The Extraordinary and The Ordinary: Why we’re suddenly all talking about Abnormal Beauty

High50 apologises. We are a little late bringing you news of  revolutionary cult skincare brands Niod (standing for Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science) and The Ordinary.  Niod launched in August closely followed by its cheap little sister, The Ordinary in August.  We’re a bit behind the times as they quickly became the talk of the town but we are happy to pass on all the information we can lay our hands on so you don’t miss out.

Both brands were launched by innovative Canadian brand, Deciem or The Abnormal Beauty Company and championed by website Victoria Healthcare, a British website that also distributes the products. Niod has already been picked up by the likes of Selfridges and now The Ordinary is becoming the latest cult, a secret jealously guarded by anyone in the know.  This is mainly because the products are – according to those who’ve tried them –  effective and priced astonishingly low – between £4.90 and £12.70.

So what are they and what do they do? 

One of the reasons that these Deciem brands may fast be gaining momentum and cult status is that it’s virtually impossible to find a simple answer to the questions above. The premise is that the super brands have long been charging too much money for meagre results.  We’ve trawled the net for you in the hope of achieving clarity but we’re still a little uncertain about how to use the products, though very certain that, once you work out what to do, your skin will look years younger. They are supposedly particularly good for skins that suffer from pigmentation and sun damage and Buffet, from The Ordinary, has been lauded everywhere as a one-stop go-to tackle wrinkles, pigmentation, sagging and dehydration all in one hit.

In The Telegraph Lisa Armstrong admitted to being baffled by ‘gobbledy-pseudo-science’ here and said this:

“Confession time: I’m a conflicted beauty columnist. I love a beauty product. I am as ineluctably drawn to hair masques and skin oils, lip colours and nail paints as a child is to new geometry sets and crayons. Some of what’s on the market now is remarkable. Plenty is fine.

But the claims – sweet Mother of God. And the gobbledy- pseudo-science. As for the prices. £60- £200 is quite common for a relatively “standard” luxury offering, which might be ok if it delivers results. But you never quite know, do you, whether it’s going to work. It’s not like a handbag or frock, where you can see the workmanship (or lack of ). You’re taking it on trust from someone who may have different needs from you.”

The ORDINARY Skincare Product

So I was desperate to get my hands on The Ordinary the moment I read about it in the monthly newsletter on victoriahealth.com.

If you don’t know this website, or its increasingly famous monthly newsletter, written by victoriahealth co-owner Gill Sinclair, click on it the moment you’ve finished this column. Packed with cutting edge beauty and health information, it’s less a sales pitch, more a Tolstoyan outpouring of passion.

What caught my eye this month was Gill’s introduction to The Ordinary – a new range from Deciem, the company run by Brandon Truaxe, that produces the ground-breaking Niod line of cosmetics.

I liked the provocative undersell. When was anything in the beauty world called ordinary? But Gill and Brandon love to upend the status quo and, as she explains, neither of them understands why a beauty product has to cost a small fortune. “We don’t understand the claims and we don’t understand how some very effective but widely-available technologies such as Retinoids and Matrixyl, are still being pushed out as ground-breaking”.

So, The Ordinary. It’s a 10 product (so-far) skincare range dosed with proven ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, Matrixyl…stuff that, as Gill says, is already out there.

But not at these prices. The Ordinary costs from £4.90-£12.70. And it’s very good – although I haven’t been testing it as long as I normally would before writing it up, because I wanted you to know about it before it completely sells out and because I trust Gill implicitly. She’s one of the beauty world’s goodies.

We love this blog from Caroline Hirons  below who asked the brand’s founder, Brandon Truaxe, to tell her very simply what Niod skincare was setting out to achieve:

Here’s what Brandon responded to the accusation that all the scientific abbreviations were confusing:

“We know the explanations and abbreviations are complicated. This position is merely a reflection of our respect to science that itself is very complicated. To simplify the extent of technology available today in ways that beauty marketing does today was very difficult for me to accept; NIOD is truly a very personal project. To summarize all the complexity into words such as “anti-wrinkle cream” would not have done science or NIOD justice.”

We’re delighted someone is out there giving us pure, scientific remedies for our ageing skins and even more delighted if it’s all affordable.  And the newer range, The Ordinary, certainly is.  But we do need someone to guide us through the plethora of offerings.  We’ve tried watching FightingFifty’s guide to The Ordinary here:

but we’re still baffled.

Here’s what Victoria Hall, Acting Beauty Editor of The Telegraph said about Ordinary:

“True to its name, the range consists of 10 serums, nine of which are straightforward ingredients that range from £4 to £12.70. Truaxe, who was behind the best-selling Indeed serum that caused unprecedented waiting lists at Boots, created Ordinary out of irritation with the beauty.  “The Ordinary brings to market ingredients that are well known, well proven, but typically overpriced and disguised as “new” innovation,” explains Truaxe. “There is nothing “luxurious” or “educated” about overpaying for commodity, no matter how effective that commodity is. Skincare is not like fragrance or fashion––it’s functional and it’s not about telling stories.”

As the formulas are simple with just one or two ingredients per serum that are tested and proven to work effectively on the skin, Truaxe is able to formulate, bottle and sell each at a lower price.

For those accustomed to spending over £30 for a hyaluronic acid serum, the idea of paying just £5.90 and saving at least £24 might seem a little too good to be true. However, having used the product for two weeks I can confirm that it appears to work just as effectively as its more expensive counterparts.

I’m not the only one, who is impressed with The Ordinary. “Within two weeks of launching, 30,000 products had been sold. It became an overnight global phenomenon and it has been said that this is one of the most important skincare launches in the history of the beauty industry,” said Gill Sinclair co-founder of Victoriahealth.com. The top three bestselling products on the site have proved to be Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA 1%, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and Advanced Retinoid 2%.

And here’s what Lesley Thomas said in The Times.

“Zillions of products cross my path yet there are very few that I feel I absolutely have to tell you about. Particularly in the youth-enhancing areas. This is because most of the products that are really effective are also really expensive. For Example, I am using an extraordinary moisturiser from Colbert MD called Retensify Firming Cream. When I put it on with the Stimulate serum from the same brand, I feel as if I’ve had a mini facelift. But will I tell everyone to go out and buy it? No, because it’s £175 and for most people that is too much (although it is at Space NK if you are oligarch or just feeling flush; the serum is £135).

Also, it’s the cheap, effective products that I find most thrilling of all. And have I got news for you: I’ve been trying out a new range called The Ordinary that seems almost too good to be true. It is brought to us by the creators of brilliant NIOD, which you’ve only heard about if you are a cosmetic nerd and you spend above-average amounts on your skincare.

This latest brand is a line-up of hi-tech serums and treatments that you normally only find in the fanciest beauty halls. Many of the products cost around a fiver. There’s a small catch and it’s that you need a fair amount of knowledge about your skin’s needs to work out which ten potions would be right for you. The names of the products are simply the key ingredients and are quite baffling. But there’s are the ones to know: for all skin over 30, effective in securing moisture and volume in ageing skin. I found little difference between this and products that are five times the price.”

If you’re worried about where to go to find Niod or The Ordinary, they’re just one click away, at Victoria Health.

 

And please, please, please tell us if you work out a simple regime – get in touch with us at [email protected]