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How ‘The Ordinary’ offers a more affordable way to understand your skin and the routines it needs. 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

The emergence of DECIEM’S The Ordinary in 2016 caused a major disruption to the skincare industry; fast forward to now and the brand has continued to dominate the scene – why, how and is it REALLY worth the hype? 

The Ordinary has consistently stayed ahead of the game and its success is evident, with stores opening in various locations across the globe and products now being sold in large beauty chains in the UK such as Boots. It is a competitive sector, so what makes The Ordinary’s sales skyrocket? I believe it is down to three points: marketing, price and the people. 

Women are bombarded with millions of skincare products that claim to clear acne or give you dewy, clear skin and it most certainly doesn’t help that ingredients like Vitamin C and retinol (to name a few) are thrown around on social media by skincare influencers who preach the wonders of them to their audiences. It may also be the intention of big companies to label difficult words onto their packaging to overwhelm the consumer, subconsciously forcing them to panic buy their products. However, this may just be my own cynicism peeking through the cracks of these words I write, as I myself have struggled with understanding what it truly is that I am buying and have fallen countless times into this trap.

It is financially crippling to spend money on a product from a luxury brand, hoping that the more expensive, the better quality it will be or to buy into TikTok’s latest trending skincare obsession that is deemed a miracle worker for all your acne problems, only to find it does absolutely nothing for your skin. The Ordinary offers a solution to this with its affordability. Since this brand bases itself on science, their ingredients are simple and to the point, with nothing fluffy or unnecessary hidden inside. Most of their products are under £10 which means if customers don’t feel it is right for them, it is not an excessive amount of money that has been taken from them when compared to other brand prices. Moreover, if you buy a product from the stores itself, The Ordinary offer you a one-year returns policy, given that half of the product hasn’t been used and the receipt has been kept! This leaves the customer with a sense of reassurance and is one reason why The Ordinary is so successful. 

I first encountered The Ordinary when I saw their best-selling Niacinamide 10% & Zinc 1% online. The bottle was like no other; its pipette-like applicator was something new and fun, as if it came directly from a laboratory. This, I believe, was done purposefully, as The Ordinary’s aesthetic encapsulates science without the unintelligible jargon – it is ‘simple yet effective’ at its finest. By creating unique and playful packaging, science now serves a dual purpose, no longer being just the technology behind each product but becoming a marketing strategy to entice the customer. Additionally, the colours of each product label are of a muted palette that differ from most mainstream skincare brands, as if The Ordinary’s marketing team decided to give up entirely on their jobs. However, I believe this to be another clever tactic used as this seeming lack of creativity is actually a thought-out decision that even their own name gives away. 

The Ordinary’s staff are a refreshing change from the typical salesperson that waits to pounce on the next customer that walks through the doors. My own experiences with them have been consistently positive and my skin concerns have always been addressed in an understanding way, that even includes recommending products that aren’t from The Ordinary – this, to me, clearly illuminates the staff’s genuineness that makes me like this company even more. 

It may be evident (if it wasn’t before), that I am a fan of The Ordinary. However, I believe this company deserves to have high praise as they continue to create innovative products that are cheap and that filter out unnecessary buzzwords. There is a real sincerity to The Ordinary that beauty stores often lack, and it is this focus, on finding a solution for the individual, that emphasises their popularity.  

Louise Cheung

Bristol '24

English Literature student at the University of Bristol.