The Ordinary is a beauty brand that has risen in popularity in recent years, known for its affordable, highly effective, and minimalist-meet-clinical skincare products. Launched in 2016, it is one of the many brands under the DECIEM brand umbrella, a Canadian skincare company. The Ordinary has achieved a cult-like status among beauty enthusiasts worldwide, primarily due to its promise of delivering “Clinical formulations with integrity.”
Its product range includes acids, serums, oils, and other skincare essentials that tackle various skincare concerns, from aging to acne, pigmentation, and more. But what truly sets The Ordinary apart is their stand on being a clean beauty brand. The Ordinary claims to be a clean, cruelty-free, and vegan brand, but what does this mean, and how does it hold up to scrutiny?
Understanding The Concept of ‘Clean Beauty’
The term ‘clean beauty’ has become a buzzword in the skincare and cosmetics industry. But what exactly does it mean? Clean beauty implies that a product is safe for people and the planet. It’s about promoting skincare products that are free from harmful ingredients and created with ethics and sustainability in mind.
Clean beauty brands often avoid using controversial or harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances, among others. They often emphasize transparency, revealing all the ingredients used in their products, which allows consumers to make informed decisions about what they’re putting on their skin. But does The Ordinary adhere to these standards?
The Ordinary’s Stance on Cruelty-Free Practices
The Ordinary takes a firm stand against animal testing. They clearly state on their website that they do not test on animals and do not pay others to do so. Furthermore, they only sell their products in countries where animal testing is not required by law.
In 2020, they were certified as cruelty-free by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program, further affirming their cruelty-free status. This program is a searchable online database of companies that do not test on animals. The Ordinary’s commitment to cruelty-free practices is an important mark in their favor for being considered a clean beauty brand.
Investigating The Ordinary’s Vegan Claims
Alongside being cruelty-free, The Ordinary also claims to be a vegan brand. This means every product they offer is free from animal-derived ingredients, including honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, and many others.
The Ordinary lists all their vegan products on their website, which makes it easier for consumers to make choices aligning with their ethical beliefs. However, it’s worth noting that while most of their products are indeed vegan, not all of them are. For instance, their “Marine Hyaluronics” and “100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil” are not vegan. Therefore, while the brand is largely vegan, it’s essential for consumers to check individual product details.
The Ordinary’s Ingredient Transparency
Ingredient transparency is a crucial part of clean beauty, and The Ordinary seems to excel in this area. Each product on their website comes with an extensive list of ingredients, along with an explanation of what each one does. This level of transparency allows consumers to fully understand what they’re applying to their skin.
The brand also avoids using parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, and other ingredients often criticized in the skincare industry. However, some products do contain silicone, which some clean beauty advocates argue against. Therefore, while The Ordinary is transparent, it may not meet every clean beauty enthusiast’s standards.
Consumer Perception towards The Ordinary’s Ethical Measures
Overall, consumer sentiment towards The Ordinary’s ethical measures seems to be overwhelmingly positive. Users appreciate the brand’s transparency, effectiveness, and affordability. The brand’s commitment to cruelty-free and largely vegan practices further intensifies this positive perception.
However, some critics argue that the brand’s minimalist, scientific approach can be intimidating for some users, making it hard for them to understand product benefits and how to incorporate them into their routine. These criticisms, however, do not overshadow the brand’s clean beauty ethos, which remains admired and appreciated by many.
Comparison with Other Alleged Clean Beauty Brands
When compared to other popular clean beauty brands, The Ordinary holds its own. Brands like Youth To The People, Herbivore, and Tata Harper also champion clean beauty, but The Ordinary’s lower price point sets it apart.
However, it’s worth noting that these other brands often use organic ingredients, something The Ordinary does not claim to do. Also, some of these brands are 100% vegan, whereas The Ordinary is not. Thus, while The Ordinary has made significant strides towards clean beauty, it is not the only brand doing so.
Conclusion: Is The Ordinary Truly a Clean Brand?
In conclusion, The Ordinary does appear to be a clean brand based on their commitment to transparency, their cruelty-free and largely vegan practices, and their avoidance of harmful ingredients. However, their definition of clean beauty may not align with everyone’s, particularly those who avoid silicones or prefer organic ingredients.
Nonetheless, The Ordinary has set a high bar for affordable, effective, and ethical skincare. It has shown that it’s possible to offer high-quality skincare at accessible prices, without compromising on clean beauty principles. This balance is what has likely led to its global success and adoration among skincare enthusiasts.