The Ordinary Acids and Peels

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Renowned for their simple, yet effective approach to skincare, The Ordinary champions clean, minimalist formulas made with only crucial ingredients. The brand’s collection of acids and peels work to exfoliate the skin, promoting a more radiant and even-looking complexion.

With a variety of concentrations and textures to choose from, there’s an exfoliant for every skin type. The formulas combine hero ingredients to help promote a more even skin tone, clarify and refine the look of enlarged pores, targeting a multitude of skin concerns. Shop now to discover the right exfoliator or peel for you.

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What are The Ordinary acids?

Ideal for more sensitive skin types or those new to exfoliants, the brand’s Lactic Acid 5% + is the brand’s mildest formula and the gentlest on the skin. It can be diluted it with other products such as hyaluronic acid, to enable your skin to develop tolerance. The formula contains purified Tasmanian pepperberry, a powerful soothing ingredient to help calm the look of redness. The Ordinary also offers a more concentrated version of this formula, featuring 10% lactic acid.

Featuring larger molecules that penetrate skin at a slower rate, Mandelic Acid 10% + HA offers a gentle, superficial dermal peeling. Supported by hyaluronic acid to draw in moisture, this acid promotes a brighter and more radiant-looking complexion, helping to diminish the look of dark spots to create the appearance of a more unified tone.

The smallest AHA in molecular size, the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution targets the bonds between dead skin cells on stratum corneum, the outermost layers of the skin, promoting a smoother and brighter-looking complexion. Enriched with Tasmanian Pepperberry, ginseng root and aloe vera, the formula helps to refine the look of uneven skin texture and tone.

Salicylic acid is a hero ingredient for those with oily skin types and those prone to blemishes. The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is a clarifying formula, fortified with natural astringent witch hazel. Featuring oil-soluble beta hydroxy acids or BHAs, the acid deeply exfoliates the pores, helping to combat excess sebum and congestion. The chemical exfoliation helps to dissolve blemish-causing bacteria, working to minimise the formation of blemishes and support a clearer, calmer complexion.

For those who are experienced users of peels, theAHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution provides a more thorough, multi-layer exfoliation with deep clarifying action. Enriched with a skin-soothing Tasmanian pepperberry derivative, vitamin B5 and antioxidant-rich black carrot to soothe the complexion, the low-viscosity solution is intended to be used as a masque for no longer than 10 minutes.

What’s the difference between them?

Though most of The Ordinary’s exfoliating solutions are powered by alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), the Salicylic Acid 2% Solution harnesses BHA and the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peel features a mixture of both. Commonly used in skin-clarifying and radiance-boosting formulas, AHAs work to shed dead skin cells from the uppermost layers of the skin, while BHAs can penetrate further into pores. AHAs are water-soluble only, while BHAs can break down oils that build up within pores, offering a deeper deeper cleanse.

What do you use them for?

Depending on the active and concentration of the formula, acids and peels range from daily use to weekly treatments. TheGlycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution and Lactic Acid + HA treatments are gentle enough for everyday use, while the higher concentration peels like the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solutionmust be rinsed off thoroughly after 10 minutes. As AHAs can make your skin more sensitive to environmental factors such as sunlight, we recommend incorporating them into your evening skincare routine, ensuring that you are using an SPF during the day.

Do you need to rise them off?

All of The Ordinary’s exfoliators, except the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, are designed to be applied and left on, preferably before bed. The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution can be topically applied directly to problematic areas to calm the appearance of blemishes.

How many times do you need to use them per week?

The Ordinary recommend applying the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution twice a week at the most, while the others can be used daily in the evening. The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution can be applied in your morning and evening regime.

How do you apply?

To apply exfoliators, sweep them over the skin with a cotton pad, after cleansing. We recommend performing a patch test prior to use to test skin tolerance and reactivity. Apply a drop to a concealed area of skin (like behind the ears) several days before use to test your sensitivity to the product. If dryness, irritation or peeling occurs, reduce application to every other day.