The Ordinary: How TikTok made the vegan beauty brand go viral

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Vegan beauty brand The Ordinary gained an incredible amount of exposure during lockdown, after a video of one of its skincare products went viral on TikTok.

TikTok seems to have gained momentum over the last few months whilst people have been quarantining. Skincare and vegan beauty brands are some of their most popular video categories. Whilst scrolling through the ‘For You’ page (FYP), I came across The Ordinary.

Affordable, vegan skincare

The Ordinary stems from parent company Deciem, which has many different, functional beauty products available at affordable prices. While many beauty products are not cruelty-free or contain animal ingredients, all of The Ordinary’s products are vegetarian or vegan.

the ordinary tiktokThe brand doesn’t use any ingredients that require testing on or killing animals. It has also become increasingly popular because of its significantly low price point. Products range from £5 to £8 and, as a company, it intensely focus on ingredients and formulas.

The Ordinary is less focused on product design and marketing in order to achieve a low price point. Having ethical values at its forefront has made customer satisfaction the biggest marketing strategy for this no-nonsense business.


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How one product got everyone talking about the brand

Despite the brand being launched in 2016, it has seemed to gain most of its spotlight in the last five months during the pandemic. American TikToker Kaelyn White posted a video of herself wearing The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. The red face mask, known for looking bloodlike, immediately started trending on TikTok.

White’s video received over 4.5 million views (and over 637,000 likes) as she shared how it cleared her acne scars and any uneven skin tones. The video showed noticeable changes in a short time frame, attracting the attention of the beauty community.

It was a crazy experience,” White told The Vegan Review. “I’ve gotten so much amazing feedback about this product and how much it has changed people’s skin. it genuinely makes me so happy that I have made a positive impact on someone’s life and can help.”

The skincare product only costs £6.30, and, with such an affordable price, it became incredibly popular amongst younger generations. It even sold out and became unavailable for months in the UK, with many signing up to be notified when it came back into stock.

The brand started trending ever since TikTok was first launched and now has videos under the hashtag #TheOrdinary, with up to 306.4 million collective views.

White added: “It would come up all over my FYP after I made it, but it didn’t hit me how much of an impact my video made until my friends and family sent multiple news articles talking about my TikTok sparking up tons of sales for The Ordinary.”

White explained how she slowly started implementing more products from the vegan beauty brand into her regime as she became more aware of the ingredients being used. “It was just another reason to support the brand since they don’t use animal-derived oil or anything that involves harming animals,” she said.

More than just a trend

The videos under the hashtag are a compilation of skincare routines and reviews, with many captioned “TikTok made me buy it!” As the brand went viral, skincare gurus began promoting the products on their pages, telling their fans how to implement The Ordinary products into their regimes.

One user who specialises in skincare, Abbey Yung, has posted a 16-part series on her TikTok, going through each of the products from the vegan beauty brand. Her page has become popular as users turn to these videos to obtain key information about the products.

@skincarebyhyram on TikTok is another example. Initially a YouTuber, he has gained a lot of attention by reviewing users’ skincare routines. TikTok has a feature where you can duet another user’s video, which he uses to watch and critique people’s skincare routines, helping them find products that will help them.


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He has incorporated The Ordinary in many videos. Suggesting that, to perfect your skincare routine, you must use toner and serums. Such products include The Ordinary’s glycolic toning solution, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and the AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution. These products are some of the brand’s most popular. With the additional help of TikTok, they have repeatedly been sold out for months.

Why vegan beauty?

Vegan skincare has become increasingly popular amongst the beauty community. Younger generations have become especially more conscious of cruelty-free products, which also help maintain healthy skin in the long term. Vegan skincare has proven to help troubled skin, specifically those with sensitive skin.

The Ordinary has had an immense increase in sales with the hype created by TikTok. Being a vegan beauty brand that is also cruelty-free. Consumers are satisfied with the price they pay and the incredible results they get in return. This new wave of social media is much more powerful than it seems. It has shed light on a brand that pioneers “integrity in its most humble and true form”.

Mansi Vithlani
Mansi Vithlani
Mansi Vithlani is a journalism student at City, University of London. A vegetarian her whole life and a massive foodie, she enjoys discovering more about veganism and eating vegan cuisine! She enjoys investigating social media based stories and how its influence has made a significant difference in the last few years.