is the ordinary environmentally friendly

Is The Ordinary Environmentally Friendly?

The Ordinary has become a wildly popular skincare and makeup brand known for its clinical formulas at affordable prices.

But is this mass-market beauty brand as ethical and environmentally friendly as it claims?

Is the Ordinary Environmentally Friendly?

the ordinary serums
Image Credit: Live Kindly

The Ordinary has not prioritized environmental sustainability.

While the company claims to be cruelty-free, it lacks organic certification and uses standard plastic packaging.

Key Points

  • The Ordinary aims to be cruelty-free but lacks certification
  • It uses plastic packaging and non-clean ingredients
  • The brand offers quality skincare at affordable prices

Our Opinion

While The Ordinary makes quality products accessible, sustainability does not seem to be a core focus for the brand.

More action is needed around ethical sourcing, clean ingredients, and eco-friendly packaging for The Ordinary to be considered environmentally friendly.

Is The Ordinary Cruelty-Free?

the ordinary creams
Image Credit: Women’s Health Magazine

When it comes to animal testing, The Ordinary does make an effort to be cruelty-free. The brand claims not to test finished products or ingredients on animals and does not commission others to test on its behalf. However, The Ordinary is not certified cruelty-free by organizations like Leaping Bunny or PETA, unlike Dove which is.

The Ordinary also uses many synthetic ingredients that are not considered “clean beauty.” While the brand markets itself as “clinical,” it does contain questionable ingredients like:

  • Silicones like Cyclopentasiloxane
  • PEG compounds
  • Parabens

According to EWG’s Skin Deep database, many Ordinary products contain chemicals linked to health concerns. As a mass-market brand, The Ordinary prioritizes scientific results and low costs over organic and sustainably sourced ingredients.

So while The Ordinary makes an effort to be cruelty-free, it is not a certified organic or clean beauty brand. The company seems more focused on disrupting the beauty industry through clinical formulas and transparency, rather than sustainability principles.

How Sustainable is The Ordinary?

When it comes to sustainability, The Ordinary has room for improvement. As a mass-market, clinical brand, sustainable, and eco-friendly practices do not seem to be a priority.

On the plus side, The Ordinary does make an effort to use minimal packaging. Products come in simple plastic or glass bottles and tubes. The brand also sells refill pouches for select serums, reducing waste.

However, most of The Ordinary’s packaging is still plastic, which is not recyclable in many places. And while the ingredients may be clinically proven, many are synthetic rather than natural or organic.

The Ordinary has not made any public commitments to use renewable energy, reduce its carbon footprint, or become a certified sustainable business. The company does not seem to prioritize fair trade or ethical working conditions in its supply chain either.

So while The Ordinary makes some efforts for more minimal packaging, sustainability does not seem to be a core value for the company. As a disruptor brand focused on scientific results, it has not embraced eco-friendly practices or organic ingredients in a substantial way.

Is The Ordinary’s Ingredients Ethically Sourced?

The Ordinary
Image Credit: The New Knew

When it comes to ethically sourced ingredients, The Ordinary’s practices are unclear. The brand does not promote any ethical sourcing certifications or fair trade commitments.

Most of The Ordinary’s ingredients are synthetic rather than plant-derived. For natural ingredients like oils and extracts, the sources are not disclosed. There is no mention of sustainable farming practices or fair labor conditions for ingredient suppliers.

One area of ethical concern is palm oil. The Ordinary includes palm oil derivatives in some products but does not specify if the palm oil is sustainably sourced. Irresponsible palm oil production is linked to deforestation, habitat loss, and human rights violations.

The Ordinary also conducts animal testing where required by law. The company is not Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. While animal testing may be the industry standard, ethical consumers increasingly demand alternatives.

Overall, The Ordinary offers little transparency into its ethical sourcing practices. For consumers concerned about ethics and sustainability, this lack of information is disappointing. More transparency would be needed to confirm responsible sourcing across The Ordinary’s extensive product line.

DECIEM’s Eco-Friendliness

When looking at The Ordinary’s parent company DECIEM, the picture of eco-friendliness remains unclear. DECIEM has not made environmental sustainability a prominent part of its brand image or identity.

On the plus side, DECIEM’s focus on “clinical” formulations means its products tend to have simpler, more ingredient-conscious formulas. This aligns with a clean beauty ethos.

However, DECIEM does not seem to prioritize eco-friendly packaging. Most products use standard plastic containers and pumps. There is little mention of recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable materials.

DECIEM’s manufacturing facilities also have an unknown environmental footprint. The company does not promote any eco-friendly certifications, energy efficiency initiatives, or waste reduction programs.

While admirable for transparency about ingredients, DECIEM does not extend that transparency to sustainability practices. More information would be needed to confirm if ethical and eco-friendly values are truly embedded in the brand’s culture and operations.

For consumers seeking out greener beauty brands, DECIEM’s lack of sustainability marketing raises questions. Competitors like Biossance and Youth to the People use sustainability as a selling point.

Are The Ordinary’s Practices Environmentally Friendly?

When examining The Ordinary specifically, there are some positive signs but also many unknowns regarding environmental sustainability.

On the plus side, The Ordinary formulates without common concerning ingredients like sulfates, silicones, and parabens. This aligns with clean beauty principles. The Ordinary also references EWG’s Skin Deep database to select safer ingredients.

However, details on manufacturing, packaging, and operations are lacking. The Ordinary uses standard plastic packaging, with no mention of recycled or biodegradable materials. Its factories’ environmental footprint is unclear.

The Ordinary has not sought eco-friendly certifications or explicitly made sustainability part of its brand messaging. Competitors like Biossance and Youth to the People promote their green practices.

While admirable for ingredient transparency, The Ordinary does not provide robust transparency about broader ethical and eco-friendly practices. This makes it difficult to confirm its commitment to environmental sustainability.


Is the Ordinary an Ethical Company?

The Ordinary has received mixed reviews regarding ethics. It aims to be cruelty-free but has not obtained official certification. Some ingredients may not meet clean standards.

Is the Ordinary a Clean Beauty Company?

No, The Ordinary includes several ingredients that are not considered clean or natural by clean beauty standards.

Is the Ordinary Zero Waste?

No, The Ordinary does not have a zero-waste initiative and uses standard plastic packaging.

What Do Dermatologists Say About the Ordinary?

Dermatologists generally approve of The Ordinary for providing effective skincare ingredients at affordable prices. Some caution against overuse of actives.


In summary, The Ordinary cannot be considered fully environmentally friendly or sustainable. While it aims to be cruelty-free and offers quality ingredients at low prices, the brand is not certified organic, includes some questionable ingredients, and uses plastic packaging.


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