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 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.
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!