DECIEM: The Abnormal Beauty Company Skincare Products Review

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA and Lactic Acid 10% + HA skin serums

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA and Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Hi everyone! While I was in Toronto at the Bite Lip Lab on Queen Street West, the guys who worked there recommended that I stroll a few minutes down the street to the Abnormal Beauty Company. They both raved about it and said they swear by their products because they are high quality but also low priced. I’m glad I listened to them and stopped into the company’s flagship store. I thought I’d review some of the DECIEM skincare products I picked up from brands like The Ordinary and NIOD. The Abnormal Beauty Company is such a cool looking shop. It didn’t look like any makeup or beauty store I’d been in before. It is very industrial and minimalist. The products were displayed on simple metal shelving.

Abnormal Beauty Co Queen Street West

The Queen West location (photo copyright NUVO)

I was a little confused at first about whether DECIEM was the brand-name of the products, but it turns out DECIEM is the name of the Toronto-based beauty company and it stocks various brands such as NIOD, Hylamide, The Chemistry Brand, The Ordinary, Stemm, Fountain, HIF, Ab Crew, and ESHO. All products carried by DECIEM are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone and do not test on animals.

I immediately sought help from one of the SAs who was super friendly and knowledgeable about all of the products. For skin that is sensitive to fragrance, she recommended The Ordinary brand. She said one of their best sellers is the high-strength lactic acid exfoliator. The Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%is an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin. This 10% formulation offers mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation.”

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA skin serum

Lactic Acid 10% + HA

I definitely prefer acid exfoliators, that gently dissolve dead skin cells, over scrubs that contain physical exfoliators like microbeads or other little particles that I find too harsh and can leave my skin red and irritated. The lactic acid serum can be left on overnight, but because it is fairly concentrated, I have only been leaving it on for 10-15 minutes so far. I use it once a week. It is not irritating my skin or drying it out. It really seems to be working to get rid of the flaky, dry skin I tend to get in the wintertime. It leaves my face feeling very smooth.

The other best seller that she recommended for dry skin, was Matrixyl. I had never heard of this before. Apparently this peptide (or amino acid) stimulates the production of collagen, a protein which repairs skin tissue and gives it is elasticity. UK researchers at the University of Reading investigating wound healing, found that Matrixyl can almost double the amount of collagen that the cells in our body produce, provided the concentration is high enough.¹ #science

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA skin serum

Matrixyl 10% + HA

I am loving this serum! It is completely clear and odourless. It comes with an eyedropper applicator and you only need to apply a few drops and spread a thin layer over your skin. It feels a little bit sticky at first, but then absorbs into your skin. I have been applying it nightly before bed. I am definitely noticing that my skin is much more hydrated and softer. Apparently Matrixyl is a great anti-aging serum so that’s a bonus!

I have also been using the Flavanone Mud from the brand NIOD. The Flavanone Mud claims to be scientifically engineered to be more than just your average mask, including ingredients like “molecular oxygen gas“, three different types of clay (black Amazonian, sedimentary white clay, & copper-rich clay from Brazil), “a highly-purified flavanone derived from the inner white parts of citrus peel,” and “a sea polysaccharide from microorganisms found in Polynesian coral reefs“, all of which apparently decongest your skin, purify it and protect it. Witchcraft? Who knows.

I love the packaging, which reminds me of an old fashioned medicine bottle. The Flavanone Mud is very thick and light brown and has a very distinct medicinal scent. There is no added fragrance listed in the ingredients so the scent is just from the active ingredients. It makes me think me of something you might have gotten at a medieval apothecary shop! I don’t know why but the fact that it smells, well, a little terrible, makes me believe that it is somehow more legit and authentic and must really work. That is my very unscientific reaction anyhow!

NIOD Flavanone Mud

NIOD Flavanone Mud

The Flavanone Mud should be applied in a thin layer once a week on clean, dry skin for 10 minutes. It does warn that “Its action may lead to a stinging sensation which actually increases for a few minutes after the product is rinsed-off” however I have not experienced this. It says “Some benefit will be seen immediately after the first use, but the benefits will be more evident 24-48 hours after application and will continue to be maintained with continued use.”

I really like this mask. I sometimes don’t notice much of a difference after I use a mask, but not with this one. My skin feels so soft and smooth after I use this. Any rough or dry patches completely disappear. It also dramatically reduces the redness in my skin for about 24-48 hours after using it.

The Ordinary brand is incredibly low priced compared to most skincare products. The Lactic Acid 10% + HA is only $6.70 CAD and the Matrixyl 10% + HA is $11.50 CAD. If you can’t make it to the physical location, you can order all of the DECIEM brands on their website: I am particularly interested in ordering their $6.80 CAD Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, which was not in stock at the Queen West location while I was there. I have been reading up on how good Hyaluronic Acid can be for hydrating dry skin.

A few of the DECIEM brands, including NIOD, are now also available through Sephora. The NIOD Flavanone Mud is $39.00 CAD. I would love to hear from you if you have tried any of The Abnormal Beauty Company’s products and what you would recommend.

1. Jones, R.R., Castelletto, V., Connon, C.J., and Hamley, I.W. (2013). Collagen stimulating effect of peptide amphiphile C16-KTTKS on human fibroblasts. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 10(3):1063-9. doi: 10.1021/mp300549d

Thanks so much for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤


Filed under Health & Skincare, Reviews

9 responses to “DECIEM: The Abnormal Beauty Company Skincare Products Review

  1. That’s interesting that the fact a product smells bad (like medicine?) makes you believe that it is more effective. 😛
    Deciem is expanding its distribution everywhere it seems – I’ve seen them at some Rexalls and at Hudson’s Bay on Queen St too.
    I’ve tried 3 items from The Ordinary so far (Serum Foundation, Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% [vitamin C] , and Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%) and I’m lukewarm on all of them. I kind of feel like I got what I paid. The Resveratrol is probably my favourite of them but I wouldn’t wholeheartedly endorse it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its definitely psychological – this smells terrible so it must be good for me, lol. Sorry to hear you didn’t love the serums you tried. I definitely was put off by the Serum Foundation when I read the ingredients and discovered it contains silicone. That does not play well with my skin so I skipped it. Its so hard to know if some of these serums really do anything or if its all just hype.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. V

    I’ve never heard of this before. So great to find something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to try some stuff from The Ordinary sometime. Just hoping they don’t implode (their CEO has basically gone bats**t crazy on social media).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Betsy Roux

    I’m a big fan of “the buffet” from the ordinary line. I haven’t tried the lactic acid, but I’m excited to!

    Liked by 1 person

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