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Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just aren’t that into skincare, you’d have heard of The Ordinary by now. The newest brand from Deciem (parent company of NIOD and Hylamide) aims to bring effective skincare to the market at affordable prices.
As a skincare science nerd, it’s very exciting because many evidence-backed ingredients are very cheap, but skincare brands often price the products containing them at a premium because they work so well, and everyone else prices them high.
While some expensive brands do incorporate other technologies in their formulations that would justify the higher price, it’s really annoying as a consumer. You never know for sure how well a specific product will work for you, and no one wants to spend $70 on a product just to find out that it does nothing for your skin three months down the track. All of The Ordinary’s products are priced between $8.80 and $24.90, and you can get them online, or in-store at Myer, Priceline or the standalone Deciem stores.
The products are very plainly named according to what ingredients they contain. Interestingly, they don’t really emphasise what each product is supposed to do, so it seems like they’re targeting this line towards skincare nerds who know what they want. It makes sense,since most of the formulas contain only one or two star ingredients and are well-suited to multi-step routines, unlike the “multivitamin”-like all-in-one products aimed at a less obsessive audience who aren’t as interested in hardcore customisation.
All 4 products come in 30 mL droppers, which I like because it’s easy to measure out the right amount of product, but it isn’t as convenient as a pump (dropper bottles also let in more light and air than airtight pump dispensers, but I don’t think it’s an issue with these particular products – more on that later).
All Deciem products are free of parabens, sulphates, mineral oil, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, animal oils, benzalkonium chloride, coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mercury and oxybenzone, and are not tested on animals. All four The Ordinary products I’m reviewing here are alcohol-free, silicone-free, nut-free and vegan.
There isn’t evidence that all of these ingredients are harmful ( parabens are safe, as is mineral oil). Silicone is a bit annoying in routines because it can make other products roll off your face, and alcohol can be drying, so it’s convenient that these products have been formulated without them. There’s specific information on each product on the website, which is handy if you have nut allergies or if you want to stick to vegan products.
The prices I’m giving here are the Australian retail prices.
Price: $12.70 for 30 mL ( prices vary on Amazon)
Good for: exfoliation, hyperpigmentation, congested skin, fine lines
Contains lactic acid: Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that’s fantastic for chemical exfoliation, and due to its slightly larger size, is supposed to be less irritating than glycolic acid. This is a particularly good option for people who are prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (i.e. anyone with dark skin or hair, including light-skinned Asians). In Australia (and most other places), glycolic acid products outnumber lactic acid products 20 to 1, so this is a very welcome addition to the market.
pH: Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% has a pH of 3.60-3.80, according to The Ordinary’s website, which is low enough to be effective. The Ordinary’s site states that a higher pH would be more irritating. I’m not sure what the reasoning for this is, since lower pH is both inherently more irritating, and allows more acid to get into the skin and exfoliate…
Other notable ingredients: Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to reduce inflammation, since the acidity of lactic acid and its peeling effect can trigger sensitivity. The key active in the pepperberry is polygodial, a compound that’s been found to be anti-inflammatory in animal studies. It’s also an antioxidant. This natural extract is responsible for the peachy colour of the product.
Potential irritation: The Ordinary responsibly warn about potential irritation, suggest introducing it slowly to your routine, and warn about the increased chance of sunburn from AHA use. If you’re switching from glycolic acid, t’s very roughly equivalent to 8.5% glycolic acid at the same pH (although glycolic acid is smaller so it’s more effective). There’s also a milder 5% version.
Scent: It smells a little strange. It isn’t all that unpleasant though.
How to use: Apply a few drops to skin after cleansing, before oils and creams, day or night.
In use: I was very excited to try the Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% because I’ve been looking for an affordable lactic acid exfoliant to recommend to other people for a while (I love Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Serum, but it’s pretty pricey). It gives a nice glow and smoothing effect the next day, and on the irritation front I only experienced a slight tight feeling. I managed to clog up my skin pretty good right before trialling this with an active-free week where I just used random moisturisers, but unfortunately I didn’t see any improvement in the closed comedones on my chin after using this for a week. The Ultraceuticals serum made them disappear completely, so I think my oily skin needs salicylic acid for that. This is a good product to try if you find glycolic acid too irritating, and if you’re an AHA virgin I’d recommend using the 5% version first.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Arginine, Potassium Citrate, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Ethyl 2,2-Dimethylhydrocinnamal, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.
Price: $17.90 for 30 mL ( prices vary on Amazon)
Good for: reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, evening out complexion, smoothing out roughness
The Ordinary say that their retinoid products are “not a treatment for acne” – it sounds like they’re trying to manage the expectations of people who don’t understand purging. But retinoids are one of the frontline treatments for acne, and the ingredients in this product have been studied in acne in a small uncontrolled clinical trial, so I’d say that this product could work for acne-prone skin.
Contains two forms of retinoid actives: This product contains two retinoid (vitamin A) ingredients.
First, there’s solubilised hydroxypinacolone retinoate which is an interesting new retinoid. There isn’t any peer-reviewed data on hydroxypinacolone retinoate’s actions on skin by itself, but according to a manufacturer it doesn’t need to be converted to tretinoin (retinoic acid) before it’s active.
This claim should be viewed with caution though, as it looks like it’s based on a (non-peer-reviewed) in vitro study and chemistry-based speculation (it’s a tretinoin ester rather than a retinol ester, as you can tell from the fact that “retin-” is the second part of the ingredient name). It’s also claimed to be less irritating than tretinoin, and several times more effective against signs of aging than other non-prescription retinoids.
The second retinoid ingredient is encapsulated retinol. Embedding the retinol in a capsule means the retinol is slow-release which makes it less irritating, plus the retinol is stable for longer since it’s protected from air. The product also comes in an amber bottle to protect from light degradation.
The Ordinary also have a Retinol 1% product in their range, which contains 1% retinol only.
2% strength: It’s a bit difficult to compare the strengths of skincare products containing different retinoids because they have different potencies – it’s like trying to compare codeine and heroin. Advanced Retinoid 2% is even trickier than other retinoids.
For this product, it sounds like they count the capsule as well as the solvent used to solubilise the hydroxypinacolone retinoate as part of the 2%, so it’s difficult to work out the exact percentage of the retinoids (interestingly, there’s a notice on The Ordinary’s site saying that they may be banned from shipping Retinol 1% to Europe in the future since it’s likely they’ll ban products with over 0.3% retinol soon, but there isn’t a warning on Advanced Retinoid 2% which suggests that it has less than 0.3% retinol… but it could also be that encapsulation makes ingredient accounting a bit fuzzier).
Additionally, hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a heavier molecule than retinol (about 50% heavier). There’s also the big issue of the overall formula affecting absorption, which often goes ignored when people get too into ingredient analysis. So with all this in mind, I’d give up trying to compare this to other strengths based on the 2% figure alone.
Deciem states that “Advanced Retinoid 2% achieves better visible anti-ageing results than Retinol 1% with less irritation.”
Other notable ingredients: It has the same antioxidant, anti-inflammatory Tasmanian pepperberry extract as the Lactic Acid as well as bisabolol which acts as an anti-irritant. It also has lots of humectant glycerin.
pH: The pH of this product is 5.00-6.00. The enzymes in the skin that convert retinol (and potentially hydroxypinacolone retinoate) to the active form only work at higher pH, so this product shouldn’t be used with any acidic products with lower pH for maximum effectiveness.
Sun sensitivity: Sensibly, there’s a warning for increased sun sensitivity while using the product and a recommendation for use of sun protection.
Scent: Smells a lot like other retinol products, mild
Texture: Runny light yellow liquid, slightly sticky upon drying
How to use: Apply a few drops to your face before oils and creams, and after water-based serums in the evening (light breaks down the retinoids).
In use: I started using Advanced Retinoid 2% expecting to get horrific peeling like I have in the past with other retinoid products, so I put it on my face and waited for the worst to happen. But much to my surprise, after three days, my skin was fine. So to really push the boundaries, I used it for 5 days in a row, then waited again… and nothing. Nada. Not even near my eyes! I’m incredibly impressed with the lack of irritation, and I love the hydration that the high glycerin content gives (it’s a bit sticky on the skin, but you’re only meant to use it at night so it isn’t a big issue).
I’ve noticed that my skin has become smoother and looks more luminous since using it, much like what I’ve seen with other retinol products in the past, but I can’t in all honesty rule out the effect of the glycerin.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Bisabolol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Sucrose Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Behentrimonium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Disodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% Reviews
What is Lactic Acid 5%?
What does Lactic Acid 5% do?
Which products does Lactic Acid 5% conflict with?
How and when do I use Lactic Acid 5%?
Reviews of The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%
Similar products to Lactic Acid 5%
What Is The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% & What Does It Do?
This 5% Lactic Acid is a mild superficial peeling formulation. Lactic Acid is an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) which exfoliates the top surface of the skin. Like the red peel, the AHA 30% + BHA 2% and Glycolic Acid, this also has the Tasmanian pepper-berry which is known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity which can occur with exfoliation/use of acids. Once you have used the 5% Lactic Acid you could look at the 10% which is stronger.
Lactic Acid 5% is great for even tone, textural irregularities, and fine lines. I personally love these Lactic Acids as they leave your skin feeling so smooth and soft.
Lactic Acid is a water-based product so if you have looked at the how-to layer The Ordinary, page you will know that water-based products are applied first and acids should be applied to cleansed, dry skin.
Add a couple of drops into the palm of your hands and apply to your face avoiding the eye area. Acids should really only be used in the evening because AHAs can make your skin sensitive to the sun. For more in-depth information about Lactic Acid including ingredients and precautions, please see The Ordinary website.
Which Products Conflict With Lactic Acid 5%?
Be cautious in case of irritation using Retinol or Pure Vitamin C in the same routine as Lactic Acid.
These faqs have been answered by Deciem on Social Media
Can I use Lactic Acid 5% if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding? Lactic Acid 5% is an AHA, Alpha Hydroxy Acid which is ok to use whilst pregnant or breastfeeding. As many countries vary, it is important to talk with your doctor and check the ingredients thoroughly.
Can I use Lactic Acid with Salicylic Acid? Deciem says it´s best to use on alternate nights. You shouldn’t use Lactic Acid with any of the conflict products listed above.
Do I wash Lactic Acid off? No, you apply to dry skin directly after cleansing and follow with your other products.
Can I go straight to Lactic Acid 10%? It´s recommended to start with 5% and build up to the 10%. From personal experience, the 10% can sting a little.
Is it ok to use The Ordinary Resveratrol & Ferulic Acid after the Lactic Acid? Yes, you may.
Can I use Lactic Acid with Niacinamide? Yes, you may.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% Reviews
You can see these reviews and read many more by the followers on Instagram.
TP says: Yes😍 love it , yes💕 it has improved my skin, nope no problems!😄 And maybe will repurchase 💜 I feel like it perfectly paved the way for slightly stronger acids for me. A great product!
says 😍I absolutely adore it💕My first peeling solution, my first exfoliator. I use it once a week at night🌙followed by Natural Moisturizing Factors & HA🌸🌺🌼skin looks so nice in the morning. Will repurchase 5⭐️
Auds says: Love it 10 /10 had rosacea flare-up, used this and it was 90% gone next morning, I use it every night now, first hyaluronic acid, buffet, lactic acid, then 30 mins later thick night cream, skin looks amazing, I’m 45 skin never looked this good
Final Thoughts On The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%
Which Products Are Similar To The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%
You could look at The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% and also NIOD NAAP
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%+Ha
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%+HA – siêu phẩm làm mịn da, trị mụn ẩn cực hiệu quả! Không ít bạn bị mụn sẽ hiểu cảm giác vô vọng khi tìm kiếm thành phần trị mụn nhưng lại không làm da mình bị khô căng. Mụn vẫn mọc là biểu hiện của bít tắc, lỗ chân lông nở rộng, dầu nhiều và vân da lộ rõ là biểu hiện của thiếu ẩm.
Thương hiệu The Ordinary
The Ordinary chỉ mới được thành lập cách đây không lâu (từ năm 2013) và hiện đang trực thuộc sự quản lý của công ty mỹ phẩm DECIEM đến từ Canada. Dù vẫn là một “đàn em nhỏ tuổi” so với các hãng mỹ phẩm chăm sóc da kỳ cựu khác nhưng thương hiệu đã gây được nhiều tiếng vang lớn trên thị trường hiện nay.
Thay vì chú trọng và thiết kế bao bì, The Ordinary được đánh giá cao trong việc tập trung phát triển chất lượng sản phẩm, nghiên cứu chuyên sâu để có thể đưa ra thị trường những dòng chăm sóc da tốt nhất.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%+HA
Và The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%+HA Serum cũng là một trong những cái tên “sốt xình xịch” của nhãn hiệu mỹ phẩm này. Dòng này được biết đến với công dụng tẩy tế bào chết thần kỳ và nuôi dưỡng, tái tạo làn da. Phù hợp với mọi loại da đặc biệt da mụn, da không đều màu, da sần sùi, thô ráp.
Lactic Acid 10%
Là một dạng AHA có nguồn gốc từ sữa nên cực kì an toàn và có phần nhẹ dịu hơn so với các gốc AHA khác. Với nồng độ 10% cao hơn phiên bản 5% thì em này có tác dụng tẩy tế bào chết cho da tốt hơn, ngoài ra còn hỗ trợ điều trị mụn, mờ sẹo mụn, cải thiện sự xuất hiện nếp nhăn và sáng da, đều màu da.
Hyaluronic Acid 2%
Sản phẩm có thêm thành phần HA 2% giúp cân bằng và cung cấp độ ẩm cho da giúp da giảm đi tình trạng bong tróc. Tẩy tế bào chết hóa học mà như không sử dụng gì chính là ưu điểm không thể không kể tới của sản phẩm.
Hyaluronic Acid 2%: giữ ẩm cho da từ sâu bên trong, ngăn ngừa sự mất nước. Kết hợp với Lactic Acid giúp da luôn ẩm mịn, không bị khô và luôn luôn mướt.
Sản phẩm chứa dẫn xuất Tasmania Pepperberry đã được nghiên cứu để giúp giảm kích ứng liên khi sử dụng acid. Màu của sản phẩm cũng chính là màu của loại quả này (màu sắc thay đổi đậm nhạt theo mùa).
The ordinary lactic acid 10 + ha cách dùng
Sau khi rửa mặt sạch và toner, nhỏ 2-3 giọt sản phẩm ra tay và vỗ nhẹ lên da, rồi sử dụng các bước dưỡng da tiếp theo.
– Sử dụng 1 lần/ngày vào buổi tối.
Không sử dụng khi da có vết thương hở, da quá nhạy cảm.
Bắt buộc sử dụng kem chống nắng khi dùng sản phẩm này.
The ordinary lactic acid 10 + ha review
Sau khi dùng hết một lọ:
Bề mặt da căng bóng, nhẵn mịn nhìn thích mê luôn.
Màu da sáng lên trông thấy, nhìn còn có ánh hồng hồng nữa.
Các vết thâm do mụn để lại mờ đi rõ rệt sau khi dùng một lọ.
Trước đây mình bị mụn ẩn ở phần quai hàm rất nhiều. Bây giờ mụn ẩn cũng hoàn toàn hết luôn.
Bạn nào da thô ráp, mụn ẩn, mụn đầu đen, da thâm mụn, không đều màu thì nên rước 1 em này về. Đảm bảo các bạn sẽ không thất vọng.
Giá bao nhiêu? Mua ở đâu?
Em này có giá rất phải chăng. Chỉ khoảng hơn 200.000 đồng.
Các bạn nên tìm mua ở những shop mỹ phẩm uy tín như Mèo Cosmetics; Mint Cosmetics; H2 Cosmetics…..
Dupe For The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha
The two exfoliants are so similar, it makes you wonder if The Inkey List took a little too much inspiration from The Ordinary…
But there are a couple of details that make them stand out on their own. Here’s everything you need to know about these exfoliants so you can pick the right one for YOUR skin:
What Key Ingredients Do The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum And The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA Have In Common?
Lactic acid is the star of the show both in The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA. Duh!
Lactic acid is a member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family, a group of exfoliant that dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together.
When you get rid of this superficial, damaged layer, your skin takes on a dewy glow. Dark spots start to fade away. The whole complexion is softer and smoother.
Plus, lactic acid is hydrating. It works thanks to a humectant mechanism, a fancy way of saying it draws moisture from the environment into the skin.
The catch? Lactic acid is a bigger molecule than it sibling Glycolic Acid (another AHAs). You know what it means?
Bad news: It’s not as effective. It takes longer to work and fade away discolourations and other skin imperfections.
Good news: It’s much gentler for sensitive skin. Lactic acid is usually well-tolerated even by people who can’t stand Glycolic.
If you have sensitive skin, the trade-off is worth it.
P.S. Lactic acid is pH sensitive. If the pH is too low or too high, it won’t work. Luckily both exfoliants are formulated within the right pH to make lactic acid work its magic (TO has a pH of 3.8; TIL a pH of 3.6).
Related: Glycolic Acid VS Lactic Acid: Which One Is Right For You?
If you’re worrying about doing The Ordinary wrong, get your butt on this The Ordinary speed training (affiliate link). It’s by my scientist friend Cheryl Woodman and in it she’s teaching you how to use The Ordinary to get makeupless skin you love.
All that extra moisture plumps up skin, so its fine lines and wrinkles look smaller. It makes skin softer to the touch. And it gives the complexion a dewy glow.
Hyaluronic Acid acts like a magnet: it attracts water from the environment (both the air around you and the deeper layers of your skin) and dumps it into the superficial layers of your skin.
Related: Why You Should Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type
P.S. Hyaluronic Acid isn’t as drying as you think. Your skin is made up of mostly water, so HA only redistributes it to the layers that need it most.
What Else Is In These Exfoliants?
Both exfoliants have fairly basic, if slightly different, formulas.
Related: The Complete Guide To Castor Oil In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA has a drop of Tasmanian pepperberry, a little berry rich in flavonoids, a family of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces redness and irritation and helps sensitive skin better tolerate lactic acid.
The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum has a drop of moisturising castor oil and Agastache mexicana extract, a plant which has antioxidant properties.
What’s The Texture Like?
The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum has the edge here. It has a watery-like texture that absorbs immediately into the skin.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA isn’t as elegant. It feels a little sticky on the skin, but the annoying sensation disappears once you start layering on your skincare.
What’s The Packaging Like?
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA comes in a frosted-glass bottle with a dropper applicator. Practical and convenient to use.
The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum has opted for a white and black bottle with a big opening that always dispenses more product than you need. Be careful!
Related: How Often Should You Exfoliate With AHAs/BHA?
How To Use Them
If you have sensitive skin, don’t use lactic acid more than once or twice a week. More exfoliation won’t give you brighter, smoother skin. It’ll just give you a bad case of irritation.
For best results, use them at night straight after cleansing. Don’t use Vitamin A afterwards.
Which Of The Two Should You Go For?
This time, it all comes down to personal-preference. The formulas are so similar, it’s the texture or packaging that’ll seal the deal.
P.S. I prefer The Ordinary just because I find The Inkey List has an annoying packaging. But the latter does have a better texture.
The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum (£7.99): Available at Asos, Cult Beauty, and Feel Unique
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA (£5.80): Available at Asos, Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Sephora, and Ulta
Want more dupes? Subscribe to the newsletter below and receive the “Skincare Dupes” cheatsheet with all my fave dupes:
Is The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum a dupe for The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA?
Almost. The Inkey List Lactic Acid Serum and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA are eerily similar and will give you the same results. But the former has a better texture and the latter the most practical packaging. The choice is yours.
Hi, I’m Gio. I’m a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is skin coach and writer on a mission to help you achieve your best skin day ever – every day. I bust skincare myths and debunk marketing jargon to help you figure out what’s worth the splurge and what’s best left on the shelf – using science, not hype. I also offer skincare consultations to help you create the best skincare routine for your unique needs.
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