It’s impossible to spend five minutes on TikTok without seeing someone dropping red liquid from a glass dropper across their face. It’s The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, the skincare world’s latest viral obsession and a constant sell-out. It makes for a great selfie opp, tingles on application, has instant results, and costs less than £10 – so you can see why it’s so popular.
However, the downside of a product going viral on TikTok is that not everyone is aware of how it works, what it does, and who it’s suitable for. While the combination of acids has been expertly formulated by The Ordinary‘s chemists with the intent of providing effective skin exfoliation, it’s important to follow the correct steps of application and only use the product if it’s right for your skin (no matter how good it looks on TikTok).
If you use the product correctly, your skin will be smooth and radiant, but if used incorrectly, your skin could end of red, inflamed, and even damaged. We spoke to the experts at The Ordinary to find out exactly how to use The Ordinary’s peeling solution.
What does The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution do?
AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) are used in skincare for chemical exfoliation, to target dullness, textural irregularities, and lackluster tone. Chemical exfoliants are comedolytic and keratolytic in nature, meaning that they function to promote exfoliation of the outer layer of the skin by loosening the topmost layer of dead skin. In removing dead skin cells, skin feels smoother, looks brighter, and pores are kept clear. This can be particularly beneficial for blemish-prone skin, skin with post-acne pigmentation, or skin that appears dull and feels rough.
What’s inside The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?
The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution combines glycolic and lactic acids (both AHAs) and salicylic acid (a BHA), for a total acid concentration of 32%. By combining these two types of acids, this product offers a potent solution to improving the appearance of skin texture and enhancing skin radiance with continued use.
How do you use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?
This treatment should be used after cleansing, in the PM (as you would a mask). Start by cleansing your face and patting it dry, ensuring there is as little residual moisture as possible. Do not apply on wet skin. Next, apply the product evenly like a mask across your face and neck using your fingertips, avoiding the eye area, and leave it on for no more than ten minutes. Lastly, rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes during application and rinse off. The brand recommends using this product no more than two times per week, as it contains acids that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, and particularly the possibility of sunburn. You should use sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for one week afterwards.
When should it not be used? Does it have any contraindications?
The 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).
Who it is suitable for and who is it not suitable for?
Due to its high concentration of acids and the fact that it’s a combination of both AHAs and BHAs, The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is best suited to experienced users of direct acids. The brand doesn’t recommend this product for first time users.
If you’re new to acids, start with milder acids at lower percentages, such as The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA.
What pH is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?
As the Peeling Solution is made up of acids, it has a low pH of 3.5 – 3.7.
Is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution safe to use?
The formula is a very high concentration of acids, so it’s recommended to use only if you’re an experienced user of acids and don’t have sensitive, peeling, or compromised skin. Above all, remember to patch test before first use, follow the above application guidance, don’t leave the product on your skin for too long, and protect your skin from the sun after use.
THis story was previously published at an earlier date and has since been updated.