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The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Review (Reformulated)

If you were a fan of The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution and were disappointed when it was discontinued, you are in luck! The Ordinary has finally reformulated this product. It’s back and available to purchase, which should please the 400,000+ people on the waiting list!

I bought the reformulated version and was excited it give it a try and compare it to another newer The Ordinary release: Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution. For more on my experience with Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution, please see my review.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (Reformulated) handheld on blue background

The original version of The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution caused many to complain of skin irritation, so I couldn’t wait to give the new version a try to see how my skin responded. In this post, I will discuss my experience with the new and improved version in this The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution review.

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The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (Reformulated) on blue background

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (reformulated) contains 2% salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps exfoliate the skin and pores by removing dead skin cells, which results in smoother, brighter skin with improved clarity.

Salicylic acid is oil soluble, which means it not only works on the surface of your skin like water-soluble alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) but also can penetrate through to your pores and remove the oil (sebum) that causes pimples, both whiteheads, and blackheads.

Derived from willow bark, salicylic acid is also an anti-inflammatory ingredient, reducing redness and swelling from blemishes.

Salicylic acid is a keratolytic, which means that it sloughs off dead skin cells, which not only helps with acne but also improves the appearance of uneven skin tone, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.

This serum has a water-based formula with an acidic pH of 3.20 – 4.00. While this exfoliating serum is formulated for all skin types, it is especially good for blemish-prone skin and those with oily skin.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Review

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (Reformulated) opened with dropper on blue background

Let me start by saying that my skin has never loved salicylic acid. It was frustrating when treating breakouts because everything for acne seems to contain salicylic acid, which I guess is a testament to the ingredient’s effectiveness.

But I had good luck with The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution and had high hopes for this product, especially because it has been reformulated to be more moisturizing on the skin.

The serum has a lightweight texture with a thin consistency. This texture should appeal to those with oily acne-prone skin more than Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution, which has a squalane base. It’s non-sticky and doesn’t weigh my skin down, which is helpful under other skincare products.

I’ve noticed a visible improvement in skin clarity with a reduction in the look of pores, but it doesn’t leave my skin overly dry. In fact, this BHA serum leaves my skin smooth and soft. I like to use it around my nose to treat blackheads and on my forehead and chin, where I’m prone to breakouts.

I have combination skin, and I definitely prefer this treatment to the Anhydrous Solution. If my skin is super dry in the winter, the Anhydrous Solution may be the better option, but I think this water-based treatment will be my go-to for the rest of the year.

This salicylic acid treatment is so affordable, and I think it’s a no-brainer for acne and breakouts.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Drawbacks

This BHA serum might be drying if you have dehydrated or dry skin. If so, consider The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution.

If you have sensitive skin, this could be too strong for you. Keep in mind that it is an exfoliating acid, and it could cause redness and irritation.

This serum may also cause sun sensitivity, so be sure to wear sunscreen every day while using it and for a week after.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (Reformulated) flatlay on blue background

How To Use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

You should use the Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution once in your evening skincare routine. You can apply it as a spot treatment on problem areas (like on your T-zone) or use it all over your face if you have acne-prone skin.

Apply it in the treatment step of your skincare routine, which should be after cleansing and toning, but before creams/moisturizers.

For added hydration, pair How To Use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 under a rich moisturizer to prevent the product from drying out your skin.

The Ordinary notes that since this solution contains a BHA, it may make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. Be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher while using this product and for seven days after.

This skincare treatment should not be used on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin, and as always, avoid the delicate eye contour area.

Also, be sure to patch test this and any new product that you add to your skincare routine before using it for the first time.

Where To Buy The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

You can purchase The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution at Ulta, Sephora, and The Ordinary’s website.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Conflicts

You should not use The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution in the same skincare routine as copper peptides, peptides, The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder, The Ordinary EUK134 0.1%.

Alternate usage of this solution with direct acids like AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid) and other potent actives like retinol and other retinoids, and pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) products.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution Ingredients: New vs Old

The new formula swaps out Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Water, a distillate from the leaves of witch hazel known for its astringent and soothing properties, for saccharide isomerate, a plant-derived humectant, and moisturizer that has been shown to reduce irritation associated with AHAs. This switch creates a more moisturizing formula and helps to provide extended hydration.

Other ingredients in the new version are included to thicken, emulsify, adjust the pH, and preserve the formula.

The NEW formula contains only 11 ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Saccharide Isomerate, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

The OLD formula contained 14 ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Water, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ethoxydiglycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution vs The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (Reformulated) and The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution on blue background

Since both The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution and The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution contain 2% salicylic acid, it really comes down to your skin type and texture feel, and moisturizing properties that you are looking for in a salicylic acid product.

For those with normal to dry skin, you may appreciate the moisturizing squalane base in The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution. Squalane is an emollient and skin-replenishing ingredient that can help restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin and are a fan of squalane since it is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), the Anhydrous Solution could also be a great choice for you.

Otherwise, if you have normal, combination, oily or acne-prone skin, the water-based Salicylic Acid 2% Solution will probably be your best bet, as it might be more comfortable and won’t feel like an oil on your skin.

Final Thoughts on The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

I really like this reformulated exfoliating serum, and I think fans of the original The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Solution will be glad that it has returned in a less irritating formula. This serum will be perfect for when my skin is acting up and when I need a salicylic acid product to calm down a breakout or blemishes.

I think The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is well formulated with a lightweight texture and oil-free base that feels comfortable on my combination skin. I would recommend this product as a blemish treatment that is less irritating than some other over-the-counter salicylic acid treatments.

And as always, with The Ordinary products, you can’t beat the price.

Thanks for reading!

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