Since bursting onto the beauty scene with their retinol products at a fraction of the price of others, science-driven skincare brand The Ordinary has been sending beauty lovers all over the globe into something of a meltdown.
A single sell-out product soon led to empty stockrooms, earning The Ordinary, which comes under the DECIEM umbrella, looking after Hylamide, Niod, Hand Chemistry and more, a place at the top of our watchlist - and after grabbing some testers, we soon saw what all of the fuss was about.
But, if you haven't yet laid your hands on any of the products, we can guarantee you're thinking this: do beauty buys that start from as little as £5 really deserve a spot inside my bathroom cabinet? In this instance, though, cheap as chips doesn't mean second rate. Here's why you should definitely be adding their products to your beauty arsenal.
1. The Retinol Products Won't Cost You The Earth
The Ordinary's founder Brandon Truaxe built the brand on total transparency and the fuss began with the Retinol 1%, which, at £5.80, is a snip of the price of other skincare products which harness the same component.
They also do a 2% retinoid, which is just £8.00.
To break it down, retinol - vitamin A in its purest form - is a powerhouse ingredient which encourages cell renewal at lightening speed, totally transforming the skin, but Brandon believes it shouldn't have to cost any one of us a week's wages - and that's because it isn't exactly new or groundbreaking. In fact, retinol has been tried and tested in skincare for years, and even though pretty potent, it is also readily available, hence The Ordinary's purse-friendly price point.
'The technologies [we use] are effective and well-studied,' says Brandon, 'but a formulation containing them simply doesn't cost that much to make. As they are not new concepts, no resources are wasted on marketing to convince consumers of efficacy of a new form of innovation.'
If you are incorporating retinol into your skincare regime for the first time, use it once a week to begin with until your skin builds up a tolerance. International facialist Abigail James also advises to avoid applying retinol products directly on to sensitive areas such as the eyelids and underneath the eye, because it does have the potential to irritate.
2. They Are Branching Out Into Make-Up - And Their Very First Line Of Foundation Already Boasts 21 Shades To Suit All Skin Tones
Beauty-obsessives rarely leave Deciem's Spitalfields store without having stockpiled either the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90 or the skin brightening Peeling Solution £6.30, packed with AHA's to banish dry skin and BHA's to unclog pores (acne sufferers, fill up your shopping basket pronto) but they are spoiling us rotten by adding make-up to the mix, starting with the basics - foundation.
Complete with a non-chemical SPF 15 which is much kinder on pores, you can choose between the serum formula - lending skin a dewy veil of colour that is so light only you'll know you're wearing it - or the full coverage foundation - highly pigmented but doesn't settle into lines or creases, trust us, we've tried it. But the best part is that each finish comes in a total of 21 shades to suit all manner of skin tones from fair to olive and beyond, with the promise that at least three of those will complement your complexion's undertone. Happy swatching.
3. Highlighters Are Coming
Three of the foundation shades currently have a letter on the underside - S which indicates silver highlights and G which indicates gold and both will lend your skin an otherwordly radiance - but the brand has plans to introduce individual highlighters to the collection, customising all shades and satiating all of your glowy skin needs.
Kylie Jenner, eat your heart out.
4. There Is A Product For Every Skin Concern
Literally, every skin concern. 'Buffet' the Multi Technology Peptide Serum, £12.60 may look humble but the formula is big and mighty. Filled to bursting with Matrixyl 3000 which works hard to repair and protect every cell as well as moisture magnet hyaluronic acid, it acts like shield against ageing.
If you are more bothered about pigmentation caused by acne and uneven skin texture, opt for the Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%, £6.30. Over time, the exfoliative properties will smooth out your complexion, banishing dark spots altogether, while the Tasmanian Pepperberry works to calm down angry redness in sensitive skin.
And something that just keeps on selling out is the Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1%, £5 which everyone with spot prone skin should be stockpiling with abandon thanks to its ability to normalise pores and, in turn, control oil production. The brand has even formulated a toner (the rose gold liquid is total eye candy) with glycolic acid to exfoliate and aloe vera to soothe and there are a tonne of brand new, skin-enlivening acids to boot.
5. The Apothecary-Chic Packaging Is Bound To Jazz Up Your Beauty Cabinet
Sometimes, it's not all about what's on the inside that counts. (Although we're pretty impressed by the contents, too). Mirroring sister brands NIOD and Hylamide, most of The Ordinary's offerings is housed in a tinted glass bottle complete with a science-style dropper top to ensure you don't overuse or waste any of the product.
The outside labels - monochrome, of course - are also totally honest as they detail exactly what is on the inside, including pH levels and the percentage of the main ingredients, before you even unscrew the lid. It's simply high-performing, results-driven skincare without the frills of scent and made up names, whether you opt for an oil, acid or serum.
6. There Are Stores Cropping Up Everywhere, So Keep Your Eyes Peeled
When The Ordinary first launched into the beauty sphere, you could only shop the products online at www.victoriahealth.com, but since then, they have become available from a handful of online beauty hubs and they recently opened the doors to their first ever bricks and mortar store, situated in London's Spitalfields. But the best part is that they have plans to expand right across the city and possibly beyond. Credit cards at the ready.