The at home chemical peel that lives up to the hype!
When I first read up on The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution I was initially sceptical. Could you really get such a strong acid mask for only €7.20? Would it work as well as other brands who claim to have the same acid percentage but sell for €60 - €100s more? Would my uber-sensitive skin be able to handle it?
Nearly two years of using it weekly, I can confirm yes to all the above! It has become essential in my skincare routine and I'm always recommending it. So much so it's one of my beauty heroes! I do get asked a lot of questions about it so I thought go through some of them like;
- What is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2%?
- What does The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% do?
- How and when do I use the peeling solution?
- Who should use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2%?
- Which products does The Ordinary AHA 30% conflict with?
What is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2%? Peeling Solution
The best way to describe it is a 10-minute treatment mask help fight visible blemishes and improve the look of skin texture and radiance. It has been compared to Drunk Elephant's Babyfacial and while the concept is the same, the two products have very different ingredients list, textures and most importantly, price point. (The Baby Facial is about 7x more expensive that The Ordinary)
How it works
Don't be afraid of the word peeling, your skin won't actually peel. It blends together Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAS ) including glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids (30 %) and Beta Hydroxy (BHA) acid Salicylic acid (2%). The AHAs exfoliate the skin's surface which gives an instantly more even and brighter appearance, while the BHA extends further into the skin to clear out the pores. When used regularly, which I will explain how to further on, the combined acids fight blemishes, improves skin texture and reduces fine lines.
That all sounds great! However, that high percentage of acids can be very irritating on the skin and if used incorrectly or too often can damage the skin barrier.
To help combat the irritation The Ordinary includes one their favourite ingredients, Tasmanian Pepperberry (which gives it the red/pink colour) plus hyaluronic acid for comfort, Vitamin B5 to help with healing and black carrot as an antioxidant.
How to use The Ordinary AHA 30% Peeling Solution
The trick with using this without irritation is to start off SLOWLY. Give yourself 2 or so weeks to build up to using on your face.
- Best used at night time as the acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
- Do a patch test first on the inside of your elbow, it should tingle but that should fade after a minute or so. Leave on for 10 minutes and wipe off. If no irrtition within 24hours, you can try it on your face.
- Again do a patch test on your cheek, again it should tingle but be fine after a few minutes. If no irritation occurs after a few days. You can try it on the whole face
- When you apply it to your face, leave it on for 3-5 minutes before washing off. If the tingling sensation doesen't stop after a couple of minutes, wash it off. The feeling will be uncomfortable but not unbarably so.
- Give yourself a week in between application
- If you find you have no reaction and it doesn’t tingle, well I am jealous!
- Always wear SPF after use!
When to use it.
Due to the strength of the solution, it's best to use it as a mask for 10 minutes once a week. If you feel that your skin can take, you can increase it to two times a week but no more than that. Overuse can damage your skin. You should always use it in the pm so the new skin you have uncovered won't be damaged by UV light but make sure you use spf the next day anyway.
What products can you use with it
Because of the potential for sensitivity, you shouldn't use retinol or vitamin c (which can be irritating on the skin). Deciem also recommends not using any peptides like Buffet, Matrixyl or Argireline Instead, use a hyaluronic serum for hydration followed by your moisturiser and/ or oil. The next day, and the days afterwards always use a high SPF and try to stay out of the sun.
Who should use it?
Everybody's skin will benefit and see results but in particular, if you have bumpy congested skin. You know the annoying under the skin spots that never seem to go? A few applications of this will sort it right out. It's also really helpful for acne cysts (as long as they aren't open). It will also reduce pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Giving you a gorgeous glow!
If you have sensitive skin, peeling or compromised skin then you shouldn’t use this product. However, saying that, I have pretty sensitive skin and have used this product with no problems at all. If you follow the directions above you should be fine.
RELATED: My Obsession with The Ordinary
If you decide to try out this peel, make sure to keep an eye on your skin for any changes that might mean it’s not reacting well because over-exfoliation will lead to issues that could completely negate anything good the acid has the potential to do.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution €7.20 /£6.30/ $7.20 is available at
Have you tried it yet? Are you going to? Let me know in the comments!
ps it's that time of the year again! The Black Friday sales have started - get all the details here! But remember to shop responsible!
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