The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

overall rating:



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This face wash is very affordable and The Ordinary provides customers with a lot of information on how their products scientifically impact your skin, but they do not give information on how their products impact our environment. This cleanser is very cheap and affordable compared to some other high-end facial cleansers, which is great because it allows anyone to be able to have access to this product. Although, this low price may come at a cost. It is not clearly stated where most of the ingredients are sourced from, but it can be assumed that most are originated from palm oil, which is not a sustainable crop. If they do not source their ingredients from palm oil, that should be stated! There are a lot of more sustainable alternatives, but it may make the product more expensive. There is a lack of transparency about what really goes into this product and the process used to make it, but the company acknowledges that they aren not the most sustainable and has some small goals they are working towards.

What it's made of:


Squalane, Aqua (Water), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glycerin, Sucrose Stearate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sucrose Dilaurate, Sucrose Trilaurate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Malic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin.

All of these ingredients are silicone-free, cruelty-free, and vegan, and most are derived from plants while others are lab created chemical compounds. Everything is safe to humans and the environment and this cleanser got a rating of 2 on the EWG website (this is pretty good!). This all sounds great, and there’s only one thing that is very unclear: where did all of these plant-derived ingredients come from? From looking into the origin of these ingredients, I found out that a lot are from plants. For example, Ethyl Macadamiate is from macadamia nuts. But, most of the other ingredients that are “plant-derived” have possible different crops they could come from. Usually, the cheapest option for a lot of these is palm oil. The Ordinary has no information on where they source their ingredients from or whether it is sustainable or not. They have a lot of information on how good these ingredients are for your skin (these products are made by scientists), but what I am wondering is how good are they for our environment? Sadly, the information they provide on their products does not answer this question.

How it's made:


All of the products from The Ordinary are manufactured in a GMP-compliant facility in Canada. GMP stands for “good manufacturing practices” which are basic minimum requirements that strive to provide a product that is consistent and does not harm the consumer. This has more to do with providing a good product to consumers, nothing in the requirements says anything about the environment. This is pretty disappointing because how a product affects our environment is just as important if not more since it will have an impact on more people than just the consumers. I’d also like to point out here that these requirements are a minimum.

There is not any information about how The Ordinary does their manufacturing or what the process is behind creating this face wash. There is a huge lack of transparency here. As a consumer, I would appreciate more details about how this product is made.

The Squalane Cleanser comes in a plastic tube with a plastic cap that is not recyclable in most local curbside recycling programs, so The Ordinary suggests sending it back to them so they can recycle it properly. This is a very complicated process for the consumers to go through and I feel like the average person does not do this. They either just throw the empty containers in the landfill or improperly try to recycle it. It is a start that The Ordinary recognizes that their containers are not easily recyclable, but they should go further and address the root of this problem by changing the materials they use for packaging.

Who makes it:


The Ordinary is a skin care brand that is under the company DECIEM from Canada. On their sustainability tab on their website, they acknowledge that they are “not yet a sustainable beauty company”. I really appreciate that they flat-out admitted that they do not have the most sustainable practices. This is so much better than turning to greenwashing and making themselves seem better than they actually are. I really admire this honesty from them! They have a list of sustainability goals on their website, but it doesn’t address the issue of their products’ containers. Their goals seem pretty easy, BUT sometimes working towards sustainability requires baby steps and it is so much better than doing nothing... Or saying you will do something just to seem more sustainable. We love action!!

One of their main goals is to provide scientifically produced skin care products at a very affordable price. Their extremely low prices make these products accessible to a wide range of people compared to some other higher-end skin care products. There are some videos on their website that show some of the employees and they look like a group of diverse individuals.