How to Understand The Ordinary Products (DECIEM) & Which Ones Are Right For Your Skin Type

The other day my friend asked if I was familiar with DECIEM. Instantly I replied “The Abnormal Beauty Company”. Their marketing is fabulously sticky, and I recalled that they are ridiculously low priced for high quality products. So even though I had yet to try any of their products first hand, I was prepared to tell her to “go for it”!


While their foundations are relatively straightforward to choose from - i.e. find your colour match, and off you go. Their retinoids, direct acids, and hydrators & oils are a slightly different story. Unless you are well-versed in the cosmetology, many of their products may easily confuse you...or simply appear to be in a foreign language!

Hence, why I’m breaking things down for you in the following post. I'm spelling out all of those weird long words and acronyms and percentages.

Here’s what you really need to know in order to pick the right fix for your skin:


*All of these refer to vitamin A derivatives that unclog pores, boost collagen to reduce fine lines, and speed cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin.

→ think: anti-aging serum for a youthful glow.

  • For sensitive skin, start with their Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane, and you may choose to work your way up to their Retinol formulas which can cause sensitivity and irritation (and you’ll definitely need to stay OUT of the sun while using these products!).

Vitamin C:

Again, the key benefit here is anti-aging.

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Why vitamin C? Well, here’s the most well-researched and unbiased stats I found:

“The use of vitamin C (3-10%) in topical applications for at least 12 weeks has been shown to decrease wrinkling (21, 23, 25, 27), reduce protein fiber damage (25), decrease apparent roughness of skin (21), and increase production of collagen (26, 27). Topical vitamin C has also been shown to reverse some of the age-related structural changes in the interface between the dermis and the epidermis (22) (Vitamin C and Skin Health, Oregon State University).”

Your best bet here, and my fave pic from this particular product series, is their Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone - it goes on with a nice smooth texture (versus some of their other more coarse-feeling Vitamin C formulas), and is strong enough to be effective.

Direct Acids:

Now we get into the fun stuff! Here’s where you need to pay attention, but I’ll get straight to the point for each...

Hydrators and Oils:



So there you have it, hopefully I just made choosing from The Ordinary products an extraordinarily simple process.

Feel free to comment below with any of your own suggestions or if you have any specific questions!