REVIEW: Is The Ordinary Peeling Solution Really a Miracle Worker?

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The Ordinary AHA Bha Peeling solution
The Ordinary
AHA + BHA Peeling Solution
Where To Buy

Don’t deny it: the social media sensation that had people applying blood-red liquid on their faces has definitely piqued your curiosity. With countless product reviews, videos, and before and after photos spread across all different platforms, you may have already considered getting your hand on a bottle of that product.

But before you go ahead and figure out where to buy The Ordinary Peeling Solution, let’s get to know more about this new beauty regimen darling. With The Ordinary Peeling Solution reviews chronicling experiences from the deeply satisfying to the absolutely horrific, it’s essential that you know all about this product, specifically how to use The Ordinary Peeling Solution.

If you’re still unsure whether the product is for you, or if you’d like to do your due diligence before applying the solution to your face, we’ve got you. We understand that terms like AHA peel, AHA and BHA peel may seem intimidating like that velvety red serum, but fret not. Consider this article your ultimate guide to The Ordinary Peeling Solution.

The Ordinary Peeling Solution: What does It Do?

The Ordinary Peeling Solution is a 10-minute liquid mask treatment that exfoliates your skin to visibly improve its tone and texture. To do this, the product exfoliates deeply to help fight visible blemishes and bring out an improved skin radiance. With its affordable potent exfoliating treatment, no other product comes close when it comes to being the talk of the whole internet town.

How to Use It

Wash your face and wait for the skin to dry. Make sure that you don’t use the product on wet skin. Using your fingertips, apply the solution evenly across your face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, also avoiding contact with the eyes during this time.

Do not leave the product on your skin for longer than 10 minutes. Furthermore, the solution is not recommended to be used more than twice per week. If irritation occurs, consult a physician.

What You Should Know Before Using The Ordinary Peeling Solution

It’s not recommended for first-time acid users. The formula has a very high concentration of acids. If you have never used acids in your skincare routine before, it’s best to try out solutions with milder acids at lower percentages, such as The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA.  

The product should only be used as directed on unbroken skin. Otherwise, it will sting when it comes in contact with broken skin, such as those with open pimples or razor cuts.

Patch testing before use is advised. To do this, apply a small amount of the product onto a clean area of your skin on the upper forearm. Leave it on for 10 minutes (the specified length of time stated in the directions of use). Rinse off as directed in the product instructions. If any redness, burning, itching, blistering or irritation is observed on the skin within 24 hours of the patch test, do not use the product.

The solution contains acids that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. To avoid the possibility of sunburn, you should use sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for one week afterwards.

It’s not recommended to combine this product with several regimens. Skincare experts don’t recommend combining this product in the same regimen as products containing peptides, EUK-134 0.1%, pure or ethylated vitamin C, and other direct acids (glycolic, lactic, mandelic, salicylic, etc).

It’s not for sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin or get easily irritated when you are using chemical exfoliants, this product may not be good for you. If you’ve been using facial brushes and exfoliating scrubs, the peel may further irritate your already tortured skin.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your doctor first. Before using any high-dose acid skincare products, seek medical guidance if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The Key Hero Ingredients

The Ordinary Peeling Solution is an AHA and BHA peel that combines two AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) and a BHA (salicylic acid) for a total acid concentration of 32%.

  • Glycolic acid – exfoliates the outer layers of the skin. It works to break the bonds between the outer layer of skin cells (which includes dead skin cells) and the next skin cell layer.  Because of this, you experience a peeling effect that can make the skin appear smoother and more even.
  • Lactic acid – exfoliates the outer layers of the skin. It’s specifically used to treat age spots, hyperpigmentation, and other factors that may contribute to a dull and uneven complexion. It’s also helpful in promoting an improved skin tone and reduced pore appearance. Compared to glycolic acid, lactic acid is a bit milder.
  • Salicylic acid – exfoliates inside the pores to reduce congestion. Because it gets deep into pores, it helps remove all the oil, bacteria and gunk that causes blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads and enlarged pores.

If you’re curious about the wild red color, it’s brought to you by the Tasmanian pepperberry extract, which helps reduce irritation.

Fast Facts

Pregnancy friendly?NO
Suitable for sensitive skin?NO
Is this vegan?YES
Is this free from animal cruelty?YES
Is this natural or synthetic?NO
Is this Halal certified?NO

What Beauty Bloggers and Beauty Magazines Say About the Product

To help you get a sense of what industry experts thought about The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, we’ve summarised the reviews by some of the top beauty bloggers and beauty magazines!

Ama Kwarteng, Cosmopolitan.

Yeah, uh, unless you’ve got sensitive skin, you absolutely need this peel in your life.

the ordinary peeling solution before and after review from Cosmopolitan
The Ordinary Peeling Solution Before and After: Ama Kwarteng

You’ll “legit notice a difference” in your skin even at first use, says Ama. According to her, her face looked instantly brighter, and after using the product once a week for about a month, she observed major differences: her skin looks brighter, dark spots have faded, and breakouts have become fewer and far between.

Jenny Singer, Glamour.

The glowing effect was immediate. My skin looked refreshed and brighter when I washed off the mask, and the healthy, lit-up look lasted overnight and into the next few days. Over several uses, I noticed that some of the acne scarring on my face had lightened noticeably.

the ordinary peeling solution before and after review from Glamour
The Ordinary Peeling Solution Before and After: Jenny Singer

On her fourth use, however, (she used the product twice a week), she noticed a red patch on her face, which she chalked up to taking the product’s instructions too literally (it did say no more than twice a week). As such, she recommends a patch test first, especially for this solution.

Emily Algar, Byrdie.

It decongests, brightens, and smooths like nobody’s business, all for less than $10. What more can you ask for?

the ordinary peeling solution before and after review from Byrdie
The Ordinary Peeling Solution Before and After: Emily Algar

For Byrdie’s Emily Algar, she was hesitant at first (the bright red peel can be quite scary), but she dutifully followed the product instructions. She applied moisturizer after rinsing off the product and woke up the next morning to a glowing complexion. She said that her skin became incredibly smooth, her pores looked refined, her flakes were gone, and the cluster of tiny whiteheads on her forehead had been flattened.

When the product was on her skin, she felt that it tingled a lot, in an itchy kind of way. Nonetheless, with a $7 price tag, she says that the product’s value is unmatched and is worth giving it a red hot go.

Kim Pratt, YouTube Vlogger (Natural Kaos).

I think it’s like great little acid baths to do once in a while.

the ordinary peeling solution before and after review from Natural Kaos
The Ordinary Peeling Solution Before and After: Kim Pratt

For skincare, self-care, and lifestyle YouTube vlogger Kim Pratt of Natural Kaos, she found that the product’s red colour is a fun reason to try out the product. She says that the product tingled a little at first, but it didn’t hurt at all — her pores felt nice and fresh after. For her, the solution has an amazing price point (she bought it in the United States for $7.20) that she wanted to do her own little routine with it and try it out for a month. She also said that it is a good alternative for a TCA peel for the summer.

Sonia Anastasia, YouTube Vlogger

I feel like my skin is glowy.

the ordinary peeling solution before and after review from Sonia
The Ordinary Peeling Solution Before and After: Sonia Anastasia

Upon her first use, YouTube vlogger Sonia Anastasia felt the product sting for the first 30 seconds, but the second time was not as intense as the first. She said her face looks refreshed, even after using the product just once. After a month, she said that the overall texture of her skin  is more balanced and even. She did have an active breakout at the time of the review, but she thinks the product will speed up the whole healing process. Overall, she loved the glow the peeling solution gave her face.

What the Internet Has to Say About the Product

For a more honest and comprehensive review, we’ve scoured the internet to learn what people have to say regarding The Ordinary Peeling Solution. Here’s what we’ve found on Reddit and Twitter:

  • 89% were more or less satisfied with the product and agreed that it was effective
  • 40% explicitly said that the product is effective and cited the benefits they personally experienced,  with most of them saying that the difference is felt and seen immediately.
    • 13% mentioned the product helped clear their skin and pores, giving it a smooth texture
    • 8% said the product helped address their acne and reduced the visibility of acne scars
    • 7% said their skin looked brighter or glowing
  • 14% commented on the product’s intensity. As such, there were several recommendations on its use: aside from patch testing, some recommended leaving the product initially for just 5 minutes or less (instead of not more than 10). While the majority seem to be using it twice a month, others also commented that further reducing frequency of use could also give your skin enough resting time.
  • 9% highlighted the need to properly moisturize the skin after the peel. While this also resulted in a wide array of hydration product recommendations, Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion seems to be a crowd favorite.
  • 11% were not satisfied with the results the product gave them. About half of these users experienced irritation in the form of redness of the skin or breakouts, while 5 people suffered chemical burns or intense stinging on the skin.

Because some users found it too harsh on the skin, other products commonly mentioned as alternatives are:

  • Drunk Elephant Baby Facial
  • The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% 
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes

Over to You

Now that you have discovered what does The Ordinary Peeling Solution do and have seen all these The Ordinary Peeling Solution reviews, it’s time to experience firsthand what the social media commotion is all about — just make sure to follow directions and you’ll be on your way to radiant, glowing skin!

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REVIEW: Is The Ordinary Peeling Solution Really a Miracle Worker?
Does wonders for smooth skin!
The Ordinary Peeling Solution, when used once a week, could be the secret to smooth and radiant skin. Those with sensitive skin need to first patch test for 24 hours and be careful not to use too much of the product or exceeded the recommended usage frequency of once a week.
Potentially irritating for sensitive skin
May lead to chemical burns if not properly applied