The Ordinary. Skincare Review, Round 2 – Acids!

Leslie here, with more items from The Ordinary to discuss! I picked up a lil haul about a month ago and I’ve been working these goodies into my regimen. In this review, it will be all about acids, so let’s get into it!


4 of the 7 ‘direct acids’ The Ordinary currently offers

up first – Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution


Captain obvious out of the way here- this bottle is HUGE. This is 8 fluid ounces- EIGHT! I’m used to seeing toners in the 4-6 range. It also comes with a pretty neat twist cap to control how much you dispense onto a cotton ball. A+ for packaging.

Glycolic acid, if you didn’t know, is a type of alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA. AHA’s are used as chemical exfoliants in skincare, targeting the skin’s surface to renew, re-texturize, and brighten. The Ordinary’s solution has a 7% concentration (pretty up there), and has the addition of multiple skin soothing ingredients to counteract the higher level such as Tasmanian Pepperberry, aloe vera, and ginseng root.

Calling this a ‘toning’ solution is a little off for me. Toners are really meant to balance the pH of your skin after cleansing. They aren’t meant to clean, tighten, or exfoliate the skin. And while they do nod to the balanced pH of this product on their site, I would lump this product more in with a liquid exfoliant, along the lines of Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA.

All that aside- how does it perform? It does the job of exfoliating the top layer of my skin, but it leaves me feeling dry, irritated and even itchy in some spots. I DO have super sensitive skin, so this may not occur for every user, but for me I will need to use sparingly and dilute with something or rinse off like a mask.

Things I prefer: I like the Pixi Glow Tonic better, which has a 5% concentration and does not leave me irritated. I also think the Alpha Beta Peel from Dr. Dennis Gross is a much better exfoliating treatment. This product is a two-stepper where step 1 is wiping high levels of glycolic and salicylic acid, leaving on for 5 minutes, and following with step 2 – swiping with a neutralizing solution. So basically- if The Ordinary’s version came with a ‘neutralizing’ step, I would enjoy it MUCH more!

8 fl oz for $8.70 at

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution


Like the above product, this product contains glycolic acid, but also salicylic (BHA), lactic (AHA), tartaric (AHA), and cirtic (AHA) acids. This combo promises to help fight visible blemishes, improve skin texture, reduce fine lines, and improve radiance. It is applied as a (no more than!!) 10 minute mask. The blood red liquid goes all over DRY skin and rinsed off after 10 minutes, used no more than twice a week.

A. “For professional use only” did not scare me away- I’m no newbie to acids. But I am however verrrrry sensitive. And this is another product that is just a little harsh for my skin. I have used a total of three times now, and depending on the day/ sensitivity of my skin that day, I still have not been able to go longer than 5 minutes. It’s just REAL uncomfortable.

B. It smells real bad. Almost like burning flesh? Which plays games with my head because it already thinks my face is going to fall off from all the pain.

It DOES really smooth out the skin. I will need to play a little more to see the best days for me to use, but I don’t think I can use more than every other week. I like it! I’m just so sensitive!!

I’ve heard this is supposed to be a more gentle ‘dupe’ for Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, but I’mma tell you right now. If I can’t handle this, there’s no way I’m going anywhere near the DE one.

1 fl oz for $7.20 at

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%


Azelaic acid was a new one to me. Apparently it is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. This product promises to brighten skin and improve texture. Formulated in a cream-gel type of product- it almost acts more like a primer. I find that I can’t use this at night because it actually dries my skin out. But! That makes it great for the daytime when I want to control oil a little more. And more importantly- this acid does not hurt my wittle face! I have been using my Sunday Riley Good Genes in the AM (a lactic acid treatment), followed by this and there is no irritation.

I find that it takes quite a bit to cover the whole face, leaving me feeling like this little tube won’t last very long. I will continue to use it until it is gone, but unless I see a huge difference in brightness and texture from it- I will probably not repurchase.

1 fl oz for $7.90 at

The Ordinary is one of those brands that I just can’t help but buy and try everything! Everything is so straightforward and inexpensive, that its like WELL WHY NOT. But does any of it need to be in my regimen? Maybe not- but it’s fun to play! What other things should I try?? Maybe I’ll get my hands on some NIOD next…



The Ordinary. – Skincare Review!

Niacinamide Showdown – Paula’s Choice VS The Ordinary!

Gimme Five Friday – Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

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