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The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Review

The Ordinary is a skincare brand that formulates high-quality, affordable products with no frills or gimmicks. They are all about simplicity, honesty, and results.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is an affordable vitamin C derivative serum formulated to brighten skin and reduce the signs of aging.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

Today I will discuss my experience with the serum in this The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% review.

This The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% review 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 Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

At A Glance

  • Targets: Reduces signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and skin dullness.
  • Best For: Those seeking a less irritating alternative to pure vitamin C. Suitable for most skin types, including oily, combination, normal, and dry.
  • Benefits: Brightens skin tone, stimulates collagen production for firmer skin and provides antioxidant protection with its non-greasy water-based texture.
  • Drawbacks: Not as potent as pure vitamin C. Cannot be used with niacinamide products.
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is a brightening serum formulated with a stabilized vitamin C derivative, ascorbyl glucoside.

While pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has a stronger effect, it also has a short shelf life as it oxidizes and loses potency when exposed to heat, air, and light. Depending on the concentration, pure vitamin C can also irritate the skin.

Ascorbyl glucoside works similarly to pure vitamin C, but it doesn’t irritate the skin or disrupt its natural moisture barrier.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is formulated at a pH of 6.0 – 7.0, as opposed to ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C), which is most stable at a pH under 3.5.

This low pH is what can cause irritation, dryness, and redness. (Natural skin pH averages around 4.7.)

Ascorbyl glucoside can penetrate the skin, is highly stable, and is converted to pure vitamin C in the skin. It also provides the same three main benefits as pure vitamin C:

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Review

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Serum with dropper
  Affordability and Quality: The product is high-quality and affordable, aligning with The Ordinary’s brand ethos of simplicity and effectiveness​​.
Lower Potency: For advanced vitamin C users, this serum may not be potent enough for your needs.
  Stabilized Vitamin C Derivative: Ascorbyl glucoside, unlike pure vitamin C, is stable and typically less irritating​​.
Conflicts with Niacinamide Products: It should not be used with niacinamide products, as stated by The Ordinary​​.
  Low Irritation: Designed to offer the benefits of pure vitamin C but with less potential for skin irritation.Potential Irritation for Sensitive Skin: Despite being less irritating than pure vitamin C, there’s still a possibility of skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin​​.
  Benefits of Vitamin C: It offers the key benefits of vitamin C, such as skin brightening, protection against free radical damage, and stimulation of collagen production​​.
  Comfortable Texture: The water-based formula is lightweight, non-greasy, and works well with other skincare products​​.
  Suitable for Most Skin Types: It’s effective for various skin types including oily, acne-prone, normal, and dry skin​​.
The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%: PROS and CONS

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is in a water-based formula, so it is lightweight and comfortable on the skin.

I’ve tried every single serum from The Ordinary, and this serum has one of the most comfortable textures of all of their serums.

As long as you don’t use too much, it isn’t excessively sticky or tacky on the skin, and since it is oil-free, it isn’t greasy.

It works well with other skincare products. Plus, it has no added fragrances, so you don’t have to worry about skin sensitivity from the scent.

While I love the fact that you can use it twice a day, both in your morning and evening skincare routine, I usually use it in the morning to take advantage of its antioxidant protection during the daylight hours.

Unlike some serums, it works great under my makeup.

I haven’t seen drastic improvements in hyperpigmentation on my face, but the fact that it provides antioxidant protection and fights free radicals while also being gentle enough to use every day without causing irritation is enough reason for me to continue using this product.

What Skin Types Can Use The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%?

I think one of the main benefits of this vitamin C derivative, besides its stability and texture, is that it is suitable for most skin types.

If you have a combination, oily or acne-prone skin type, this water-based serum won’t make your skin greasy, clog your pores, or make your oily skin worse.

If you have normal or dry skin, this is an excellent alternative to pure ascorbic acid, which in higher concentrations, can be drying.

Since it is less irritating than pure vitamin C, it may even work for some with sensitive skin (always patch test first).

How To Use The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

You can use this vitamin C serum (derivative) in both AM and PM:

  • After cleansing and toning your skin, apply Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% to your face.
  • Give it a minute or so to fully absorb (The Ordinary states that it only takes 1-5 seconds to absorb compared to their other vitamin C products, which can take up to 20 seconds).
  • Follow with thicker water-based treatments, a moisturizer/face oil, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher in the AM.

While this serum has a comfortable texture and pH for the skin, due to the high concentration of ascorbyl glucoside, there is a possibility it will irritate those with sensitive skin. So it’s always a good idea to patch test before using it for the first time. Do not use the serum on broken skin.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution Conflicts

The Ordinary states that Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% conflicts with niacinamide products.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% Ingredients

This vitamin C product from The Ordinary contains Aqua (Water), Ascorbyl Glucoside, Propanediol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Triethanolamine, Isoceteth-20, Xanthan Gum, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

Where to Buy The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

You can buy The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% in the US at Ulta, Sephora, and on The Ordinary’s website.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution Alternatives

If you are interested in trying additional vitamin C and vitamin C derivative products from The Ordinary, you have many options. In addition to Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%, Ordinary makes seven other vitamin C products:

For details on all of these vitamin C products, be sure to check out my guide to The Ordinary vitamin C products.

3 Main Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the few over-the-counter actives that addresses multiple signs of aging while protecting your skin. So why should you use topical vitamin C on your skin in the first place?

There are three main benefits to vitamin C:

  1. Vitamin C helps brighten skin tone by reducing melanin (pigment) production. It does so by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, which is involved in melanin formation. This helps to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, as well as existing brown spots and discoloration.
  2. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage from sun exposure, targeting the visible signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and dullness.
  3. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, which is one of the main structural proteins in the skin. In other words, it helps to firm and lift the skin, improving skin elasticity and creating tighter pores and smoother texture. Vitamin C is great for plumping up the skin, which helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

While there are many ascorbic acid derivatives on the market, ascorbyl glucoside, the vitamin C derivative in this serum, is known for its skin-brightening benefits.

Some of the other The Ordinary serums contain additional actives (like hyaluronic acid) to offset irritation or improve hydration.

Since this serum doesn’t cause irritation or skin dehydration, the only potent active ingredient is ascorbyl glucoside.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%: Is It Worth It?

Is The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% worth a try?

I think it is! I’ve found that this water-based derivative works very well for me in my morning skincare routine. It also has a better texture than most The Ordinary serums, and it is very affordable.

While it would be great for beginners as an introduction to vitamin C and antioxidants, it’s also a great serum choice for those with sensitive skin.

You can use this vitamin C serum as an alternative to potentially irritating and unstable ascorbic acid. The secret is having patience.

With continued use, you’ll see brighter skin with less visible sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration spots. Your skin will look smoother and firmer, too!

Thanks for reading!

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Monday 27th of February 2023

Thank you so much for this, it was extremely helpful!


Monday 27th of February 2023

You're very welcome! I'm glad it was helpful!