This $7 chemical peel has taken over TikTok

This article originally appeared on by Renee Cherry.

It’s all too easy to get lured into buying something from watching a TikTok (ok, or 20), which explains why there are so many #tiktokmademebuyit posts on the platform. And any time you scroll through posts with the tag you’re bound to spot a product that’s drummed up a ton of hype: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution.

The posts make it seem like an exceptional skin-care product. Take this The Ordinary Peeling Solution before and after or this person who was “shocked” by their results.

It makes perfect sense that The Ordinary has been receiving a lot of love on TikTok. The brand has built a major following by selling products that would usually be pricey at a low cost. (In the case of the AHA/BHA peels, Juice Beauty’s take costs $48 for 2 oz. and Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel costs $88/35 treatments.) It also provides the rationale behind how each is formulated. It’s launched new products to lengthy waitlists and has won over the skin-care obsessives of Reddit and Kim Kardashian West alike.

As to why The Ordinary peeling solution, in particular, is so popular on TikTok, that probably boils down to a few factors. For one, it’s a deep red liquid in a dropper bottle that lends to eye-catching closeups.

More importantly, people get won over by the ingredients. The Ordinary AHA BHA Peeling Solution is a chemical peel with four alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric) and salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid. Quick refresher: Hydroxy acids help you shed dead skin cells to reveal fresh, smooth skin. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) tend to be harsher than alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). They penetrate pores more deeply, which is why they’re often used to treat acne and help regulate oil production.

As you might have guessed, The Ordinary Peeling Solution is strong for an at-home product. The formula has a pH of 3.6, which is considered safe for at-home use but can lead to irritation if you go overboard. With that in mind, The Ordinary has several disclaimers about using the product on its site. It’s meant to be applied in face mask fashion then rinsed off after 10 minutes, and used no more than twice a week. Also, sun protection is extra crucial after a peel since they can temporarily leave your skin more sensitized.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 30ml


This product is intended for people who have experience with acid exfoliants and don’t have sensitive skin. If that’s you, the well-documented powers of the exfoliating treatment are probably worth the $7—even if you have no intention of ever making your own #tiktokmademebuyit post.

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