Is BeMinimalist The Ordinary of India? And what are the differences or similarities between these two brands? Today, we’re going to break down the ingredients and the interesting backstory behind each brand. The Ordinary has been one of Cassandra’s favorite brands for years, and she’s always loved them for their inexpensive, scientific, and effective formulas. The products have names like niacinamide + zinc instead of “pore refining serum.” But, two years after The Ordinary launched in 2020, a new brand entered the market called BeMinimalist. BeMinimalist was created in India for the Indian market, but slowly it’s been taking over internationally, and a lot of people have questions regarding how these brands stack up against one another.
So, Cassandra is going to explain her experiences with both. What are the similarities? What are the differences, and is Be Minimalist replacing The Ordinary in many people’s routines? Seeing as The Ordinary did not use to be available in India, was BeMinimalist the saving grace? And now that BeMinimalist is available in America, will consumers shift from The Ordinary?
Let’s start with The Ordinary.
The founder of The Ordinary, Brandon Truaxe created a system where he had an in-house laboratory, in-house manufacturing, in-house packaging, and e-commerce. So, when he launched The Ordinary, he was able to do so at inexpensive prices. When you look at The Ordinary, a lot of the products are very basic. There have things like retinol and squalane or an AHA/BHA peel.
Because nobody else was doing this at the time, they ended up doing really well when it came to SEO and being able to be sold online. The entire reason that Brandon decided to start The Ordinary was to “democratize skincare.” This concept indicates the idea that products should be easily accessible, affordable, and understandable.
Another thing The Ordinary was known for was challenging Drunk Elephant. Drunk Elephant sold marula oil at a very high price, but Brandon knew where they were sourcing it from. So, he bought the same stuff and sold it for eight dollars instead of almost $80. He also spoke out about animal rights among other things too. Unfortunately, Brandon did seem to struggle with mental health. Estee lauder bought a 3rd of the company as an investor, and when that started to happen, there were some discrepancies between how Brandon was running things versus how investors and stakeholders wanted the company to be run.
Unfortunately, Brandon was voted out of his own company. And in 2019, the world lost an amazing innovator who not only created The Ordinary but many other brands that helped bring sustainable science-focused skincare to the forefront. These are still some of Cassandra’s favorite products today, and if she’s ever looking for a one-ingredient thing that she can mix in, layer, or isolate, The Ordinary is where she goes to get it.
How is The Ordinary different from BeMinimalist?
When The Ordinary started in 2018, BeMinimalist started in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. The Ordinary was taking off online, and people saw its success. But, it wasn’t available in every country, specifically in India. However, there were two brothers in India that saw how the Indian market needed transparent skincare. When Cassandra visited India in 2016, 2018, and a few other times, she went into drug stores, and it was very hard to find skincare with treatment actives. You could find some brands like L’Oreal, but otherwise, you’d have to go to a large mall or pharmacist. Some people in India got really frustrated by the lack of availability, lack of transparency, and product adulteration. So, two brothers in India saw this and decided that there needed to be effective, inexpensive, and transparent skincare.
The two brothers, Rahil and Mohit Yadav, provided people with the skincare they deserve. Rahil is a chemical engineer who understood ingredients and manufacturing. Rahil has a business, finance. e-commerce, and marketing background. So, when they started to work together, it was a perfect blend. That’st how Be Minimalist was created in 2020. It was the only inexpensive brand with those types of transparently labeled actives.
Since then, The Ordinary is now available in India, and BeMinimalist is now available internationally both on Amazon, Walmart, and in other stores. The other interesting thing is that The Ordinary is now sold in Ulta and Sephora. BeMinimalist also has clinical lines meaning these are actually sold by and to dermatologists, doctors, and skincare experts in India which is something the Ordinary doesn’t do. But, is Be Minimalist replacing The Ordinary, or conversely, is The Ordinary impugning upon BeMinimalists’ stake in India? In order to understand that, we have to talk about the products in each line.
While The Ordinary is great in its wide array of serums and color cosmetics like foundations. However, Cassandra doesn’t really like their array of cleansers. They also only have one sunscreen.
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser -$9
BeMinimalist is different. They actually have multiple cleansers. Their serums are great, but as far as Cassandra knows, they don’t have color cosmetics. The price points are similar. Most of The Ordinary’s products are on the low end. They range from $5 for products like the natural moisturizing factors and up to about $30 for their copper peptide serum. Be Minimalist normally ranges around $5-$7, but some products are up to fifteen. Of course, these are sold in Indian Rupees. So, if you’re getting them on Amazon or internationally, there may be price differences based on that currency exchange.
How are the formulas different?
For example, The Ordinary has one of Cassandra’s favorite AHA BHA peeling solutions. It exfoliates wonderfully. But, on the other hand, Be Minimalist has things like the AHA PHA BHA 32% peel with a little bit of turmeric. This one is more brightening, and it’s better for hyperpigmentation whereas the AHA/BHA serum from The Ordinary is an exfoliation balm.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Treatment -$9.50
Also, the majority of people in India suffer with hyperpigmentation based on their Fitzpatrick levels more than someone in Canada which is where The Ordinary was founded. BeMinimalist focuses on products that are for pigmentation-prone skin. These products really lend themselves well to people who are prone to hyperpigmentation and little marks that are left behind. On the other hand, The Ordinary has some options for hyperpigmentation and products targeted toward it, but Cassandra wouldn’t say that most of the products from the line are hyperpigmentation friendly or lend themselves well to it.
The other thing is that the Ordinary is truly built on single-ingredient products at affordable prices. BeMinimalist is built on affordable prices, but they actually don’t focus on “single-ingredient skincare.” Yes, the packaging is similar, but a lot of BeMinimalist have stacked ingredients. For instance, when you look at their array of cleansers, they have LHA (lipohydroxy) cleansers that involve multiple ingredients which Cassandra thinks is better than The Ordinary’s squalane cleanser. Even when you look at BeMinimalists’ serums, their combing and layering different ingredients whereas most of The Ordinary’s serums are made of one or two ingredients like the Hyaluronic acid and B5 serum or The Buffet Peptide Serum.
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 -$8.90
BeMinimalist also has a better array of moisturizers. They specifically have vitamin B5 ceramide moisturizers. Cassandra hasn’t seen great ceramide products from The Ordinary, and she hopes those are coming, but she hasn’t seen them.
So, while these two brands are very similar, Cassandra thought that BeMinimalist was India’s version of The Ordinary. But, as she started to play around and test them more and more, Cassandra does feel that these are different brands that stand on their own.
Cassandra doesn’t feel like you have to choose one or the other, but she will say that there are some Ordinary products (serums) that she likes better than BeMinimalist and vice versa (cleansers and ceramides products for BeMinimalist are great). Depending on your skin type and what you’re looking for, you’ll probably be able to find something that’s right for you. While Cassandra can’t find everything she needs from The Ordinary, there are some products from BeMinimalist that are great with acne and pigmentation.
However, The Ordinary has a great azelaic acid while Be Minimalist doesn’t. You can work both of these brands into a routine together. Both of these brands have a common goal, but ultimately, they’re executing them in different ways.