For the longest time I had been wanting to incorporate an acid at the Toning stage of my PM skincare. I have a lot of visible texture on my skin so I settled for Glycolic Acid for its exfoliating properties. It is claimed to work comparatively quickly which is an attribute of its smaller size molecule that helps it penetrate the epidermis and give faster results. I opted for The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution because of the rave reviews it has earned from the skin-care community and of course that unbeatable price point!
12.50 USD approx 800 INR for 240 ml
- Offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance and visible clarity.
- Improves the appearance of skin texture with continued use.
- Contains a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use.
- Contains ginseng root and aloe-vera for both visible radiance and soothing benefits.
- ph 3.5-3.7
- pke 3.6
Aqua (Water), Glycolic Acid, Rosa damascena flower water, Centaurea cyanus flower water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Aminomethyl Propanol, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Glycine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Glutamic Acid, Arginine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Hexyl Nicotinate, Dextrin, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Gellan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.
It comes packaged in a plastic bottle within an outer cardboard box which has directions and other necessary information printed on it. The plastic bottle initially comes with a metal cap screwed on & the plastic cap dispenser is given separately. The dispenser is quite convenient for everyday use. This was nice on the brand’s part because it is a low-cost range and they really didn’t need to do that but I guess these little things are adding to the product experience.
It has no added fragrance although it does have slight artificial fruity scent which isn’t wonderful but not bad either. It is quite faint and does go away quickly.
The product is watery and runny in consistency so the plastic dispenser helps in regulating the flow to a very great extent, otherwise it would have been way too prone to spillage and excess.
The colour of the solution had initially surprised me because in all the pictures I had seen it looked light peachy – pink and the one I got is amber, so I was like WTH but then I was reading up about it on their website where they did clearly mention the reason for the variation.
“This formula contains a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use. This derivative is of plant origin and varies in colour seasonally and this colour variation may be apparent in the formula from time to time.”
Source: The Ordinary Website
As per their directions I use it in my PM skin care routine. I use it alternate evenings (because I feel everyday would be too much- too often) after cleanser and before serum. Soaking a cotton round I swipe it all over my neck and face. Sometimes when I am lazy I just go at it directly with my fingers but I don’t recommend that barbaric behavior!
The formula feels very unlike the other Toner‘s I have used before. It just feels like a micellar water, very light and slightly oily initially which dries down with skin feeling completely normal and matte. It honestly feels like nothing on the face which in my opinion is absolutely wonderful!
The pH (salt) of this formula is 3.6 which is supposed to be ideal for Glycolic Acid to be at its most effective. Also The Ordinary is rightfully quite proud and open about the fact that the pKa (acid availability.) is 3.6 which is equal to the pH. “When pKa is close to pH, there is an ideal balance between salt and acidity, maximizing effectiveness of the acid and reducing irritation.”
Now getting to the good part – Efficacy! Well, there was no immediate effect! (by immediate I mean in a couple of weeks) I did not experience any visible peeling/ inflammation/ irritation/ redness at all. This was the first time I was using any kind of acid and my skin (fairly well behaved- combination skin type) took it really well. No break outs or purging whatsoever and I kept wondering whether it is working at all. I do have a lot of uneven texture all over the face and visibly large pores around the nose. At this point I should also tell you that I am one of those women who constantly look at their face in a 5X zoomed-in mirrors and are their own worst critic! So for me to notice any visible difference took a good 3-4 months. Also (disclaimer) I am using this along with a host of other skin care products from The Ordinary & other brands.
Its been around 4 months since I have been using this and I am noticing a slight reduction in textural irregularities. The pores are still as they were but it’s just that they don’t draw attention as much as they did because the texture around it has improved slightly. I definitely do notice some difference in radiance because earlier my skin was kind of sallow and dull and I had started depending a lot on base makeup. But lately I feel pretty confidant even without it.
- Cost Effective
- Excellent Price to Quantity Ratio
- Thoughtful packaging
- Not available in India yet.
As I always say skin care products affect everyone differently, in my case the difference was slight and not immediate but definitely noticeable later on. We also need to keep in mind that this cannot be used in isolation as this is a products that will increase the efficacy of the other stuff that is layered over it, since it makes the skin more receptive to them.
If you do choose to use this I definitely recommend a patch test because acids often tend to cause sensitivity and inflammation. While using acids it is doubly important to use an effective sunscreen because alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
If you have tried this product I would love to know how it worked for you; let me know in the comments.
Update – 17 Sep 2018
The Ordinary – Brand Review
So far I have tried many products from TO’s portfolio. Namely,
- The Ordinary – Rose Hip Seed Oil
- The Ordinary- Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1 %
- The Ordinary: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
- The Ordinary: Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%
- The Ordinary: Buffet
- The Ordinary: Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA
After finishing the above products and experiencing this complete lineup over the past year I want to take a minute and share my opinion of the brand with you folks so that you can make an informed purchase decision.
The Ordinary has taken the global beauty world by storm, this has literally not happened before and there are two big reasons for that
- Their rock bottom pricing and
- Their unique (but also questionable) Marketing Strategies.
I totally understand that every one wants to try these ultra affordable skin care and anti-aging products mostly because one can collect a host of formula’s at a price of one product from the expensive high-street brands. This has attracted so much chatter about how DECIEM can rationalize the low prices of The Ordinary products when they themselves own other skincare brands like NIOD which sells similar products at a much higher price point. This difference is quite strange to be honest!
TO products feature a lot of ingredients that are also seen in expensive formulas from the high street brands. Some of these are definitely expensive to source especially so when claimed to be cruelty free/ cold pressed /organic etc. Moreover skin care products need to go through some very strict regulatory tests where right from the stability of the formula to the manufacturing units where they are bottled needs to comply with some stringent standards and obviously all this costs a lot of money. So you have to wonder how are they able to price things so low!
It feels like all the marketing budget is focused on attracting consumers to this super affordable brand via social media (and of-course the drama going on with the owner helps to do that; Like they say any publicity is good publicity) to eventually direct them to their more expensive sister brands. I have seen many famous bloggers review The Ordinary offerings and then very casually slip in the fact that with regards to certain aspects like potency/ pH value/ formulation / molecular weight of a particular ingredient etc. the other expensive sister brands are better.
The majority of TO’s products are one ingredient formulas which is unlike products from other skin care brand which offer a potent mix of varied ingredients to target the particular skin requirement. So if one wants to replicate the same they would have to purchase several products at once to round-up those many ingredients. Then there is the obvious question of what goes in what order and the massive confusion revolving around building a routine, which is well know among folks who have attempted to create a regimen using The Ordinary products.
In the end there is no doubt that low prices are very welcome but then based on the stuff I have already tried and the skin care community chatter that I am privy to; I have come to realize- in terms of efficacy there are very few products from TO that actually stand out, the rest just skim the surface and that fact is simply drowned by the noise their marketing creates.
If you agree or agree to disagree I want to hear from you in the comments or find me on Instagram and let’s have a conversation.