The Ordinary Lactic Acid Review: 5% vs 10%

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Since 2016, Canadian beauty brand The Ordinary has taken the skincare world by storm.

A report from The Guardian in 2020 revealed that a bottle of the brand’s popular acne serum sells every three seconds.

But aside from the best-selling Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, this brand is also famous for its Lactic Acid product line. It soon became common to see The Ordinary lactic acid reviews from beauty experts worldwide. 

a close-up image of a woman applying the ordinary lactic acid serum on her face using the applicator

Wondering whether this product line is worth your money? Take a look at our The Ordinary Lactic Acid review before making any decision. 

We made sure this reads like an easy cheat sheet.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid Serums: What You Should Know

The Ordinary prides itself on producing practical and straightforward products at pocket-friendly prices. So expect their lactic acid serums to get the same treatment. 

Lactic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells to stimulate a younger-looking complexion. It also lessens visible sun damage and skin pigmentation. 

The Ordinary offers two potent variants of lactic acid products: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA and The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA.

Among the two, the former comes with a lighter formulation than the latter. 

Both products also come with hyaluronic acid. This helps retain the skin’s moisture levels to reduce the risk of irritation or inflammation. 

Aside from hyaluronic acid, the formulation of these products also contains a botanical extract called Tasmanian pepper berry, which helps reduce the risk of skin irritation, the appearance of fine lines, and the effects of free radicals.

When used regularly, here are The Ordinary Lactic Acid benefits:

  • Brighter, more radiant skin
  • Nourished and more supple texture 
  • Reduced acne marks 
  • Even skin tone
  • Lesser wrinkles

The Ordinary Lactic Acid: How to Use

After your usual skin cleansing regimen, put two to three drops of the serum on your palms and apply the liquid all over the face. 

Once the product dries, apply your usual moisturizer to keep the skin smooth and hydrated. 

If you have sensitive skin or are just beginning to use lactic acid products, you may use the short contact method, where you wash the product off your skin after several minutes. 

You may also try the sandwich method, where you cleanse, moisturize, put in serum, and then add more moisturizer to get the best results. 

It would be best to incorporate this product twice or three times per week during your evening routine instead of using it in the morning. 

You must also avoid other potent ingredients like AHAs, BHAs, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, and vitamin C when you apply the lactic acid product. 

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA vs The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA Reviews 

Here is an extensive comparison between these products.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5 Review

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5 Review
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%
  • SKIN REPAIR. Restores skin to stimulate brighter and even tone
  • REMOVES IMPURITIES. Smoothens skin texture by stripping off blemishes 
  • GENTLER FORMULATION. Ideal for skincare routine beginners and people with sensitive skin. 

What Is It? 

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% is the brand’s milder exfoliation serum formulated with lactic acid and hyaluronic acid.

It targets dull skin, uneven skin tone, and blemished skin texture. 

What You Should Expect 

Forget about spending thousands of dollars for skin peeling in aesthetic clinics.

Instead, you can safely and gently stimulate the peeling of dry and dull skin cells with The Ordinary’s milder lactic acid product. 

It comes with an efficient combination of lactic acid and hyaluronic acid to give your skin the upgrade it deserves. 

Key Features 

With every bottle of this serum, you get 5% lactic acid. 

It also comes with 2% sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, a type of hyaluronic acid that enhances the skin’s moisture content to help achieve a smoother, plumper, and more supple glow. 

Lastly, this product also contains Tasmanian pepper berry, which, as mentioned, reduces the risk of irritation from prolonged use of the serum. 

Who Is the Product For? 

People with dry skin will consider this product a miracle worker. It effectively brings back the skin’s lost shine and moisture by removing dull and dry cells. 

It is also the ideal lactic acid option from the brand if you have sensitive skin or have yet to start your skincare routine. 

Pros of Using The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%

By using the milder lactic acid from The Ordinary, you do not have to worry about harsh formulations that may harm sensitive skin. 

This product also intends to provide the safest and gentlest formulation for anyone who wants uncompromised exfoliation. 

Cons of Using The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%

You may have to stay indoors while using products with lactic acid. 

This chemical enhances the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, making you more susceptible to damage and skin burn. Pairing this product with the most reliable sunscreen for your skin would be best. 

Also, the scent of this product may be too strong for some. It smells like sour milk, the way lactic acid should smell.

Since fragrance isn’t good for the skin, The Ordinary skipped fragrance and kept the acid’s natural scent.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10 Review

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10 Review
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
  • MORE POTENT FORMULA: This product comes with a higher percentage of lactic acid to maximize exfoliation
  • CORRECTS SKIN PROBLEMS: Targets blemishes and other issues like dullness, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. 
  • BRIGHTENS SKIN: Removes dark spots and improves discoloration

What Is It?

If you have more intense skin problems that gentle exfoliation could no longer handle, switch to The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%. It offers a higher level of lactic acid to ensure that all dull and dry surfaces vanish.

the ordinary lactic acid and the sunday riley laid in a table

It helps smoothen your skin tone, moisturize dry skin, and bring out the skin’s natural dewiness and moisture. 

What You Should Expect

This product comes with all the benefits from The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%, but only more potent. 

A vial of this serum comes with 10% lactic acid, a proven exfoliating ingredient that takes care of the skin. It is also more concentrated than the other lactic acid product, so you will notice faster improvements. 

Key Features 

With 10% of lactic acid, this product effectively solves skin problems. In addition, it addresses uneven skin tone and texture issues faster than the other product. 

Like the milder lactic acid, it also comes with 2% sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer and Tasmanian pepper berry.  

Who Is the Product For? 

If you’ve experienced exfoliation in the past, this is the right product for you. This formulation helps you achieve your skin goals faster than its 5% counterpart.

It is also ideal for those with severe acne breakouts or dehydrated and dull skin. 

Pros of Using The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

You can immediately achieve your dream skin while using this product. With a more robust formula, your new and unblemished skin will surface in no time. 

Cons of Using The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

Like its 5% counterpart, you must stay indoors or put on even more sunscreen if you plan to use this product. It also has the same naturally unpleasant scent of lactic acid. 

Because of its stronger formulation, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% might sting at first once applied.

a young woman applying the ordinary lactic acid while looking at the camera

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Lactic Acid Good for the Skin? 

Lactic acid helps boost cell turnover and remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. It also helps the skin look firmer and smoother. 

How Often Should I Use Lactic Acid? 

Brands like The Ordinary recommend using lactic acid products at least twice a week. Ideally, these products must be part of your nighttime skincare routine to prevent sun exposure. 

How Long Can I Use The Ordinary Skincare Products? 

The brand recommends using its products like their lactic acid serums 12 months after opening the package. This ensures that the potency of the product is at its prime. 

Exfoliate With The Ordinary Lactic Acid Serums ASAP

Bring back your skin’s natural youthful glow by stripping off dead skin cells using The Ordinary Lactic Acid serums. 

With regular use, your face will look more flawless and supple, resulting in younger-looking skin in no time. 

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  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

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