[Review] The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: Why I won’t use it on my face

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I don’t know why I haven’t done an article dedicated to this miracle product yet. I’ve mentioned it in so many different articles that you probably think I have The Ordinary’s stock options. I don’t!

Frankly, when I read the product’s name: Glycolic Acid at 7%, I almost fainted. The mere mention of glycolic acid already scares me. But then 7%! I had a bad experience with another glycolic acid at 5%, so I really didn’t understand why this product was one of The Ordinary’s bestsellers. But…

I dug in and figured it out.

No one uses it on their face.

Spoiler alert!

Everyone uses it for their body and loves it!


Let me explain!

A toner that isn’t really a toner

Usually, the toner is a product to be used just after cleansing to remove the residue on your beautiful face. It usually has a pH around 5.5 to balance the skin pH. You can use a normal toner every day.

Toning Solution with Glycolic Acid 7%: Despite its name, this product is not a real toner. It has a very low pH of 3.5-3.7. The type of pH found in exfoliants or vitamin C. Its name (toning solution) is extremely misleading because it implies that you can use it daily. At the same time, it is much more aggressive than an exfoliant. 7% is a lot. And glycolic acid, one of the strongest of the AHA family, is not to be used every night either, especially if you have sensitive skin or a damaged skin barrier.

Thus, I strongly advise NOT to use it on your face. But only on your body.


Aqua (Water), Glycolic Acid, Rosa damascena flower water, Centaurea cyanus flower water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Aminomethyl Propanol, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Glycine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Glutamic Acid, Arginine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Hexyl Nicotinate, Dextrin, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Gellan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Chloride, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.


The Ordinary tried to reduce this product’s harshness, with rose water as the 3rd ingredient and aloe vera as the 5th ingredient + glycerin as the 7th ingredient. This product also contains a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to reduce the irritation often associated with acids, hence the slightly pinkish color. But glycolic acid as the 2nd ingredient and at high concentration (7%) remains dangerous for sensitive skin.

On the body, where the skin is much stronger, it is a miracle product:

  • It gets rid of keratosis pilaris, the very unpleasant texture that many people have on their arms => In one month, it should be gone
  • body odor => I don’t use deodorant at all anymore. I use this product instead. Why do I use this product instead? The pH is so low that it kills the bacteria that cause underarm odor. So I still sweat but without the unpleasant smell this time. Just put it on a cotton pad and spray it on your underarms, or pour it into a spray bottle and spray it on your underarms. The effect is immediate. However, it is necessary to do it every day. The effect lasts only one day.
  • back acne (backne): spray on the back just after showering. Your acne will disappear like a miracle
  • if you have ingrown hairs due to shaving. This toning solution will also take care of them. Be careful not to apply it right after shaving, but one day after

I decanted my product into a bottle with spray (I recycled Mario Badescu’s toner). This makes it easier for me to use on my body. I use about 30ml per month, so the 240ml bottle lasts me 7 months. For 8,7€, it’s extremely cheap.

Price & Where to buy

  • On The Ordinary’s official website: 8,7€ (link). Shipping is free for orders over 25€. I put some screenshots here to guide you and show you how to order
  • On Sephora: 8,9€ (link)
  • On FeelUnique website: 8,5€ ( link)

This post is also available in: Français

Anh est toujours très occupée à profiter de jolies choses, et à fabriquer de petites bricoles de ses propres mains. **** Hi, my name is Anh. I am a Vietnamese-French DIY passionate, beauty lover and cosmetic tester.

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