The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution (review)

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Just about a year ago, I ventured into chemical exfoliation after years of subjecting my skin to the harshness of facial scrubs. Naturally, I wanted to buy the easiest product to start with preferably in the form of a toner. This was also the period I started to learn about The Ordinary Skincare products. One day, I just gave in and bought my very first product from the brand; The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution.

But before then, I tested the Nip & Fab Glycolic Pads as well as the Pixi Glow Tonic. They both didn’t do so much for me so I just finished them and switched over to The Ordinary.

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First Impression of The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution

  • Size & Packaging

To be honest, the first thing that attracted me to this product was the size. Compared to the majority of the products that usually come in 30ml pipette bottles, The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution comes in a whopping 240ml bottle for a steal. What’s not to love? If I had just stuck to it since last year I would have finished the bottle but unfortunately, I still have a quarter to go because I use different acids these days.

  • The Product itself

If you are new to acids like I was about a year ago, this is a completely safe and beginner-friendly product to use. You want to ease into it without doing too much. You also want to see results that will convince you to keep on using it.

According to Deciem;

Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin. This 7% toning solution offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance and visible clarity. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture with continued use. 

This formula contains a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use. This derivative is of plant origin and varies in colour seasonally and this colour variation may be apparent in the formula from time to time. The formula is further supported with inclusion of ginseng root and aloe vera for both visible radiance and soothing benefits. 

  • Price

The 240ml bottle goes for as little as £6.80 that can easily take you through an entire year. Again, what’s not to love?

  • Ingredient list

Just to be on the safe side, I sometimes check the ingredient list for anything shady. But these days I don’t anymore because Deciem has proved to be a company with integrity.

  • Fragrance

The product is not exactly fragrance-free. Ir has a fragrance which is not too overpowering and dissipates after application. So you shouldn’t too worried about it.

The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution (review)


  • Directions

According to the packaging, you’re directed to;

use ideally in the PM, no more frequently than once per day. After cleaning, saturate a cotton pad with the formula and sweep across face and neck.

I remember when this product first came out, there was an argument about the ideal usage just because it is a toner. Some people thought it was safe to use daily forgetting that it is a toner with an AHA. To answer your question, no it shouldn’t be used daily.

  • What I do

I use mine once or twice a week depending on what my skin needs. Naturally, it’s the first step after cleansing and before toning. If I’m breaking out, I use my BHA but if I just want to smoothen the texture of my skin, I use this product as my AHA.

*AHA is alpha hydroxy Acid which exfoliates the top layer/surface of the skin while BHA; beta hydroxy acid exfoliates your pores.

  • So does it work?

Yes. Yes and Yes.

The first time I used it, I didn’t really notice the difference because I was new to chemical exfoliation but these days I can definitely tell when I use Glycolic Acid the previous night. The morning afterglow is out of this world. The texture of my skin is smooth that I want to touch my face all day.

The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution (review)

The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution vs Pixi Glow Tonic

I don’t think the comparison between these two products will ever stop. This is because they’re both popular cult beauty products which were launched around the same time. The major difference is The Ordinary being 7% Glycolic Acid and Pixi 5%. Since I’ve used both products extensively, every other thing boils down to personal preference.

If you’re just starting out with chemical exfoliation, Pixi Glow Tonic might be well suited for you. But after a while, you will definitely want something stronger and cross over to The Ordinary. Regardless, they are both great products for beginners.

Other uses of The Ordinary Toning Solution you didn’t think of

So I belong to the Deciem chat room group on Facebook which is super helpful for those of you just starting out with The Ordinary brand. Every once in awhile, I come across unique ways people use the Glycolic Acid. In case you don’t know, it comes in a 240ml bottle which takes a while to exhaust. So a lot of people have found different ways to use it so it doesn’t go to waste.

A few of which include exfoliating their body and scalp. I tried exfoliating my body with it as well but I preferred using The Ordinary Lactic Acid so I stopped. When I find more unique uses of Glycolic Acid, I’ll update this post.

Final thoughts

What can I say? I love the product. It’s cheap, available and gets the work done.

Where to Buy: Amazon & The Ordinary

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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