Deciem founder Brandon Truaxe has passed away

The brains behind skincare brand The Ordinary made a huge contribution to the beauty industry during his lifetime

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By Elle Turner on

Yesterday, it was sadly announced that Brandon Truaxe, founder of much-loved skincare brands Deciem and The Ordinary, had passed away. Deciem’s acting CEO, Nicola Kilner, shared the news with staff in an email stating, “Heartbroken doesn’t come close to how I, and how I know many of you will be feeling. All offices, warehouses, factories and stores please close today and take the time to cry with sadness, smile at the good times we had, reflect on what his genius built and hug your loved ones that little harder”, according to Vox.

The news comes after a troubling time for the founder, who was removed from his position as CEO of the company and forbidden from posting on the retailer’s social-media channels in October. Concerns had been steadily growing for Truaxe’s welfare after he began uploading a series of erratic posts to the Deciem Instagram account as well as his own.

A spokesperson for Estée Lauder, which owns a minority stake in the company, said in a statement: “Brandon Truaxe was a true genius, and we are incredibly saddened by the news of his passing. As the visionary behind Deciem, he has positively impacted millions of people around the world with his creativity, brilliance and innovation.”

Truaxe’s charisma, his dedication to the brands he created and his mission to make skincare available to everyone will be well remembered

Truaxe set up Deciem (also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company) in 2013, disrupting the beauty industry with his mission to “do everything others don’t do”. A leader in transparency, Deciem’s website states “quality is no longer defined by merely price points or distribution channels. Quality today means being authentic, being different, being functional, being beautiful and being sensibly priced.” Under the Deciem umbrella, Truaxe went on to launch 10 brands, including cult favourite skincare brand The Ordinary in 2016. It tapped into the rapid rise of interest in skincare, providing customers with a brand that offered high-performance ingredients (such as vitamin C and retinol) at incredibly low prices. Democratising skincare by making it available to all, Trauxe’s £6 serums flew off the shelves and into our daily routines. Subsequent launches (like that of its foundation) racked up waiting lists that exceeded 50,000, and sales projections for the Deciem brand reached in the region of £228m last year.  

Truaxe’s charisma, his dedication to the brands he created (the founder welcomed questions and happily engaged with journalists and customers about the products) and his mission to make skincare available to everyone will be well remembered.

Posting to its Instagram account in tribute, Deciem said, “Brandon, our founder and friend. You touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible. Thank you for every laugh, every learning and every moment of your genius. Whilst we can’t imagine a world without you, we promise to take care of each other and will work hard to continue your vision. Love (forever) your Deciem.”


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