The Ordinary (a brand by Deciem, the same Canadian umbrella behind Niod and Hylamide) were, of course, on the scene earlier than the Inkey List and really did revolutionise skincare when they launched a colossal collection of very affordable single-ingredient skincare products. Understandably, many people found this confusing, and to this day many are still unsure what ingredients do or how to use the products. The Inkey List are a UK brand who've been around for a couple of years now. To be honest, when they first launched; I did assume they were just doing a really similar thing to the Ordinary, however as they grew I came to realise that definitely wasn't the case; of course a brand is going to initially launch with the products most people want, like your niacinamide or hyaluronic acid, however as they've grown there's been less of an overlap between the two brands. Whilst I have a few like-for-like comparisons in this post, many of the products we're looking at just occupy a similar place in my routine. I do find the Inkey List a tad more expensive, but we'll talk about value for money a little later on. In terms of my relationship with each brand; I think I'm pretty impartial, but I do want to properly disclose. Obviously, I always have my advertisement information at the top of the post but I don't want anyone to see that and think 'well Inkey have sponsored her so she's obviously going to pick them!' Because it doesn't quite paint an accurate picture. I've had a longstanding relationship with Deciem directly in terms of gifting and I've met their team several times and they've always been so fantastic and warm towards me. When the Inkey List first launched, I was actually gifted a couple of prototype products by their PR agency at the time who advised they'd send the finished products once they were finalised, however that never happened. Their PR agency then changed (which is quite possibly why the final products were never sent out), because I was invited to an event earlier this year by a different agency for Inkey which I couldn't make (because it was in London on a weekday) but I did mention that I was a big fan of the brand and would be interested in gifting opportunities with them, however they advised me that the brand are very specific on who they wanted PR sent to. However, a few months later a different agency selected me to work on a campaign they were doing (perhaps as they were looking to reach a wider audience with that piece than their usual circle of influencers), so I jumped at the opportunity and therefore have done paid work with them, though I'm not on their PR list and the only products they have ever gifted me were in relation to that work. So, in effect, I do have a much closer relationship with Deciem and have that direct contact, whereas I don't know the Inkey List beyond watching their founders on Instagram Lives, as I've only ever been via 3rd parties. However, Inkey have paid me before, which people think is some sort of ultimate decider! 


The Ordinary are all about simplicity, which is a great thing in many ways, but does have its downsides. Whilst the Ordinary's regimen guide is really helpful, I do think they Inkey List do a little more in terms of education on what ingredients do, who they might be for and how to correctly use them. Their packaging and Instagram account are both treasure troves of information and I really like that. I do think Deciem could do more, especially when it comes to telling people how to correctly use their Peeling Solution... Both brands are affordable and therefore keep it simple when it comes to packaging. By and large, both brands have functional packaging, with one or two missteps. I do like the Inkey List's branding with the black and white and the amount of information on their unit cartons, however given they're a touch more expensive than the Ordinary, I would have preferred higher-quality packaging, The glass with a dropper used by the Ordinary feels more premium and can be recycled, whereas the plastic used by the Inkey List can sometimes feel a bit cheap and isn't always the best in terms of getting product out!