The Ordinary’s peeling solution has become a cult favorite skincare product, but if you’re new to acids, the idea of using this powerful chemical exfoliant can seem intimidating. Don’t worry – with some basic guidance, you can safely incorporate this potent formula into your routine. Let’s walk through the best practices step-by-step so you can experience the glow!
What is The Ordinary’s Peeling Solution?
Officially named “The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution”, this product contains a high concentration of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). These chemical exfoliants work together to remove dead skin cells and reveal fresh new skin underneath.
The primary active ingredient is glycolic acid, an AHA derived from sugar cane that penetrates deeply into pores. It dissolves the “glue” holding dull skin cells together to smooth skin texture.
The BHA in the formula, salicylic acid, clears buildup inside pores to prevent acne and improve radiance. This peeling solution provides intense exfoliation without harsh particles that could scratch or irritate.
What Skin Types Should Use This Peeling Solution?
The Ordinary specifically recommends this peel for normal, oily, combination, and congested skin types. The concentrated acids help treat acne, pigmentation, dullness, and signs of aging like fine lines. Dry or sensitive skin may find it too irritating.
If you’re new to acids, have sensitive skin, or use other exfoliating treatments, start by only using the peel 1-2 times per week max. You can work up to more regular use as your skin builds tolerance. Listen to what your skin needs!
How to Prepare Your Skin for the Peel
To minimize risk of irritation, properly prep your skin before applying The Ordinary’s intense peeling solution:
- Start with freshly cleansed skin – don’t apply over makeup, sunscreen or other residue.
- Avoid using harsh scrubs, retinol, or other acids immediately before the peel, which may cause sensitivity.
- Wait at least 1 week after waxing or laser treatments, as peeling can irritate freshly treated skin.
- Apply a mild moisturizer and/or facial oil before the peel to “buffer” the acids. This reduces intensity on first use.
- ONLY use it at night, not in the mornings. The formula makes your skin photosensitive.
Starting conservatively and slowly building up use is crucial with this powerful acid treatment to avoid burning or over-exfoliation. Don’t worry – when used properly, you’ll reap all the benefits with none of the irritation!
Step-By-Step Guide to Applying the Peel
Once you’ve prepped your face, follow these steps when applying The Ordinary’s AHA/BHA solution:
1. Start with a clean, dry face
Wash off all serums, moisturizers, makeup, and SPF first. Pat skin dry with a towel.
2. Apply a thin layer all over the face and neck
Dip a cotton round or pad in the solution and gently smooth over the face, avoiding the eye area.
3. Let it sit for no more than 10 minutes
Time the application. Remove promptly after 10 mins max to avoid over-exfoliating.
4. Rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water
Splash face repeatedly to fully rinse away all product and pat dry with a soft towel.
5. Follow with moisturizer and facial oil
Apply serums and creams to nourish and hydrate skin. Avoid retinol, acids, and other actives immediately after.
And that’s it – you’ve just given your face a professional-level chemical exfoliation in minutes! Keep reading for tips on making this powerful peel easy to incorporate into your routine.
Easing Into Regular Use of the Peel
Because The Ordinary’s peel contains such high concentrations of acids, it’s crucial not to overdo it as you adjust. Follow this schedule as you work up to more frequent usage:
- First 2 weeks: Use just once per week
- Weeks 3-6: Use 2 times per week
- Weeks 6-10: Build up to every 2-3 days as tolerated
- Maximum frequency: Every other day (never 2 days in a row!)
Listen to your skin carefully for any signs of irritation like stinging, redness, peeling, or dryness. If these occur, pull back to a less frequent schedule. Not everyone can tolerate daily use of this peel.
With the proper gradual introduction, most people find their skin adapts well to regular application of this powerful formula. Just be patient and let your skin’s needs guide you.
Tips for Making the Peel Part of Your Routine
Here are some tips to seamlessly incorporate The Ordinary’s peel into your regular skincare routine:
- Always do a patch test on your neck for at least 24 hours before first full-face use to check for allergic reaction.
- Only use at night before bed so you won’t have to worry about sun exposure.
- Reduce use of other acids, retinol, and vitamin C products on nights you apply the peel. This prevents over-exfoliating.
- Consider alternating peel nights with your other actives to give skin recovery time while still reaping benefits.
- Apply moisturizer and facial oil after rinsing off the peel to nourish the skin and mitigate dryness.
- If using other acid toners, apply those first before the peel so the higher pH doesn’t deactivate the peel.
With a small amount of planning, you can easily make this treatment a regular step that enhances your skincare ritual. Just be diligent about listening to your skin’s needs!
When to See Results From the Peel
Patience is crucial when incorporating this intense chemical exfoliant. You likely won’t see major overnight changes – skin transformation takes time and consistency. Here’s a realistic timeline:
- 1-4 weeks: Brighter, glowing skin immediately after each use. Existing acne blemishes diminished.
- 4-8 weeks: Smoother texture and reduced appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation. New breakouts slowed.
- 8-12 weeks: Visibly smaller pores, balanced tone and texture. Sustained acne reduction and blocking of new breakouts.
- 12+ weeks: Minimized signs of sun damage and aging. More even complexion and skin looks famously radiant!
For optimal results, be diligent about using the peel 1-3 times per week for at least 3 months. Coupled with a solid basic skincare regimen, you should notice major improvements in any skin concerns like acne, dullness, and congestion. But change won’t happen overnight – stick with it!
Is The Ordinary’s Peel Right for You?
While this peel formula has amazing benefits, it’s not right for everyone. Ask yourself:
- Do you have heartier, non-sensitive skin that isn’t easily dried out or irritated?
- Do you have experience using AHAs/BHAs without negative reactions?
- Are you prepared to gradually work up to more frequent usage?
- Will you diligently avoid sun exposure on days you use the peel?
- Are you willing to commit to using it consistently for at least 3 months?
If you answered yes to all of the above, The Ordinary’s Peeling Solution may be the perfect addition to your skincare routine! Just be patient, listen to your skin, and slowly integrate this intense acid treatment to reap the full rewards safely. Say goodbye to dullness and hello to that gorgeous glow!
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