Tag Archives: the ordinary

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

sunscreen launch, summer, zinc oxide, The Sunscreen Company

What You Need to Know from the other Canadian Company Launching Sunscreens this summer

An Interview between Tom Heinar and Sara Dudley, Co-Founders of The Sunscreen Company TM

What You Need to Know from the other Canadian Company Launching Sunscreens this summer

Name: Tom Heinar

Credentials: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Years in the Business:

39 Years in the Business Total, 36 Years in Cosmetic Formulations

Previous Companies: Estée Lauder, Revlon Canada, Unilever and more plus own private consulting company Cosmetic Formulation Services

Sara: You have been in the business a very long time.  What’s your relationship with The Sunscreen Company TM and why the focus on sunscreens?

Tom: I’ve been with The Sunscreen Company TM since its earliest days in 1995.  My co-founders and I have been working and developing sunscreens so intensively in that time that I’ve made it clear on any other projects that I work on that I would only formulate sunscreens for us as a company.  We’ve developed some really key innovations in sunscreen formulations, one of which is patent pending, and they are only available through here.

Sara: What are some of the innovations?

Tom: We’ve found a way to improve not only the SPF of all mineral formulas but also the UVA protection factor, which is critical to making the best sunscreen possible.

Sara: So you can have a high SPF (SPF 40-50+) in an all mineral sunscreen? Is it a true SPF?

Tom: Yes, you can absolutely have a high SPF in an all mineral sunscreen, i.e. use only inorganic filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  When people say the SPF is fake, they are alluding to the fact that you can game the SPF test by including things like anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories in the formula that take away skin redness but only use low concentrations of the active filters.  The SPF test uses human subjects and a measure of skin redness so if you take away skin redness then you can get an artificially high SPF.  That is commonly done in the industry, however it is not something we would do.  

All of our formulas use high concentrations of zinc oxide, a minimum of 15% but as high as the maximum of 25%.  We do use other minerals like titanium dioxide and some proprietary mixes of others to give a real SPF of 45-50, depending on the specific formula.

Sara: You mentioned a patented innovation. What is it?

Tom: We’ve developed a proprietary dispersion method that makes the minerals we use much more efficient in protecting against both UVA and UVB rays.  It’s an Ecocert certified organic ingredient that holds the active ingredients in uniform suspension so that you get even protection.  Zinc oxide has a tendency to want to clump together so by keeping it in uniform suspension you make it more efficient.  A 15% concentration of zinc oxide then begins to act like a 25% concentration, and a 25% concentration is even better.

In short, we’ve found a way to make the most protective zinc oxide sunscreens- ever.  

Sara: What about the idea that an SPF 30 blocks up to 97% and an SPF 60 only blocks up to around 98%? Is a higher SPF necessary?

Tom: That is true but it’s only part of the story.  In years passed, we have tried to get people to move away from just focusing on SPF because it only really talks about protection against UVB. It missed the critical factor of what the UVA protection was.  

Five years ago, we wanted people to use good high concentration zinc oxide sunscreens in order to get better UVA protection.  A lot of the other, conventional sunscreens were what we called UVB biased, i.e. might have had an SPF 100 but really poor UVA protection.  So we didn’t want people sacrificing their protection against UVA to get a high SPF.

Things have changed now though.  You don’t have to compromise between the two.  You can get excellent UVA protection with high concentration zinc oxide sunscreens and get high UVB/SPFs as well.  When we talk about having next generation sunscreens, that is what we are talking about.

Sara: What are some use cases where people might care about having a higher SPF?

Tom: Certainly for some Canadians mid-winter, who have minimal daily exposure outside- or doing activities like commuting to work, a lower SPF is ok.  However, if you are going to have extended exposure, then a higher SPF is better as long as you are not trading off your UVA protection.  

Sara: Are these sunscreens aesthetic?

Tom: Yes. We’ve always said there is no point formulating a sunscreen that is protective if it doesn’t look good on the skin. It’s not offering any protection if it stays in the bottle so to speak.  People really liked the transparency and matte quality of our previous formulations.  Our next generation of formulas are equally as good.  

Sara: Can you discuss some of the technical innovations in the new Ava Isa SPF 45 line?

Tom: That product was intended to be incredibly matte and dry on the skin to feel weightless.  It’s thixotropic, meaning it seems to be thicker but as soon as you put any pressure on it, say pushing it through the opening of the bottle, it thins out.  When you rub it on the skin, it drys almost instantaneously so you don’t feel any heavy sensation.  That took a considerable amount of work during development to get that texture.

It also includes our patent pending innovation so it’s 15% zinc oxide makes it more protective than our previous 22% zinc oxide (former Simply Zinc SPF 30) in the UVA range by at least 30%.

Sara: What about the upcoming Simply Zinc Ultra SPF 50?

Tom: That formula is a complete revision from its previous version (Simply Zinc SPF 30).  It contains 25% zinc oxide, so the maximum allowed in many countries.  It is very light in texture as well and has close to the same viscosity as water.  It has really light weight vegetable oils from saturated fats like coconut alkanes, and it again dries down on the skin almost instantaneously.  

It also contains our patent pending innovation so to our knowledge and according to our testing, it is one of the most protective zinc oxide sunscreens available, in the world.  

Sara: What is next in sunscreen formulations?

Tom: We always are looking for ways to improve.  We are looking at the impact of blue light and its effect on melasma and photo-aging. We will always look at ways to make zinc oxide even more protective, although I think we’ve gotten as close to perfect as we can with that.

We’ve also developed a formula that mixes a 22% zinc oxide with 9% Tinosorb M and 1% Tinosorb S.  They are incredibly safe and effective filters from Europe that are not allowed in the US.  It’s unfortunate because that is truly as close to a perfect sunscreen as we can get but we are restricted from selling it in North America.  It will change the game when we can sell it though and we are looking for global partners to help us.

We’ve really taken the time to specialize in sunscreens.  We want to live up to our name as The Sunscreen Company TM.  When you do that, the possibilities are endless.