This post will be reviewing The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%.
My skin might have outgrown a good chunk of The Ordinary Skincare products, but I always return to the direct acids. Whenever I want to incorporate an exfoliating acid – specifically an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) – into my routine, I always reach out to The Ordinary.
The products are cheap, effective and do what is needed. Personally, I get bored with exfoliating toners halfway through. So, I eventually use the rest on my body. The Ordinary serums typically come in 30ml bottles, which is usually enough to sustain me for the short period I want to use them.
I haven’t been using a lot of Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) in my routine recently. I have been using the Differin Gel for my acne, making Salicylic Acid products redundant in my routine. While the Differin Gel smoothened my textures to an extent, I wanted something a bit stronger. So, I grabbed a bottle of The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%. With all the actives I’ve used over the years, my skin can tolerate anything. This is why I went straight to 10% rather than 5%.
Naturally, I have to share my thoughts on the product.
First impressions of The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%
According to The Ordinary;
Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin. This 10% formulation offers mild exfoliation and is supported by a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that are often associated with exfoliation.
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.
Ingredient List & Fragrance
Just like the rest of The Ordinary products, this formula is also pretty basic with minimal ingredients like;
- 10% Lactic Acid
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Tasmanian Pepper Extract
The Tasmanian Pepper Extract should have been replaced by Panthenol, Adenosine or Centella Asiatica Extract in a saner climate. These ingredients offer more soothing benefits that will counteract any potential irritation. Anyway, they wanted to keep the products as cheap as possible, so they used the most inexpensive ingredients. Who can blame them? But is Panthenol that pricey?
As always, the products are alcohol, essential oil and fragrance-free.
Packaging, Texture & Consistency
The Ordinary Lactic Acid is packaged in their signature 30ml dropper bottle. In this case, I’m not sure I like the dropper bottle for this product because this direct acid is very watery and very easy to use too much. Compared to the other acids I’ve used, this liquid consistency is hydrating and more effective for people with dry skin. Yes, it is slightly hydrating but nothing too crazy. This is where you need to be careful and not use more than one dropper just because you find it hydrating.
Price & Availability
At the beginning of this year, The Ordinary increased its prices. So this product now retails for $8/£6.90 compared to about $5/£4.90 previously. Frankly, the increase is not too drastic. Hopefully, this will prevent people from buying products they don’t need. You can get this product wherever The Ordinary products are sold online or offline.
Review of The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%
My biggest issue with this product and the rest of The Ordinary’s Direct Acids are the directions:
Apply once per day, ideally in the PM.
No, you shouldn’t be using your acids daily for any reason, even if the brand tells you to. They have seen how slowly it will take to finish a 30ml bottle if you exfoliate 2-3 times a week. But as money grabbers, they want you to exfoliate daily to exhaust the product quicker and buy a new one. It is a vicious cycle, but you need to be a more intelligent consumer.
I use this exfoliant about 2-3 times a week on slightly damp skin after cleansing. It has Hyaluronic Acid, so I like to use it on damp skin to prevent piling. If you have sensitive skin or are new to direct acids, I suggest using it on dry skin to avoid irritation. I prefer to use it in the mornings because I dislike disrupting my Adapelene at night. I use half a dropper of product on my palm for my entire face.
So far, it has smoothened out my texture and given me a more glowy look such that it is now easy to achieve glass skin if I layer the right hydrating products over it. It has also evened out skin tone as it’s exfoliating the top layer of my skin, which is also fading any old dark spots.
It is hydrating, and compared to other products from The Ordinary, it doesn’t pill. The consistency is too watery to be sticky or tacky. With its high percentage, it surprisingly doesn’t sting and layers well with other products.
As such this direct acid is suitable for all skin types that want a smoother texture and an even tone.
While Mandelic Acid will always be my favourite exfoliant, I’m definitely impressed with The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10%, and I think it’s one of their best products in terms of formulations. It definitely could be better, but for now, it is decent.
If you’re new to exfoliants, don’t forget to start from The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% before moving to 10%.