Tag Archives: granactive age

Deciem dupes, The Ordinary Dupes

Our Products as Dupes for Other Brands

It feels funny to think of our products as dupes for any other company (although if we were forced to compare there are some similarities with Drunk Elephant but that is another post) but we do get asked how to our products compare with the cheaper options at The Ordinary.  We fully admit that we do not come close in terms of pricing and we never will with The Ordinary.  We have two different business models and we are a different size of company completely.  We are not going to compete on price, at times The Ordinary pricing equalled our cost of goods. We also feel that we offer exceptional value in terms of the quality of our products from our sunscreens to any of our other skincare options. Having said that, I will put a sweet little promo code at the bottom of this article though just to say thanks for considering us.

Our Retin+Erase vs. the Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane and other iterations:

This is the most obvious one to compare as we are one of the handful that offers this incredible active of a retinoid ester or Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate. It’s a unique molecule that is proprietary to the supplier Grant (the Gran in Granactive). It has excellent tolerability and efficacy, like a cross between retinol and a prescription retinoid in terms of molecular structure.  We always caution people to not get confused with the math- we have a 1% active concentration of the retinoid ester itself and 10% of the raw material granactive.  To put it in equivalent terms, The Ordinary has .5% active at its highest concentration or as they put it 5% of the raw material itself. We therefore have double the concentration and actually the maximum allowed concentration in Canada.  I’ve been astounded though how well tolerated the product is- most people are able to use it every day whereas they might struggle with a 1% equivalent in retinol.  Our Retin+Erase is pretty simple otherwise, it has 4 total ingredients.  You need a pea sized amount for the entire face so the 15 ml bottle lasts up to six weeks if you were to use it approximately once a day.

Our Nu-Shroom Hydrafill Serum and/or our Natrèceutique Intensive Soothing Serum vs. Marine Hyaluronics and/or Hyaluronic Acid 2% +B5:

Our Nu-Shroom Hydrafill Serum is quite the little gem in our line up, as is our newest addition from our Natrèceutique line, the Intensive Soothing Serum.  They are both lightweight humectant based serums so they draw water to the skin’s surface for a nice plumping effect.  These two products are your best bet for glowing skin where your make-up applies smoothly.  Your Nu-Shroom contains a natural form of hyaluronic acid, derived from Silver Ear Mushrooms. It also as a host of botanicals like Portulaca Pilosa for plumping (was actually first used for a lip plumping application), Irish Moss for hydration and sesame extract for tightening. I love Nu-Shroom Hydrafill for the morning.  This is actually my husbands favourite product from our line up as well- he might be drinking it as we seem to go through a fair bit.  Our Intensive Soothing Serum uses another humectant called Propanediol to draw water to the skin, however it also contains a whopping 5% date extract.  The Date was grown from an original seed that dates back 2000 years.  There is emerging data about its effect on improving capillary function and thus reducing redness. It’s calming but in a very active way, thus the intense part of the name.

Our PM Anti-Age vs. EUK 134

This might be the biggest stretch of the imagination since we are comparing an $89 night cream to a single active product for $8.80.  Both products contain EUK 134, which is a powerhouse little anti-oxidant that I think gives Vitamin C a run for its money.  I know that people love Vitamin C but my particular issue with it is that its neither stable within a bottle (hence stories of oxidation of finished products where their Vitamin C formula changes colour) but it’s also not stable on your face.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can break down after one cycle of free radical scavenging into hydrogen peroxide molecules that are equally damaging to the skin. EUK 134 mimics two essential enzymes that our bodies natural produce called Super Oxide Dismutase and Catalase.  Enzymes can continuously mop up free radical and are not limited to one cycle and they do not break down into hydrogen peroxide molecules.  The difficulty with EUK 134 is that its benefits seem theoretical, it’s hard to picture the importance of free radical scavenging and what it means for your every day skin.  However, whatever you think of Vitamin C, I would say EUK 134 is the better antioxidant.  The price difference in our products comes by virtue of the fact that our PM Anti-Age contains 4 other powerhouse ingredients. Turmeric is the most obvious in the product and really delivers lovely skin brightening in addition to all of the other health benefits associated with associated with turmeric.  It also includes Renovage, an ingredient with fairly technical merits that in theory work to prolong the life span of collagen and elastin molecules in the skin.  Gorgonian Sea Whip is a sustainably harvested algae as an anti-inflammatory. Cranberry Seed Oil is harvest from the harsh nordic North and has one of the highest antioxidant values.  Our skin does not age in one single way but along multiple different pathologies hence different actives for different benefits. I imagine that most people were using The Ordinary EUK 134 product in tangent with multiple other products to try and derive a similar benefit.

Sunscreens

I’m not calling our sunscreens anyones dupe. I firmly believe we have innovated these next generation of sunscreens to be in a different league in terms of protectiveness and aesthetics.  We’ve overcome the difficulties in working with zinc oxide and our Bio UVA Ultra proprietary technology means that you cannot even compare our concentrations with other brands. The 15% zinc oxide concentration in Ava Isa is not comparable to a 15% in any other brand as it could be anywhere from 60-100% more protective in the UVA range.

So there you have it, an imperfect dupe list.  Our customers for the past 10 years might have shopped with both companies- even I used to buy The Ordinary Squalane since I liked to add it to my routine every once and a while.  We know the lack of similarly price products is tough but we are another Canadian company, exclusively made in Canada, with a loving team behind us that supports all of our retail partners in the North American skincare industry.  Our products take years to research and develop them. We use niche and incredibly innovative ingredients and use them in high concentrations and then round out the formula with equally prestige ingredients.

For those who stuck around to the end of this post, here is the promo code as promised- hopefully incentive to give us a try if you’ve never before.  Use PROMO CODE NOORDINARY30 to get 30% off as a one time coupon per customer.  If you are feeling sad, hopefully it cheers you up a little!

Warmest regards,

Sara

Retin_Erase_Fotor

The Next Generation of Anti-Aging: Retinoid Esters

All about our Retin+Erase: the Next Generation of Retinoid Esters. Click here to Shop It Now.

Editor’s Note, September 2017: This product is now launched and ready in its permanent packaging- a beautiful glass yet airless bottle.  It will look pristine on your shelf but most importantly will help your skin look pristine.  There has been some confusion in the industry as to the difference between using a concentration of the raw material versus what that translates into an active ingredient.  We use 10% of the raw material GranActive Retinoid, which translates into a 1% active retinoid ester.  In Canada, the legal limit for retinoid and retinol esters is 1% active in the final formulation.  If a company states they use 2-5% of GranActive Retinoid in their formulas, they legally cannot be using 2-5% of the active retinoid. Instead, they are using 2-5% of the material and are getting .2-.5% of the active, which is within the limits of what Health Canada allows.  At a 1% active concentration, we are using the highest concentration possible and yet we’ve had no reported adverse reactions in terms of irritation.  As you’ll read below, our unique dispersion allows us to use 1% active retinoid safely with excellent stability. People who have never tried retinol or a prescription retinoid have been able to use our Retin+Erase with no to minimal irritation.  We also only have 4 simple ingredients in our product so no undesirables.  Read about how this product was developed below and send us any questions to info@cyberderm.ca! All the best, Sara.

If you had asked me two years ago would I ever consider including a retinol product in our line, I might have brushed it off.  “Retinol? Yawn.  If retinol worked well, there would be no more wrinkles in the world because it’s in everything!”

It’s true, retinol is ubiquitous in high end lines through to mass ones.  It’s always been plagued with causing irritation, stability issues and efficacy.  Retinol needs to be converted in the skin into an active form in order to function so high doses are necessary to really function but then irritation and side effects become an issue.  At the end of the day, retinol was the sad sibling of prescription retinoids. Sure they were part of the same family but one was an underperformer and if you could work with the gold star of anti-aging, as prescription retinoids are often called, then why tango with the lacklustre understudy.

Unfortunately, as starlets go, prescription retinoids have their own bits of drama as well. They have had availability issues in the past couple of years with one brand or another being on back order.  On closer examination, the formulas available in Canada also have parabens included in their non-medicinals.  It can be odd how we can scrutinize cosmetics for their ingredients but then never take a second look at pharmaceutical products.  Certainly, if a drug is life saving or critical to ones health, you tend to focus on the active ingredient.  However, for pharmaceuticals for cosmetic use, it makes sense that we apply the same level of stringency as we would our other personal care products.  This put our sister clinic in a tough position between maintaining their precepts about avoiding endocrine disruptors while delivering the best results possible.

When we drilled down a bit more though, a lot of our hesitancy disappeared and our resolve to create something better strengthened.  It turns out that while our sister clinic had been prescribing a significant amount of retinoids when we gently questioned our patients, many of them admitted to neglecting to actually use them.  They just could not stand the irritation and the dryness on a daily basis.

This brings us to Retin+Erase.  On a trip to the lovely Barcelona, my father and I were attending the annual and amazing In-Cosmetics show.  Raw material suppliers from all over the world fill a space triple the size of an arena and showcase the best and the brightest of their wares.  To be honest, I was pregnant, jet lagged, and mostly hungry so not in the best frame of mind.  My father, however, had attended a presentation on a new generation of retinoid esters.  I’d heard of different retinol esters and again was not very interested but my father insisted that he thought the science had merit and so we stopped to discuss with the scientist who did the original discovery of this unique molecule.  Their clinical photos were promising so we arranged for a sample to be sent to our genius chemist and would wait to see what he thought.

Our chemist agreed the material was intriguing and had known the supplier and their excellent products for a while.  Our challenge to him was to use a high percentage.  Health Canada limits cosmetic products to 1% active so that was our threshold.  Our chemist returned a prototype that admittedly looked like nuclear yellow pudding but on application was light, hydrating and transparent.

However, the product’s real innovation lies at its simplicity.  Our Retin+Erase has four ingredients on its list.  Just four, simple and non-controversial ingredients.  It turns out that we are currently the only manufacturer to use the material at a 1% concentration.  Others had elected to use lower concentrations, perhaps due to cost since it is a premium ingredient but also due to formulation considerations.

Loosely borrowing from the idea of micelles found in micellar cleansers, we found a way to render the retinoid ester into very small and evenly dispersed molecules.  Their uniform entry into the skin minimizes irritation, allowing the 1% active to work in its full glory.  The formula contains no added water so no preservatives were needed but also means that water does not contribute to the degradation of the retinoid ester.

Our results to date have shown that even those who had abandoned their prescriptions due to irritation can use our Retin+Erase.  Although we recommend to start by using a couple of times a week and then increase frequency of use as toleration builds, most have been able to use it nightly from the beginning with no issues.

So there you have a glimpse of how our R&D process can take shape- find a problem that we as industry insiders experience every day and then find the right material with the right science to address it.  Pair that with deceptively simple formulations based on decades of experience and a willingness to try new things and presto- you have a new product that will hopefully change people’s skin for the better.

Look out for its public launch in 2017 and stay tuned with us for updates.