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Review: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Product Reviewed: The Ordinary's AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
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The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution Review


  • Alcohol-free
  • Fragrance-, silicon-, oil-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • pH: 3.5 – 3.7


  • Simple and clean formula
  • Affordable
  • Good at fading hyperpigmentation and brightening the skin
  • Works for all skin types, except sensitive skin
  • Unclog pores
  • Improve skin texture and fine lines look


  • Not suitable for damaged and sensitive skin
  • Increase skin’s photosensitivity


  • Amazon: 4.5/5 from 21,626 reviews
  • The Ordinary: 4.8/5 from 504 reviews
  • Sephora: 4.3/5 from 2700 reviews
  • Ulta: 4.3/5 from 2770 reviews

Price: $7.20

I’ve already said here that I’ve built my skincare routine around The Ordinary brand in my struggle with acne breakouts and scarring. One star player in my routine? Their peeling solution. Yes, that striking red one that’s not just fun to look at but seriously effective in exfoliating the skin. Also, since it has a pocket-friendly price—it costs less than a coffee at Starbucks—it got my attention in a sec. Anyway, chances are, you’ve probably seen this bloodred solution on your Instagram feed or in a friend’s bathroom cabinet. Because literally, The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution went absolutely viral, and trust me, it worth all the fuzz!

How to use it

I strictly followed their instructions because, honestly, after 15 years of struggle, I’m not planning to play with acids on my skin. So, on cleansed and dried skin, I apply the solution and massage it into my face with gentle circular motions (and a bit on my decolletage too). But, I’m extra cautious around the eyes—that area is a strict no-go, both during application and when rinsing off. The package explicitly states, “Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes both during application and rinse off.” And to that, I say, “Absolutely!”

It is essential that your skin is completely dry when you apply the solution and does not have open wounds or active irritation or sunburn.

The formula feels somewhat stinging in the first minute. But I honestly love the idea that that little bit of pain results from sloughing off dead skin cells and leaving my skin smooth.

For intense exfoliation, leave the solution on your skin for no more than 10 minutes–you can start with 5 minutes if you’re new to it. After 5-10 minutes, rinse it off gently with lukewarm water, and then continue with your usual skincare routine. It’s essential to note that The Ordinary’s AHA + BHA Solution is packed with exfoliating acids, which can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. That’s why I recommend using it in the evening. And remember the next day, it’s crucial to apply sunscreen—something I hope you’re already doing daily!

For the first month, I used this peeling solution once weekly until my skin built tolerance, then I started to apply it twice weekly, and I encountered no irritations ever. Never, but never use The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution more than twice a week.


The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is definitely a product that gives instant and long-term results. At first, I noticed my skin was clearer and brighter and also felt smoother. After I’m using it, I layer my hyaluronic acid serum. My skin absorbs it in a split second. I feel how the rest of my skincare products get better absorbed into the skin and work more effectively. It’s a fact that dead skin cells hinder the absorption of skincare products. That’s one more reason you need to consider exfoliating your skin regularly.

Some people may experience a bit of redness immediately after rinsing it off, and that’s fine if it doesn’t last more than 20 minutes. It’s a normal reaction if your skin is a bit more sensitive. On the following day, my skin is still glowing, looking toned and firm, and if I layer foundation, it feels like I have the perfect canvas right there, on my face.

I added The Ordinary’s AHA + BHA Peeling Solution to my routine four months ago, and I’ve seen a change in my skin tone all this time, and some blemishes left by acne faded.

The formula

The Ordinary Peeling Solution Texture

The Ordinary Peeling Solution is made with 30% glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids. These are the kinds of acids that renew and resurface your skin. Their exfoliation action stimulates cell turnover, resulting in smoother, more radiant skin.

The formula is also infused with 2% salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). Unlike AHAs, BHAs are oil-soluble, so they can penetrate the fat layer and reach the pores to clean them. That’s why this peeling solution is not only good for smoothing the skin texture, but it is also very effective in dealing with acne and oily skin. It reduces sebum accumulation and clogged pores, which are common culprits in acne formation.

The Ordinary AHA + BHA Peeling Solution also contains hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, which aid in moisturizing the skin. The bloodred color is given by Tasmanian pepper berry, which is added to reduce irritation linked to acid use. Also, the black carrot increases cell turnover, brightens the skin, and delivers antioxidant protection, while aloe leaf soothes the skin and relieves redness. 

Side effects

Since it has a high acid concentration, the risk for irritation is pretty big. Anyway, as it goes with other new skincare products, better do a patch test before using The Ordinary AHA + BHA Peeling Solution to see how your skin reacts. Also, don’t expect fast results, acids take time to work, and the product must be used weekly for an extended period.


  • Never use the peel on cracked or damaged skin.
  • Never let it act for more than 10 minutes.
  • Never use it more than twice a week.
  • Never apply on damp skin.
  • Never use retinoids before or after the peel.

The verdict

The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is the perfect add-on to your weekly skincare routine if your goal is to tackle hyperpigmentation, heal acne scars, balance oily skin, and cleanse your pores. This exfoliant is your ticket to achieving that coveted glowy skin. It’s formulated without alcohol and oil. With a pH range of 3.5 to 3.7, it strikes a balance between efficacy and gentleness. However, since this is a strong solution, you should use it with caution and I’m sorry but don’t use it if your skin is sensitive.

Ana Vasilescu wearing The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
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