[REVIEW] THE ORDINARY AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (Before and After)
Price (using this link): US$ 9
Texture: Lightweight cream
What you get: 30 ml
Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide (Buffering), Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol (Solvent + Moisturizer/Humectant), Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine (Emulsifying + Surfactant/Cleansing), Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate (Buffering + Chelating), Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol (Solvent + Moisturizer/Humectant), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Controlling + Emulsifying + Surfactant/Cleansing + Emulsion Stabilising), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifying + Surfactant /Cleansing ), Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate (Chelating), Potassium Sorbate (Chelating), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Ethylhexylglycerin (Preservative), 1,2-Hexanediol (Solvent), Caprylyl Glycol (Moisturizer/Humectant + Emollient)
Glycolic Acid: A form of AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids), a class of acids that reduce cell adhesion in the top layer of the skin (decrease cellular bond between corneocytes), which leads to an exfoliating effect. AHAs have also been shown to increase the production of mucopolysaccharides and collagen in the skin. [Anti-Acne + Anti-Aging + Brightening + Antioxidative]
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water: The water of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf is not well researched, but usually, water extracts have the same properties as their non-water counterparts but are weakened down. Here are the known properties of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract + Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: Treats burns (Inhibits thromboxane, which causes a restriction in blood supply to affected skin tissues) + Moisturizer (mucopolysaccharides (water-binding) along with amino acids and zinc) + Wound Healing (Stimulates Collagen production pathways)+ Anti-inflammation (Magnesium lactate in the gel prevents Histamine production).
Salicylic Acid: A form of BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid). It is a very well known and researched anti-acne and peeling agent that penetrates deep into the skin to break down bonds between skin cells, dissolve skin debris within the pores, and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Lactic Acid + Tartaric Acid + Citric Acid: All of these are forms of AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids), which are a class of acids that reduce cell adhesion in the top layer of the skin (decrease cellular bond between corneocytes) which leads to an exfoliating effect. AHAs have also been shown to increase the production of mucopolysaccharides and collagen in the skin. [Anti-Acne + Anti-Aging + Brightening + Antioxidative]
Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer: ‘‘A modified form of skin-replenishing hyaluronic acid attached to a polymer structure that keeps it within skin’s uppermost layers longer, allowing for enhanced hydration’’ [Explication: Paulaschoice] Hydrating
Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract: Antimicrobial + Antioxidant (Presence of Anthocyanins) + Potentially exhibits wound-healing properties + Anti-inflammatory: A Test by the manufacturer (Lucas-Meyer Cosmetics) made on real people concluded that ‘‘Tasmanian Pepper Extract can relieve itching and burning sensation to a great extent (79% and 58% decrease) almost instantly (after only 5 mins)’’. According to Lucas-Meyer Cosmetics, this is due to the inhibition of TRPV1, a receptor that can increase the release of inflammatory mediators.
Glycerine: Widely used as a quality Hydrator (occurs naturally in skin and its chemical structure attracts water). You can find this ingredient in most good skin-replenishing products.
1.Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin's topmost surface for a brighter and more even appearance leading to improved skin radiance: So yes, AHAs do that. Here, Glycolic Acid (an AHA and a molecule that will make you go 'Ahaaaaa.. this did that, damn" after you use it) is listed as the first ingredient. Read the in-depth ingredient list above for more information, but basically, this claim is valid, I've been using The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution for about a month and a half, and my skin has brightened up. However, it hasn't brightened up to a remarkable extent. I've gotten much more noticeable results with the SOME BY MI Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Serum (13.8$).
2.Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) also exfoliate the skin with an extended function to help clear pore congestion and help fight visible blemishes: Here too, BHAs: excellent stuff. Read the in-depth ingredient list above for more info. As for my results, they are... confusing? I used this product to get rid of acne that had started to randomly accumulate on my jaw and neck area - I started a new job where I need to go to in person, so my mask usage has gone dramatically up, closely followed by acne expansionism. After two weeks, the peeling solution got rid of/greatly diminished the acne that was there, but new acne kept randomly immerging from the depths of my skin cells. This is confusing because all good AHA/BHA products I’ve used in the past, like the SOME BY MI Aha/Bha/Pha 30 Days Miracle Toner (14$) or the SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum (92$), have irradicated my old acne and made it nearly impossible for new ones to form. So while The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution does help to clear pore congestion and visible pimples, don’t expect it to completely get rid of acne without the help of additional acne-fighters.
3.The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use: That's also true, and probably the claim where this product is the most efficient. I've often struggled with bumps on my skin: these tiny raised bumps that are neither acne nor blackheads. If you have the same issue, you're in for some good news; this peel has high chances of completely getting rid of them for you. While the Before and After pictures don't quite do it justice because I get most of them on my forehead, and I didn't take photos of it, trust me when I say that this works. As for fine lines, I saw no difference. You probably need to use this for a very long time before seeing any real improvement.
4.This formula contains a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use and is further supported with a crosspolymer form of hyaluronic acid for comfort, Vitamin B5 to assist healing, and black carrot as an antioxidant: This is all true, and the reason why all of these ingredients are incorporated in the formulation is to make it less irritating. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but did feel a tingling sensation my initial first uses. If you have sensitive skin, try doing a patch test first and testing it out for fewer than 5 minutes when you go full-face. You’ll eventually find out the correct time ratio suitable for you. Rule of thumb: if it straight-out burns or tingles uncomfortably: wash it off!
If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know by now that when I test out a product, I only use it alone, without the addition of anything else -except the same non-active cleanser. So you’re probably going to get better results than I did if you end up purchasing this product because you won’t be using it as a stand-alone solution to whatever problem you’re trying to tackle.
If you care about skin radiance, you can combine this with the vitamin C serum I’ve mentioned above. If you’re combating acne, you can target spots with the Pyunkang Yul Acne Spot Cream(9.90$) in between uses. If you have texture-problems, this is an excellent product on its own. Either way, always remember to supplement your skin with adequate hydration and health-promoting ingredients, my favorite serum for this the AXIS-Y Artichoke Intensive Skin Barrier Ampoule(25$).
Obviously, you don’t need to buy any of the products mentioned above. I’m just giving them an example to illustrate that you need products that will enhance what this peeling solution does and keep your skin from negatively reacting to it - types of products you probably already have in your skincare cabinet.
Now, when it comes to recommendations: this peel is suitable for all skin types except for sensitive and dry ones. If you have any of these two or a combination of both types, take the precautions mentioned in claim #4, or better yet, don’t use it! There are milder AHA/BHA exfoliators that contain emollients to shield you from harsh side effects. Again, the SOME BY MI Aha/Bha/Pha 30 Days Miracle Toner is an example, or the Pyunkang Yul Acne Toner if your skin is more sensitive.
I don't think that The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a must-have product - yes, this conclusion is a shocker to me too but hear me out. While it is fun to use, and I'm a sucker for any skincare product that looks remotely like blood, it's a product that has a bit of a learning curve for people who aren't experienced with chemical peels. Yes, it will contribute to more radiant brighter acne-free skin, but so will a lot of other products with which you don't need to wonder whether or not you'll irritate your skin when using them.
That’s not to say that I would not recommend it: my point of view is that if you want to try it out, my review is here to show you that it works, that the price point is highly affordable, that your skin will benefit from it, but that this isn’t an out-of-this-world-miracle-product. Buy it if you want to take your skincare routine to a higher level, not start one from scratch.
It will greatly improve skin texture, specifically if you have tiny bumps
The product will last you a long while
Amazing Price/Quality ratio
Fun to use because it looks like blood
Works as a great add-on to a good majority of skincare routine
It doesn’t deliver amazing, jaw-dropping results - as the majority of Instagram, Youtube and Tiktok would have you believe.
💉Score: 3.9/5 --- This is a good exfoliating product that will enhance any skincare routine. It’s just not a necessity - unless you’re using 0 exfoliating products or your skincare routine needs a revamp.
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