Everything You Need To Know About The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution

Known for its smart formulas, active ingredients, and affordable prices, The Ordinary is our go-to brand for hardworking skincare. It feels like forever since the brand last released a new product, but as always, it’s worth the wait… Meet The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution

Long-term The Ordinary fans may remember the brand’s previous salicylic acid serum offering – a water-based gel-like solution designed to be used as a targeted spot treatment. This new formula, however, offers a milder approach (perfect for acid newbies!) and can be used all over the face.  

From the skin types it’s most suitable for to the products you can (and can’t) mix it with, here’s everything you need to know about The Ordinary’s new salicylic acid serum

It’s water-free

A formula is anhydrous if it contains no water. Water is typically the main ingredient in most serums, but this one utilises squalane, a plant-derived, oil-like solution which soothes and nourishes skin. 

It helps with decongestion

Salicylic acid has an exfoliating effect which helps to decongest the skin, reducing the appearance of pores and texture in order to improve skin’s tone and clarity over time.  

It's suitable for all skin types

As it’s non-sensitising, non-irritating, and non-comedogenic, the solution is suitable for all skin types, including congested skin. Despite being oil-like in texture, squalane is lightweight and unlike heavy oils, won’t clog your pores. 

It has contraindications

Like most products with active ingredients, there are certain ingredients that this solution can’t be combined with. The Ordinary advise against using the solution in the same routine as peptides, other exfoliating acids, retinoids, vitamin C, or EUK 134 0.1%. 

It works well with niacinamide

As for ingredients that the solution does work well with… Niacinamide also helps to target blemishes and congestion but via different pathways, so together The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and the Salicylic 2% Anhydrous Solution make the perfect pair if you have congested and breakout-prone skin. If you do want to layer it into your routine, the new solution is best applied after water-based serums (like the niacinamide) and before oils and creams. 

It’s a perfect intro for acid newbies

In certain formulas salicylic acid can cause dryness and irritation, but this squalane-based formula allows it to be delivered in a slow and gentle (while still effective) way, without causing dryness and sensitivity. This makes it ideal for anyone new to using acids or for experienced users who want a treatment that’s mild enough for daily use.