What to Use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution: How to Care for Skin After The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

What to Use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution: How to Care for Skin After The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
August 16, 2021 Ellis James
If you are new to The Ordinary Peeling Solution, or to glycolic peels in general, you may be wondering what to use afterward. After a peel, the skin is more fragile and delicate than usual, so it’s important to use the right products after. Today we’ll show you what to use after The Ordinary Peeling Solution, and how to care for skin during the peeling process.

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

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What to Use After The Ordinary Peeling Solution

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After a chemical peel, the skin is fragile and sensitive after removing dead skin cells and other debris. The same can be said of your skin after using The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, which is a pretty strong acid exfoliation mask.

Taking care of your skin after a chemical peel is very important. A simplified skincare routine would include a cleanser, a toner, a serum, a moisturizer, and sun protection. Focus on using products that are mild, hydrating, and healing.

If you don’t typically use anything with a sensitive skin care label, consider adding them to your regimen for a few days, including:

Gentle Cleanser


CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser | Moisturizing Non-Foaming Face Wash with Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides & Glycerin | 16 Fluid Ounce

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A post-peel cleanser needs to be gentle to avoid irritating skin.

We love the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser because not only is it incredibly gentle, but it contains ceramides that help to restore the skin’s protective barrier. It cleanses without drying or irritating skin, and has no parabens, fragrances, or harsh ingredients.

CeraVe products are dermatologist-developed and award-winning and are a great way to nourish the skin after peeling.


Calming Toner

Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner, Niacinamide & Hyaluronic Acid, Wrinkles & Large Pores, Oily Skin, 4 Ounce

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We mentioned using a healing, soothing toner, and this option does just that. Paula’s Choice Resist Weightless Advanced Repairing Toner works great for any post-chemical peel routine. This toner refines pores and improves skin tone and texture, without being drying at all. It repairs the skin, making it great to use after your skin’s been through something as harsh as a chemical peel.

This lightweight toner also helps improve the skin barrier, protecting your skin from environmental factors that can irritate and harm. It calms and renews the skin, which you very much need after exfoliating.


Hydrating Serum

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 30 ml

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We recommend The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum. This water-based serum has a great pH level that hydrates and enhances the skin’s barrier. Since the alpha hydroxy acids in the peeling solution are at a very high concentration of 30%, you’d want to use a serum that replenishes the lost moisture stripped from the skin. The hyaluronic acid in this serum’s formula is your answer to this.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is also cruelty free. Its formulation has no drying alcohols or skin-irritating fragrances.


Gentle Moisturizer


Neutrogena Oil-Free Facial Moisturizer, Sensitive Skin, 4 Fl Oz

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Adding moisture and hydration will help the skin heal faster, but you don’t want a moisturizer that will be heavy or clog your newly-cleared pores.

The Neutrogena Oil-Free Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer is a great choice, because it’s lightweight, non-greasy, and absorbs quickly without clogging pores.

The hypoallergenic formula leaves skin smooth and supple, without any oil, fragrances, or alcohols that can be drying and irritating. Neutrogena products are highly recommended by dermatologists and are safe for all skin types.

RELATED: Neutrogena Hydroboost vs Neutrogena Water Gel


Sunblock or Sunscreen with High SPF


Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Sweat and Water Resistant, 3 fl. Oz, Pack of 2

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It’s incredibly important to avoid sun exposure after using The Ordinary Peeling Solution. This means wearing a hat and covering clothing, limiting time in the sun, and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 or more.

It’s best to use a physical, mineral-based sunscreen, particularly if you are layering it beneath makeup (and check out our tips on layering sunscreen, so look for titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide in the ingredients.

Although it’s designed for children, we love the Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen. It contains naturally-sourced zinc oxide, and skin-soothing oat, and is recommended by the National Eczema Association and the Skin Cancer Foundation. Since it’s formulated for babies and children, you’re sure that it’s really good for sensitive skin.

It offers sweat- and water-resistant SPF 50, in a formula that is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and fragrance-free. It’s non-irritating and non-greasy.


Recommended Skin Care Routine After Using The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution

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

Here are other tips for your skincare after using The Ordinary Peeling Solution, or other chemical peels:

  • Avoid ingredients that contain the same exfoliating acids as The Ordinary Peeling Solution (such as alpha-hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid).  Using these same acids on top of The Ordinary Peeling solution will cause your skin to be double-exfoliated. As a result, skin may become drier, and other issues that occur to skin that has been exfoliated too much can arise.
  • You should also avoid harsh ingredients that will cause irritation to the skin, such as denatured alcohols, scents, or witch hazel – a natural botanical ingredient which has been said to be too stripping.
  • Wait at least a week before using skincare products with the same exfoliating acids in high percentages, to give your skin time to breathe. Using them the same day you do your peel will again cause your skin to be overly exfoliated, causing various skin issues like dryness and irritation.
  • Opt for skincare that support skin hydration and moisturization, especially during the first few days of doing the peel.
  • Do not scrub or rub on the skin, avoid touching it excessively with your hands, avoid any sun exposure, and use mild skincare and cosmetic products. Focus on being gentle with your delicate skin, and letting it renew itself naturally.
  • It is recommended that you use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution only about once a week, since it is a pretty strong chemical peel. The brand recommends to use this a maximum of twice per week, but if you have more sensitive skin, definitely only use it once.
  • What NOT to use is just as important as what you SHOULD use after a chemical peel. For a week after a chemical peel, avoid the use of:
    • Facial scrubs, scrubbing brushes, or other exfoliants (and always avoid walnut scrubs that are bad for the face at any time)
    • Waxes or depilatory hair-removal products
    • Skin bleaches or any harsh skin care products
    • Anything with fragrances, a known skin irritant


How to Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution

  • Cleanse face so that there are no traces of dirt or debris on the surface of your skin. This will enable the exfoliating peeling solution to lay better on your skin, as well as removing impurities from your face.
  • Pat your face dry. You cannot effectively use this exfoliator on wet skin. The brand also strongly advises against using this on wet skin.
  • Apply The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution like a mask on your face. Spread evenly on areas you want to exfoliate, avoiding the eyes and mouth.
  • Wait 10 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water to make sure the peeling mask is completely off. Do not leave on for more than 10 minutes.

To check if your skin can take The OrdinaryPeeling Solution, perform a patch test using the following steps:

  • Clean a section of your inner upper forearm
  • Apply a small amount of the exfoliating mask
  • Wait 10 minutes to see if your skin reacts
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water


What is The Ordinary Peeling Solution and What Does it Do?

The Ordinary Peeling Solution is a chemical exfoliant. By applying acids to the surface of the skin, it promotes cell turnover in the topmost layer of the skin, removing dull, dry surface skin and exposing fresh, new skin cells beneath.

Glycolic peels help to clear pores, fight blemishes, reduce fine lines, and even out skin’s tone and texture.

Because they stimulate increased collagen production, reduce the visibility of age spots, and help to reduce fine lines, they have been part of anti-aging skin care for years. But because they also help to clear pores, prevent acne, and reduce hyperpigmentation, they have become popular with younger users as well.


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


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There are many kinds of acids that can be used to promote peeling and cell turnover, like salicylic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, and more, but glycolic acids are particularly effective. Glycolic acid is probably the most known and used of all acids in skincare and dermatology. Among all these different types of acids, there are also different strengths or concentrations of acids.

Dermatologists can use acids in much higher concentrations that are only available to professionals, while only weaker forms of acid are available over the counter to consumers.

RELATED: Best Salicylic Acid Toners

The Ordinary Peeling Solution contains 30% alpha hydroxy acids, comprised of glycolic acid, along with lactic, tartaric, and citric acids. It also contains 2% beta hydroxy acid, made of salicylic acid. It also contains hyaluronic acid.

This formula is made to more deeply penetrate skin and promote exfoliation of deeper skin layers. Because these acids can irritate skin, it also contains vitamin B5, black carrot extract, and a Tasmanian Pepperberry extract to help reduce irritation and promote faster healing.

Are you a Sephora Beauty Insider? You can also purchase The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution on the Sephora website!

Shop on Sephora


Who Should Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

Who is The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution for?

The Ordinary Peeling Solution is a huge favorite with beauty experts, bloggers, and influencers. Many people with different skin types have seen success in using this exfoliating mask, giving them radiant skin.

It can help to reduce or eliminate a wide range of skin problems, including:

  • Fine lines
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Acne and blackheads
  • Scarring
  • Age and sunspots
  • Dry, dull skin
  • Rough skin
  • Uneven skin tone

However, this is a powerful acid formula, and can irritate and inflame skin. It should not be used on sensitive, damaged, or peeling skin.

In fact, The Ordinary does not recommend this exfoliator for people who are new to glycolic peels, and you should always perform a patch test before use.


What Happens After You Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution?

After using The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution, or any glycolic peel, the skin will be extremely sensitive.

It’s important to avoid any exposure to the sun for a week or more afterward.

During the Peel

You will generally experience some tingling, but it should not be painful.

If it’s painful, remove the peel and wash the face gently but thoroughly.

Immediately After the Peel

The skin will feel tight and look red.

A Few Days After the Peel

Some people may notice their skin shedding and visibly peeling. This may go on for up to a week after the peel.

A Week After the Peel

The skin should look brighter and more even, with an improvement in skin tone.

It’s important to not use The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution more than twice a week, to avoid damaging the deeper, protective layers of the skin.

For a great 4-week review with before and after, check out this video:


Sensitive Skin Alternatives to The Ordinary Peeling Solution

If you’ve never used a peeling solution before, it’s best to start off with a milder formula and work your way up to The Ordinary Peeling Solution. And it’s always best to start gradually and increase frequency, so use a peel every two weeks, then once a week, then twice a week if needed.

If you have sensitive skin, you should probably avoid The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some of the brightening and healing benefits of a peel: it just means you should use a gentler product.

Lactic acid is a gentler acid than glycolic, with less chance of irritating delicate skin, or start with a glycolic acid toner or corrector before trying a skin peel.

A gentler alternative to The Ordinary Peeling Solution is The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + Ha 2% formula.

This peel is more superficial, with milder lactic acid at a lower concentration, but still includes the Tasmanian pepperberry to reduce inflammation and sensitivity. This is a gentler formula and can even be diluted with a light moisturizer to reduce the effects and impact on sensitive skin.

It’s a great way to gently ease into peels and experience the skin-evening and skin-brightening effects without using a harsh exfoliant that damages the skin. Don’t forget to conduct a patch test first, since sensitive skin isn’t just one size fits all.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + Ha 2% 30ml - A Mild Lactic Acid Superficial Peeling FormulationView on Amazon

RELATED: Best Chemical Exfoliants for Sensitive Skin


After The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution: That Wonderful Peeling

Doing a chemical peel can do wonders for your blemish prone skin, may it be clearing the surface of oil, debris, dead skin, or renewing the outer layer to reveal a healthier one. Whether your skin is sensitive or not, it’s always best to proceed carefully with at-home acid peels and take care of your skin afterward, when your skin has been stripped of the outer layer of dead skin cells.

Although The Ordinary AHA 30 BHA 2 Peeling Solution is widely praised, it may not be for everyone. Always do a patch test 24 hours before and wait a week between treatments to make sure your skin tolerates the peel.

Over time, you can work your way up to twice-weekly skin peels, but don’t use them more often than that. Choose gentle products that heal and protect the skin and pamper it in the off days. If you’re not sure that something will work for you, do a patch test for each of them, even if it takes time.

If you have doubts, questions, or a severe reaction, see a dermatologist who can guide you to the right products and regimen to reveal your natural, healthy, glowing skin.

Check out related posts on our blog:


Have you ever used this peeling solution? What are your thoughts on these kinds of chemical peels?

Comments (43)

  1. Amy Aed 2 years ago

    This looks like a really cool peel, I would definitely give it a go!

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      It’s a great product to check out, for sure!

  2. Alison 2 years ago

    The idea of this peel is a little scary to me. I can see how it would work great for some people, though! For the moisturizers you mentioned, I add in my vote for the Neutrogena too. I’ve had great success with their moisturizers.

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Thanks for the Neutrogena vote, Alison! And it’s ok if you don’t think this product is good for you, it’s best to stick to ones that you think will benefit your skin!

  3. Nancy 2 years ago

    Oooh I haven’t tried The Ordinary peeling solution before. I like that it helps your skin with clearing out the pores and such. I definitely need to give this a try! It is so important to take care of your skin right after. The last thing you want is to damage your skin or cause more acne. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Always welcome, Nancy!

  4. Margot 2 years ago

    Oh I would love to give this peeling solution a try.
    And it’s really important to moisturize good the skin after a peeling solution.
    Thanks for all your tips.

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Happy to help, Margot!

  5. Thebusyshelf 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for the information! Ordinary is not a brand we have in Romania, but I have always been interested in their products , especially this one. Aftercare is so important!

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      After care is indeed very important, couldn’t agree more!

  6. Charity 2 years ago

    What a great peeling solution. I haven’t heard of it before. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      You’re most welcome, Charity!

  7. Susana 2 years ago

    Gonna give this a try later today. Do you know if it is safe to use alongside the ordinary niacinamide + zinc solution?
    Also, would it be safe to follow up with aveeno clear complexion salicylic acid lotion? or should i opt for something gentler?

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Hey Susana! About your question, you can check out this video! And we suggest to use something gentler since salicylic acid lotion also acts to rid your skin of dead cells and it might be too much. Let us know if it works!

  8. AnitaTaco 2 years ago

    I must say, this stuff is witchcraft! I feel so stupid for wasting hundreds of dollars on Proactiv over the past year only to have my face look exactly the same! 3 weeks of this 7 dollar peel and the 6 dollar niacinamide solution, also from The Ordinary, and my face looks better than it EVER has!
    I have textured skin, mostly acne scarring from acne at puberty and large pores. I used Proactiv when I was 23 and it worked so well that my face stayed clear for 3 years after stopping! Fast forward 10 years and I started breaking out bad enough to search for a fix. After 3 years of trial and error I found a picture of myself when I was using proactiv and thought it was a no brainer.
    I needed to use it again. After a year, my face is absolutely no different. I was surfing Amazon and ran across this peeling solution. After reading the rave reviews and taking note of how many got counterfeit products, I ran straight to Ulya the next day and bought this peeling solution, the Niacinamide and the Hyaluronic serums, altogether 13+ change!

    I’ve heard of The Ordinary and knew people really liked them, but I had NO clue they started as a disruption to typical skincare lines that charge 50+ and you get tiny amounts of the active ingredient. The creator (His story is sad, RIP) wanted to make serums that were mainly just the active ingredient and high quality at that, then charge ridiculously low prices. How can you not support that kind of idea? I cannot believe these incredibly effective products cost way less than even grocery store skincare like Oil of Olay. (Which has always broken me out)
    I cannot imagine choosing any other company now that I’ve seen the results in such a short time. My scarring is so much shallower, my large pores are less noticeable, and after my skin purged, (which sucks but is inevitable with aha’s) it’s so soft, smoother than ever before, and CLEAR! I want to get the 7% glycolic toner for in between days, oh who am I kidding? I wanna try it all!

    Fyi amazon sellers charge double what Ulta and Sephora charge! It’s almost 15 on Amazon , but it’s 7 at Ulta and Sephora. I know money is tight & the struggle is real right now in ‘Rona times, this is why I say it’s cheaper to get it off Amazon. At 6 & 7 bucks, it’s still affordable to take care of your skin and get that important “me time”

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us, and in such a detailed way as well! We’re sure it’s going to be helpful to someone trying to make a decision to get this or not.

      And you’re right that it’s also available on Sephora! Oftentimes Amazon just makes things more accessible, especially to international shoppers, so it’s good to have another option!

  9. mel 2 years ago

    i have question is it harmful i do laser hair removal and use peeling solution after one week i face hari removal?

    • Ellis James Designs 2 years ago

      Hi Mel, if we’re not mistaken the advice is to do it within 2 weeks. Of course not all skin is the same, so your skin might be able to take it after a week, but we advise you to consult a professional before doing any peels after hair removal! Err on the side of safety, always!

  10. Em 1 year ago

    I know it’s an old post but what about dermaplaning or using retinol serums?
    Is there reccomended wait times for those

    Thanks a mil

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      Hi Em! It’s recommended that you stop using retinol before dermaplaning at least 3 days before treatment, and then 2 days after treatment. To be safe you can probably let your skin rest a week before and after!

  11. Deena 1 year ago

    Hate to be a buzz kill, but as someone who suffers from severe acne and sensitive skin. Don’t use the Neutrogena oil free sensitive skin moisturizer. I’ve used it, and it still irritated my skin with little moisture. Use Zerafite soothing and calming lotion, or La roche posay double repair face moisturizer.

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      Ooh, thanks for the product recs, Deena! Many still swear by the Neutrogena moisturizer, but thank you for dropping alternatives for those who have a similar experience to yours!

  12. Leron 1 year ago

    Hey, can the peel be used forever or must I stop using the product after getting my desired results???????

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      It’s best to ask a professional, but in our opinion it’s probably wise to let your skin rest a bit after you achieve your desired results. Hope that helps!

    • Kainat 11 months ago

      Hi … I’ve been using this peel and looks like my skin is dependent on this now …. I need to use this peel every week or else acne bumps appear so be careful if you’re starting using it yes it would give great results but your skin would be needing it in future as well and last thing as every skin is different so results may vary for you … xoxo

  13. Busola 1 year ago

    I recently had a professional chemical peel. How long after this can I try using ordinary peeling solution ?

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      Depending on what was used on your face! Best to ask your skincare professional for advice on this one.

  14. Priya 1 year ago

    Can we use other moisturizer like lotus professional because I use it from long time and its effective on my skin also.

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      If it works for you, Priya, we don’t see why not! But it’s best to do a patch test first and to take things slow, so your skin won’t have adverse reactions.

  15. lucille 1 year ago

    can I use the organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil from the ordinary after my chemical peel? thank you:)

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      Don’t see why not! What’s key is not using anything to strip your skin more. If in doubt, best to ask your skincare professional, though!

  16. Tamania 1 year ago

    Can we used ponds hyaluronic acid vitamin E moisture after peeling solution?? please response

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      Both are moisturizing to the skin post a chemical peel so it should be ok, but best to ask your skin care professional in case any issues come up when using!

  17. beaut 1 year ago

    Very interesting stuff to read.

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      Glad to help!

  18. Pablo 1 year ago

    Hey Ellis, hope you’re doing well!

    This peeling solution is on my bucket list but I don’t buy it since I am not sure on how to protect my skin after using them, so this list of proposals could be really useful! Actually I already have many of the things you listed: like the Paula’s Choice toner and the Cerave moisturizer and the serum by the same brand 🙂

    The good thing about the peeling solution is that it is not that expensive compared to other similar options, but obviously we have to be informed in order to use it well 🙂


    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      The Ordinary being affordable is definitely a selling point! And happy to have eased your fears about it, Pablo!

  19. Alex 1 year ago

    Can the peel be used forever after getting my desired results?

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      It should be safe to use until you want to! Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions about the frequency and you should be all right.

  20. mdtodate 7 months ago

    Interesting stuff to read.

    • Ellis James Designs 7 months ago

      Cheers, mate!

  21. Jetta 7 months ago

    I absolutely love this. I have never been one to buy skincare because it seemed very expensive and complicated but my daughter advised me to try this and after the first application I noticed an improvement and my skin felt so soft. It’s very affordable and now I’m going to try their other products as well.

    • Ellis James Designs 7 months ago

      So happy to hear you found a brand with products that work for you!

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