Worried about DECIEM? Here’s some alternative choices

Deciem have been all over Instagram feeds for a long time – but recently, it’s been for all the wrong reasons. It’s a young company, but one which has had high demand from the get-go, with products from their uber-affordable ‘The Ordinary’ line selling out like hot cakes.

I started buying The Ordinary a while ago thanks to its low price point, and the fact that within their solutions, there is indeed a solution to everything. You can tailor your skincare routine as you wish, with their minimal ingredients that target specific skin concerns. The Ordinary was an answer to many a skincare addict’s prayers, but you don’t have to dig very deep to see that the company’s CEO is seemingly on a one-man mission to destroy all these good, positive elements through social media alone.


If you’re not on Instagram, you might have missed some of the following questionable social media moments from Brandon Truaxe, the company’s intense and passionate (now self-removed as title) CEO:

1. Donating to elephants as a result of side-eyeing Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil Price

Donating to elephants, you say? How could this be bad? Well, after Brandon announced the company would be cancelling all marketing plans – he personally made it his mission to right some of the social media wrongs which had previously played out. Previously, Brandon had taken a dig at Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil price, saying in a social media ad that ‘one would have to be drunk to overpay for marula’. He later corrected this, and said it was a ‘distasteful joke’. As a result, he vowed the company would be donating $25,000 to Save the Elephants.

2. Ordering employees around via social media

Of course, in any company, the orders come from the top and stream down. However, this past week or so, orders from Deciem have indeed been coming from the top – just on social media. See the following post:

Deciem decide to eliminate all plastic and tell their supplier, Mong Packaging, that they won’t be using them any more – all via social media.

3. Discontinuing a line without previously warning the co-creator


The post on social media ditching Dr Esho, a London-based cosmetic doctor, and his line in the works with Deciem has since been deleted. Brandon explained ‘everyone hated’ the formulas, and announced Deciem would be ‘saying goodbye’ to Dr Esho and his lip plumping and moisturising products. Not unfair for a company to do if the products aren’t selling – but certainly questionable when done on social media.

4. Insensitive comments and responses on the brand’s Instagram page

Seemingly blind to the idea that words can REALLY get out of hand when used on a social media page, Deciem’s response to a perhaps well-meaning commenter asking ‘Brandon, are you okay?’ went like this:


Brandon (we assume)’s response advises the use of Modulating Glucosides, which he later claims that he suggested because of anti-inflammatory properties. Criticising and being outright rude to someone (especially a potential customer someone) and their skin on social media is not what ANYONE expects of a skincare brand, and here’s where Deciem lost my custom – while this guy’s in charge. Not to mention:

5. Getting personal on other people’s Instagram accounts

Seemingly not happy with making one inciting comment, Brandon then chooses to investigate accounts who make comments on his post or respond in any way. How do we know this? On user Skintrovert‘s Instagram, Deciem went through pictures in order to comment this on a picture of Nivea:

The Nivea post was over ten weeks old, so clearly someone’s got time on their hands.

After the post to supermormongirl blew up, Deciem started blocking people on their Instagram left right and centre. They had already lost over 5k followers in the week leading up to it. This, teamed with questionable comments about the company and how it operates on Glassdoor, is more than enough to convince me that I don’t need to be giving any more of my hard-earned cash over to them. I’ll be using up what I have and moving on.

It’s a real shame for people that this has happened, as ditching beloved skincare items is not easy when they work for you. If something changes your skin, and you’ve got used to it in your routine – especially at a certain price point – it’s certainly hard to make the decision to replace or remove it. However, if you want to do that, here are some alternatives you can find for the time being:


Granactive Retinoid 2% & 5% in Squalane

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

  • Body Merry Retinol Surge Moisturiser (2.5% retinol)

Retinol 0.2% in Squalane

Retinol 0.5% in Squalane

Retinol 1% in Squalane

Retinol 1%

If you’re in Spain, in pharmacies a cream called ‘Retirides‘ can be bought over the counter, ranging in percentage.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C 30% Suspension in Silicone

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F

  • It’s Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector (though I didn’t find the percentage listed)

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%

  • Making Cosmetics has the powder form but you’d have to mix it and get the right concentration
  • Naked Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

Direct acids

Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

  • Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads
  • Pixi Glow Tonic (5% Glycolic Acid)
  • Bravura London 10% Glycolic Acid Peel, and 15% Glycolic Acid Serum

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Exfoliant (price point definitely not the same though, sadly)
  • Bravura London 2% Salicylic Acid Peel
  • Aprilis 3% Salicylic Acid + Lactic Acid BHA & AHA Solution

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

  • Financia Foam (prescription of azelaic acid at 15%)
  • If you’re in the US, Curology supply azelaic acid
  • There’s a brand called Azelique which do different products with varying formulas, although I don’t think the percentage is very high

Lactic Acid 5% & 10% + HA

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

I had a rough time getting an equivalent for this one, but let me know in the comments – this list is not extensive and I would love for it to be a resource to be added to! Look for toners containing a high level of AHA, such as Bravura London Detoxifying Eucalyptus Astringent Toner 15%.


Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

EUK 134 0.1%

Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%

  • Trader Joe’s Oil-free Antioxidant Moisturiser (though of course the percentage, as I don’t know it, may be significantly lower)
  • Piping Rock Alpha Lipoic with DMAE Cream

Hydrators and oils

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

  • Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion
  • Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Emulsion
  • Serumdipity Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum
  • Eve Hansen Vegan Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

  • CosRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream
  • CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream with HA & ceramides
  • Timeless 100% Pure Hyaluronic Acid

100% Plant-Derived Squalane

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil

100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil (oh boy)

More molecules

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%


Matrixyl 10% + HA

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

Argireline Solution 10%

4 thoughts on “Worried about DECIEM? Here’s some alternative choices

  1. Thank you than you for this post. I have been using The Ordinary products for a year now and absolutely love them but don’t want to support such childish antics from a company. I did notice the other day that I think the Instagram account has been deleted? Your list is so thorough and I’m going to try some of these recommendations. I also shared this post on my twitter account.


    1. Thank you for your comment! I hope you find some good alternatives, I think it’s a shame as I did enjoy a lot of The Ordinary range, but I can’t support childish antics as you say! Not professional at all! Thank you for sharing 🙂


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