The Ordinary’s Acids Guide

Skincare acids have become more popular these days and I want to think it’s partly due to the range and affordability  the Ordinary has brought.  I have a previous post on skincare acids here and how to choose the best for your skin type.  In this post, I will be talking about some of The Ordinary’s acids and which ones I have used. I hope this post will help you, in case you are wondering which one to get/how to use them.


Please note, skincare acids will leave your skin more vulnerable to sun damage! It is important that you use SPF in the morning, every day to protect your skin. You need an SPF 30 or above. There is no use of using acids if you don’t use sun protection because you will be doing more damage than good.

The Ordinary Acids

AHA is recommended for sun damaged skin and dry skin.  There are many types of AHA e.g. glycolic acid (most popular) mandelic acid, lactic acid, citric acid.

BHA is recommended for oily to blemish-prone skin and because it is able to deep cleanse pores. For my knowledge (I could be wrong) the only BHA is salicylic acid.

Acids can come in different products e.g. toners, serums, face wash etc. Find the product that works well for you, I would recommend you get your acids in a ‘leave on’ product so that they stay on your skin and work instead of a face wash that is washed out.

Glycolic Toning Solution 7% (AHA)*  Toner.  I use once a day in the evening following cleansing. I won’t recommend this is this is your 1st ever venture into acids as it’s quite high and it will sting your skin. If you are a first-timer, start with 5%  in case you react to it. Always patch test. Review

Lactic acids, 5% & 10% (AHA)* Serum. Two different strengths I have tried the 5% formula which was ok but I didn’t like the scent. Review

AHA 30% BHA 2% mask* Mask. A mild chemical peel with very high acid content.  Please do not get it if you absolutely do not need it. This is a wash off mask designed to be used for 10 mins only 2 to 3 times a week. I love this mask because of how smooth it leaves my skin and also because I have hyperpigmentation. It will sting so patch test before putting this on your face. You do not need to combine this with other acid products e.g. an acid toner Review

Salicylic acid 2% (BHA)* this serum is for oily/blemish skin and great for deep cleansing the pores.  I love to use this when I am experiencing congestion/blemishes or texture on the skin. Review

Non-exfoliation acids

Every acid isn’t exfoliating! The other acids I have tried from TO

Azelaic acid 10%* is this for texture and pigmentations issues. I didn’t like this as it left my skin quite dry and itchy. It also didn’t have an impact on my hyperpigmentation. Review

Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%* a highly concentrated serum for texture and pigmentation issues. This is actually an antioxidant designed to be used only 2 to 3 times a week. I have added this to my routine and I will be doing a full review soon!

Other acids they stock

Mandelic acid 10%* this is an AHA serum which is supposed to be gentler on the skin due to the larger molecule size

This is a quick introduction to acids and how you can choose and use them effectively in a routine.  Please remember to patch test and start slowly with acids. Choose one for your skintype and needs. The most important thing is to use sunscreen every day, all seasons whether acids are in your routine or not but especially if you use them!


Further reading

Brand Review: The Ordinary

Paula’s Choice Acids


*-affiliate link

Catch you later!

Nip Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub Review


Ever since I discovered chemical exfoliation with chemical exfoliants like AHA/BHA’s I scarcely use a physical exfoliant like a face scrub. In fact, in my whole skincare collection, I only have two that were gifted to me and one of those is the Nip Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub. Today’s review will be focused on the Nip Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub and my experiences with it

What is it?

Triple action scrub with 3% glycolic acid and salicylic acid to brighten, renew and refine skin. Deep cleans pores and reduces blemishes from 1st use


This isn’t a scrub I reach for every week; in fact, sometimes I only use this scrub once a month in addition to my normal routine. My daily routine includes the Nip Fab Extreme Glycolic Pads With 5% Glycolic Acid(AHA) and it does a pretty good job of keeping my pores minimised and skin smooth and clear. I only reach for this scrub when I feel my skin needs a little more kick or when I have texture issues/congested skin.

The scrub is mild and quite grainy which I love with a pleasant scent, a little is all I need and a very light pressure to massage this over my face and neck avoiding the eye area. There is no need to use a face wash before using the scrub. After about a min, I would simply wash this off my skin with warm water, it washes off very easily. This scrub leaves my skin super smooth and pores clean! It clears whiteheads (those pesky little white spots you have around your chin and nose area) and texture issues (little bumps on the skin) with ease. It leaves my skin visibly smoother with a glow. I am happy it does dry out my skin. My skin loves AHA so I am not surprised this scrub works well with my skin! I love to follow this up with a soothing or moisturising face mask. but it works amazingly well with the Nip Fab Glycolic Fix mask( review pending)


This scrub is something I definitely want to keep in my routine. In the summer I reach for this more as my skin gets oiler and it also helps to balance oil. I usually switch between this and the Sukin Charcoal Pore Refining scrub which I have reviewed on Brown Beauty Talk. I will definitely purchase this and recommend this for oily, congested skin types. With the low conc of 3%, I think this scrub is perfect for 1st-time users of AHA. I don’t get a stinging sensation with this- my skin is used to higher concs but a low one like this shouldn’t be a problem.

As always, I can’t stress enough the importance of a high SPF when using any sort of acids. AHA/BHA’s no matter the concentration leave your skin more sensitive to the sun, even in the winter so protection is essential!

This scrub is a must have in your skincare routine, it’s not something you need to use every week or frequently but for skin that needs a jump start, this is a must-have!

Nip Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix is £6.63 (on offer, full price £9.95) Boots and from their website NipFab

Other Nip Fab reviews

Nip Fab Foundation & Foundation Mixer

Nip Fab Highlighter Palette

Nip Fab Eye Shadow Palette

Nip Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads

My current skincare routine- combo skin with hyperpigmentation

Catch you later

Merry Christmas!


Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Daily Cleansing Pads Review

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Daily Cleansing Pads Review

It’s no surprise I’m obsessed with acids, I mean I have a post here and here about it and reviews on products which contain them here and here too! I haven’t had the best experience with the Naturally Radiant Collection from Superdrug however when I saw these I just had to give it a shot. I’m talking about the new Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Daily Cleansing Pads which look a lot like the Nip Fab pads.

The Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Daily Cleansing Pads are infused with plant extracts and promise to improve skintone and texture and awaken skin’s natural glow. It’s been formulated with AHA and fruit acid blend as well as aloe, witch hazel and Pro Vitamin B5 to improve skin’s clarity and smoothness of the skin’s surface


The pads come in a tub container and contains 60 pads. I use two daily, one for my face and another for my neck and chest. The pads are moist but not as moist as I would like them to be. They haven’t dried out since I started using them. Superdrug recommends you use the rough side of the pad 1st and the smooth side 2nd. I didn’t know this until now- it says this online and NOT on the container.

I’ve been testing out these pads and I must admit I like them. I use them as the acid toner in my routine, after washing my face and before misting with a water mist. I’m not sure of the acid content as it is not mentioned on the packaging but I assume it’s quite low, maybe 2% or less( I could be wrong). They don’t sting so misting is really optional with these pads.

I have noticed a slight improvement in the texture of my skin but not necessarily an improvement in skin tone or brightness yet. I feel it makes my skin look smoother and pores reduced. It’s also great for catching any last bits of makeup that is still hanging around after washing. They have a pleasant scent.


I think these pads are a perfect dupe for the NIP FAB Daily Fix Glycolic Pads. They perform the same way and they are much cheaper than the NIP FAB ones. I will recommend these to anyone looking to start with acids but not sure where to start. I wish they would state the acid content of the pads on the product or online just so I know how much acid I am using. But to be on the safe side I always use SPF anyway.


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The Naturally Radiant Glycolic Acid Daily Cleansing Pads are £5.99 at Superdrug

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Review


The Ordinary is having more than a moment in the beauty industry! Since their launch, they have grown form strength to strength and been busy releasing a ton of new products! (They now have foundations guys! Yes you read that right). One of the brand new products they released was The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution and I immediately purchased 2! I have a thing for AHA’s ok (read all about them here)

If you are well versed in your acids, you know why this is super exciting and I’m sure you were eager to try it too (if you don’t know, make sure you check the above post!) my skin is very used to 5% AHA so I wanted to take things up a notch and try 7% AHA (although I used PC’s AHA gel and that was 8%- but it was just a trial size).

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is described as exfoliating toner which brightens, tones & helps improve skin texture. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is an alpha hydroxyl acid serum that exfoliates the skin. Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 7% tonic solution offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance, glow and visible clarity. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture with continued use.



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What don’t I love about this product? Ever since I researched and started using AHA’s my skin has dramatically improved so I already knew I would love this product from the Ordinary. I have been using it for more than 6 weeks now, almost every day and it’s doing exactly as promised, skin looks brighter, pores minimised and radiant skin. I am really enjoying my skin without makeup nowadays (not that I didn’t before)- I don’t even remember when I wore makeup to WORK last and I know it’s due to me upping my skincare game.

Let’s talk price- The Ordinary is obviously known for having effective products at bargain prices and this product is no different! You get 240ml of product for only £6.80 and 7% AHA. It has by far the highest AHA content at the lowest price on the market right now (go on, try and prove me wrong haha). The nozzle applicator makes it a breeze to use- I simply soak a cotton pad and sweep across my face and neck.

The Toning Solution did sting a tiny bit the few times I used it which I expected anyway but I don’t have that sensation anymore as my skin has become accustomed to it. If you are really worried about how your skin would react to higher AHA’s, I always suggest starting with a lower percentage and letting your skin build tolerance from there. I will suggest some products at the end. I noticed among its ingredients, Ginseng root and aloe vera which is the same as Pixi Glow Tonic (5% AHA, full review here) but obviously, you are getting almost the same amount but for WAY less. Pixi Glow Tonic 5% is £18 for 250ml or £10 for 100ml. AND you are getting a higher AHA percentage


If AHA’s are your thing, you need this. If the Ordinary is your fav brand you NEED this. If you are dealing with hyperpigmentation, you NEED this. Basically just get it! LOL.  For the price, you are paying it’s well worth it and it does what it says! I’m pretty much done with buying expensive AHA’s and sticking to this one PERIOD (right after I use the 6 tubs of NIP FAB I have as backup LOL)

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is £6.80 and available from Victoria Health get it from ASOS too

Lower AHA content products

NIP FAB Daily Glycolic Fix Pads- only 2% AHA review

First Aid Beauty Pads- doesn’t say AHA content but I imagine very low as I thought it didn’t do much for my skin review

NIP FAB Extreme Glycolic Pads 5%

TIP- if you use acids you have to use SPF 30 or higher, no questions asked!



The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% & HA 2% Review

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Very few beauty brands can capture attention for a long time and The Ordinary Skincare brand is one of those ones doing something right! Deciem (parent company) launched the brand a year or so ago and it’s still getting hype now. I mean their £4 serums in a world of £120 serums are a seriously good bargain. I have been testing out a few of their products (previous review on The Hyaluronic Acid Serum) and today’s post is a full review on The  Lactic Acid 5% & HA 2% serum. All about acids can be found here

The Ordinary describes this as The Ordinary Lactic Acid: a skin treatment serum for very mild skin 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.



The lactic acid comes in two strengths, a 5% and 10%, I decided to go with the 5% as this would be my first lactic acid serum and I wasn’t sure how my skin would react to it. My skin totally loves Glycolic acid and can tolerate that quite well at high % but lactic acid I wasn’t so sure. The 2% HA is hyaluronic acid

The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 5% is a water solution with a slight yellow/amber colour. I apply this at night as my acid serum, after toner and before misting slightly with the B Confident Hyaluronic Acid Face Spritz (review pending). I have been using this for quite some time and (slightly) more than half way down the bottle.

Let’s talk texture and scent: it’s a water solution so it doesn’t have that serum consistency to it which I don’t really mind. It spreads easily and sinks quickly into the skin. It left a slight tingling sensation the 1st few times I used it, which I expected anyway as my skin was starting to get used to it. The tingling sensation goes away after the spritz dries. Nothing too major. Even after using this for some time, I would still get some sensation from time to time.

After using the serum, my skin feels nice and slightly glowy/dewy, like I have used an oil. Any skincare products I apply after this sinks right into the skin as well. I haven’t experienced any irritation with the Lactic Acid nor has it broken me out.

My only let down with the product is the scent: I hate it lol, it just smells like something that has gone off and it lingers too. I can overlook the scent because I like how it feels but I just can’t wait to finish this bottle! Lol

I have been using this with another serum and I am starting to see improvements in hyperpigmentation and general health of my skin. I also bring the Lactic Acid down my neck and chest areas and I haven’t had any issues with that


If you love Lactic Acid I suspect you will love this serum from the Ordinary. For my first time with lactic acid, I can say it’s nice but I definitely prefer Glycolic Acid which gives me faster results. The scent of this is a HUGE let down for me (I love scent and products that smell good) but it’s working so I can overlook that.

The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid serum has been compared to the Sunday Riley Good Genes which is an all in one Lactic Acid Treatment. Not sure how true this is as I have never used Good Genes

Will I repurchase? No

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + 2% HA is £5.50 and available from Victoria Health

I am loving The Ordinary brand atm and they have extended their acids with two new acids: Glycolic Acid 7% (which I immediately bought 2 bottles of lol) and AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. Check out Victoria Health for more info on these. I have also recently hauled a few of their products, look out for reviews soon!

Follow me on Instagram to catch the latest product releases and tips and advice.

Instagram- Sarah Fynn

Keep believing even if you are the only one believing

Skincare Ingredients: AHA’s & BHA’s

skincare ingredients aha bha

Skincare is one of those things you just have to do, PROPERLY. Your skin is one of your largest organs and also in contact with almost everything the external environment has to offer. Think of all the elements: sun, rain, wind and everything in between. Whilst a large part of skincare is what goes in (eating, drinking, sleep). An important part and slightly easier to control is what goes on the outside (products). Think it’s so much easier to just wash your face than to cut out your fav ice cream huh?

For beginners, refer to my Do I Need a Skincare Routine post, which will give you the basics and introduce you to some of the great products the drugstore has to offer, this isn’t to say you can’t learn a thing or two from this post. If you want to take your skincare a bit further and don’t mind an extra step or 3 in your routine then this post is for you! I will be talking about AHA’s and BHA’s, very popular ingredients and what is can do for your skin

We can’t talk about AHA’s & BHA’s without touching on exfoliation. Just like our hair, our skin sheds loads and loads of skin cells each day. Over time with sun damage (I bet you will start reaching for your SPF now!) and age, the natural ability of the skin to do this slowly decreases. Exfoliation gives the skin a little boost and removes layers of built up dead cells which can lead to clogged pores, texture on the skin and a dull complexion. Traditional way of exfoliation is to use a face scrub however this can be too harsh on the skin..

Enter AHA’s & BHA’s

Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids have changed the exfoliation game in that they are chemical exfoliants that are left on the skin compared to the traditional wash off face scrubs. They are also suitable for daily use.  Whilst they work in similar ways, they are slightly different and used for different-ish skin concerns

AHA- e.g. Glycolic or Lactic Acids. Exfoliates the skin’s surface and can improve moisture content. Best recommended for dry to normal skin and sun damaged skin

BHA- e.g. Salicylic Acid. Exfoliates the skin’s surface and pores making it great for blackheads. Has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is best recommended for oily skin

NOTE- both acids will increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun so it is ESSENTIAL you use SPF at least factor 30 even in the winter.

Now that you are equipped with this knowledge, you can re-evaluate your skincare routine and add an acid to it. It will seriously up your game! I will recommend you start off with formulas suitable for sensitive skin or with a lower acid content if you are concerned about how your skin will react. Both AHA & BHA are generally safe to use but if you have any doubts no matter how small speak to a dermatologist.


Acids can come in many forms: creams, lotions, serums, toners etc, find which one you would like to use. For instance, I currently use an acid based toner and serum (and at night) because it is more convenient for me that way. I use it at night as the skin tends to do all the repair work then and there is less potential sun damage.

Recommendations ( these are just ones I have used or ones I have researched and will use shortly, there are literally TONS of products out there to suit every budget, this will get you going in the right direction!)

NIP FAB Glycolic range (I have a review on the NIP FAB PADS)

Pixi Glow Tonic (review)

Pixi Glow Peel Pads

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel (review)

Paula’s Choice AHA & BHA products

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%

And many more!

Here’s my personal collection of some of the AHA&BHA products I use


I hope you found this post useful! I will be doing a lot more of these posts as I carry on with my research and improving my skincare knowledge. These posts help me as much as they help others. Feel free to drop comments of your fav products or how you incorporate acids in your skincare routine. Hopefully, after reading and understanding this post, you won’t be terrified when you hear that people are putting acids on their face LOL. You should have seen the look on my brother’s face when I said at one time I needed to buy an acid based toner LOL

Want more tips and product recommendations? Head over to my Instagram- sarahfynn

Countdown to Christmas is real!