recaps of the top 'ask me anything' interviews from reddit and more...
Hi :-) My name is Prudvi and I am the head scientist at DECIEM. I lead all product development and research in our lab and I’m here to answer all of your questions about everything science and skincare. Ask Me Anything!

My name is Prudvi Mohan Kaka and I am the Chief Scientific Officer at DECIEM, The Abnormal Beauty Company. I joined the company in 2014 and I work in our lab overseeing all areas of our product’s life-cycle. My background includes a degree in pharmaceutical sciences and an advanced degree in biotechnology. I use this experience to bring a unique perspective to the beauty industry, as I view skincare as healthcare, not luxury but necessity. My day to day includes guiding multiple teams at DECIEM to think outside of the box when creating products in order to provide skincare with synergistic chemical relationships.

For those new to us, DECIEM is a humble and happy umbrella of good beauty brands, such as The Ordinary, created in 2013. We're founded on the principle of doing everything others don't do and we are changing the world of beauty based on this principle. Today I am here to answer all of your questions about routines, products, and the science of skincare. AMA!


EDIT: Hi all! Wish I could stay all day, but I have to go for now! Logging off for a bit to do some work (you want new products right?) but will do my best to answer more questions tomorrow. Thank you so much for joining my AMA, we're so grateful for all of you - go science!

November 18th 2019
interview date

Hi Prudvi! Long time fan here. Could you tell me a bit about the Deciem rule about not using peptides with strong antioxidants or acids. What research let to this guidance? Thanks so much for your precious time


Hi! Our rule against combining strong antioxidants only applies to our products containing copper peptides. We would not recommend combining direct acids with peptides due to the susceptibility of peptides to hydrolysis (which breaks the bonds between peptides, reducing their efficacy and making them into individual amino acids). At low pH, the peptides undergo processes such as deamidation (the removal of an amide group) and oxidation, which compromise the activity of the peptides. 

Having said that, if you have previously combined peptides with acids and have not experienced any negative side effects or discoloration, you may continue to combine the two products as so as the combination does not pose any potential harm. Our recommendations are meant to serve as a preventative measure to avoid any incompatibility between those combinations and also because skin tolerance in subjective. Hope this helps!


What is the difference between The Ordinary and all other DECIEM brands? It is much cheaper and you can see that people love it. However, can you say that it is of a less quality? Thanks a lot.


Hello! All of the brands under DECIEM have their own unique purpose and mission. The low price point of The Ordinary is not a reflection of the quality, but rather the cost that these technologies demand. The Ordinary is offering clinical skincare ingredients that have been on the market for years, sometimes decades, and this is reflected in the cost. The prices of our other lines, such as NIOD and Hylamide, reflect newer technologies and combinations of active ingredients. All products across DECIEM are priced based on the costs of the technologies in the formula. :-)


When will the salicylic acid solution be back? I think everyone at r/skincareaddiction including me are missing it badly and I’m almost out.


I'm sorry it's taking so long :-( Salicylic acid is a well-loved ingredient and we're working on a variety of concentrations (0.5%, 1%, and 2%) to address a variety of skin types, tolerances, and improve accessibility for anyone that would like to use it. The team and I are working really hard to make sure it's available for you ASAP. Thank you for bearing with us. <3


Hi! :) I travel a lot for work, if I want to put the products in tiny travel size containers, like little plastic bottles, will they have a negative interaction with the plastic (i.e. direct Acids, AHA, Retinoid, serums), or is it ok? :)


Good question! While we have only tested stability of formulas in our own packaging, it should be fine to store formulas in plastic bottles for short-term trips. That said, the majority of our packaging is carry-on friendly. Happy traveling! :-)


Usually low prices means a lack of quality control or a lack of ethically obtained ingredients (child/slave labour ecc), how do you ensure that your products are ethically sourced and well made while keeping the famous low prices?


Hi - our prices are low because we believe it's the right thing to do. The pricing of The Ordinary (and all DECIEM brands) reflect the honest cost of the ingredients used in formulation, and is not a result of unethical practices or lack of quality control. We have 17 dedicated team members working in our Quality department and the team is very quickly expanding as we continue to expand our production and develop more products.

:-) <3 (edited for smiley and heart)


Any future plans on having retinol (not Granactive) in something different than Squalane?

[Love what you guys did to skincare. You literally transformed me to "skincare is all marketing" into "give me all the science behind, I love it"]


Hi! Thank you for the kind words. Not at this time, but I have some ideas... ;-)


Which DECIEM products do you use in your own skincare routine?


Hi! On an everyday basis, I use The Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser and NIOD's Survival 0. And that's my routine (with a 10-month old baby and a very busy lab life). :-)


Hi! Thank you for doing this! Do you have any idea when the Invisible UV Filters SPF 35 with antioxidants will be coming out? Feels like I've been stalking the site in hopes of it being available forever now!


May 2020 :-) Stay tuned!!!


how do you decide which items to pair together for your routine? i've used a bunch of the ordinary products but never could tell i'm doing the right combo. any tips on how to approach all the options? (LOVE hemi-squalane).


Hello! It all begins with your objective - what you want to target and what your main concerns are. We offer independent, single ingredient-based solutions within The Ordinary, and more complex offerings within our other brands such as Hylamide and NIOD. Since everyone's skin is unique, our Customer Happiness team are happy to offer custom recommendations for you at always.


Do direct acids (lactic, glycolic) lose their efficiency over time once exposed to air? I’m currently cycling through a couple products and wonder if this is a bad idea if I’m trying to maximize product efficiency.

Thanks for doing this! I’ve been using your products for years and they have been amazing for my skin. I love the science behind your products and especially love your new recycling program :)


Hello :-) As long as they're stored properly (in a cool, dry place) and used within the period after opening suggested, they should be absolutely fine. Our stability tests actually capture the normal usage of our products (including air exposure) and their time on the shelf.


Hi Prudvi! Do you guys have a tranexamic acid serum in the pipeline? I'd love a 2-5% serum (or whatever the OTC limit is in the Americas/Europe) Some of us have post acne red marks (Post Inflammatory Erythmea/PIE) that will not budge! TA is experiencing a surge in popularity but I don't know of any products on the market that contain a known percentage, which is really what we all love about DECIEM brands, transparency and efficacy! I'd also love to see a 5% EGCG serum, like I'd die and go to heaven.


Hi :-) Not at the moment, but thank you for the suggestion. I'll keep these in mind for future formulations...


Edited to clarify the question: With so little regulation in this industry, I am just unsure of what the heck is safe or not. I'd like to know if this company stands by its ingredients with regard to health, safety, efficacy, pollution, etc.

Some 'clean skincare' companies claim to have a list of products that they wouldn't use under any circumstances. I can't tell if it's fear-mongering, or what.

Do you have a list of ingredients that Deciem would never use? There are somethings you have in products like Polysorbates, PEGs, silicones, some fragrances, etc. that other companies avoid. Would you come out and defend these ingredients?

It's hard to sort out what is clean skincare BS, and what is science and fact-based.


Hi! Thank you for your question. I'm unclear on the "clean" messaging myself - these days, this means something different to everyone.

All DECIEM products, across all brands (including The Ordinary) are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, phthalates, and oxybenzone. This is because we have inconclusive data regarding their safety and don't feel comfortable using them in our products.

To answer your question, there are many misunderstood ingredients and a good example is silicones. There are thousands of silicones in the world and all start with very natural silica. A few of them were found to damage the environment and the entire industry started to consider thousands of silicones "not clean" despite the fact that they are extremely pure molecules that all start with silica.

Another example would be PEGs. Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are a well-studied class of ingredients in the Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic and Food industries. Being so versatile, they are commonly used for various applications, including solvents, surfactants, lubricants and plasticizers. PEGs have been perceived in a negative light due to the contaminants that they are associated with. Those include ethylene oxide, 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals such as lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic. However, our manufacturers take all necessary measures to remove as much of those contaminants as possible, ensuring the safety of their use. With regards to its safety of use for topical application, PEGs are completely safe to use on intact skin as they are not capable of reaching layers within the skin further than the epidermis.

If you have questions about any ingredient that we use, please reach out to our team at and my lab team will provide a response.


I am a huge fan of the Deciem products for 3 years now. Are there go to Deciem products which specially targets skin for us women in our 40's to help us with collagen production and firming of the facial skin that has lost firmness and that youthfull "plump"?


Thank you for following the team and I on this journey :-) <3 I'd recommend any one of the below:

1) The Ordinary "Buffet"

2) Hylamide SubQ Skin
3) NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Lipid 1%


Hi Prudvi! :) I am wondering about the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution from the Ordinary. I love the current formula and am wondering what the goals are of reformulating? I'm afraid of losing my magic acne-curer so I'm interested to know what problems the reformulation is targeting or what you are trying to improve! Thank you :)


Hi :-) The goal is to offer a few options for as many users as possible based on skin tolerance and experience using direct acids without losing efficacy.


Hello. Why can’t we use peptides with vitamin C? What other ingredients shouldn’t be mixed with the peptides?


Hi :-) We would not recommend combining direct acids or Vitamin C with peptides because (at a low pH) the peptides undergo processes such as deamidation and oxidation, which compromise the activity of the peptides. Our recommendations are meant to serve as a preventative measure to avoid any incompatibility between those combinations (due to various concentrations and formats offered within our range) and also because skin tolerance in subjective. If you have been combining them and this has been working for you, you may continue to do so as the combination will not harm the skin.


What happened to the products that Brandon had mentioned before his passing? I was very interested in the face cleansers for The Ordinary (I think it was a salicylic acid one) and the savon beldi that he mentioned in Morocco.

Also, when are we getting the fragrance that is in the stores? Can you tell us what it is? Or do I have to become an employee to get that info?



Stay tuned - we're continuing to work on everything that Brandon mentioned. :-)


how did your career lead you to focus in skincare?


Hi :-) I come from a Pharmacy background which offered a course in Formulations which was the seed of everything. I was then interested in Pharmacology and Biochemistry which lead to my curiosity into the realm of functional formulations (AKA skincare)!


When does Deciem plan to release the anti-grey hair serum? I heard it's been in the pipeline for almost 2 years now and I'm getting impatient! :)


While conventional hair dyes offer a quick solution, this formula is taking us a bit longer because it offers a functional approach to targeting the appearance grey hairs before (and after) they appear without simply covering them up. I can't wait for you to try it :-)


how do you decide which type of product u want to make next?


Hi! While there's no pattern for how we curate and launch new products, there are a few factors prior to launching new formulas - we learn about the market, new innovations in skincare, any gaps/trends in the market, requests from our community, and then figure out how we can do things better. ;-)


Hi Prudvi! I have read through so many threads of people discussing how they use TO L-AA powder, and others telling them they are doing it wrong. It makes sense that you would need to use something water soluble and pH test, but I see so many people saying they just mix 1/2 spoon with a random moisturizer or serum and see results. I also used to use the hugely overpriced Philosophy Turbo C powder (same thing basically) way way back in the day, mixed with a water-based serum or my moisturizer, and I really thought it was effective but maybe it was a placebo effect.

Can I just mix it with NMF or would improper pH render it useless? If I make a cocktail of a couple drops of the Ferulic/resveratrol, a few drops of my hada labo HA serum, and 1/2 scoop of the powder, will it be effective without buying pH strips?

And one more follow-up, if I can mix it with an HA serum or NMF, can I then still apply to damp skin as I regularly would with these products, or does my skin need to be dry? Would the L-AA concoction need to be the first thing applied to my skin OR could I do my HA serum to damp skin, and THEN the NMF mixed with the L-AA powder?

Thank you so much for your time!


That is an awesome question! :-)

As a simple solution, if you are mixing a small concentration of pure LAA powder with water to create a solution, that is okay as the Vitamin C will adjust the pH of the water to acidic. If you are mixing a high concentration of pure LAA Powder, you may mix it with an oil to create a suspension as the oil will support the delivery of the Vitamin C to the skin.


Hi Prudvi!! Over years of trial and error, I’ve found my skin works best with acids. I love your salicylic acid and glycolic acid peel. I also use your azelaic acid cream. Awesome products at a very affordable price!

My question is—what is the correct way to layer products when considering pH level? It is my understand that it would be bad to pre-mix solutions that don’t have the same pH level; does this also apply to layering on the face? Does adding a pH of 4 on top of a pH of 8 work? Will they mix and mess with their pH levels? Would it be best to pick products that all have the same pH level?

Have always been confused about this. Hope to receive an answer!! Thanks for taking the time today :)


Hi! Most of our skincare products are around a pH level of 5-6. My best rule of thumb is to follow any listed contraindications for the products you are using and avoid mixing high concentrations of a variable of high-contrasting pH level. Hope this is helpful! P.S., I, too, love breadandtacos. ;-)


Is there actually something that gets rid of black heads for real? All products talk about is minimising the appearance of blackheads. Which sounds like closing the skin but keeping the blackhead-stuf stay inside the skin.


Blackheads, often referred to as open comedones, are clogged pores with an opening at the top, causing its contents (a mix of sebum, skin microbiome and dead skin cells) to oxidize and turn black when exposed to oxygen in air. Blackheads can be mitigated with the use of chemical exfoliation and regular efficient cleansing. For example, beta-hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid are chemical exfoliating agents that are lipophilic (oil-loving) in nature. This allows them to mix with the lipophilic impurities within the skin to achieve a deeper cleanse of the skin and pores. I hope this helps! :-)


Are there any plans in the future to make mixed ingredient products in the future, for a price point that's in between TO & NIOD?

Deciem launched an amino lip balm that was great aside from the taste the aminos created - I see the line was relatively promptly put aside on the brand menu for now... What are the plans on releasing an improved formula?

Thank you!


Have you met Hylamide? ;-)

I have heard the feedback loud and clear, and we have a tastier version in a better tube coming soon.


Is there any room for extremely low maintenance skincare (ie: not cleansing everyday) and using treatment products on the occasion? Or is the only way to see results from a structured routine?


Hi! Absolutely :-) High and low maintenance skincare routines can each be effective in their own ways, dependent on your skin concerns. While I feel that cleansing is an important step of any routine, a simple hydrator and a treatment product on occasion (such as Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution) could suffice based on your needs.


First of all, I loved every Deciem product I ever bought! Thank you so much for the hard work! My question: Are there new categories of products planned for 2020? Like something for lips or hair colour? And what about Fontaine, will there be new products in 2020?

A lot of love! ♥


Absolutely! We were just talking about it. ;-)


Wanted to say your products are amazing. As a licensed esthetician, Deciem gives a whole new meaning to taking care of one’s skin. Your products contain REAL, proven actives instead of shit like essential oils and unnecessary fillers. I recommend a lot of your products (especially the Ordinary because of price) to a lot of people. You must have a blast creating amazing things and making a difference in that lab.

Wanted to ask—how marked up in price are TO (your cheapest) products? I know they’re ethically priced and very good for their price.... I was curious to know how marked up they are compared to other skincare lines.


Hello :-) Thank you for your kind note. While I don't like to compare ourselves to other brands, we do our absolute best to ensure that we offer the most fair, honest price for our products.


How does Deciem keep prices so low for their products through The Ordinary? They are incredibly effective and my wallet (and husband!) are so happy.


I'm happy you're both happy :-) The reason for our pricing is that The Ordinary offers clinical skincare ingredients that have been on the market for years, sometimes decades, and we believe it's the right thing to do.


What's the difference between product development and research? What kind of projects do you work on or have worked on in the past to give us some examples for both?

What product/development are you most proud of? Has there been any project that didn't work out? Why? Any new plans?


Hi :-) Research and product development are both key parts of bringing products to life. Research for us includes finding literature that supports the product development. Development for us includes the full product development lifecycle, from conception to distribution (all in-house!) and every DECIEM product starts with research before product development.

Out of the hundreds of products I've had a hand in creating, I'm most proud of The Ordinary's Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% - it's the most stable format of Vitamin C (which is one of the most unstable active ingredients to formulate with).

A good example of a project that didn't work out is Abnomaly's Petrowhat? :-( We quickly learned that some customers didn't enjoy the taste (or packaging) and we are coming out with a tastier, better packaged version (hopefully soon).


For some people (myself included), TO niacinamide+zinc is a holy grail product, for others it makes them get terrible cystic acne. What is it about the product that causes people to have such significantly different results?


Hello! Everyone's skin is different, but I'm happy to hear that it's working well for you. :-)


When are we getting some news on Avestan? :)

Also, thanks for The Ordinary, I can't stress enough what is has done for my skin.


Thank you so much for the love <3 I can't say anything about Avestan at the moment but please know it's very close to my heart.


Hello. Aside from your formal education background, what career path did you take that lead you to skincare and where you are now?

PS I love your work!



Hello :-) Aside from my educational background, it was our founder, Brandon Truaxe, who presented me with the opportunity and molded me (through DECIEM) to be an engine for innovation.



I have a question about Hyaluronic acid. I have experienced problems with Hyaluronic serums making my skin feel dryer before I learned it can actually draw water out of skin if in a dryer environment. What is the best form to wear over it to make it effective for very dry skin? You hear about "occlusives" but is that simply a moisturizer? Can an oil also be on top of all of this?


Hi there! Hyaluronic Acid aims to hydrate the skin through retaining moisture from its surrounding environment. Generally speaking, in humid conditions, it is ideal to use a light moisturizer which can retain moisture from the environment. In dry conditions, Hyaluronic Acid and a rich-textured cream like The Ordinary's Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10% or NIOD's Hydration Vaccine would be ideal. Our products that contain Hyaluronic Acid also include other active ingredients that have the ability to continuously supply water to the skin and increase the skin’s potential to retain more water. For instance, we incorporate Hyaluronic Acid elastomers, where medium to high molecular weight Hyaluronic Acids are cross linked, generating a variable molecular weight compound that tightly binds water and releases it in a timely fashion upon application on the skin. I hope this is helpful! :-)


Hello Prudvi, regarding the new Niod CAIL 1%, is it meant to be Niod’s approach to Retin-A? Meaning it will boost celular renewal and shed dead skin cells without necessarily exfoliating it. I ask this because the tube itself reminds me of a Tretinoin tube and I also saw “Gothamista” on YouTube mention that it seemed to provide similar benefits to the Tretinoin product she was using - she experienced some skin shedding as a result of using CAIL 1% and made reference to the results being “strong”. So again, just to clarify my question, can CAIL 1% be considered a Tretinoin alternative without necessarily comparing their method of action on the skin, but on the similarity of the results that they provide for the skin itself (increased cell turnover, lightening hyperpigmentation, strengthening the stratum-corneum , reversing sun damage, minimize pore size, etc) ?


Hello there :-) Firstly, I can't compare NIOD's CAIL 1% to tretinoin directly as tretinoin is classified a drug and CAIL is a cosmetic skincare product. That said, CAIL 1% does similarly help to improve the appearance of the aforementioned results.


Hi Prudvi! :) So great you're doing this! The Hylamide Glow Booster says it uses erythrulose instead of DHA to give a tan, as DHA has been shown to increase free radicals when exposed to UV rays. Will erythrulose increase the production of free radicals too but at a lower rate than DHA, or it doesn't increase the production of free radicals at all?


Good question! Erythrulose-treated skin generates lower free radicals in comparison to a DHA-treated skin. I would suggest following with SPF as usual to ensure your skin is protected. :-)


Hi Prudvi! Thanks for doing this AMA. I just bought The Ordinary Nicacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, mainly to help with my PIH. Any tips on how to incorporate it into my routine? Other than a moisturizer and SPF, I currently use azelaic acid and tretinoin as my active ingredients.


Hi :-) I'm so excited for you to try and hope you enjoy everything. I would suggest applying Niacinamide in your morning routine after cleansing, before moisturizer and sunscreen. For in-depth help with regimen building, please visit or DM us @deciem on Instagram to be in touch with our team who will be happy to help.


Why do some oils irritate dermatitis and others not. Are there plans for more cleansers from The Ordinary?


Hi! I'd suggest discontinuing use and consulting with your physician or dermatologist if anything is irritating. On your second question, there are plans for more cleansers within The Ordinary - stay tuned! ;-)


Could you possibly give us a timeline for the release of DECIEM's other brands, Loopha, Abnomaly, and Hippooh?


I don't have a timeline to share just yet but we're aiming for 2020. <3




Hello :-) There are multiple factors related to comedonal acne. If it's a recurring issue, I would suggest consulting with your physician. We are also working on The Ordinary Pharmaceuticals which may offer some solutions for you in the future.

Regarding sun protection, SPF 30 blocks up to 97% of UVB rays and SPF 60 blocks up to 98%. While SPF 60 offers an additional 1% of protection, the formula would require many more actives and may not have a good texture for application. I would also suggest looking for products that offer PA+++ level protection (or more) and reapplying every 2 hours, as well as 20 minutes prior to UV exposure. Hope this is helpful <3


Hi, thank you so much for doing the AMA. And your work in general :) I was wondering what kind of tests new products go through? Besides some stability stuff I suppose, how do you test the texture, effect, interactions etc?


Thank you for your kind words! We have a panel of product testers in-house that test texture, effect, and interactions. :-) We also conduct clinical testing for safety and efficacy.


Hey! Are you planning any formulations with tranexamic acid or bakuchiol as actives?


Nothing in the pipeline yet, but we may in the future... :-)


any advice for people who have large pores on their noses (mine is from sun damage I believe). Any specific routines to look at?


Hello :-) Pore size is genetically determined, but pores can appear larger due to shine, congestion, and aging, as well as other factors. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a great place to start, as well as exfoliating with alpha or beta hydroxy acids to improve the appearance of pores and congestion. Hope this is helpful!


Why can't your niacinamide be used with your vitamin c's when other brands can?


Our contraindication is specific to our products and their concentrations. If you've used them together in the past and the combination has worked for you without any issues, you may continue to do so :-)


Looking to get serious about my skincare. Specifically in the face area. Some foundational tips on a good daily skincare routine??


A minimalistic routine is a great place to start - if you're just starting, a cleanser, toning solution and a moisturizer would be excellent. :-)


Hello Prudvi, would you ever consider making another alternative 10% Niacinamide serum thats more watery? Something along the line of Marine Hyaluronics for example. The current Ordinary’s Niacinamide serum is targeted towards acne prone skin types, it would be lovely if you could develop a more hydrating formula. Maybe a Niaciamide 10% + HA (crosspolymer, like in the Lactic/Mandelic acid serums), or even just add Niaciamide 10% into Marine Hyaluronics since so many people are already in love with that hyaluronic acid alternative serum. What I’m asking for is a more watery Niacinamide serum, something that could be easily mixed in a cream without pilling, or applied directly onto the face as well. Because the draw back with the current Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% from my experience is pilling.

I know the Hylamide Pore Delete also has a 10% concentration of Niacinamide but it has a matte effect on the skin and the price is higher than the Ordinary’s.

What im asking is if you would consider developing another Niacinamide serum under The Ordinary in addition to the current one, not with the purpose to replace it?


The concept is in works, so stay tuned! Pilling could be due to a combination of products in the regimen, not just from Niacinamide. when Niacinamde 10% + Zinc comes in touch with other high MW polymers like carbomers or xanthan gum in other products, when the combination is about to dry but still being rubbed, that is when it would start to pill. To correct, it is actually Hylamide Pore Control that contains Niacinamide. Unfortunately, I am not able to disclose the percentage of Niacinamide in the formula. It is present at a level to help with the appearance of shine and sebum congestion. I hope this helps to answer your questions! :-)


Thank you for giving me clear skin back! I don't where I would be without using the Ordinary. What is your take on tranexamic acid and will TO be offering it eventually? Will there be a new SPF coming out soon? Are you working on any balm cleansers, hydrating toners, facial mists and night masks? That's my TO wish list!


Hello :-) We haven't studied Tranexamic Acid yet. We do have new SPFs coming out soon, as well as balm cleansers. We are coming up with your last 3 suggestions but they could be under different brands such as Hylamide and Loopha. Stay tuned!



Any urea based product coming soon? It’s huge in Germany and Europe


Urea is an interesting molecule and as such, we are taking a more in-depth approach to studying it further. Stay tuned :-)


Hi Prudvi!

Firstly thank you for taking the time to do a AMA. I have been a huge skincare connoissuer for many years now and Deciem is definately the game changer, even as a qualified professional I believe they are far superior to professional brands.

Secondly I have a few questions;

1) Is there any chance of removing Propanediol from the products that do contain this ingredient, I am highly allergic so I am rather reduced to which products I can safely use.

2) I would love to see the following created and if any company can create these products it would be Deciem. A Blueberry oil, like the Rosehip and Marula Oils. An oral care range that truly whitens teeth and keeps them white, rebuilds enamal and maintains the tooths enamal and anti cavity and cavity repair. Also not in the usual minty flavours, I imagine you guys will get rather creative with flavours 😊. A lash growth serum that would rival the Careprost/Lattise products. A mineral SPF 50 with invisible Zinc and only needs to be applied once a day for both face and body. Product(s) with DMAE in.

3) There was a great post on r/skincarecareaddiction in the past couple of days regarding Selenium being used as a topical in skincare and how it is much more beneficial to the skin then Retinoids. Is it an ingredient you are looking into adding to Deciem products or creating a sole product with this ingredient in it? If a product cannot be made with Selenium would we be better off taking a supplement to get the same results?

4) Are Deciem going to be bringing the Fulvic Acid haircare range back? I didnt get to try it but have heard nothing but great things about it. I have also read very interesting articles abuut the benefit of Fulvic Acid not only on the hair but overall health and wellbeing. Do you recommend taking a Fulvic Acid supplement?

5) Are there any new ingredients you are looking to add to Deciem family, if so what are they and what are their benefits to skincare and haircare etc?

I am sure I will have more questions at some point so may be back. 😊


Hello! Thank you for these great questions. We use different concentrations of propanediol based on the chemical ingredients. There are products with propanediol as the main solvent (no water), such as Pycnogenol 5% from The Ordinary, and we use it in Pycnogenol because of solubility and stability reasons. In a few other products at a limited concentration, we use propanediol to improve humectancy, emulsion stability and as preservative booster. In a few other products, it comes within a trade ingredient as a co-solvent. With all of these reasons, it is tricky to avoid, but after your feedback, we will try to avoid if it is not necessary.
Interestingly, all of the products you mentioned are on our list. Stay tuned!
Selenium does have skin care benefits. However, we have not studied it enough to launch as a sole skin care product. If you come across a supplement with selenium, with a reliable safety and efficacy, then by all means go for it. However, if your expected benefit is for the skin, achieving it through supplements is a complex route to take.
A few molecules under the works are Ectoin, Biotin, and Inulin. Their role encompass supporting and enhancing overall state and integrity of skin, but stay tuned for a more detailed description when we come to launch! ;-)


Hi ! Thank you for this great initiative! I am very interested in the CAIS product. However, I struggle to understand the science behind copper peptides. Some information I read suggest that they should not be used long-term, some users even talk about adverse effects of copper peptides. I am in my late 20s and struggle with sensitive skin and wanted to use it to improve acne marks and overall skin tone.

Would you say that it's beneficial to use CAIS long-term for this purpose or is it designed for more visible signs of aging ?


Thank you for your question :-) GHK and copper are utilized by multiple pathways within the skin to enhance and support a variety of functions for improved overall skin health. NIOD's CAIS 2:1 is formulated to enhance the skin's own potential to delay the onset of signs of aging and bring about lasting results over a period of time with consistent use. If you are specifically wanting to target dark marks and uneven skin tone, I suggest exploring alternatives, such as vitamin C or exfoliating formulas. If you are able to share the information that you've read, I'd be happy to take a look at it.


Hi again Prudvi! :) On the website of The Ordinary it says that when Vitamin C is exposed to water it becomes pro-oxidant. If I use any of water base products before or after Vitamin C (Hyaluronic Acid, serums, moisturizer, spf), will it make it pro-oxidant?


Hello :-) Some research studies suggest that the pro-oxidant behaviour of Vitamin C is dependent on the combination of three factors: a) the redox potential of the cellular environment, b) the presence of transition metal ions and c) the local concentration of ascorbate. However, those studies were inconclusive in establishing the concentration of topical Vitamin C at which it becomes pro-oxidant in action. Although its oxidation is inevitable in any formulation format, the Vitamin C in all our water-free powder, suspensions, and solutions is stable throughout the shelf-life of each of our products. I hope this helps!


So this really isn't a question about skincare per say, but I'm currently in college and I'm currently looking into dermatology and dermatology related research for my future (I know that someone doesn't have to become a doctor to be involved in skincare, but I've been wanting to be a doctor for a while and I may also like other sections such as neurology), but I wanted to know how you got to do research at such a high position (like your path to becoming a head researcher at DECIEM, maybe what qualifications got you there) and how you even do skincare lab work (I find that I would love to find a way to do my own research or do research in a lab like this, esp. since I plan to take a gap year or two). Finally I wanted to ask how you knew that this sort of job was the right one for you? Were there any opportunties/experiences that allowed you to realize this is something you really wanted to do? And what is would you say is a day by day experience in your lab (sort of like a day or week in the life? I would find it incredibly intresting!)

I apologize ahead of time for the long post, but that you for taking the time to read it!


Hi! Thank you for your question :-) With my educational background, I had the option of becoming a Pharmacist, but I knew that would be too boring for me and I would quit right away (my wife is a Pharmacist). My passion for formulation (pharmaceutics) and biochemistry lead me to DECIEM and what I do now. It was DECIEM that gave me the opportunity and allowed me to take the risks that I took which lead to me to where I am. My biggest piece of advice is to follow your passion to make sure you're never bored. ;-)


Hi Prudvi, thank you so much for taking the time to answer to all of our questions. Before finding out about Deciem, I had very little faith in skincare, as to me it was no more than expensive nothingness in a jar. Thanks to your company, I've come to believe that some formulations can be effective, and that I can buy them for a much lower price than many other products on the market.

My questions are:

1 Will The Ordinary ever release products for haircare other than the multi-peptide serum and some of the oils? I'm thinking of eyebrow or eyelash serums formulated specifically for those areas, or shampoos/conditioners.

2 What about body care? I know many of TO products are suitable for use on body skin, but I was wondering if anything was in the making in this category.

3 Not really a question, but I wish TO made a lipbalm, too.


Wow! You covered all of the categories for all our future launches under The Ordinary, so stay tuned! ;-)


Can I work in a cosmetic laboratory with a degree in Biotechnology? How it works? 🤗


Of course! Apply at ;-) <3


How do you create new products? Or are they just better version of older ones?


Hello :-) We create new products based on a few strategies. Those include coming across new technologies and exploring them further to launch as a new product (for example, CAIL 1%), finding a market and consumer need that would initiate a new product development (Shop fragrance), and finding a new strategy to disprupt the market (The Ordinary brand). Hope this answers your question!


What education and jobs experience did you need to get hired there?


I came with a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and microbiology background, and I had skills in research, product development and compounding when I first joined.


Is your 100% plant-derived squalane made from sugarcane or olives?


Hello :-) Our squalane is derived from sugar cane and beets.


Hi! I want to ask your take on why you think its fine we use your products (Me as a normal person i feel that products like Deciems are composed of a lot of chemicals). Im asking because a lot of people say that ‘the less chemicals the better’ and that in general we are moving more to a ‘natural ingredients’ vibe? Thank you so much in advance!! :)


Hi! Thank you for your question. Our formulations follow a minimalistic concept - a few of our products actually contain 1 or a maximum of 2 ingredients and we only include ingredients that are extremely necessary to the efficacy of the formulation across all of our brands.

Our products are free of controversial ingredients (like phthalates, parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone). :-)


Hi! I'm planning on studying something along the lines of what you have. How would you say that your current line of work differs from something like more on the medical research side? I'm currently doing research in a lab and never considered going into skincare/beauty with such a degree.


By principle, whatever I do here in the lab has a close correlation to medical research. As an example, when we have a chemical, in a way we stay study its ADME characteristics, safety, efficacy and build a formulation around it. Hope this helps to answer your question :-)


According to my dermatologist, your product formulations are very pure, too pure. According to her, other brands are more expensive because they put a lot more work in their formulations, making them effective but also more gentle on the skin. What are your thoughts?


Hello :-) Thank you for your question. We simplified the skincare, meaning, some of our formulations are to the point. Our primary goal is to educate the customer and allow the customer to choose the right option, rather than creating complex formulas with limited effect. For example, if your objective is to achieve skin brightening, an ingredient like L-Ascorbic Acid could benefit in this case. On of our offerings includes 100% Pure L-Ascorbic Acid in powder format because 1) the powder is highly stable, 2) to give the customer some flexibility to mix the powder in a medium of their choice and 3) it facilitates the affordability of the product due to the absence of unnecessary ingredients. On the other hand, we have product like "Buffet", which contains multiple well-studied active ingredients, but is still to the point with limited supporting ingredients that offer benefits to target signs of aging. I hope this helps to answer your question!


You include a melanin booster (acetyl hexapeptide-1) in the Hylamide Booster Glow. Melanin boosting, as opposed to inhibiting, is an area we still don't see much development in. Is Deciem interested in exploring further prospective products in this area?


Yes, we are absolutely interested in products that improve the appearance of skin in both contrasting aspects. Stay tuned. ;-)


Hi Prudvi! I have loved skincare as long as I can remember, but have had some bad experiences with different combinations of things. Do you have any general rules for ingredients not to mix?


Hello :-) I would say that one must define what their skin objectives are, and that a minimalistic approach to a regimen is always best. In other words, do not overcomplicate your skincare regimen. One should always begin with low concentrations and work their way to higher concentrations of potent formulations. In addition to that, I would always recommend to pay attention to the contraindications that are warned by the manufacturer.


My face broke out into a rash (looks like dermatitis) after I used The Ordinary Peeling solution and then a dermal sheet mask. First time trying this routine. My question is why? Thanks!


Sorry to hear this :-( Looks like you are sensitive to alpha and beta hydroxy acids. I would recommend to discontinue use and consult your Physician. All the best! :-)


Would Deciem consider formulating a product:

With EGF/growth factors? Containing Retinaldehyde? An antioxidant buffet under The Ordinary?


Yes, we may :-) stay tuned!


What are some common laboratory techniques or the top three techniques used to make skincare products at the DECIEM lab?


Our techniques differ depending on the formulation. They may include using a stirring rod, a hand blender, or a homogeniser. :-)


Hi Prudvi ! Any plans for a more economic version of niod's Cooper camino isolate lipid? Maybe in the ordinary line ?


Hi :-) For us, Pal-GHK-Cu (hero ingredient of CAIL 1%) is the newest technology. Hence, why it is positioned under NIOD and would not fit within The Ordinary. We are always thinking of easier ways in providing tools to help build regimens and at the same time, pointing out contraindications. In the meantime, please reach out to our Customer happiness team to help you out if you need it.


whats the most important thing you learned academically that is most helpful for all this?


Narrowed down, I would say the basics of chemistry and formulations as I come from a pharmaceutical background. :-)


What’s the biggest mistake you think people make when creating a skincare routine?


I would have to say not understanding their skin and over-complicating their routine. <3


Is there anything I can use to improve ice pick scars?


Hello :-) Our products aim to provide a cosmetic benefit to the skin. We offer AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution under The Ordinary, which may help to reduce the appearance of textural irregularities and dullness of skin. I invite you to try it and see if it helps your objective. If it doesn't work out as you expected, we have a 365-day return policy which you may explore further.


Why not make a 50 spf sunscreen, why 30 and 35?


Hello :-) We are are going to be launching new, broad spectrum SPF 30 and 50 sunscreen formulations. They will incorporate a combination of encapsulated physical and chemical UV filters.


What’s the most underrated product?


If you are asking with regards to a product with potential but is underrated, then it is our Amino Acids + B5 under The Ordinary. Take a look at our website for a more detailed description! :-)

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