The Ordinary will be launching in Priceline in April 2017, although the products are already available in the DECIEM standalone stores (Sydney and Melbourne), and in Myer. There’s a helluva lot of buzz about The Ordinary in skincare addict circles because they use scientifically-backed ingredients in effective formulations, and they retail at disturbingly budget-friendly prices.
The question for us Aussies is always: What’s the Australian markup? Luckily, the answer is… not much at all!
I usually don’t post info straight from a press release, but I’ve had so many readers asking me about this that I thought I’d dump all the info I know here. Not all of the range will be included in the first launch, and I’m sure the information is subject to change until the actual launch.
Here are the products and prices:
Vitamins and Retinoids
Advanced Retinol 2% – $17.90
Retinol 1% – $12.70
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% – $9.90
Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% – $9.80
Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% – $21.90
Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F – $24.90
Last week I reviewed NIOD – this week I’m reviewing some products from Hylamide, another brand under the Deciem umbrella. Hylamide is a bit less pricey than NIOD, but researching the ingredients in these products was possibly more of a mammoth task than for NIOD. While NIOD tends to have more “silver bullet”, one-ingredient products, Hylamide formulas have a greater range of actives which act together to accomplish the same goal. The products I tried were SubQ Anti-Age Serum, Pore Control, HA Blur, Pore Delete and Photography Foundation.
SubQ Anti-Age Serum
SubQ Anti-Age Serum ($59.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a hydrating treatment that targets lines, wrinkles and skin texture. It contains 5 types of hyaluronic acid and a handful of peptides. Unfortunately, most of the actives don’t have independent studies, so it’s difficult to say how effective they are, but here are the claims:
Copper lysinate/prolinate: should help copper ions enter the skin, where it’s used in collagen production.
Nonapeptide-3 retino-complex: a peptide/retinol combo that’s supposed to work as well as retinol with less irritation.
Palmitoyl tripeptide-38: Hylamide calls this an “advanced form of Matrixyl”, a popular anti-aging peptide that can reduce the appearance of lines and even out skin texture.
Hyaluronic acid: non-animal-origin, two forms of very-low-molecular hyaluronic complex, a novel hyaluronic acid precursor, tamarind-derived plant hyaluronic form. I’m not entirely sure what they all are, but it sounds like they’d all act as water-holding humectants that can hydrate skin at various depths, much like the awesomely hydrating hyaluronic acid products from For Beloved One.
SubQ comes in a dropper bottle which I quite liked. It smells a little weird (like very weak beer, probably from the hydrolysed yeast extract) but it’s unnoticeable after a few minutes. The serum sinks into skin very quickly, and would be suitable to use during the day (though I only used it at night). I could definitely feel the increased hydration while using this product – my cheeks were plump and bouncy and smooth in the morning.
Pore Control Booster ($29.95 AUD for 30 mL) is a serum that’s designed to reduce oil and pores. However, instead of drying out the skin like you’d normally expect, it’s actually designed to increase skin hydration, using actives to decrease the appearance of pores and sebum instead.
Again, there’s the problem where the active ingredients aren’t substantiated by independent studies. The actives Pore Control contains are:
Bitter mushroom concentrate: causes pores to be less visible in number and size
Marine ferments: balance out shiny appearance without drying out skin
Pistacia lentiscus tree resin: skin looks and feels more “pure”
Surface balance peptides: improve skin texture without skine
Zinc PCA, niacinamide and panthenol: reduces shine and sebum
The best supported ingredient here is niacinamide, which has been found to reduce sebum and pore size in a few studies, though it’s far from a sure bet. Niacinamide has a whole host of benefits apart from sebum and pore reduction, and it’s ingredient number 3 in this product, so if nothing else, this is a great niacinamide serum. I didn’t notice a huge reduction in pores or sebum while using this, but my skin is quite hydrated and healthy otherwise so I’m not sure there’s much that can be done. It works really well under sunscreen and makeup, so if you’re after a daytime niacinamide product this could be a contender.
Deciem is a brand that’s been gathering a lot of buzz in skincare nerd circles. They’re the parent company of a bunch of brands that are quite “sciencey” in their approach, including Hand Chemistry, Hylamide and The Ordinary. Today I’m reviewing three products (Sanskrit Saponins, CAIS and Photography Fluid) from their premium line, NIOD (which stands for Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science, in case you’re wondering) – later, I’ll be reviewing some Hylamide products as well.
Sanskrit Saponins (SS) ($34 AUD for 90 mL or $75 AUD for 180 mL) is a gentle cleanser that uses plant saponins and the amino acid lysine as the cleaning agents instead of traditional surfactants. The plants used are shikakai and sapindus mukorossi (soap nuts). According to NIOD, the advantage is that it cleanses the pores thoroughly without overcleansing.
Unlike most cleansers, Sanskrit Saponins should be used after complete makeup removal. It’s recommended for use every second day, although it can be used more frequently, and it can also be used like a mask and left on for 5 minutes over damp skin. It comes as a brown paste in a metal tube, and has an earthy herbal scent, almost like coffee, and glides on in a creamy lather. The pH is around 5. I found that it left my skin feeling a little tight afterwards, which NIOD claims is due to removing oil gently to encourage recycling, but the feeling goes away far quicker than harsh stripping cleansers. I’ve noticed that it cleans out my pores better than other cleansers – the effect is much like an oil cleansing session, but a fair bit faster. I’ve heard that it irritates your eyes and tastes gross, but I haven’t gotten it into my eyes or mouth yet.
Photography Fluid, Opacity 12% ($45 AUD for 30 mL) is NIOD’s makeup product. It’s a pale gold liquid containing fine shimmery “light refracting prisms, tone and hue correctors and topical photo-finishing technologies” that comes in a glass dropper vial.
Photography Fluid is really good at blurring out imperfections like acne scars, redness, pores and uneven skin tone. You can use it either as foundation, under foundation or mixed in with other products. I personally prefer using a couple of drops mixed in with primer, which makes my skin look nice and airbrushed. I also found that mixing a little with tinted moisturiser gave as much coverage as full foundation, without any sort of cakey look. I particularly liked the yellow tone, which worked really well with my skin tone. I’ve tried using this on bare skin but it kind of gathered in my pores and was difficult to disperse, but it’s fine when blended with something else.
Since I’ve given up tanning in favour of not being wrinkly, I’ve been working my way through the brand new world of fake tan. Here are two of the more interesting new gradual tanners I’ve tried.
St Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower Lotion (Golden Glow Medium)
St Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower Lotion is an innovative tan that’s rinse-off – it incorporates a bunch of penetration enhancers that get enough of the tanning agents to sink into your skin in 3 minutes that you’ll see the effects hours later, when the deposited ingredients have had time to react. You apply it to your clean damp skin at the end of a shower. After 3 minutes (during which you should wash your hands if you don’t want orange hand syndrome), you rinse it off and pat dry and you’re done.
The In-Shower Lotion contains the usual dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the main tanning agent (check out this post for the chemistry behind how DHA causes tanning), as well as erythrulose, which can undergo a similar reaction (but less intensely) to give a more natural overall look. The featured ingredients for pushing the DHA into your skin are hydrolysed jojoba esters. Sweet almond oil also makes an appearance as a moisturising agent, since well-hydrated skin tans better and fades more evenly too. There’s also a special fragrance incorporated into this product from the huge fragrance house Givaudan. St Tropez claims “the notes that work well with the DHA… the DHA is brought into the fragrance and concealed, making it undetectable”. It acts as a mood enhancer as well. I found that I could still smell a distinctive smell while the tan was developing, but it wasn’t exactly DHA smell – it was very similar, but more pleasant.
This product is really made with lazy people in mind (hello!). Combined with water remaining on my skin from the shower, it has the texture of a runny, slightly bubbly conditioner and is very easy to spread with my hands, especially since you don’t really need an even layer. It’s also awesome that you can put your clothes on immediately afterwards without feeling sticky or waiting around, and the lotion is hydrating enough to double up as moisturiser. However, a word of warning: make sure you rinse it all off – run your hands over all your skin. Don’t do what I did and forget to rinse off your feet, you’ll end up with an accidental tattoo.
I tried this out in Thailand where it’s been around 30 °C, and standing around waiting was completely fine (I did a hair mask during this time too), but I’m hesitant to try this now that I’m back in winter mode, since freezing naked and slippery in the shower is not how I envisioned my death.