be used and the detail list of ingredients in a plain language. Additionally, by knowing the formulation of the cosmetic is really easy to google about it and get authorised information. As said before, it is really easy to go beyond interested reviews and commercial stuff. Let’s be honest, how many cosmetics brands expose themselves to this level of scrutiny today?
The Ordinary approach
The Ordinary create products based on the best sellers ingredients in the industry. It focuses in those molecules and delivering methods that have been proven to be truly effective. As mention before the marketing approach is rather unusual as is based in describing what a product is and what is good for. Due this approach they are able to offer high shelf products with a price between 6€ to 18€.
Let me recap: effective formulation + unbeatable price. I guess you agree with us it was worth to take a closer look and test them ourselves.
For our tests we had the help of three collaborators. Here the detail of the tests designed for each one explaining the challenge and the products and routine type we designed for each case. ATTENTION: do not extract directions or recommendations out of this exercise. Notice that in this article we are describing our tests and conclusion which were done at a time we were learning about this product range. Beauty routines using this products alone or in combination with other should be designed carefully understanding the unique requirements of each person.
Middle Age Lady with Dry Skin
The first participant in the test was a middle age lady with dry and sensitive skin. She wanted to improve skin hydration and fight with early signs of ageing. We consider that the product”Buffet” and “Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%” in combination with her rich hydration cream will be a good approach. Buffet (14,80€) is a water base product which include a great range of peptides, amino acids, probiotics and multiple hyaluronic acids complexes design to be absorb easily and target ageing effects. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% (9,60€) is a stabilised vitamin C emulsion with powerful antioxidant properties that should improve hydration when working in combination with a rich cream.
Mature Lady with Oily Skin
The second participant was a mature lady with oily skin. The target for this case was to smooth wrinkles and improve the eye contour area. A combination of four product on top of a regular hydration cream was designed for this case. We picked “Caffeine Solution 5% + ECGC” (6,70€) to improve puffiness in the eye area. Two different vitamin c applications “Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%” (12,90€) to be used in the morning and “Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%” (5,80€) before sleep were chosen to improve brightening. Finally, “Matrixyl 10% + HA” (11,50€) was chosen as peptide composition to work with the two vitamin c application to targe wrinkles.
Middle Age Lady with Oily Skin
The last contributor in the test was a middle age lady with oily combination skin. In that case she wanted to smooth out pores and fading blemishes. The chosen products were “Niacinamide 10% + Zink 1%” (5,90€) and “Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%” (9,60€) to fight the acne but keep skin hydrated.
Results of our Tests
The results on the first participant (middle age + dry skin) was a clear success. This contributor reported to get a glow and hydrated skin. The recommended products could be combined with her rich cream with no problems. Additionally, the absorption was reported to be really good improving the duration of the make up when compared with previous treatments.
The second participant (mature and oily skin) reported mixed results. The caffeine eye solution dried up the eye contourn much more than expected which drive this person to abandon the product. It is fair to mention that the product was tested by a person that lives in central Europe with really dry winters (season when it was tested) being perhaps the worst time to test this specific product. On the other hand, the combination of vitamin C and peptides turn out to work really well even that another two issues were reported.
- Considerable tickling and lack of make up adherence was reported after using the “Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%”. Tickling is expected in this product. Dissolving it in a regular hydration cream is a easy way to reduce this effect until tolerance is built up.
- Lack of make up adherence was reported after using the vitamin C suspension. It was discovered that this collaborator used the suspension in the morning a few minutes before applying the make up. We changed the routine so the Vitamin C suspension was used as night treatment as the producent recommend. After this routine change this issue disappeared.
Finally, the last participant (oily skin with imperfection) reported a very good results. Spots healed faster, marks disappeared quicker and skin tone improved. Tacky feeling was reported when applying the Niacenamic 10% + Zink 1% but only lasted a few minutes. We were concerned this product may over-dry the skin as many other acnee target onew. After using this product for several weeks drying effects was not reported. Hydration was improved without shinny effects.
In general terms we were really please with the results of our test, the approach of the brand and available information. We do not believe that “The Ordinary” products are the best in the market but are definitely the easiest to work with. It is easy to combine them, you have a clear idea what to expect from each one and, due the low price you have a good margin to experiment until you find the right combination for each person.
Because of that, we have decided to include The Ordinary in our range of products, using them for both retail selling as well as in the saloon.
If you want additional information of The Ordinary products visit them website or our The Ordinary page in our online shop here.
Hope this article was useful.