Glycolic acid has been kicking my forever-tired, spot-prone skin into shape for a while now. I started out with Nip + Fab’s Glycolic Fix pads, and then moved on to First Aid Beauty’s Facial Radiance Pads, which I preferred but, at £19, they seemed extravagant. Which is why The Ordinary is such a joy, really, because it gives poor people like me the things that we actually want (NB for beauty brands: we don’t want to pay for your snazzy ad campaigns, sorry) for a smidgen of the price we’d usually pay.
So I now have The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, a whacking big bottle of pale pink liquid in the clinical, sparse and pleasingly clunky packaging we’ve come to expect from the brand. Am I the only one who thinks it looks kind of glam?
The good thing about reviewing acids is that you don’t need to spend ages waiting for results, because you can see visible changes pretty quickly. I’ve been using this stuff every other night (not sure if this is the best way to use this product, but I like to gently wean myself into new acid products) for just under a fortnight, and my skin is definitely into it. The morning after using this on my face, my skin just looks fresher. If you don’t use acids, it’s hard to explain what I mean by this; despite so much skincare packaging claiming that it will induce a G-L-O-W from within, I’ve yet to find anything that makes my skin ‘glow’, besides highlighter of course.
So, The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toning Solution will not make your skin glow, per se, but it will give it that little extra something. It will also get rid of those pesky little flakes around your nose if, like me, you’re a bit hayfever-y at the moment and keep rubbing your face with scratchy tissues.
The best bits
- It lives up to its claims – and does it quickly
- Contains a higher percentage of glycolic acid than other popular liquid exfoliants (Pixi Glow Tonic, for example, comprises 5% glycolic)
- It’s gloriously cheap
- It looks pretty
- It doesn’t contain witch hazel, so it’s possibly better suited to dry skins than other popular glycolic acid exfoliant products (I can’t vouch for this, though, as my skin’s something of an oil slick)
The worst bits
- It contains rose water, which can be an irritant
- The application is messier than pads
Would I repurchase? Yes