The Ordinary skincare products are affordable, high-quality, and the brand offers a variety of formulations to appeal to most skin types. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is an exfoliating acid that can be used to target a range of skin concerns such as acne, dullness, sun damage, and wrinkles.
I wanted to incorporate a stronger chemical exfoliator into my skincare routine, so I’ve been using this glycolic acid toner and will discuss my experience with it in this The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution review.
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The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution contains 7% glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is naturally found in sugar cane and other fruits and vegetables. This cruelty-free toner targets the visible signs of aging, congestion, textural irregularities, and discoloration for a more radiant complexion.
The Benefits of Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator that breaks down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together. This allows the dead skin cells to be shed more easily, revealing fresher, brighter, and smoother skin.
Glycolic acid is the smallest and most versatile AHA, meaning that it can penetrate the skin more easily than other AHAs. This ingredient also helps reduce the look of hyperpigmentation and sun spots and improves the look of uneven skin tone.
But it doesn’t stop there, as glycolic acid also improves collagen production in the skin, helping to smooth the look of facial wrinkles and fine lines. Glycolic acid chemical peels have also been found to be helpful in the treatment of acne.
Unfortunately, since glycolic acid is the smallest of all AHAs and penetrates the skin better than other AHAs like lactic acid or mandelic acid, it can also cause irritation, so depending on the concentration, a glycolic acid product may not be the best choice for those with sensitive skin.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: Additional Key Ingredients
In addition to glycolic acid, this toner from The Ordinary contains the following key active ingredients:
Rosa Damascena Flower Water: Damask Rose flower water is a natural antioxidant with antibacterial properties.
Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water: Cornflower flower water is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water: Aloe vera leaf water is a natural anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and hydrating agent.
Glycerin: Glycerin is a common moisturizing ingredient in skincare products and is a humectant, which means that it helps bind water to the skin and prevent moisture loss.
Panax Ginseng Root Extract: Ginseng root extract is a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and skin-conditioning properties.
Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract: This Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative helps soothe inflammation associated with exfoliating acid use.
Multiple Amino Acids: Amino acids nourish the skin by moisturizing and helping to rebuild the skin’s barrier. Amino acids in the formula include aspartic acid, alanine, glycine, serine, valine, isoleucine, proline, threonine, histidine, phenylalanine, glutamic acid, and arginine.
PCA & Sodium PCA: PCA (Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid) and sodium PCA are natural components of the skin that help to bind moisture and act as humectants.
Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose: These sugars bind water and help to keep the skin hydrated.
Urea: A Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) that supports a healthy skin barrier and has keratolytic properties. It helps loosen and exfoliate the dead skin cells on the skin’s surface.
Related Post: Pixi Glow Tonic vs The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Review
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution has a light, watery texture. It absorbs easily into my skin when applied with a cotton pad after cleansing. It has an acidic pH of 3.5-3.7, which causes a tingling sensation on my somewhat sensitive skin. I have found that continued use has allowed my skin to adjust better to this toner, although it is still slightly strong for my skin type.
After using this toner consistently, I’ve noticed that my skin is smoother and has a more even tone. I’ve also seen a reduction in the look of pores. My skin texture is refined, and I have fewer visible blackheads on my nose and improved skin clarity.
I still can’t get over the rock bottom pricing for a product like this. This is less expensive than many drugstore exfoliators and provides just as good or better results.
What I really like about this toner is that it is easy to incorporate into your skincare routine. If it feels a little strong and is too irritating after the first time you use it, you can treat it like other potent actives (i.e., retinol) and only use it once a week to start and then increase to twice a week for two weeks, and so forth, as your skin acclimates.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Conflicts
You should not use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution with copper peptides, peptides, The Ordinary EUK134 0.1%, and The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide powder.
Alternate this glycolic acid toner with potent actives like other direct acids (AHAs like lactic acid or mandelic acid and BHAs like salicylic acid), pure/ethylated Vitamin C products, and retinoids like retinol.
Are you wondering if it is OK to mix glycolic acid and niacinamide? It is best to wait at least 30 minutes between the application of the two, use them at different times of the day or use them on alternate days. For more on mixing glycolic acid and niacinamide, please see my post: Can You Use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner With Niacinamide?.
How To Use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary suggests using this glycolic acid product in your evening skincare routine, no more than once a day. Apply to your face and neck with a cotton pad after cleansing your skin, and do not rinse off. Follow with other skincare treatments or serums and a moisturizer.
In your morning skincare routine, don’t forget to finish with sunscreen protection with an SPF of 30 or higher while using this toner and for a week after, since alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
The Ordinary states that you should not use this glycolic acid toner on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin. To minimize an initial adverse reaction after using this product, be sure to patch test before using this direct acid for the first time.
Where To Buy The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Alternatives For Acne-Prone Skin
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Serums
If you are looking for an exfoliating acid and you have acne-prone skin, consider a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). The Ordinary has re-released their best-selling Salicylic Acid 2% Solution that targets acne and congested pores.
This exfoliating serum is also a good choice for oily skin, as BHA’s are oil-soluble and can penetrate deep into the pores to dissolve the sebum that causes blackheads and acne.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Alternatives For Sensitive Skin
The Ordinary AHA Serums: Lactic Acid and Mandelic Acid
If this glycolic acid toner is too strong for your skin, but you still want to try an exfoliating acid, you have many other options. If you want to stick with The Ordinary line of skincare products, consider one of their serums that contain AHAs.
The Ordinary has two strengths of lactic acid serums, one at 5% and one at 10%. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid with a larger molecule size than glycolic acid. While it doesn’t penetrate as deeply as glycolic acid, it still provides a mild chemical exfoliation that can improve the appearance of skin texture, pigmentation, and overall radiance.
Lactic acid even has moisturizing properties that make it a good choice for dry skin. Lactic acid is also a better choice for sensitive skin, as it is less likely to cause irritation than glycolic acid. Both serums are also enriched with hyaluronic acid for hydration and a Tasmanian pepperberry extract derivative to calm irritation.
Related Post: How To Use The Ordinary Lactic Acid
For an even gentler exfoliation, The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA serum is a great choice. Derived from bitter almonds, mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that provides a mild exfoliation and has antibacterial properties. It is an excellent choice for sensitive skin and may also appeal to oily acne-prone skin types.
Like The Ordinary lactic acid serums, their mandelic acid serum contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and a Tasmanian pepperberry extract derivative for its soothing benefits and to reduce irritation.
Of course, with any new skincare product, be sure to patch test before using it for the first time, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Related Post: The Ordinary 10% Mandelic Acid + HA Review
Is The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner Good For Acne?
While The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution can help remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause breakouts, those with acne-prone skin may want to alternate this glycolic acid toner with a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid, as BHA’s are better at penetrating and dissolving sebum which can lead to acne and breakouts.
Can I Use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner Everyday?
You can use The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner every day, but you should not use it more than once a day. Additionally, you should finish your skin care routine with sunscreen every day when using this toner, as glycolic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Final Thoughts On The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary’s glycolic acid toner is a great choice for anyone looking to add an exfoliating acid to their skincare routine to improve skin radiance and reduce fine lines, dullness, and other signs of aging.
Is the ordinary glycolic acid toner worth it? I think it is absolutely worth it, considering that it is easy to use, affordable, and provides results comparable to more expensive exfoliators.
If you are looking for an exfoliating acid and you have dry skin or sensitive skin that cannot tolerate glycolic acid, consider one of the other acids offered by The Ordinary. They have a variety of acids that range in strength, so you can find one perfect for your skin type.
Thanks for reading!