If you are a fan of The Ordinary, then you may be familiar with their popular anti-aging serum, “Buffet”. It is a peptide serum that targets multiple signs of aging with a formula packed with actives, including antioxidants, multiple hyaluronic acids, and peptide complexes.
For a super-charged version of “Buffet”, The Ordinary recommends their sister brand Hylamide’s next-generation serum, SubQ Skin, for a stronger effect against the signs of aging.
Never one to pass up the opportunity to purchase an affordable anti-aging serum, I decided to try Hylamide SubQ Skin to compare it to The Ordinary “Buffet” which I already have in my skincare collection.
In this post, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between Hylamide SubQ Skin vs. The Ordinary “Buffet” so that you can determine which product might work best for your skin and skin care concerns.
This post contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.
Before we get into The Ordinary and Hylamide brands, let’s take a quick look at their parent company, Deciem.
Founded in 2013 in Toronto, Deciem, whose tagline is “the abnormal beauty company”, owns multiple beauty brands focusing on skincare. The cornerstone of their philosophy focuses on bringing quality to the beauty industry and continuing their founder Brandon Truaxe’s goal for a “better world of beauty”. Deciem defines quality as being different, functional, beautiful, and sensibly priced.
Deciem comes from the Latin word decima, meaning 10 (in a sequence). The company was told they shouldn’t try to do 10 things at once, so what did they do? They did 10 things at once, with a goal of building 10 brands at once.
The company’s portfolio currently includes the following brands: The Ordinary, NIOD, Hylamide, Chemistry Company, HIF, and Abnomaly. Each brand can leverage the research, facilities, creative team, distribution offices, and backend systems afforded by Deciem that they otherwise would not be able to access alone. All Deciem products begin in their own lab of biochemists, as they like to think of themselves as a “science-first” company.
In 2017 Deciem entered into a partnership with Estee Lauder Companies. In February of 2021, it was announced that Estee Lauder Companies (ELC) would increase its investment in Deciem from 29% to 76% over the next three years, allowing Deciem to take advantage of ELC’s global distribution. This will only expand Deciem’s reach as they’ve sold more than one product every second over the past year.
About Deciem Products
- All Deciem products, across all brands including The Ordinary, are free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury, oxybenzone.
- Deciem does not test on animals and does not pay others to test on animals, and has been certified with the Leaping Bunny stamp of approval.
The Ordinary, whose tagline is “Clinical Formulations with Integrity”, is Deciem’s largest brand. It offers effective familiar skincare technologies with the intention of raising pricing and communication integrity in skincare.
The Ordinary has really disrupted traditional skincare with its super low-priced products that often focus on a single hero ingredient. The Ordinary’s product range has expanded to over 50 products and now includes color cosmetics (foundations, primers, and a concealer) and a multi-peptide hair serum in addition to their skincare offerings.
NOTE: The Ordinary suggests patch testing to help predict if you will have a negative initial reaction to a product. Patch testing is recommended before adding a new product to your skincare routine. Please see their guide to patch testing here.
Hylamide uses next-generation skincare actives to target the skin on multiple levels. They use advanced ingredients for optimal skin performance, all while using minimal regimens. Their products address skincare issues like fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, dullness, and congested skin.
Hylamide’s catalog of skincare products is much smaller than The Ordinary. They currently offer 12 skincare products and 3 foundation products.
Hylamide SubQ Skin vs The Ordinary “Buffet”
Inspired by a buffet of multiple foods eaten at one sitting, The Ordinary “Buffet” Peptide Serum is formulated with an impressive group of technologies aimed at multiple signs of aging at the same time. By weight, the total concentration of the following technologies is 25.1%. These technologies include:
- Matrixyl 3000 Peptide Complex: This peptide complex consists of Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 is coupled with Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7. This peptide complex is believed to stimulate collagen production. This manufacturer’s study shows that it decreases wrinkles and improves elasticity and skin tone.
- Matrixyl Synthe’6 Peptide Complex (with palmitoyl tripeptide-38): Stimulates six major components of the skin matrix and dermal-epidermal junction, collagen I, III, IV, fibronectin, hyaluronic acid, and laminin 5, to help smooth skin and reduce wrinkles.
- Syn-Ake Peptide Complex: A synthetic peptide that targets wrinkles and laughter lines. It has a low molecular weight allowing it to penetrate the skin well.
- Relistase peptide Complex: A tetrapeptide formulated to treat sagging and lack of firmness and improve elasticity and resilience.
- Argirelox Peptide Complex: Fights expression wrinkles.
- Probiotic Complex: To stimulate cell renewal and improve the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
- A Base of 11 Skin-Friendly Amino Acids: To support skin hydration.
- Multiple Hyaluronic Acid Complexes: To hydrate and plump the skin at multiple levels for better hydration.
While this list of anti-aging ingredients is impressive, what really matters is if the product works. The Ordinary “Buffet” is an excellent choice for an affordable anti-aging serum, as I’ve seen great results in regard to skin firmness and clarity. It’s perfect for those new to The Ordinary/Deciem and looking to introduce age-fighting actives into their skincare routine.
NOTE: There are some conflicts when it comes to combining “Buffet” with other skincare products. The Ordinary states that it is best to not use peptides in the same skincare routine as the following products:
- Direct Acids (i.e. Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Salicylic Acid, etc…)
- LAA (L-Ascorbic Acid)
- ELAA (Ethylated Ascorbic Acid)
The Ordinary also has a revved-up version of “Buffet”, The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%. The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% provides all the benefits of The Ordinary “Buffet” serum plus 1% direct Copper Peptides, also known as GHK-Cu (Copper Tripeptide-1). This brings the total concentrations of active technologies in this serum at 26.1%.
So what’s so great about copper peptides? Copper peptides have been shown to stimulate collagen, support elastin production, and provide antioxidant-like effects. They also offer wound healing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
As you can see from the image above, this copper peptide serum is bright blue (but doesn’t leave any stains on your face after application).
While there are not many studies on this active, copper peptide is a promising ingredient in skincare. This is reflected in the price of the serum. The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% is $28.90 vs. The Ordinary “Buffet” at $14.80, so almost twice the price.
While I think this is an effective serum and contains some great anti-aging ingredients, I haven’t seen any different results from using this serum compared to “Buffet”.
NOTE: The Ordinary recommends avoiding the use of products containing copper peptides in the same skincare routine as strong antioxidants as well as direct acids, L-Ascorbic Acid, and Ethylated Ascorbic Acid.
Hylamide SubQ Skin Advanced Serum is formulated with advanced hydration complexes, peptides, and biotechnologies to hydrate the skin on the surface and below the surface while improving the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and skin texture. There are many technologies in the serum, so let’s take a look at each one:
- Copper Lysinate/Prolinate: Using Swiss technology, this essential amino acid mineral complex, per the manufacturer, is supposed to boost collagen and elastin production.
- Nonapeptide-3 Retina-Complex: This peptide, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, is supposed to provide similar results as retinol, but without the side effects (i.e. irritation) by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen.
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38: Also known as Matrixyl Synthe’6 (a trademark of Sederma) this peptide helps to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, fine lines, and wrinkles, especially around the forehead.
- 5 forms of Hyaluronic Compounds: This serum contains two very low molecular Hyaluronic Complexes to increase surface hydration and a hyaluronic acid precursor to help plump the look of skin. A tamarind-derived plant hyaluronic form rehydrates.
- Saccharide Isomerate: This multi-benefit compound mimics the natural carbohydrates in the skin for long-lasting hydration while improving texture and helping to protect the skin barrier function.
- Antarctic and Hawaiian Algae Complex: Prevents moisture loss and supports skin renewal.
- Glycoprotein: A binding agent that improves the skin’s exposure to active technologies.
This serum is lightweight, sinks in quickly, and is all about targeting the signs of aging. It works well under makeup and dries quickly.
Hylamide SubQ Skin vs The Ordinary “Buffet”
When it comes to the formulas, both Hylamide and The Ordinary formulas are jam-packed with peptides and hydration with multiple hyaluronic acid complexes, which are helpful for all skin types, especially dry skin.
While Hylamide SubQ Skin and The Ordinary “Buffet” are water-based serums, there are some differences. Let’s take a look at the variances in the ingredients:
Formulas & Retinol Alternative
Hylamide SubQ contains Nonapeptide-3 Retina-Complex, which is an alternative to retinol (a retinoid). This will help with fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, skin texture, and skin tone. Copper Lysinate/Prolinate is included in the formula to boost collagen and elastin production.
The Ordinary “Buffet” contains its own anti-agers that target fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, including Argirelox Peptide Complex, Relistase Peptide Complex, and Syn-Ake Peptide Complex. These complexes target wrinkles, fine lines, skin firmness, and elasticity.
We don’t how much of each ingredient is in each serum, though, so if we knew the concentrations, it would be a little easier to understand how effective these actives might be.
Hylamide is formulated at a pH of 5.5 – 6.5 is alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free.
“Buffet” is formulated at a pH of 4.5-5.5 is alcohol-free, silicone-free, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. “Buffet” is not oil-free, as it contains a small amount of PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil which acts as an emulsifier.
One of the biggest noticeable differences between SubQ and “Buffet” is the product texture and consistency. “Buffet” isn’t really the most comfortable serum to use on your skin. It tends to be a little sticky and tacky and takes some time to dry.
SubQ Skin is the exact opposite. It is thinner in consistency and sinks into your skin without any stickiness or tackiness. If only “Buffet” was formulated this way!
Hylamide SubQ Skin is priced at $22.00 for 1 oz (30 ml). “Buffet” is priced at $14.80 for 1 oz (30 ml) and $28.10 for 2 oz (60 m). The price difference between the two at 30 ml is $7.20. I look at the difference in price as representing the more elegant texture of Hylamide SubQ Skin and the inclusion of a retinol alternative.
NOTE: As noted earlier, “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% (formulated at a pH of 6.0-7.0) is $28.90 for 1 oz (30 ml), so you can see that the inclusion of copper peptides nearly doubles the price, making it more expensive than Hylamide SubQ Skin Advanced Serum.
Final Thoughts on Hylamide SubQ Skin vs The Ordinary “Buffet” – Which Should You Use?
When comparing Hylamide SubQ Skin vs. The Ordinary “Buffet”, both are effective and affordable peptide serums that target the signs of aging. The serums vary in formula, ingredients, and pricing, so you can decide what is most important to you:
- Do you want a lightweight, retinol-alternative, comfortable, and non-sticky serum? Go with Hylamide SubQ Skin.
- Are you new to anti-aging products and want the least expensive yet effective serum option? Go with The Ordinary “Buffet”.
I think both serums are excellent. I took a break from retinol for a few weeks after going a little overboard, irritating and drying out my skin. Hylamide SubQ Skin has been an excellent stand-in and leaves my skin bright and smooth. I love Hylamide SubQ’s comfortable formula and wrinkling-fighting capabilities without the irritation that comes along with retinol.
Thanks for reading, and until next time…