Skip to Content

How To Use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

If you’re looking for an effective way to improve your complexion without spending too much money on expensive treatments or products, then The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution could be a good option for you.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a potent chemical exfoliant that resurfaces the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, blackheads, and blemishes, revealing brighter, smoother-looking skin underneath. But it is a powerful treatment, so today, I’ll discuss how to use The Ordinary peeling solution to get the best results for your skin.

The Ordinary AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This post on how to use The Ordinary peeling solution contains affiliate links, and any purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me at no extra cost to you. Please read my Disclosure for additional information.

The Benefits of AHAs and BHAs

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are water-soluble chemical compounds derived from fruit and milk sugars. Their primary functions are to exfoliate the outer surface of the skin, increase cell turnover rates and sweep away dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, more radiant complexion with improved clarity. AHAs also help improve hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid and the smallest of the AHAs, so it can penetrate the skin more deeply than other AHAs. It exfoliates the skin for a brighter, smoother complexion.

Lactic acid is another type of AHA with a larger molecule size than glycolic acid, making it generally less irritating than glycolic acid and more suited to sensitive skin. Lactic acid also has moisturizing properties, which makes it ideal for dry skin.

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) help clean out and unclog pores that can become blocked with excess oil, dead skin cells, and sebum. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid and is lipophilic (oil-soluble), which means it can get into your pores and help lift away sebum (oil), dirt, and debris inside them.

Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce redness and irritation while calming acne breakouts. It reduces excess lipids (oil) on the skin, refines pores, brightens skin tone, smooths skin texture, and evens out skin tone with continued use over time.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a powerful exfoliating treatment that contains 30% alpha-hydroxy acids in the form of glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid, plus 2% beta hydroxy acid in the form of salicylic acid.

The peel also contains a Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to reduce the irritation that may come with acid use. Vitamin B5 aids in healing the skin, while aloe vera soothes the skin.

A crosspolymer form of hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer) can bind five times the amount of water as regular hyaluronic acid. It cross-links to create a mesh to replenish and moisturize the skin. Black carrot offers protective antioxidant benefits.

This acid peel from The Ordinary helps to improve skin texture and the signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, textural irregularities, and skin dullness. The peel is ideal for those with oily skin as it reduces sebum production. Those with acne-prone skin will appreciate that the peel targets blemishes and clogged pores, as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in the form of acne scars.

The treatment is water-based, has a serum texture and a deep red shade that can look a little scary, but you only need a small amount to get effective results. It is important to note that even though it has a serum texture, this is a rinse-off peeling masque, not a leave-on serum.

NOTE: You should use sunscreen every day for protection from sun damage while using The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, as AHAs make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. For best results, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day to protect your skin from sun damage.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Ingredients

Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

How To Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution with dropper

It is best to use this peeling solution in your PM skincare routine. The Ordinary instructs you to cleanse your face and let it dry. You should NOT use this peel on wet skin, as wet or damp skin can increase absorption, which may cause excessive irritation.

Avoiding your eye and lip areas, apply a small amount across your face and neck (if it’s not sensitive). Leave it on for no more than 10 minutes, as this peel should be used as a mask. Rinse well with lukewarm water.

Follow with soothing skincare products. For suggestions on skincare products to use after The Ordinary peeling solution, please see below. And…don’t forget to use sunscreen in your morning skincare routine.

Who Should Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

The Ordinary stresses that since this peel contains a high amount of free acids, you should only use it if you are an experienced user of acid exfoliation and if your skin is not sensitive.

You should not use this AHA BHA peel if you have sensitive, damaged, or compromised skin. As with any new skincare product, be sure to patch test before using this product for the first time on your face.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Conflicts

You should not use the Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution with other direct exfoliating acids like AHAs and BHAs, pure/ethylated vitamin C, retinoids, including retinol, peptides, copper peptides, and benzoyl peroxide.

The Ordinary’s peeling solution should also not be used with The Ordinary EUK134 0.1% or The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Alternatives

If The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is too strong for your skin, and it will be for some, other The Ordinary exfoliating products use a much lower concentration of exfoliating acids in their formulas:

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution 7%: This exfoliating toner contains 7% glycolic acid to help smooth your skin and increase skin radiance. You can use it daily to improve skin tone, skin texture and improve the look of wrinkles and fine lines.

The Ordinary HA or Lactic Acid 10% + HA

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA: The Ordinary offers two strengths of lactic acid, a milder version with a 5% concentration of lactic acid and a 10% concentration of lactic acid. Lactic acid is particularly good for dry skin because it has moisturizing benefits and helps refine texture and fade dark spots.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA 2%: The Ordinary’s mandelic acid serum is even more gentle than the lactic acid options above but is still an effective exfoliant. Mandelic acid is derived from bitter almonds and has antibacterial properties to help fight acne breakouts.

e Ordinary Retinol and Retinoid Serums

The Ordinary Retinol and Retinoids: If you have aging skin, The Ordinary’s retinol and retinoid serums target the visible signs of aging while improving cell turnover to reduce hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. For more details on these products, please see my guide to The Ordinary retinol and retinoid products.

How Often Should You Use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution? 

The Ordinary suggests using this peel 2x a week at most. So if you are wondering if you can you use it 2 days in a row? No, due to the high concentration of free acids in the peel.

What to Use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution

I reached out to The Ordinary to get their recommendations on the best products to use after The Ordinary peeling solution. They recommend keeping it simple.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Can you use hyaluronic acid after this AHA BHA peel? Yes, you can use hyaluronic acid after this AHA BHA peel. Hyaluronic acid is not an exfoliating acid, so it won’t cause irritation. Try The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, which contains three kinds of hyaluronic acid for hydration at multiple layers of your skin. It also contains vitamin B5 (panthenol) to soothe and moisturize your skin.

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

Follow with a gentle moisturizer like The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA or moisturizing facial oil, such as The Ordinary 100% Organic Virgin Chia Seed Oil. This oil contains skin-protective antioxidants and moisturizing fatty acids like omega-3 (alpha-linolenic) and omega-6 (linoleic) to calm the skin.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

Or use The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil as your moisturizer, which is rich in linoleic (omega 6) and linolenic (omega 3) acids. This oil can help acne-prone skin as this study demonstrated that acne patients have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin. This rosehip oil also contains pro-vitamin A, which helps with photoaging.

For more details on products to use after this exfoliating peel, please see my post on What to Use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution.

How Long Does It Take The Ordinary Peeling Solution to Work?

Since The Ordinary peeling solution is so potent due to the high concentration of direct exfoliating acids, you may see an improvement in skin radiance and clarity in just one use.

After a few weeks, you should see an improvement in skin texture and skin tone with a reduction in the look of blemishes and pore congestion.

Related Post: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil Review

Can I Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution with Niacinamide?

Since The Ordinary Peeling Solution has a pH of 3.50 – 3.70, and The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% has a pH of 5.50 – 6.50, this difference in pH may make the products work less effectively.

If you want to use niacinamide with The Ordinary peeling solution, wait at least 30 minutes after using the peel to apply niacinamide. This will allow your skin’s pH to normalize.

Otherwise, use niacinamide in your morning skincare routine and The Ordinary peeling solution in your evening skincare routine, or use them on different days of the week.

Is The Ordinary Peeling Solution Supposed to Burn?

Depending on your skin type, The Ordinary peeling solution may irritate and sting your skin, but it should not burn. Unfortunately, the shade of the treatment is a deep red, which may camouflage any redness that the peel may cause, so when using for the first time, only apply a thin layer and be sure to patch test before using.

If you do experience burning, rinse your skin immediately, discontinue use and consult your physician.

Can I Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution with Retinol?

You should not use The Ordinary peeling solution with retinol or other retinoids.

Can I Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution Every Day?

No, you should not use The Ordinary peeling solution every day. Use once or twice a week at most.

How Much Does The Ordinary Peeling Solution Cost?

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is currently priced at $7.20 for 30ml (1.01 oz).

Where Can I Buy The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

You can purchase The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution at Sephora, Ulta, or on The Ordinary’s website.

Final Thoughts on How to Use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a potent and affordable peeling solution for skin texture issues, blemishes, and the signs of aging.

It is NOT for beginners or non-experts at acid exfoliation, though, so be sure to follow The Ordinary’s recommendations for use.

Thanks for reading!

Before you go… check out these related The Ordinary posts:

How to Build A Skincare Routine with The Ordinary

Best The Ordinary Products for Oily & Acne Prone Skin

The Ordinary “Buffet” Review