The Ordinary’s Cult-Favorite Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Changed My Skin—Here's How To Use It

From expensive facial treatments, and even DIY skincare trends, it can be difficult to decide which product to use to address your skin concern. In fact, just finding a treatment or product can be as much of a challenge as clearing your skin. But what if I told you that there’s a product that can make your skin look amazing at a very affordable price?

By Grace Song2 min read
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If you want to find out how to turn your skin from plain ordinary to extraordinary, keep on reading.

The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is a water-based toner that targets uneven skin tone, dullness, and textural irregularities. Suited for all skin types, this product contains an AHA called glycolic acid, which is the key ingredient used to improve skin clarity. The best part? You can buy it for only $10!

Glycolic Acid? AHAs?

You might be wondering, “What is an AHA?” AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acids, which are a group of chemical compounds that are commonly found in skincare products. The main purpose of AHAs is to exfoliate the surface of the skin, removing dead skin and allowing new skin to regenerate. The extent of exfoliation depends on the concentration of the AHA, as well as other ingredients found in the product. AHAs may also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, help treat acne, and minimize and correct discoloration.

AHAs differ from BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids). Unlike AHAs, BHAs exfoliate deeper into the pores to remove excess sebum and dead skin cells. They’re effective for reducing the appearance of blackheads and are mainly targeted for individuals with oily skin.

Glycolic acid is one of the many types of AHAs out there. Other types of AHAs include: lactic acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid. Out of all of these, glycolic and lactic acid are the most common AHAs found in skincare products. 

How To Use the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

For some background information, I have always had combination skin, with white bumps and minor acne, especially in the t-zone area. I would also have the occasional red blemishes around my nose. One day, my esthetician recommended this product to me due to the acne on my forehead. Here are some tips that were recommended to me that I found helpful:

Although this product is a toner, it’s important to note that the product is still a chemical exfoliant due to its glycolic acid content. Because of this, be especially careful when introducing chemical exfoliants to your skincare routine, as your skin may not be used to the active ingredients in the product. 

For individuals new to chemical exfoliants, start by using the product once a week with a cotton pad for 2-3 weeks, so that your skin can get used to the new ingredients. Once your skin has adjusted to the new product, you can start using it more than once a week. Having 3-4 days in between usage is a good time to avoid over-exfoliating and irritation.

It’s also important to note that you may experience some purging when you first use the product. Purging occurs when the acne you were already going to get comes out all at once due to cell turnover. Fortunately, acne that occurs from purging usually tends to go away relatively quickly. This differs from breakouts, which usually take around 8-10 days to appear and shrink. However, if you do experience immediate irritation (inflammation or itchy acne within a day of use) stop using the product immediately. 

After using this product for 4 weeks, I noticed that not only did the appearance of my acne and bumps reduce significantly, but the acne and bumps also diminished faster than they would on their own. In addition, my skin was a lot brighter and clearer, and the discoloration around my nose was minimized as well. I experienced minor purging my first week of using the product, but by following the tips mentioned above, the purging was able to go away after one week.

Closing Thoughts

With the skincare industry being overly saturated with many different types of products, it can be difficult to choose which skincare product is right for you. With careful use, however, chemical exfoliants can be a great and affordable way to effectively address various skin concerns. 

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