It seems The Ordinary Peeling Solution has become quite a popular feature in many people’s skincare routines, with skincare experts such as Youtuber Cassandra Bankson confessing her undying love for it, along with many other products within The Ordinary’s range. Not only that, but social media platform, Tik Tok, has seen countless viral video’s of people dripping this bright red liquid all over their faces. I’ve also been dabbling with new skincare products – particularly budget-friendly skincare – and that infamous red face peel may have also worked its way into my regime, too.

I’ve been getting acquainted with peels, particularly TCA chemical peels (more on that soon), which I gave a blast a couple of months ago. While The Ordinary Peeling Solution is a much less risqué or abrasive alternative to an actual, full-on chemical peel, it does claim to provide some of the same benefits.

The Ordinary Skincare by Deciem

The Ordinary are a sub-company operating under the umbrella brand, Deciem. Their mission to provide innovative, high-tech skincare at honourable prices has really made them take off. For such a modest price point, you get many vegan products, void of nasty chemicals and additives such as parabens and mineral oil. And their AHA + BHA Peeling Solution is no exception! What’s not to love?


“Clean face and wait for skin to dry. Do not use on wet skin. Apply evenly across face and neck using fingertips, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes both during application and rinse off. This low-viscosity solution is intended to be used as a masque. Do not leave on for longer than 10 minutes. It is not recommended to use more than twice per week. Contact of the product with the skin must be of limited frequency or duration. If irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised.”


Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

How Does The Ordinary Peeling Solution Work?

Active Ingredients

The Ordinary Peeling Solution contains a combination of AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids), including Glycolic, Tartaric, Lactic, Citric and Salicylic. Together, these work to exfoliate, clear pores and resurface the skin over time, to reduce the appearance of fine lines and textural irregularities. 

Vitamin B5, Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry also work by assisting healing and reducing irritation associated with acid use. The Ordinary do not recommend you use this if you suffer with sensitive skin. On that note, ya girl does have sensitive skin and I’ve found that I don’t encounter any unpleasant side effects or reactions providing I follow the instructions correctly.

The Ordinary Peeling Solution Review

First Impressions

It’s quite hard not to notice its bright red appearance. It also has a somewhat pleasant fruity scent, both due to the Tasmanian Pepperberry. Because of the natural derivatives of the plant, I’m told that the shade of the solution can also vary from time to time and is nothing to be concerned about.


The solution is a thin gel-like consistency, applied with the use of a built-in pipette. It’s easy to squeeze a few drops into your hands before smoothing onto the face and neck, being careful to avoid the eye area, basically as you would with any other regular face mask. I tend to apply quite a liberal amount so that it is opaque on my skin. You definitely end up looking as if you were front-row at a public beheading from the 1700’s, so take precautions around light coloured fabrics; Something tells me this bad boy may stain!

After a couple of minutes on the skin, the peeling solution causes some slight burning and tingling, but nothing too crazy. In fact, I quite like a product with a tingling sensation as I feel as if it’s actually doing something. If you’ve ever had one of those TCA peels I mentioned earlier, this is an absolute breeze in comparison.


Once that 10 minute timer rings, it’s time to wash off the peeling solution with lukewarm water. I like to use a soft muslin cloth or reusable cotton pad such as the Face Halo to ensure I’m being thorough in removing every last bit of product. I then splash on a little cool water to soothe the tingling sensation before patting dry with a towel.

The Importance of Using SPF Alongside Direct Acids


SPF is super important when using acid-based skincare products as they increase your sensitivity to the sun, resulting in burning and hyperpigmentation much more easily. A new addition to my daily routine is the La-Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50, which I slather on regardless of whether I’m outdoors or just pottering around the house. Be sure to invest in a good SPF to use alongside The Ordinary Peeling Solution or any other acid-based skincare. The La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume Face and Body Balm with SPF50 is also great for those of us that suffer with irritation after using the Peeling Solution, as well as containing sun protection together in one easy product.


In regards to the 10-minute rule, I think it definitely is more beneficial to follow the instructions on the bottle. It can be tempting to leave it longer than advised or use it more than twice a week. Unfortunately, both times I’ve done this, I’ve ended up with a dry, prickly rash-type reaction all over my cheeks (contact dermatitis). This could be down to me having a more sensitive skin type but it’s always sensible to follow the manufacturers advice to reduce the chance of contraindications such as reactions.

The Ordinary Peeling Solution FAQ

Can I Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution and Niacinamide together?

Both The Ordinary Peeling Solution and Niacinamide can cause irritation if you are not used to the products. For that reason, it is recommended that you a.) acquaint your skin properly to both products before using them alongside one another, and b.) use them at opposite times within your skincare routine, for example: Niacinamide in the morning and the Peeling Solution in the evening.

Can I Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution Every Other Day?

The Ordinary recommends that their Peeling Solution is used 1-2 times weekly. Using it every other day may cause your skin to become sensitive and prone to irritation.

Can I Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution on Acne?

The Peeling Solution can be used to treat acne but it is not recommended that you use it on active, inflamed or severe acne as this may result in sensitivity and discomfort. However, I have seen great results whereby the Peeling Solution has been used on acne and yielded great results over time but this should be approached with caution.

Can The Ordinary Peeling Solution be Used as a Spot Treatment?

Yes. Simply pop a little of the Peeling Solution on a cotton bud and dot onto spots, leaving for no longer than 10 minutes before removing.

Can I use The Ordinary Peeling Solution on my Back and Chest?

Yes. The face tends to have thinner skin than most other places on the body so this is usually where you would experience higher levels of sensitivity. The back and chest are less likely to experience sensitivity due to the skin being thicker and less sensitive. I regularly use the Peeling Solution on both my back and chest.

Can The Ordinary Peeling Solution be used on Sensitive Skin?

It is not recommended that the Peeling Solution be used on sensitive or hypersensitive skin as it may cause further sensitivity and discomfort. However, the skin can, in many cases, become accustomed and used to direct acid over time, when introduced gently and slowly to your skincare routine. Maybe try limiting the regularity and leave-on time at first, for example, once a week for 5 minutes, and increasing usage if and when your skin becomes more accustomed. But this is to be done at your own risk.

What Should I use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

Try splashing cool water on the face to soothe any post-peel irritation or burning. This tends to settle down after a few minutes. While the skin is still wet, a Hyaluronic Acid serum and moisturiser will work to add hydration back to the skin and repair the skin’s lipid barrier. A treatment such as the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume will help to sooth any irritation if your skin is a little more sensitive. Also remember to use SPF daily while using acid-based skincare. The La-Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume range also includes an SPF50+ version, which I would highly recommend.


Immediately after removal, the first thing I always notice is how bright and glowy my skin is. One thing I really suffer with is rosacea and I’m forever surprised at how little redness I have afterwards, despite the peeling solution’s DANGEROUSLY red tone. My skin also feels smooth and my pores practically non-existent.

Over the short few weeks that I’ve been using The Ordinary Peeling Solution, I’ve noticed a great improvement in my skin. My skin feels super smooth to the touch and as someone who has always suffered with acne-prone skin, I feel as if it’s done wonders at keeping spots and bumps at bay, too.

Considering the great retail price and overall effectiveness, it’s fair to say that this product has gained pride of place in my weekly pamper routine.