The Story Behind The Ordinary
The Ordinary is a popular skin care brand under the global beauty brand, Deciem’s, umbrella. Created to offer effective, clinical solutions at an affordable price tag, The Ordinary features a cohesive collection of treatments to meet the most common skin care needs. Since its launch, The Ordinary has gained a loyal customer base of users who not only love The Ordinary skin care products, but also appreciate the brand’s commitment to transparency. In this review, we are going to focus on The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. We’ll discuss what it is, the key ingredients, how to use it, reviews from real customers, and more.
What is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a 10 minute exfoliating facial that should only be used by experienced users of acid exfoliation. It is said to offer deep exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes, as well as improve skin radiance, texture, and signs of aging. This treatment solution should only be used twice per week.
What Are The Key Ingredients in The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?
As you can tell from the name, there are a total of 32% free acids in this formula: 30% alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and 2% beta hydroxy acids (BHA). Both of these types of hydroxy acids promote skin exfoliation, but let’s take a closer look at the differences between them.
The AHAs in The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution include glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acid. The primary benefit of AHAs is their ability to exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the stratum corneum) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, brighter skin and a more even complexion. According to a publication in the journal Molecules, AHAs can be used to easily peel all types of skin with minimal risk.
The BHA in The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid works by softening and dissolving keratin, a protein found in the skin that acts as a “glue” to keep cells together. This allows salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin and slough off dead skin cells. Salicylic acid also has the ability to penetrate deep into pores, where it helps to loosen clogs and allows oil to flow out more freely. Thus, salicylic acid is known to break down blackheads and whiteheads.
Since AHAs and BHAs have the potential to lead to irritation, The Ordinary has included a studied Tasmanian pepperberry derivative in this formula in order to help reduce irritation associated with acid use. The Tasmanian pepper shrub can be found in Southeastern Australia. It gets its name from its small, round, dark purple berries that look like black pepper when dried. Extracts from the berries contain polygodial, which is an anti-inflammatory component that soothes and calms reactive skin.
Lastly, The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution contains two hydrating ingredients: hyaluronic acid crosspolymer and vitamin B5 (panthenol). Hyaluronic acid is a type of glycosaminoglycan (sugar molecule) that attracts moisture from the environment and draws that moisture into the skin’s upper layers. In fact, hyaluronic acid has the ability to attract and hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Panthenol is a highly effective humectant, which means it has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract and retain the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into or beneath the surface of the skin. In addition to improving skin hydration, hyaluronic acid and panthenol can help give the skin a more plump appearance.
How to Use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Clean your face and wait for skin to dry (do not apply to wet skin). Apply The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution evenly across face and neck using fingertips, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes both during application and rinse off.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is intended to be used as a masque and, therefore, should not be left on for longer than 10 minutes. It is not recommended to use more than twice per week. Contact of the product with the skin must be of limited frequency or duration. If irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised.
The acids in The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.
Where is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Sold?
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution and other skin care products by The Ordinary are sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party sellers like Amazon, Ulta, and Sephora. The brand has a store locator and list of authorized retailers on their website.
What is The Ordinary Return Policy?
All Deciem brands, including The Ordinary, offer a 365-day full refund policy.
Is The Ordinary Cruelty Free?
The Ordinary is cruelty free. DECIEM and The Ordinary do not test on animals and do not ask others to do so. For this reason, none of their brands or products are sold in stores or conventional retailers in mainland China, since such sales require animal testing for registration purposes.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Reviews
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive, with the product receiving an average rating of 9.1 out of 10 stars after more than 500 customer reviews.
Positive reviews for The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution are from customers who noticed positive changes in their skin after using this product, such as clear skin, increased firmness, and smoother texture. For example, one review says, “I’ve been using this product for around a year now, 2 times a week and I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin from using it, my skin is less likely to produce spots and feels a lot firmer. After I rinse off, my skin is left feeling soft and cleaner. Thank you The Ordinary, it is a wonderful product and I will continue to buy it!”
Interestingly, the few negative reviews for the The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution are from customers who either didn’t see the results they were hoping for, or from those who did not think the product was strong enough. For example, one review says, “I got this product based on all the amazing reviews. Short answer: do I like it? Yeah. Do I love it? No. I think it DOES work, I just don’t think it is powerful enough for what I am looking for. I have extremely tough skin, I used to use direct pure 30% glycolic acid on my skin for 6 mins 2x a week. I could FEEL the sting, never broke out and my face felt clean (and I don’t break out with this product either). I find I am having to use this product 3x+ a week, 15-20 mins. I wish it was more potent. I will continue to use it because IT IS quality and I like the price point, but if you have extremely tough skin you may have to increase your usage and time.”
What Are Some Alternatives to The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?
Overall, we think The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a good option if you’re looking for an exfoliating masque treatment. We like that the brand combines high strength acids with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and panthenol. But if you want a gentler product that can be used daily to help improve skin tone and texture, we recommend Formulyst’s Retexturing and Perfecting Serum.
The Retexturing and Perfecting Serum is a lightweight serum expertly formulated to gently exfoliate, clean, and refine pores, as well as help remove dead cells and visibly reveal the brighter, healthier skin beneath. The formula contains the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) glycolic acid. Like we mentioned above, glycolic acid exfoliates dead skin cells and helps to improve uneven skin texture, resulting in smoother, softer skin. This serum also contains soothing botanicals, such as mallow extract, lady’s mantle extract, and lemon balm extract. Overall, Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum helps to improve the tone and texture of your skin, while also helping to reduce the appearance of uneven, blotchy skin.
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Molecules. 2018 Apr; 23(4): 863.