Beauty Minute: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

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The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Review

This series is to share a quick review of a single product I've recently tried. I'll be blatantly honest, sharing how I've used it, how long I've used it, and my tips for the product. These are not paid advertising from any brand, the choice is mine. However, please note when available, affiliate links are used. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may make a small commission.

For reference, I am 44 years old. Other than one time trying Botox last February, I haven’t had any procedures. I get a professional facial at most once a year. I was a devout sun worshipper and spent more time in college in a tanning bed than a classroom. My skin used to be oily in the T-zone until I started oil cleansing (I use this cleansing balm) and now it’s pretty ordinary – a bit dry in winter, a bit oily in summer. I don’t get irritated easily, but the wrong product can cause a rash (hello salicylic acid) or cystic acne (hello IT Cosmetics).

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Review

I’ve been relatively happy with my skincare routine. No breakouts, no irritation, an entire winter without any red or cracking skin. However, my pores have looked larger, my skin doesn’t feel as soft, I look a bit more… haggard. And everywhere I read where people had that issue they used Sunday Riley’s Good Genes and their skin was suddenly amazing. Well, Good Genes costs over $100 and I couldn’t justify such a cost unless it was life-changing amazeballs. I read a few places that The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid was a dupe for Good Genes and with one bottle costing less than $7 that was more my speed for a beauty risk.

I have used lactic acid before, though not at this concentration. I was never consistent so I didn’t see any radical changes. This product arrived, I washed my face as usual, applied maybe a third of an eyedropper of the lactic acid to my face, brushed my teeth to give it time to absorb, and then added my night cream. No burning, no irritation. I woke up… and my skin looked markedly better. I have NEVER had such immediate results with a product! Skin was more glowy, looked and felt softer, and my pores looked less visible. Since I have pretty sturdy skin I tried it again the next night and the next day again woke up with happier skin. After a few days, all the little tiny bumps on my chin disappeared. I have now used The Ordinary's Lactic Acid off and on for four weeks and it’s been a gamechanger. I usually wait six weeks before a review but since the results were so dramatic I figured this wasn’t so bad. If it ends up being horrible, I’ll be sure to update with a revised review.

The Ordinary's products are vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without oil, alcohol, silicone, nuts, gluten, and fragrance. They are also free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

Buy The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% at Sephora for $6.80.  It is available at Amazon, but is more than twice the price.

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  1. I absolutely LOVE The Ordinary product line!! I have been using the Buffet serum along with the blood red Peel for a few weeks now and I couldn’t be happier with them. I can’t believe how inexpensive they are because of the amazing quality and such noticeable results. I JUST received a few direct acids as well as there foundation serum and full coverage formula. I tried the lactic acid and it immediately got really warm on my skin and it felt a bit uncomfortable but I just fanned my face for a few minutes and it subsided. It may be due to the fact that I got microdermabrasion three days ago but my skin actually looks more even and smooth just from using it one time!! The foundations go in smooth and they are really pretty on the skin, they wear well and work really nicely with my other make up products. This is the cheapest foundation I’ve used and I am pleasantly surprised with the results. I can’t recommend this line enough!! I feel like when using there products you actually have to educate yourself on when and how to use them and the website is amazing for that. I can’t wait to get into the rest of the serums I got!!

  2. After reading your rave review of The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% HA I had to try i. Wowee Zowee this s a great addition to my beauty routine. I am using it every three days, and just as you said, saw an immediate improvement the first week. My skin is glowing. Thank you, thank you. Great, affordable, find. I actually think it enhances the performance of the other products I use. I use Kiss Red E anti aging whitening creme to diminish age spots, Kiehls iris extract activating treatment essence, and Cetaphil moisturing lotion. Thanks again, love your blog.

  3. You weren’t kidding! I tried this on your recommendation and my skin is soft and glowing. I’ve been using it every other day for the past 2 weeks and there has been no irritation whatsoever. I alternate it with Paula’s Choice BHA. This is the best my skin has looked and felt in years. Dry skin is banished without greasiness. Thanks for recommending this.

  4. How do you apply this? I ordered on your recommendation and find it’s liquid and can’t be “smoothed” on. Do you put it on your fingertips, or a cotton ball? Thanks!

  5. Hi

    Thanks for the review Ali. I’ve been using The Ordinary products for a while now and have found them good and reasonably priced.

    I’m UK based, so for any of your UK readers who are interested, I use a website called Deciem (www.deciem.com), which has a good selection of The Ordinary products (we don’t have Sephora in the UK!) – .

  6. Thanks for this review. I have used MUAC acids on and off over the years. I do love Paulas’s Choice as I find the products to overall be excellent–that said, her prices have crept up, and I’m happy to see this recommendation for a lower cost effective product.

  7. I love this and almost everything from The Ordinary. It’s one line I buy again and again. It is a game changer.
    I do like the Sunday Riley one but use a small travel size one when I’m actually traveling. It’s thicker and works slightly better so I like it when I’m on the road.
    Also enjoy TO’s Retinoids with squaline, vitamin c powder, feuric(sp?) acid/Fe treatment and this bright blood red peel.

  8. Just wondering what this would replace in my skin care regime. Use instead of retinol or the Pixi Toner with glycolic acid?

    1. I use my Pixi toner in the morning. At night I use this in the point of my routine when I’d use retinol. Cleanse, add this, then any moisturizer over it.

  9. I’ve been using The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% solution and I’ve been enjoying it. Would I use this in addition to that? Or instead? Quite frankly, I understand cleansing, eye cream and moisturizing with some kind of lotion. Throwing acids, serums, and oils in the mix just makes me feel confused.

    1. I’m still using my Pixi Glycolic but in the morning and this in the evening. I too get confused and have decided only one in the AM (gentle, not sun-reactive), and one in the evening (the hardcore stuff).

    2. Tip: you can email the The Ordinary helpdesk, tell them your skin concerns (like dryness, acne, redness, signs of aging, etc etc) and ask for advice. The HA is a serum to be used after cleansing and before your moisturizer. They have lots of treatments like that, that go between cleansing and moisturizer, some of which you shouldn’t combine (like vitamin C serums with retinoids, I think).

      They have a brief description on skincare regimens using their serums. They also sell a really affordable moisturizer that I love and a new moisturizing Squalene Cleanser that I also love. Hope that helps (off to replenish my stash now, haha!)

  10. Any thoughts on how this works or doesn’t with a retinol? My skin needs a boost (and my diet needs fine-tuning, and I need more sleep and less stress, but I can’t get those for less than $10), but I’m worried about overloading it.

    1. The Paula’s Choice people say that you can try using them together–start very gradually, and quit if you get bothersome flaking, etc.

      1. I don’t use retinols/retinoids but have found the hyaluronic acid super gentle on my previously extremely reactive dry skin. It has made a world of difference! You can email The Ordinary’s helpdesk on how to combine treatments. I use several of their serums and combine HA with all of them.

  11. I splurged on some Good Genes and despite it saying that’s it’s for daytime use, I find that it makes my makeup slide off. It does, however, make my skin look amazing when I use it consistently. This looks a little thinner, like it might go on and soak in? For $7, I’m taking a chance on it.

    1. Use it right after cleansing and toning, and you only need to use 2-3 drops (according to the website – my skin is so super dry I use about 5 drops for face & neck). I haven’t had issues with my make-up sliding off, but I usually use mineral powder. Liquid foundation always does a combo of sllding off/sticking to the dry areas for me, no matter what I put on my face before applying… 🙁

  12. Interesting. $7 for a product that works! I’ve been using Refissa (retinol) from my dermatologist. But it’s not cheap and not covered by insurance. But my skin is markedly improved. I’ve wondered about the Ordinary products and appreciate the review.

    1. Get your derm to prescribe generic Retin-A–tretinoin. It’s available as a very cheap generic.

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