The Ordinary by Deciem – Affordable Products THAT WORK

If there was any brand launch that could kick-start WLV 2.0, it would be The Ordinary by Deciem.  Why?  Let’s just say that I’ve been SO EXCITED about this line for months now, that I’ve been talking the ear off of anyone who will listen.  I could wax poetic about this company for hours, but so as not to deter readers right out of the gate, I’ll give it to you straight: It’s affordable, proven and effective.

The Ordinary is a brand under the Deciem umbrella (responsible for companies like NIOD, Hylamide and Fountain), that places an emphasis on integrity.  They claim that many brands in the industry either try to pass off common technology as “groundbreaking”, or claim that a rare and expensive ingredient is a new miracle cure.  ALL LIES.  Deciem says that in reality, companies hope to confuse shoppers into believing that their product is superior and ultimately justify charging exorbitant prices.   By comparison, The Ordinary focuses on simple ingredients that are proven effective and sheds light on the fact that these ingredients don’t cost much to begin with.  


When I say this line is affordable, I mean it.  Most products are in the $5-10 CAD range with the most expensive item, a high-strength oil-solubilized Vitamin C derivative, ringing in at $17.80 CAD.  

Some examples: (just to blow your mind a little further)


When the company first launched, people complained that their orders took forever to arrive.  Luckily, they seem to have overcome this initial hitch and my first order was received a reasonable 13 days after it was placed.  

They do have some brick and mortar stores around the world, but for those of you not fortunate enough to live near one, don’t panic because shipping is free for orders over $25… WORLDWIDE!  Mic drop.  So impressive and very on brand with their goals of integrity within the industry and making quality skincare available to everyone.

Customer Experience

Don’t hold your breath when waiting to be notified of restocks because their website’s “Notify Me” option doesn’t work—both a friend and myself didn’t get emails of products we signed up for.  Also, don’t bother phoning them at their 1-800 number if you have to make a change to your order.  You’ll first hit a recording assuring you that they will connect you with a human, only to have the phone ring maybe another 10 times before you are asked to leave a message.  I did that—warily—but also sent an email just to be sure.  I received an email reply 4 business days later, which is not ideal, but I also never got a call back, so there’s that.

My biggest gripe with The Ordinary is that despite having finally made quality skincare accessible to everyone, their website places too much of an emphasis on science.  Although a treasure trove of knowledge for beauty geeks like myself,  none of the products clearly indicate what they should be used for.  I’m betting that the average customer isn’t likely to wade through all of the technical jargon.  They do, however, provide some help in the form of 3 sample regimens for those concerned with aging, pigmentation or dehydration.   

On a more positive note, I love the “shared shopping basket” with the rest of Deciem’s brands⏤admittedly, this was an effective way of luring me into buying more.  They also get bonus points for indicating product PH values and whether or not each item is water-free, alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and cruelty-free.


For a budget skincare brand, their aesthetic looks anything but.  A few products come in functional tubes and the majority of them come in minimalist, apothecary-style glass dropper bottles.  I’m happy to report that these will look right at home next to high-end products on your vanity.  They actually remind me of a mix between the oft-instagrammed Herbivore and Aesop lines.

The only negative to me is that while droppers do allow for more control, I personally favor pumps.  Pumps are not only faster and more convenient (critical during the AM rush), but limiting oxidization is key to product stability and maximizing shelf life.  

Final Thoughts

The majority of these products are a win, if not for the price alone.  Overall I’ve been very happy with almost all of the products I’ve tried and will provide in depth reviews of each after more rigorous testing.  That way we can see how they truly stack up to what’s already on the market!   

One tip I’ll leave you with, is that even though you will want to try everything (and for a reasonable price probably can), DO NOT OVER-ORDER.  And by that I mean do as I say, not as I do.  They don’t recommend using more than 3 serums at a time, so be realistic.  I don’t know about you, but even I’m not going to wash my face, spray an essence, layer on 3 serums and then a sunscreen before even starting my makeup.  You’ll be happier curating a simpler routine that you can actually stick with!  

With love,

+ P.S.  If that wasn’t enough to sell you, all Deciem products are not tested on animals and are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury and oxybenzone.  *opens wallet and hands over all the money*

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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    May 15, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Can confirm: The Ordinary is incredible. I purchased 7 products (for $67! Amazing) from them a month or two ago on Veronique’s recommendation and have been blown away. As she notes it does take some research to figure out what you’ll need (and how/when to layer them — there’s a handy guide, thankfully) but after that all you have to do is look forward to better skin. Great post, V! <3

    1. Reply
      May 15, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks Paige! 🙂 I’m VERY excited to see what they come up with next and can’t wait to try their new foundations!! xo

  2. Reply
    August 2, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Thanks for your review on this! I’m definitely considering ordering some products right now! You’re right, I’m not sure I have the patience right now to read through every single product because I don’t know what each product does. Can I ask what your regime is, I guess I’m trying to ask, which three serums do YOU use during the AM and the PM?

    1. Reply
      August 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Hey! 3 serums is the max recommended by the Deciem website, and TBH I’m actually too lazy to use that many (also how much can your skin actually absorb?). Currently, I’m using the Alpha Arbutin with HA (I LOVE this for hyperpigmentation) in the morning after spraying my facial essence (I’ll cover that in my next post) but before my moisturizer and sunscreen. In the evening I use the facial essence again, then either the Niacinamide with Zinc (for decongestion) or the Hyaluronic Acid (for moisturizing) before a moisturizer or oil. I tend to rotate my serums based on what I think my skin needs at the time 🙂

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