Courtesy Image/Khadija Horton
It’s safe to say that my skin hasn’t been handling the pandemic well. During, you know, normal circumstances, my skin tends to stay on its best behavior (#blessed, I know), but during the age of COVID-19, it’s looked (and felt) basically as stressed as I am. I’m talking random breakouts, dullness, rough texture…seriously, the list goes on.
So when I heard about The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution—a $7 at-home chemical peel that promises the smoothest, brightest skin of your damn life—I knew I had to try it immediately. Sry for the spoiler, but lemme just say my skin has taken a complete 180 since I added it to my routine. It’s that good.
So what makes this little bloodred bottle so special? The magic is in the acids. The formula’s alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acids) work to exfoliate the top layers of your skin, helping fade acne scars and brighten dark spots for even-toned, super-glowy skin.
And when combined with beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid), the formula becomes a true acne fighter, clearing out your pores, minimizing excess oil, and preventing breakouts. Can you say dream team? BTW: It’s also filled with hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, so I promise it won’t dry out your skin. The only caveat is that it’s a little too powerful for sensitive skin types (sorry).
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The other cool thing about this peel? It makes your other skincare products work better. Yep, when you don’t exfoliate regularly, you basically have an army of dead skin cells that block all your pricey serums from sinking in and doing their jobs. When you use a chemical exfoliator, the acids gently break down those dead skin cells, so you’ll find that your skin is finally able to soak in all the goodness you’ve been layering on.
Since my skin isn’t prone to irritation or redness—the words “chemical” and “peel” don’t have me running for the hills—I decided to dive right in (for the record, though, you can totally start with a spot test if you’re on the fence). I washed my face and made sure it was completely dry before smoothing a thin layer along my face and neck.
The first time I used this chemical peel, I did get a tingly feeling in some spots—but nothing too painful. Remember: Your skincare isn’t supposed to hurt, so if you feel an intense burning sensation, go ahead and wash the peel off your face. After I let it sit for 10 minutes, I rinsed it all off and followed with a super-hydrating moisturizer.
Even though most skincare products take a few weeks to kick in, you’ll legit notice a difference in your skin after using this bad boy once. I swear my face looked instantly brighter right after I used it for the first time—and after using it once a week for about a month, I’ve noticed some major differences: My skin looks brighter, my dark spots have faded, and my breakouts are few and far between. Kinda the dream, right?
Yeah, uh, unless you’ve got sensitive skin, you absolutely need this peel in your life. TBH, it’s the easiest way to level up your skincare routine. I know, it high-key looks like you’re putting blood on your face, but the results are just as worthy of an Insta pic. Less breakouts, brighter skin, minimized fine lines, and less congestion. Plus, it’s only $7. Yes, you read that right—$7 for an insanely good product with excellent ingredients. Need another reason to buy this? It’s vegan and cruelty-free. What are you waiting for? Literally, add it to your cart rn.