Is The Ordinary Peeling Solution Really That Good?

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I’ve wanted to try The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution ever since I heard everyone raving about how this super affordable dual-acid peel makes their skin look more healthy and radiant. I bought it and tried it. Now I am going to share all of the details with you. And I mean ALL of the nitty-gritty details including what is in the peel, how it works, how to use it, and etc.

The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling Solution

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What Are The Key Ingredients & What Do They Do?

The Ordinary’s peeling formula works via a powerful mix of alpha and beta hydroxy acids. According to the ingredients list, the concentration is 30% AHA (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric) and 2% BHA (salicylic acid), as well as hyaluronic acid crosspolymer, vitamin B5, black carrot, and Tasmanian pepper berry(tasmannia lanceolata fruit leaf).

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) | By removing dead skin cells from the surface, AHAs effectively reduce sun damage, fade dark spots, and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA)| Salicylic acid is great for getting deep into pores and removing all the oil, bacteria, and impurities that cause blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads, and enlarged pores.

Other active ingredients | Since The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% is extremely potent this formula contains Tasmanian Pepperberry to help reduce irritation. The hyaluronic acid crosspolymer paired with Vitamin B5 help with hydration and moisture retention.

Who Shouldn’t Use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution isn’t for anyone that has never used a chemical exfoliant. Even those experienced with facial peels should be warned.

Please DO NOT use this facial peel if:

  • you have never used acids in your skincare routine
  • you have sensitive skin or skin that is easily irritated
  • you have open sores on your skin
  • you are using a prescription-strength retinol

How Often Can You Use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary says you can use this peel twice a week, but I would not recommend using it that often. I would only use it once a week, at most.

And as much as I know you won’t want to, do a patch test. You’ll want to know if you are going to have a bad reaction before you put it on your entire face. Trust me when I say you don’t want to get a chemical burn on your entire face.

How To Use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Safely 

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is always the first step after cleansing. 

Wash your face, pat it completely dry and then apply the peel evenly all over your face using your fingers, staying away from the eye area and your lips.

You only need a few drops of the peel for your entire face.

Avoid putting this peel on active breakouts and pimples where the skin has been broken. This peel will sting and burn broken skin.

The peeling solution will start to dry down a bit and will feel a bit tacky.

For your first use, I recommend a maximum of 5 minutes followed by rinsing with warm water. If you don’t have any adverse reactions, leave it on for a bit longer next time.

Do not keep this peel on for more than 10 minutes. You won’t get better results if you keep it on longer. You will get angry skin.

What Can You Expect During & After The Peel?

The peeling solution itself is a beet-red liquid. It tingles as soon as it’s applied.

After washing off the peel, you can expect your skin to be a bit pink but also have a luminous glow.

If your skin turns an angry, painful red, this peel is probably not for you.

What To Put On Your Skin After Using The Ordinary AHA BHA Peel

After using the peel, it is important to rehydrate the skin.

I recommend skipping any actives and going straight to locking in moisture. I love to follow up with a soothing moisturizer or facial oil. My go-to oil is squalane but you could use whichever facial oil you prefer.

In the morning you will need to apply sunscreen. You should be doing that anyway, especially when using chemical exfoliants.

Can You Use Other Acids/Exfoliants With The Ordinary AHA BHA?

Never combine other acids or exfoliants when you use The Ordinary AHA BHA Peel during the same application.

More sensitive skin types may need to wait for a day or more before using regular acids/exfoliants after using this peel.

Everyone’s skin is different. But if you are worried about freaking your skin out, skip a day of actives.

The Verdict

I highly recommend The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution.

I love that there is an affordable peel option on the market. It is easy to use and provides great results.

That being said, if you have highly sensitive skin, I would recommend trying an alternative treatment option.

Alternative Options

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution won’t be for everybody. While these are not dupes, I think they are great alternatives.

Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial  | If you are looking for an alternative treatment that still packs a punch, I suggest picking up the DE Babyfacial. I really prefer the application and texture of this treatment but understand that not everyone can treat themselves to an $80 skincare product.

Pixi Skintreats Peel & Polish | If your skin is on the more sensitive side, I recommend this product from Pixi. It uses lactic acid, papaya fruit extract, and sugar cane extract to exfoliate and clarify the skin. Bonus tip: Order it online since it can be hard to find in the store.

OLEHENRIKSEN PHAT Glow Facial™ Mask | If you are looking for a much gentler option, pick up this mask. It is an age-fighting face mask that works like a facial, with potent PHAs and Nordic birch sap to exfoliate, illuminate, and brighten skin.

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  1. 5.4.23
    Nene said:

    Can I use the peeling solution on my lips? I have dark lips that I would like to lighten

    • 5.4.23
      hcuperus said:

      I would not suggest using this on the lips. I would recommend a lip treatment that contains lactic acid instead. Look into the Stacked Skincare Hydrating Lip Peel.