A skincare brand with a cult following is in turmoil after its founder goes on bizarre Instagram rampage

Facebook/DeciemBrandon Truaxe is the founder of Deciem, which owns a number of popular skincare brands.
  • Deciem, the skincare brand behind The Ordinary, came into the spotlight after its founder took over the company’s Instagram page and posted a series of erratic comments and photos.
  • Negative Glassdoor reviews detail a problematic work environment at the company.
  • On Thursday, Racked reported that the company’s co-CEO, who had been with the company almost since its inception, was asked to leave. Deciem’s spokesperson would not confirm to Racked whether this was true.

The company behind the internet’s favourite beauty brand is in turmoil.

The Ordinary is a skincare brand that’s known for its affordable prices and high quality and is beloved by beauty editors, Instagram influencers, and celebrities like Kim Kardashian West.

Brandon Truaxe, founder of The Ordinary’s parent company, Deciem, came into the spotlight this month when he took over the company’s Instagram page and began posting a series of erratic updates. Deciem also owns Noid, Hylamide, and The Chemistry Brand, and is partly owned by Estée Lauder, which bought a stake in the company in June 2017.

On Instagram, Truaxe attacked the Drunken Elephant beauty brand for its prices, claiming “you’d have to be drunk” to fork out as much as the brand was charging for its products. He later posted an unusual apology on Instagram, saying he would donate $US25,000 to an elephant charity that the brand supported.

Truaxe was then accused of making racist remarks to one shopper, though these accusations were later dismissed as “confusion” by a company spokesperson. Truaxe also posted a disturbing image of garbage and a dead animal, under which he vowed to end the use of plastic packaging at the company.


In the wake of Truaxe’s posts, several people began sharing links to the company’s negative Glassdoor reviews on platforms like Reddit.

“He spent his day discriminating people of colour, female employees and anyone he basically decides he does not like. He screams and belittle’s [sic] employees on a daily basis,” one employee wrote on Glassdoor in March 2017.

This month, several former employees confirmed to Racked that they had heard management, including Truaxe, yelling at employees in the past. These allegations were denied by Truaxe’s co-CEO, Nicola Kilner, who had been with the company almost since its inception before reportedly leaving the company on Thursday.

“The thing is, he’s so passionate. He yells when he’s happy. He’s never ever yelled at me, ever,” she told Racked in an article published February 9.


Kilner reportedly departed the company on Thursday, and CFO Stephen Kaplan is rumoured to be resigning, according to Racked.

“I’m too heartbroken to talk about it at the moment,” Kilner said.

Deciem and Kilner did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. Deciem representatives would not confirm to Racked whether Kilner had been let go.

But, in response to Racked’s request for comment, Truaxe said: “I have terminated employment of several people at Deciem who do not subscribe to my peaceful values. I have also cc’d Estée Lauder’s management on here. I hope you’re well and smiling.”

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