Before you jump down my throat for still Deciem products, let me explain myself.
I am an urban-dwelling, self-employed millennial.
I don’t have massive student debts and money isn’t as tight was it was in the past, but I can’t justify spending huge amounts of cash on skincare (and makeup, and clothes). My paychecks are sporadic, Big City rent is expensive and any surplus dosh needs to be put into my savings account (#adultingsucks).
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But that doesn’t mean I’m not a huge beauty junkie and skincare fanatic. You won’t find me dropping $200 on La Mer face cream, but I take pride in my appearance and work within my budget to fight my acne scars.
So, you can image how incredibly happy I was to come across Deciem’s The Ordinary skincare line last year. Where else can I find anti-aging, acne-fighting products at under $15 a pop that actually work???
Since becoming a fan of The Ordinary, I’ve ordered and reordered their products countless times. I’ve even gifted my favorites to my friends, that’s how much I love their Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Suspension.
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The Ordinary is my Holy Grail beauty line – and “Holy Grail” isn’t a cliché term I throw around very often.
That’s why I was so annoyed by the recent drama from Deciem’s founder. In January, Deciem CEO and founder Brandon Truaxe started engaging in some questionable behavior on the company’s Instagram account (@deciem). I didn’t follow the drama too closely, until a beauty influencer on Twitter asked her followers, “Anyone else feel bit dirty when they slap on their deciem products right now?”
“Um, no. Skincare is skincare,” I replied to her Tweet, oblivious to the drama.
But since it was a slow day in the office, I started doing some Googling.
Apparently, Deciem doesn’t have a great rep on glassdoor.com. If you scroll through the reviews of the workplace environment, most of the feedback from 2017 is constructive criticism (with the odd bursts of positive comments, possibly aimed at burying the negative reviews?)
On top of that, Truaxe seems to have gone off the rails and fired shots at Drunk Elephant, another indie beauty company. Apparently, he’s now made up with them. About two weeks ago he announced on Deciem’s Instagram account that he will be donating $25,000 to an elephant charity that Drunk Elephant supports.
Um, okay. But that’s not even the end of it.
Between using the company’s public Instagram account to send out (what should be) internal memos to announcing the severing of ties with one of the company’s UK partners (without allegedly notifying them first), Deciem has turned into one big PR disaster.
Some netizens speculate on Reddit that company investors, board members, Illuminati, etc., are letting Truaxe dig his own grave, in an elaborate plan to oust him. You know, the old “CEO-Is-Posting-Pictures-Of- Dead-Animals-From-His-Recent- Trip-To-Africa-On-The-Company-Instagram-Lets-Get-Rid-Of-Him” trick.
Whatever you believe, it’s clear that Deciem has some epic internal issues going on right now. After all, Truaxe (lovingly?) refers to his employees as monkeys.
That all being said, I’m still going to repurchase my Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Suspension when they run out in a few weeks. I just can’t bring myself to boycott Deciem.
Say what you will about Truaxe, but Deciem isn’t the first company to run into ethical issues. Everyone, from Estee Lauder to Apple, has encountered hiccups throughout the course of business. If we stop using every products and/or service with questionable practices, our economy would collapse. I’m not saying it’s okay to refer to workers as primates, but I think beauty addicts are overreacting when it comes to the Deciem drama.
And while I admire individuals who have sworn off The Ordinary and other Deciem brands, I’m just not that strong. I like having access to inexpensive skincare products that actually work. There’s no way I would be able to afford high-quality retinol products if The Ordinary wasn’t around.
I hope Deciem (and Truaxe) resolve their issues quickly, as I am rooting for the company and believe in their products. Until then, I’ll just hang my head in shame as I slap on my Vitamin C Suspension before bed.
After all, skincare is skincare.