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Deciem AMA on Reddit – Your FAQs Answered by Prudvi

Deciem AMA on Reddit

Prudvi Kaka, the head scientist for Deciem held a live Deciem AMA on Reddit (ask me anything on Reddit) and here are some of the FAQs.

I don´ know many people who use Reddit and after a poll I did on Instagram stories, it seems it´s really not as popular as Facebook or Instagram with 87% saying they don´t use it.

For those of you who aren´t part of the Reddit community, here are some of the most popular questions and answers from the Deciem AMA on Reddit yesterday, 18th November 2019.

There´s some great information here including what´s happening with The Ordinary Salicylic Acid, new suncreams, the possibility of new The Ordinary cleanser and also an anti-grey hair solution!

Deciem AMA On Reddit

Why should I not use peptides with strong antioxidants or acids?

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!

How does Deciem decide which products to make next?

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. 😉

How do you decide which items to pair together for your routine?

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.

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Is there any room for extremely low maintenance skincare? 

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.

When are The Ordinary Invisible UV Filters SPF 35 with antioxidants be coming out?

May 2020 Stay tuned!!!

Hyaluronic Acid makes my skin feel drier my skin feel dryer. I learned it can actually draw water out of skin if in a dryer environment.

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! 🙂

What is the correct way to layer products when considering pH level?

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.

Is there actually something that gets rid of blackheads for real?

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 the air.

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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.

L-Ascorbic Acid Powder Question. 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 moisturiser or serum and see results.

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.

Can CAIL 1% be considered a Tretinoin?

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.

Do direct acids (lactic acid, glycolic acid) lose their efficiency once exposed to air?

As long as they’re used within the period suggested once opened they should be fine. They should also be stored in a cool, dry place.Our stability tests actually capture the normal usage of our products (including air exposure) and their time on the shelf.

Which Deciem products specially targets skin for us women in our 40’s? Mainly to help with collagen production, firming of the facial skin that has lost firmness and that youthful “plump”?

I’d recommend any one of the following; The Ordinary “Buffet”, Hylamide SubQ Skin, NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Lipid 1%

When will The Ordinary Salicylic Acid solution be back?

Salicylic acid is a well-loved ingredient and we’re working on a variety of concentrations (0.5%, 1%, and 2%). These will 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

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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. 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?

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. Then 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.

More Deciem AMA on Reddit

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

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!

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

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.

When does Deciem plan to release the anti-grey hair serum?

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.

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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! 🙂

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.

I just bought The Ordinary Niacinamide mainly to help with my PIH. Any tips on how to incorporate it into my routine?

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 can’t your Niacinamide be used with Vitamin C? Other brands use them together

Our contraindication is specific to our products and their concentrations. If you’ve used them together and the combination has worked without any issues, you may continue to do so.

Any advice for people who have large pores on their noses?

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

On the website 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, will it make it pro-oxidant?

Some research studies suggest that the pro-oxidant behaviour of Vitamin C is dependent on the combination of three factors. These being a) the redox potential of the cellular environment, b) the presence of transition metal ions and c) the local concentration of ascorbate.

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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!

I’m curious as to how to get rid of comedonal acne and what is truly the highest spf that gives the best sunscreen protection?

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

This Q&A featured on the Deciem AMA on Reddit

The Ask Me Anything session on 18th November 2019. Find the Reddit / official Deciem thread here.

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