Skin Care

What to Use After the Ordinary Peeling Solution for Scars?



by Lydia


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Acne can be a real heartache, but if you have acne-prone skin, then you know acne scarring is the real deal between the two. With proper skincare routines, your skin heals, and you'll need chemical exfoliants to help get rid of dead skin cells and bring out fresh skin. One of the leading direct acids is the Ordinary Peeling solution or glycolic peels for more sensitive skin. To avoid skin irritation, you'll need to know exactly what to use after the Ordinary Peeling solution.

Generally, the Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution is a pretty potent acid exfoliation mask. As a chemical peel, it removes the dead skin cells and debris, leaving the skin more sensitive than usual. This is why it's important to properly care for your skin during the peeling process and use the right products right after.

A simple skincare routine would include; a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sun protection from UV rays. The best products to use here have a sensitive skincare label. They're hydrating, mild, and soothing to help with healing.

How To Use the Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?

The Ordinary Peeling solution is a chemical exfoliant that promotes cell turnover by exfoliating dull, flaky skin and exposing the fresh skin cells beneath. Removing dead skin cells is important in the process of healing acne and blemish-prone skin. This process helps improve the appearance of skin texture and an even skin tone.

Other than the Ordinary Peeling solution, Glycolic peels are also used to help fight blemishes, clear pores, and even skin texture. Additionally, as an anti-aging skin care product, Glycolic stimulates the production of collagen, which reduces the appearance of age spots and fine lines.

The Ordinary Peeling solution consists of 30% Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA). Examples of AHAs include Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, Tartaric acid, and citric acid. This peeling solution also contains 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), which includes acids such as Salicylic acid. Additionally, it also contains Hyaluronic acid to help keep the skin hydrated.

This formulation is made to penetrate the skin and deeply exfoliate the skin. Since these acids could cause skin irritation, it also contains black carrot extract, vitamin B5, and Tasmanian Pepperberry to promote faster healing and reduce irritation.

Who Can Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

This Ordinary Peeling solution has a cult following since it works wonders and can be used on different skin types for radiant skin. As an exfoliating mask, it's meant to help reduce and eliminate skin problems such as:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Fine lines
  • Acne and blackheads
  • Premature aging and sunspots
  • Dull skin
  • Rough and flaking skin

However, since it's quite potent and can cause irritation, it shouldn't be used on damaged, sensitive, or skin that's already peeling. In fact, the Ordinary brand doesn't recommend this exfoliator to anyone who's new to Glycolic peels. Additionally, it's safest to perform a patch test before applying it to your whole face.

What is the Recommended Skincare Routine?

Here's a simple skincare routine after using the Ordinary AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling solution;

1. Gentle Cleanser

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You'll need a post-peel cleanser that's soothing and gentle to avoid irritating your skin. Try to limit cleansing to 2 times daily.

Pro tip: Washing also strips your skin of its natural oils and moisture. So don't excessively wash your face.

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The CeraVe Hydrating facial cleanser is an incredibly gentle cleanser that contains ceramides to help restore the protective skin barrier. Its soothing formulation is meant to cleanse without irritating or drying your skin. It also doesn't contain parabens, fragrances, or any harsh ingredients.

2. Soothing Toner

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If you use a toner, you'll need a gentle and soothing toner that's hydrating and soothing. You'll need a toner that clears your pores, improves the skin's texture and tone while moisturizing it. You want to avoid anything that dries your skin at all costs. This will help repair your skin.

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Paula's Choice Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner is a great option for any post-chemical peel routine. It's lightweight but contains ingredients that help heal and improves your skin's tone. It's best applied on wet skin and also helps improve your skin barrier while protecting your skin from stressful environmental factors.

3. Hydrating Serum

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After the peeling process, you'll need a hydrating serum that will replenish all the lost moisture and moisturize the skin properly. Hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient in this scenario.

Pro tip: Always opt for a formulation with no drying alcohols or fragrances that irritate the skin

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is a great choice here. It's a water-based serum with a great pH level that enhances and hydrates the skin's barrier. Since the Alpha-hydroxy acid in the Ordinary Peeling solution come in a very high concentration, the Hyaluronic Acid in this serum is the answer to this.

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Other than containing Hyaluronic acid, this serum is also cruel free, has no drying alcohols or fragrances that will irritate your skin. An alternative serum to the Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a mild Vitamin C serum that you can use after roughly 2 days. Besides brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation, Vitamin C is also known to calm the skin.

4. Plumping Moisturizer

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Intense moisturization and hydration will help your skin heal faster after the peel. But you also don't want a moisturizing cream that'll be heavy or clog pores that have just newly been cleared. Always opt for a lightweight and non-greasy moisturizer in a hypoallergenic formula.

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Neutrogena Oil-free Sensitive Skin facial moisturizer is a great affordable choice that's lightweight, non-greasy, and will quickly absorb into your pores. Additionally, the Neutrogena moisturizer is hypoallergenic with a formulation that doesn't contain any oil, fragrances, or alcohol. It's also safe for all skin types.

5. Sunscreen with a High SPF

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It's incredibly important to avoid UV rays and excessive sun exposure, especially right after using the Ordinary Peeling solution. This will mean wearing hats and clothes that cover you well and limiting time outside in the sun. Additionally, you must use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF range of 50 or more.

Pro tip: The best sunscreens come either as physical or mineral-based, especially if you're going to layer it beneath your makeup. Also, look out for ingredients such as Zinc oxide and/or Titanium dioxide.

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Although formulated for children, the Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide mineral sunscreen is a great choice. It has a sheer finish with no white cast and contains naturally-sourced zinc oxide and skin-soothing oat. Not only is it great for sensitive skin, but it's also recommended by the National Eczema Association and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

As a mineral sunscreen, with an SPF 50, it offers a non-greasy, sweat- and water-resistant formula. It's also hypoallergenic, phthalate-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free.

What Are Other Things to Keep in Mind?

Here are some more tips that you should keep in mind when using The Ordinary Peeling Solution or any other chemical peels in general:

  • Avoid products that have the same ingredients as the Ordinary Peeling solution. These include exfoliants such as Alpha-hydroxy acids and Beta-hydroxy acids. Using a product with the same acids as the Ordinary Peeling solution will cause excessive peeling that's just destructive
  • Avoid harsh ingredients that are drying or irritating, such as denatured alcohols, fragrances, or ingredients such as witch hazel, since its too stripping
  • Give it at least a week before you start using skincare products with the same exfoliating acids in a high percentage. This gives your skin barrier time to naturally form its new skin cells and breathe for smoother skin
  • Opt for skincare products that hydrate and moisturize the skin, especially in the first few days after using the peel
  • Don't scrub or excessively rub your skin, especially when washing. It's recommended that you just use clean hands while washing your face
  • Avoid touching your face unnecessarily with your hands
  • Avoid sun exposure
  • Since its a pretty potent chemical peel, it's recommended that you use the Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution only once a week, especially if you have more sensitive skin

What NOT to use After the Chemical Peel?

After the chemical peel, for a week, avoid the use of:

  • Facial scrubs, scrubbing brushes, or other forms of exfoliants, especially try to avoid walnut scrubs
  • Depilatory hair removal and wax products
  • Skin bleaching products
  • Anything with fragrance or any known skin irritant

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What Happens In the Stages of Using The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

a) After the Peeling Procedure

Using the Ordinary AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling solution or any Glycolic peel product makes the skin extremely sensitive. So you must avoid any direct exposure to the sun, at least for a week. Generally, it's best to avoid direct sunlight always. Additionally, immediately after this peel process, your skin usually feels a little tight and looks relatively red.

b) During the Peeling Procedure

Generally, you'll only experience a tingling sensation, but it shouldn't be painful. If it's any painful, immediately remove the peel and gently but thoroughly wash your face.

c) A Few Days After the Peeling Procedure

Some people notice visible peeling and skin shedding. This could go on for up to a week after your peel procedure.

d) A Week After the Peeling Procedure

A week after, the skin should appear more even and brighter. You'll also notice an improvement in your skin tone. With continuous use, you'll also notice the reduction of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, acne, and improvement of the skin's texture.

To avoid damaging your skin's deeper and protective layer, it's also important that you don't use the Ordinary AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling solution more than 2 times a week. Also, keep to once a week if you have sensitive skin.

What Are Sensitive Skin Alternatives of the Ordinary Peeling Solution?

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If you have never used a peeling solution before, you should start with a mild formula then gradually work your way up to the Ordinary Peeling Solution. After this, you can start gradually then increase the frequency. For instance, you can use the peel every 2 weeks, then advance to once weekly, then, if necessary, twice a week.

People with sensitive skin should definitely avoid using the Ordinary AHA 30% BHA 2% Peeling solution. This means just using a gentler product to get you some of that brightening and healing effect of a peel.

i) Lactic acid is a gentler exfoliating acid compared to Glycolic acid. This means that it has less chance of irritating your delicate skin. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + Ha 2% formula is a good option here. It's a little more superficial since it contains a milder Lactic acid at lower concentrations. Furthermore, it includes Tasmanian pepperberry to help reduce inflammation or sensitivity. This is a very gentle formula that can also be diluted into a light moisturizer to reduce its impact on sensitive skin

ii) Alternatively, you can also start with a Glycolic acid toner or corrector before hopping into the skin peel.

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These are great ways to gently ease into chemical peels while still getting the skin-evening and brightening effects. Additionally, don't forget to carry out a patch test first since no one size fits all, especially if you have sensitive skin.

What Conflicts with the Use of Ordinary Peeling Solution?

Regardless of what products you have on your routine while using the Ordinary Peeling solution, you must avoid using products with potent actives such as:

  • Other exfoliant acids, e.g., Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, or Salicylic acid
  • Pure or ethylated form of Vitamin C
  • Retinoids such as retinol
  • Copper peptides
  • Peptides, such as Niacinamide powder and benzoyl peroxide

Should You Use Niacinamide After The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

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Niacinamide is a holy grail ingredient for many people who battle with acne. So, it'd make sense why this would be a concern. The Ordinary Peeling solution comes in a pH formulation of 3.50 – 3.70. On the other hand, Niacinamide products such as the Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% have a pH of 5.50 – 6.50.

Ultimately, this means that using them together might decrease their individual product efficiency. Your best bet here would be using Niacinamide products in the morning, then do the peel at night (best at night with no exposure to sunlight). Alternatively, you can also use them on different days.

However, if you really should use them in the same skincare routine, make sure to wait at least 30 minutes after your peel. This allows your skin's pH level to normalize before applying the Niacinamide serum.

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Pro tip: As per the Ordinary brand's recommendation, you cannot use The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide powder with your exfoliant peel. Also, ensure that the niacinamide serum doesn't contain any of the other conflicting actives mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions on What to Use After the Ordinary Peeling Solution

1. Can you use the Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling solution with acid toners?

No. Peeling solutions in high acid concentrations can only be used once every 7-10 days. Alternatively, you can use the acid toners or exfoliants with lesser concentrations every other day.

2. Can I use vitamin C after the peeling solution?

It's generally safe to use your vitamin C serum after washing off the chemical peel, but depending on the concentration, it can cause skin irritation, redness, or inflammation. So try diluting it with a plain moisturizer first, then carefully monitor it.


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