The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Deciem: An Overview

Health & Beauty

The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Deciem: An Overview

Skincare enthusiasts (myself included) went into a frenzy after former Deciem CEO, Brandon Truaxe, announced the closure of its stores. However, for those who bore witness to Truaxe’s downward spiral a few months prior, this didn’t come as a complete shock. How did we get here?

Founded in 2013, Deciem is a Toronto-based company that houses numerous beauty brands such as NIOD, Hylamide, and The Chemistry Brand, to name a few. The company specializes in everything from serums and acids to makeup and supplements.

Image Courtesy of The Ordinary

Deciem shook up the beauty industry in 2017 with the launch of its “no-frills” brand, The Ordinary, which amassed a cult-like following not long after. With its mission to provide “clinical formulations with integrity”, fans were drawn to the brand’s transparency, low price point, and scientifically-backed formulas.

What followed after the launch was a consistent streak of wins for the company. With multiple awards under their belt, a deal with Sephora, and an investment from Estée Lauder, Deciem was practically unstoppable. Unfortunately, things took a bit of a turn in the new year.

Image courtesy of Deciem

Truaxe always took an unconventional approach with his company – I mean, it’s called the “abnormal beauty company” for a reason. However, “unconventional” reached a different level in 2018 after he took over the company’s Instagram page, turning it into something resembling a finsta. Things only went downhill from here.

In January, the company made a jab at the skincare brand, Drunk Elephant, on The Ordinary’s website posting for marula oil. The text read, “One would have to be drunk to overpay for marula,” clearly in reference to Drunk Elephant’s marula oil which retails at $72 for 30ml (The Ordinary charges $10). Truaxe later apologized for the incident in a long Instagram post. In February, he spammed Deciem’s Instagram page with photos of dead sheep and trash, as a way to announce an initiative to eliminate plastic and to reinforce the company’s stance against animal testing. This was only the beginning.

Image courtesy of Deciem

2018 has been a mess of shade, public firings, and Instagram drama (featuring long-winded emotional rants, disturbing photos, and fights with followers). Probably not the best content for a company’s official page.

All these events eventually came to a head when Brandon Truaxe announced a seize of operations in October, citing criminal activity as the reason. Some fans speculated that it was a marketing strategy to boost sales, while others scrambled to stock up on their favorite products and mourned the loss of their favorite brand. A few days later, Deciem announced that it had severed ties with its CEO. Truaxe was out and operations were up and running again. Talk about an interesting turn of events!

Estée Lauder currently has a restraining order against Truaxe, filed after receiving a “threatening” email from him upon his dismissal. It seems like Deciem made the right decision.

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