I’m the lead scientist at DECIEM, creators of The Ordinary, NIOD, and more. Ask Me Anything!

I’m the lead scientist at DECIEM, creators of The Ordinary, NIOD, and more. Ask Me Anything!


Can you please develop an app with a flowchart or an interactive drag and drop chart that will help me figure out which products to use with each other on alternating days, every day, etc? Maybe something based on a Big Data algorithm? Because this is legit the Riddle of the Sphinx in r/SkincareAddiction. We. Need. An. App! Thank you.


What an amazing idea! Thank you for suggestion. We'd love to launch an app one day. For now, please feel free to reference the information available at theordinary.com and on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DECIEM10 :-)


I'd like to piggyback on this one... It would be helpful to more easily reference potential interactions between certain ingredients as well


This is probably the most important for me. Don’t want to damage the skin I’ve worked so hard for!


There is almost no good quality data on the even primary action of compounds used in consumer cosmetics, let alone interactions. The entire industry purports scientific basis and yet offers next to no legitimate evidence, other than being cleared for acute toxicity by state agencies, and assurances of safety and efficacy from the people selling the products. There are no long-term studies on any commercial cosmetic compounds. The best evidence-based approach to maintaining your skin health is to consult the Hippocratic Oath: first, do no harm. Your skin has millions of years of evolutionary experience, barring specific disease states it doesn’t need you to slather it in acids or steroids or other compounds of unknown safety and effects. Your skin is also an incredible barrier, and many cosmetic formulations are simply removed from the tissue you apply them to by normal immune function without doing anything other than providing extra work, or remain caked on the surface restricting respiration to the epidermis until you either wash it off, or it sloughs off with shed skin. The only cosmetics paradigm that even has sound logic to it is anti-aging, because aging is a normal body process and hypothetically you’d want to interfere with that. So, how many long-term studies exist on cosmetic compounds reported to have anti-aging effects? Zero.


There is actually plenty of good quality scientific information about cosmetic ingredients. In fact there are several scientific journals dedicated to just that. If you just use google, you aren’t going to find them. If you use Google scholar or your libraries resources for these journals, you will see a crazy amount of data on ingredients and even their interactions. What’s unfortunate, is that Deciem refuses to acknowledge any new, correctly interpreted studies on the use of Niacinamide and vitamin C together. There was one study, not interpreted completely in the 1960’s about Niacinamide and vitamin C, but that study was flawed (for many reasons) yet Deciem is sticking with it and giving misinformation to all of their millions of customers that Niacinamide and vitamin C should never be used together because some sort of reaction will happen and one or both products will become useless. It’s actually the opposite. Niacinamide and Vitamin C, used together provide a synergistic effect. Deciem also states that basically no other actives can be used together, and they present that as fact, not as their opinion. It all depends on each persons skin. We are all different. Some people can only use one active at a time, or even once a week before they have very sensitive skin. Whereas others, like myself, get the most benefit (and no irritation) from using actives together. There are no rules in skincare (besides the obvious). I think that’s one of the reasons all the confusion around TO products exists. Because nothing can be used together according to them. I think this is a disservice to their customers and implies that they can’t process or understand information on their own, so instead of providing correct information, they find it easier to just say “don’t use X with X” for all of their products. This also leads to huge amounts of bad information being spread, especially here on Reddit. They seem to be saying “you are all too dumb to learn to use these products together, so don’t even try.”


If you consider photodamage and collagen loss to be ‘aging’, there’s long term (at least 20 years) studies on tretinoin.


The holy grail


Okay Debbie Downer... I said nothing about anti-aging so I'm not sure what you're referring to. There are known ingredients that help each other or can potentially cause adverse reactions. If I understand your comment correctly, ultimately you're saying that skincare has no place since our skin has evolutionary experience? Well my artificial heating system and the drying effect it has on my skin in the winter says otherwise. Not sure if we've had a chance to evolve for that circumstance yet. Simply keeping your skin moisturized and protected from the the sun *is* fundamentally anti-aging. For thousands of years of human history we have been slathering substances on our faces to help with the sun, dry weather, cold, you name it. Please don't pretend like there aren't any studies on sun protection and hydration and their effects on aging. Either way, I'm very glad that this company decided to offer isolated and potent ingredients without the insane markup and filler ingredients of most skincare products. My eczema is finally under control now because I know what ingredients work for me and don't want to pay out my ass for ingredients that don't. Overall the ordinary is very transparent about their ingredients and potential interactions if you read their website, so my comment was only suggesting to offer that information in a more simplified form of what they are doing already.


Plus if you could add which formulas are pregnancy-safe and which are not recommended it would be very appreciated


Omg this. And breastfeeding


Psst - [15 minute beauty](https://www.15minutebeauty.com/pregnancy-safe-skincare-ordinary.html) has a list of pregnancy-safe skincare and beauty products.


A product interaction flowchart would be pretty straight forward to put together using the data you guys have available to the public. I’d have a lower level associate or a firm you contract with take a stab at it. Not sure how close you are with your CT labs.


In the meantime I use this app called Skincare (android, not sure if available on iOS) that lets you input what products you have and it orders it for you!


Can you send a link? The name really isn't helping lol


Sure thing, just realized it's actually called Skincare Routine whoops. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.theordinaryguide.app


Thanks! Just downloaded - really helpful! Especially since it comes preloaded with Deciem products


Check out the Skincare Routine app out. It’s $3 but has all of Deciem products in it already. You pick which products you are using, and it will put them into a routine in the correct order for you. You can also manually add your own products so you can put any other products used into the routine. Based on the information you provide, the app will put custom products in the correct place as well. It will identify ingredients that users may not want to use together, and in the routine both will show up red which means there is a conflict and you should choose one or the other. You can also do custom days. Like for the BHA/AHA peel, you can choose 2 days of the week to do it. You can also do that with any other products. This is my Go-To Skincare App. There’s nothing it doesn’t have that I want, but if there was (like I have previously) asked for a feature to be added it’s as simple as DMing the apps owner and developer and giving Chris your suggestions. If she thinks it’s a good idea, she’ll add it extremely quickly, Oh! There’s also a diary you can keep notes and pictures in on how your face is doing. I have no interest (financial or otherwise) in this app, I simply think it’s amazing, especially a sole female developer. There’s no corporation behind it that will be asking you to pay to unlock every feature or some yearly or monthly fee. Here is the link to the website for more info: https://skincareroutine.app/


I made a site called [SkinSort](https://skinsort.com/) that has a Routine Creator tool that finds conflicts between certain ingredients! It's still in beta, so would love any feedback! Working to improve it every day.


YES!! Just so you know, if you send support a message saying every Ordinary product you have, they’ll send you multiple skincare routines with your products. I legit have like 20 products and someone sent me three different AM routines and two PM routines and it’s amazing.


will you guys be developing eczema/super sensitive ski. friendly products?


I second this, I love TO so much but the Natural Moisturizing Factors isn’t heavy-duty enough for really dry, flaky skin


Hi! I also get flaky eczema on my face and I've found that using a noncomedogenic oil after my water based moisturizer helps lock the moisture in and reduce the redness/flakiness during the day. Maybe try using their rose hip oil, or Squalane (I've heard great things about it, but dont use it personally) to help lock moisture in and as an emollient to help the flaky spots. obviously this is just my experience with my skin, and you probably know what's best for yourself!


This. Being hypersensitive isn't easy and I can't use TO skincare (other than their makeup) because my skin breaks out.


Anything is possible in the future! Stay tuned. ☺


If anything is possible, I hope you develop products for keratosis pilaris as well (for the stubborn type that doesn't disappear with anything!)


I’m not sure if you have tried the Cerave SA cream in the tub but it has done wonders for all those I have recommended it to.


Any update on the timeline for your Salicylic Acid reformulation? The masque just isn’t the same...


This was literally the first thing that came to mind, glad to see it as the first comment lol


Hi! We are launching sometime 2021. Stay tuned! ☺


*it’s been 84 years* Can’t wait for this!!


Came here to ask this. That was the best product in the world and I have no idea why it was discontinued.


I feel like we’ve been waiting an eternity !


Came here just to say this...


Hi! Would you consider making an azelaic acid product that isn’t silicone-based? A thinner consistency would be great (and would play better with other products). A lot of people have issues with silicones too.


Hello! Please stay tuned. :)


When are you bringing back your salisylic acid? It was my holy grail and now I have to but the boots own brand version which smells awful :(


I really like the BHA from the Inkey list :) Doesn’t really smell like anything and is also really cheap


I was recently in a DECIEM store and they let me know it is currently being reformulated and should be back soon! Fingers crossed!


It's been being reformulated for months now, always 'soon' to return...


Months lol, I swear it's been almost 2 years since it first disappeared.


Have you tried Paula’s Choice BHA. It’s great and has no fragrance.


Seconded! I didn’t care for the silicone


Seconded. It’s so hard to find a good azaleaic acid formula without other additives or with a spreadable texture.


I'd love to see the Azaelic Acid reformulated so it doesn't pill. No matter what order I apply this product it always, always pills! I love this product for what it does, but hate it because it just doesn't play well with others.


Yes! My rosacea hates silicones


This! My skin hates silicone and the Azelaic Acid in my country is expensive af.


How about a larger azeliac while we are at it?


Which 3 Deciem products are you most proud of?


Lol not answered, these AMAs are shit trade offs. Company answers nothing and gets free PR


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Funny bot


Hi Prudvi, thanks for taking the time to speak about this. I know you're here to talk about skincare, but DECIEM's carton packaging seems to use some metalized polyester which is not recyclable. Even using the all white board, that is still new trees being cut down instead of using clay recycled board. How come most skincare and beauty manufacturers don't use environmental packaging like recyclable paperboard? What can you guys do to improve?


I’ve had a few beauty brand clients and have done a lot of looking into recyclable packaging for a food business my husband and I have started. Scientists who are responsible for product formulation are probably not as closely involved with packaging sourcing, but would have to specify the conditions under which a product would need to be manufactured and packaged. It’s possible a more sustainable packaging option might not be able to keep the product stable.


Packaging Engineer here... the role of the carton should be for protection during transportation. The primary packaging (bottles) should protect the formulas from factors like light, oxygen, moisture etc.... I don’t see any valid excuse for not using recycled paperboard for cartons!


Agree, external cartons should be recyclable since they don’t directly come in contact with the product.


Uh, here’s one, the marketing department said that’s what would sell the best so that’s what the company is gonna go with and you can go piss up a rope with ya more sustainable better looking package. At least, that’s been my experience in the industry so far...


I hope she addresses this. There is so much waste when it comes to packaging.


It's the third highest comment and still hasn't been answered. That's... Telling.


Agreed. It's a wasteful industry and it drives me nuts. There has to be a better way. I'm hoping it's because a good question deserves a good answer, and she will return to it later.


Great question. Leadership should be on all fronts. 🌎


Hi :-) Thank you for your comment, and my apologies for the delayed response. I couldn't agree more, recyclable paperboard should not be overlooked in packaging. For this reason, in early 2020, we swapped the soft-touch polyester laminate on our unit boxes with a 100% aqueous-based varnish that does not compromise recyclability or biodegradability. Our unit boxes are also carbon neutral, meaning that all of the emissions produced from the harvesting and manufacturing of the paperboard are offset via CarbonZero's Carbon Offset program. Our offsets support the [Southern Quebec Afforestation Project] (https://www.carbonzero.ca/project/southern-quebec-afforestation-project-sqap/) and the [Ontario Biodiversity Afforestation Project] (https://www.carbonzero.ca/project/ontario-biodiversity-afforestation-project-obap/). We are currently looking into whether we can use FSC paperboard, which would help lower our impact even more. The recyclability of packaging is complex and that's why we have partnered with Terracycle to offer an in-store recycling program at select stores, giving customers the ability to recycle product empties from any beauty brand. We accept all post-use skincare and cosmetics packaging that typically don’t have a home in most curbside recycling programs. Terracycle uses their technology to ensure that all products are recycled/reused, regardless of packaging type. Thanks again for the comment! Hope this helps to clarify.


I love your product so much, thank you for making skincare affordable! I was wondering if there are any plans for a retinoid eye serum on the horizon?


Great idea! ❤


What about a retinoid lotion for the body?


Doesn't their Chemistry brand have one?


It's an oil and it's pretty nice, I've used it for a month or so.


Also came here to say thanks. I ❤ The Ordinary!


Why is the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution not available in Canada? If Canadian health regulations won't allow it is it really safe to use?


The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution is not available for sale in a few jurisdictions, like Canada, because of the rules surrounding the classification of these products as cosmetics. I understand why the limitations were originally established but cosmetic formulation practices have evolved and the way we deliver these actives fairly new. We have gone above and beyond our normal safety testing programs for such a strong direct acid and we have a comprehensive safety package available to support the use of The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution. ❤


Is there anyway we could order it from the states or to a PO Box and pick it up? I wouldn’t want it to be confiscated at the border


I ordered it from Ulta and got it shipped to Canada with no issues




I think this is fairly recent due to Covid. They used to ship to Canada pre-pandemic.


Use a service like crossborderpickups! Works for me for ordering these items.


You can totally order it by mail or bring it across the border.


Hi, I love the ordinary, a few things: 1. Have you all ever thought about inplimenting a more detailed and accessible skincare routine section on your site? It’s taken a lot of research to configure a routine. What products work best for acne vs aging? 2. What are some products that you removed or didn’t work out? 3. What are some concerns for the future of your products? Any sustainability concerns, etc.?


Any update on the invisible mineral sunscreen? Really hoping for it soon!


Here's the answer you can expect "stay tuned!" ...wait thats the 2021 answer.


Yeah, sigh


Hi :) Since sunscreens are regulated as OTC drugs, this takes longer to develop than products under the cosmetic category. This is in the works and coming up in the future, please stay tuned! ❤


Yes, I figured it would be in the future....


What's an often overlooked part of one's skincare routine?


This generally depends on your skin concerns! However, hydration is a very important part of all routines - even if you have more oily skin. ❤




Not a question about deciem’s products, but I’m interested in your story and how you went from studying pharmaceutical sciences to skincare formulation. Did you have any sort of inspiration or interest prior?


I‘m bummed to see most people here are treating this AMA like your regular customer service. Thanks for being here Prudvi! What has been the most challenging project you experienced (or still experience) as head scientist at DECIEM? What was something you did not expect when starting in this position?


Take a look, those are the questions being anwered. Anything more is being ignored or given a generic answer like "stay tuned!"


> Anything more is being ignored or given a generic answer like "stay tuned!" "We're changing the world!" "How are you doing that?" "By being *different*! Stay tuned! ❤"


Hello :) I am involved in developing almost over 200 products at Deciem and every product posed its own challenge. We like to select challenging and most complex topics. Example, CAIL 1% from NIOD. A suspension could have worked as well but wanting to solubilize the peptide PAL-GHK-Cu and stabilize the formulation is a challenge and we succeeded. I never expected that I would build a team of over 100 people after me and build over 6 labs at DECIEM. ❤


I am a chemistry student hoping to go into cosmetic chemistry. Any tips?


Get a student membership to the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and then go to the events (whenever people can safely meet in person again)! Networking is incredibly important in the personal care/cosmetics industry. You'll find out what companies in your area do formulation and what kind of products they work on.


Hello :) There a lot of applications under Cosmetic Chemistry. Creative side and Operations as some examples. Identify what interests you more and start from scratch in that field and try in pairing that with a course if you could find one so you could build theory as well. Know that there are a lot of professional platforms like SCC and IFSCC which would allow you to see the world of Cosmetics. All the best. ❤


What keeps prices so low? PS your Niacinamide is unbelievably good


The technologies used in The Ordinary Brand are effective and well-studied. As they are well-known actives, no resources are wasted on marketing to convince consumers on the efficacy of a new form of innovation. In addition, products are formulated with a minimalistic approach and format which focuses on the actives' delivery and efficacy. ❤


Amazing answer, and the way it should be


Most dermatological active ingredients are not expensive. We are just so used to the high mark up of most brands that a company selling product for what they should cost is shocking. Think how much normal TO product cost and consider that the production cost is less than 50% of that and the actual ingredients cost 25% of the full price.


What's your personal AM and PM skin care routine? Don't be shy, we'd appreciate all the details :)


He has said before he just uses buffet and hair peptides


Thank you so much for doing this! I LOVE your products. I use products from each of your lines as part of my routine (which was pretty much nonexistent before I found your company because hated how skincare was marketed and you couldn't really tell what you were getting). Thank you so much for providing science-backed skincare with transparent marketing! What products are good for rebuilding your skin barrier? Or what products are good to use after a chemical peel?


Hello! I'm glad you LOVE our products! Great question! It is important to understand that skin repairs itself, and all we can do with cosmetic products is to help it do so effectively. Application of topical lipids and NMF can help to support and enhance a healthy barrier. Application of biomimetic ingredients, such as those that are naturally found in the NMF (amino acids, urea, lactic acid), has been found to enhance skin hydration levels by providing similar water-binding properties. Furthermore, treatment with topical lipids can be done through the application of lipids that are not naturally found within the skin or lipids/precursors of lipids that are normally present in the extracellular spaces, such as ceramides and cholesterol. A combination of both aims to provide instant relief and long-term support. After chemical peels products that aim to soothe any signs or irritation are great to use, this would include products that contain soothing and hydrating agents within the formulation. I would recommend our Modulating Glucosides as it contains various ingredient to help calm and sooth the skin. It is also important to remember the use of SPF after the use of chemical peels, as the skin will be more sensitive to environmental factors like UV. :-)


Thanks for doing this Prudvi. Does your firm outsource lab work to contract research organizations? If so, what type/parts of studies do you consider outsourcing? (Don’t worry, not trying to sell your team anything. Just curious as to what this space looks like in your specific industry)


Hello :-) We only outsource large panels for in vivo clinical studies. This is done to ensure our products are safe and efficacious.


Hi Prudvi! Thank you for doing this! I get asked this question a fair amount so I thought I'd ask you! Do retinoids NEED to be stored in the fridge once they've been opened? ​ Thanks in advance! :)


Great question! I suggest storing our Granactive Retinoid and Retinol products in the fridge after opening. The remainder of our serums can be stored at room temperature, however, there is no harm in refrigerating (with the exception of The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% which should not be refrigerated). ☺


> The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% which should not be refrigerated). Would you be able to tell us why?


The saturation of Resveratrol and Ferulic is extremely high. Low temperatures will make it crystallize over time. :-)


Why should they be store in the fridge? I haven’t been doing so, are they useless now?


Are you planning to release products with PHA acids and bukuchiol?


Do you guys have any plans to release a mineral 30+ sunscreen from the Ordinary, especially one suitable for people of color? Likewise with a jojoba oil serum regarding releasing one.


Hello! We do have huge plans set for our suncare line, and we will definitely keep people of colour in our formulation considerations. We'll keep in mind the jojoba oil serum suggestion, you'll never know! ;)


Hey,did you test the ordinary to assess suitability for the skin of persons of color?Am African. For example products for hyperpigmentation or dark spots tends to lighten my whole face, when I only need to fade the scars. For my skin,I don't want a lighter shade. Thanks!


Hi thanks for this question :). We always use skin panels that have multiple ethnic skin types to assess our products. We would recommend that you only apply products of your choice directly on the spot that you would like to address.


Thanks for responding and noted!


Hey! Im Indian and have the same problem :( Ive been using the Vit C and the Azaelic acid for a while on my whole face and it only seems to fade the scars luckily


I'm Ghanaian, and I love the stuff :) use as suggested and you should be fine! (My mom uses it too and it works well for her she is 55, just in case that's a concern for you as well)


Hey hey,thanks! Issue is when the spots are many,then it takes forever to apply and it creates a lighter circle around the spot.The struggle is real!


What are the best ingredients to pair with retinol/retinoid? And what’s the difference between the ordinary and Niod? Like in terms of target market, etc


They gave a kinda PR answer so this is my experience and what I've been told by staff: the Ordinary uses basic, average-consumer-friendly ingredients and price points. Hylamide and NIOD use the same ideas as TO but puts better ingredients. For example, looking at the hyaluronic acid in each of the three lines, the molecule size goes down as you go up in price point from TO, to Hylamide, to NIOD. I use NIOD hyaluronic acid and right now I've run out and am awaiting my restock order. I'm using a spare Hylamide in the meantime, and I'm definitely noticing a difference since my skin is used to the top-shelf HA. You could say I'm pretty obsessed with hyaluronic acid, I wrote an epiphany post on it after I finally figured out how to use it properly: https://www.reddit.com/r/beauty/comments/i4apak/moisturizers_for_some_reason_never_really_did_it/


Hello! :) I would recommend combining retinoids with ingredients that support the skin's barrier function, such as amino acids or vitamin B5. I would also recommend applying sun protection daily if using retinoids! As for the differences between NIOD and The Ordinary: The Ordinary offers familiar, effective clinical technologies. It exists to communicate with integrity and bring to market effective, more familiar technologies at honorable prices. It takes pride in honesty, fights innovation stagnancy in the industry and indirectly celebrates the depth of innovation our brands, Hylamide and NIOD, continue to bring to the category.


Hello. Any plans on opening more physical stores in Europe? I'm interested about Romania.


We would love to be in Romania in the future! 😉❤


Hello Prudvi - thank you for taking the time to do this! I've heard mixed remarks on when is the best time to use The Ordinary's ***Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG*** (AM vs. PM)...specifically if I'm aiming for the effects of reduced puffiness, should I used it in the AM or PM or both, and would that change if I wanted to use it primarily for Eye Contour Pigmentation? I've also heard it can dry out the eye area a bit... if this is true should I watch out for this and/or moisturize a little extra there to mitigate that? As well, do you have any recommendations for DECIEM products that are good to use on **young teenage blemish-prone skin**? It's for my sister, and I know products like the retinoids or some of the stronger anti-aging peptides might be too strong/unnecessary at this stage in her life. Thank you! -Mirjana from Toronto


Hi there! :-) Thank you for your question. The Ordinary's Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG may be used both in the AM and PM to target both puffiness and dark circles caused by an uneven skin tone. If you find the strength of this formula drying, you may wish to dilute it with a cream, such as The Ordinary's NMF + HA.


During the teenager years, your skin in changing and I would recommend taking a balanced approach to cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting it. This is one of the reasons that we put together the balance set, which might be something for her to try.


Would you stack it like: the ordinary HA serum then Niacinamid serum and then aminos+B5 then Caffein serum and then the NMF+HA for the eyes?


I’m also interested in learning about the caffeine solution usage


Any plans to bring back TO’s Alpha Lipoic Acid? It was the most perfect skincare product I’ve ever used and I am rationing my last bottle. Is there a similar product to replace it with in my routine?


We're currently working hard on the formulation and plan to have it back in the future! ❤


Glad to hear it! My skin thanks you


Do you possibly have any updates on Matte Watercolours? I was so excited when I heard about it launching, but it’s been several years


Hello! :) We are currently working on other projects at the moment, and Matte Watercolours is shifted in the priority list for now. We'll let you know once we have an update on this project.


Finally, an affirmation that I need to stop looking forward to this!


Hello, how cool. Any exciting new launches on the horizon?


Hi there! We are working on the new categories that did not exist before! Stay tuned! ❤


I gotta admit that your website can be intimidating for new users, since your product lines are wide and deep. May I suggest a prominent link on the landing page - "If you're new to DECEIM..." - for the explain-it-like-im-5 new users.


This is a great suggestion - I'll pass it along to our team for you. <3


Hi Prudvi! Could you clarify why copper peptide should not be used in the same routine as Retinoids? I understand the need to streamline the guidance for the general user, but for those of us who are long term retinoid user with no sensitivity issues it will be good to understand the reasoning behind it (I.e whether it increases irritation, or it actually renders the copper peptide useless). I would imagine there are many experienced acid/retinoid users who use ascorbic acid in the AM and retinoid in the PM daily, thus having a hard time fitting copper peptide based on the general guidance per DECIEM website.


Hello! We don't recommend combining copper peptides with retinoids and retinols in the same routine due to the potential of the combination to increase skin sensitivity. We also do not recommend combining copper peptides with strong antioxidants due to susceptibility of the antioxidant reacting with the copper ions that are present in the formula. Hope this helps. :-)


This is an example of why we need a big-data flowchart app.


What happen to the ab caffeine shampoo?


Hello! We're sad to say AB Crew has been discontinued and will not be returning. So sorry for any disappointment, but we have lots of other exciting things coming really soon! ❤


It’s the saddest confirmation I’ve received. No shampoo compares.


This was literally the best shampoo I had ever used. I was so bummed to find it had been discontinued. I wish they would release something similar.


Hi! I know more about hydration, dehydrated skin and compromised barriers than before, all thanks to Deciem. BUT! I can't seem to escape dehydrated skin with just Deciem products! Why is Deciem reluctant to sell or make a moisturizer? NMF doesn't seem to work in winter weather. No amount MMHC, HV, and other hyaluronic acid formulations that you have seem to help. Surprisingly any other moisturizer no matter which brand it is, does a decent job of fixing my dehydrated skin. What's going on?!


I've been using your Niacinamide and Hylaluronic acid serums for the past month, and I love them both! What are you recommendations for using these serums together - I normally use HA first then the Niacinamide. Further, what makes your HA formula much "sticker" than other formulas on the market? Is it just the nature of the acid?


Hello! Sounds great. :-) We normally suggest that if you have more than one water-based serum, you can apply based on the priority of your concern (the product that targets the most important concern should go first). Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 may be applied before Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Additionally, products could vary from formulation to formulation. Since our product is composed of 2% HA (w/w) with varying molecular weight that might contribute to the tackiness. Our product is formulated in a minimalistic approach, which caters to the actual function over texture. Hope this helps to clarify. ❤


Hi! Do you guys have any plans on bringing back your hair care range: shampoos, conditioners, treatments?


Pardon my bluntness but how can I build a skincare routine I can count on when your products are out of stock?


I'm in the UK - the things I wanted were out of stock but I entered my email address and they emailed me 4 days later when they were back in.


I think we have to keep in mind that we are in the middle of a pandemic. My fiancé works in manufacturing and places are still recouping from the last shutdown. Production lines are not made to pause, so when they do it take a long time to get back up to speed again. And remember, not just production stopped- resourcing, refining, marketing, packaging, every aspect stopped. I know it is frustrating but companies are doing their best right now. There is plenty of other skincare brands available while you wait for TO to get back on track. Remember to be patient and try and have some grace. It’s not their fault a pandemic happened.


This was an issue well before 2020.


Sure but they also had a MASSIVE surge in demand that is hard to keep up with. They went viral and virtually overnight (not literally but VERY quickly) had an unprecedented demand. Product doesn’t just pop out of thin air, people can’t just magically get what they want whenever they want it. They have to keep up with supply and demand but it takes time. We are so used to getting things quickly that we forget what goes into making it


Yeah The Ordinary went crazy viral on tik tok, I still can’t find some Cerave products that got super popular on the app. Tik tok viral=selling out like crazy.


The Ordinary was regularly out of stock before anyone knew what tik tok was, if it even existed yet. This has been a long term problem for them. Tik tok probably hasn’t helped, but The Ordinary hasn’t been able to keep up with demand since they released their first products.


We apologize for the inconvenience! Our team are working very hard to have more stock available soon. ❤


Hello, thanks for doing this! I have a question about your Buffet serum. I’ve used several bottles of it hoping for the best but honestly it seems thick and like it doesn’t sink into my skin well. And it didn’t do much if anything as far as I can tell. So I have stopped using it. I remember reading somewhere that peptide products have to be formulated carefully to ensure penetration so what did you guys do to ensure that the peptides in Buffet are biologically available? Are there any informal studies to show it it doing anything useful? Is there any thought being given to reformulating it at some point? It seems like a good idea in principle but I don’t know if it is worth continuing with.


I'm sorry to hear that you are not seeing any results, but results could vary from individual to individual. We wanted the formula to be a water-based, lightweight cosnsistency and takes into consideration the delivery of actives by incorporating skin penetration enhancers. Thank you for your feedback; we will definitely consider it. ❤


Can you attest to the benefits of CO2 extracted rosehip seed oil vs cold pressed? If CO2 extracted rosehip oil is better why does TO not offer this product?


Hi! :-) We ensure that the fatty acid composition for our oils are used as a point of difference. Although CO2 extraction could be a better process as compared to cold-pressing, the source availability and price point is more relevant for us to go with cold-pressed at the moment. Aside from that, the fatty acid profile between CO2 extraction and cold-pressed is comparable.




Hello! :) Retinol is a delicate molecule and this is why we would always recommend sunscreen. From a chemical standpoint, retinol is prone to oxidation, hence our choice of packaging for it's protection. ❤


Why is it taking so long to reformulate The Ordinarys Salicylic Acid serum?


How can somebody without a chemistry degree figure out how to combine or layer products? While I'm all for doing my research, I find the content on the website to obfuscate the information rather than illuminate it, for those of us without science backgrounds.


Hello :-) I'm sorry that you find our website confusing! We aim to empower our consumers with information so that they may be able to make educated decisions. For a simpler approach, you may wish to explore our Regimen Guide here: https://theordinary.deciem.com/regimenguide. We are currently working on an interactive platform that will help you in the selection and layering of your products, but for now please feel free to contact our amazing staff through the live chat platform available on our website. They will get back to you as soon as they can! ❤


May I ask if you guys have any plans of selling Ordinary, NIOD and others in India? International shipping is a pain and we'd love to have you here. Pretty good market when it comes to skincare and such.


I've been using The Ordinary's niacinamide + zinc serum for my oily skin and it's amazing! However, I'm aware that niacinamide is the key ingredient in a lot of "skin lightening" products that can reduce melanin. As a person of colour living in a part of the world that doesn't get much sun, are there any products that will reduce oilyness and specific blemishes without lightening POC skin overall?


Hi! :-) This is a valid concern. I love the buchu bioderivatives that we have included in our Hylamide Pore Flush mist. It aims to reduce visible sebum without affecting melanin content.


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Thank you for doing this AMA! Is there redundancy in your suppliers, and how are you assuring that quality of those materials is at the highest possible? Also, to what standard are your finished products tested?


I have been using NIOD CAIS and MMHC/MMHC2 for 3+ years and they have repaired and maintained my skin beautifully. However I have 2 questions I’d love to ask: 1. When using Retin A (twice per week), can I apply CAIS and MMCH2 afterwards? 2. Do you recommend storing CAIS and MMCH2 in a skincare fridge (Approx. 14 degrees C) Thank you.


Hi! Looking to the future in R&D in skincare industry, what are you seeing as potential new bestseller ingredients? Hyaluronic acid has been a hit ingredient for a while, or niacinamide has been popularised in the last year or two, what can we expect in near future from Deciem? 🙂


I feel like PHAs are the new thing.


Hi Prudvi. How can I stop pilling? It happens only when I use Azelaic acid or granactive retinoid before NMF? Other products in my routine include niacinamide 10%, hyaluronic acid, alpha arbutin and caffeine. They are all water based and nothing happens if I apply NMF directly after them, but if I use Azelaic acid suspension or granactive retinoid, it pills.


"Pilling" often occurs due to many different reasons. You may wish to apply less product! 1-2 drops of each product is enough. We recommend gently massaging into the skin until fully absorbed before moving onto the next. ❤


Niod question: Is this line still being pushed forward or reformulated? Some great products, truly cutting edge, but nothing stays cutting edge long these days :)


Do you know of any research regarding allergies to red algae extract? Over the last month, I experienced what I believe to be an allergic reaction to a product I was using. I stopped using all my products and little by little reintroduced them to my routine. Turns out TO’s HA serum is the culprit unfortunately. The only ingredient I can think of that could cause it is the extract (I have used HA before with no issues) Just wondering if there’s any info regarding allergies. Thank you!


Hi! Just want to say I absolutely love your products! Thank you so so much for making a product line I can finally play around with and not cry over a wasted purchase. Every girl I know uses Ordinary. I love seeing you doing an AMA, I think it’s great you’re able to connect with your customers like this: hear us, teach us, and help us! Edited: because I am an idiot I’m recently getting into skin care and my largest issue is some purplish, reddish discolouration along my jaw line. I get some bumps too, but they don’t really pop. They just like...fade away... I guess? I use your caffeine solution right now and the hyaluronic acid 2% + B5. How should I use these, what else do I need? Do I even need them? My current routine: Nothing. Don’t hate me but I uh, ahem, don’t wash my face. I use make up remover wipes if I wear make up, which is only once or twice a week, so I really don’t know what to do! like literally zero idea.


Thank you for the love and insightful feedback! All materials used within our packaging process are recyclable. You may wish to explore your local recycling guidelines for more information. To target uneven tone, we generally recommend The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%! You can incorporate this with your current products as well. Generally, we recommend applying water-based solutions first, followed by anhydrous or oil formulations, and finally cream/suspension formulas. <3


How long and how carefully do you test your new products before launching them to public? Especially in these more innovative product lines like NIOD and Hylamide? I ask because usually all chemists and dermatologists are very anti-innovation and they recommend only basic skin care ingridients like lactic acid, glycolic acid and retinol that have decades of background data and testing. However, I don't want to believe that big companies like yourself would launch a product without testing its safety and effect on skin.


We make sure our products are safe in humans before launching. Safety testing times can vary. It takes longer with Hylamide and NIOD to develop test products as they use newer technologies.


We always ensure that products are safe and effective with safety testing performed with supervision from dermatologists before launch. For the Ordinary, ingredients like niacinamide are widely known, but for example NIOD uses newer technologies that haven't been widely studied, so it takes longer.


Are the NIOD range of products going to be restocked at all before the sale ends?


I asked on Instagram and was given the generic response that they’re working on restocking but can’t promise anything. I love the NIOD range but it’s very pricey so it’s annoying that so many items are out of stock in November 😞


I’ve just been wanting to try modulating glucosides and that’s only $28 not on sale but it’s been out of stock for over a month 🥴


Our team doesn't have a restock date at the moment. 😞 Unfortunately it likely will not return during the promo but be sure to sign up for stock notifications! ❤


We apologize for the inconvenience! Our team are working very very hard to have more stock available ASAP! ❤


Do you have any plans to conduct testing for the AHA + BHA solution so that it can be available in Canada?


This is more of an issue of Canadian regulations, rather than testing itself. Anything is possible in the future :)


Hi pruvdi. Can you explain me if it s possible to use sub q from hylamide with anti oxydant ? niacinamide powder ? Retinol ? Ans why?


As antioxidants and Retinol may react with copper ions or cause sensitivity, we generally recommend using SubQ Skin in alternate routines as antioxidants and Retinol formulations. ❤


When would you recommend using The Ordinary Buffet vs NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Lipid 1% ?


Hi! Both products differ in their composition, technologies and purpose. In comparison to “Buffet”, CAIL 1% is a pro-collagen, pro-lipid, pro-fat formula with a highly focused approach to targeting overall healthy-looking skin. In addition to that, the formula has the additional benefit of building and enhancing skin barrier function, elasticity, and integrity via lipophilic pathways. ❤


What’s the best way to incorporate MG into my current skincare routine? Or best time to use it? Would like to know what other ingredients it works best with and when it will be the most effective I.e. when skin barrier is compromised etc Just bought it and am super excited to try!


The AB Crew body wash was was one of the best products out there! Is there any appetite to bring it back to Canada??


Hi, thank you for doing this!! As we all know sun protection is a really important part of skincare, and overall health. Are the company investing in expanding their current sunscreen line? Perhaps higher UV protection or perhaps a chemical addition to those who aren’t a fan of a mineral formulation?


Hello :) We are constantly adding more bench strength and resources to formulate and launch sunscreen products. Sunscreens take longer to launch because they are regulated as OTC drugs in specific jurisdictions. Please stay tuned with our upcoming sunscreen launches! ❤