For those of you that have me on Instagram, you may have seen that I posted about this toner last week. Since skin is one of those elements of beauty that requires very personal, curated care, I have shied away from sharing so much about what’s in my skincare routine, but a few of you encouraged me to do a full review so I am happy to give my thoughts on products that I’ve tested and know will work for your skin.
As I just mentioned skincare is super personal, right, so who is this toner best suited for? Well, let’s start with who it isn’t best suited for.
After trying this for a few weeks, I would definitely say this toner is not the best for sensitive skin types. While I don’t feel too much activity in this toner when I apply it, my guess is that sensitive skin types would need to work up to something this active with a lower intensity solution, or similar product with soothing, calming elements to balance the active components.
I’d also say The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toner isn’t best for mature skin, chronically dry skin, skin with open wounds or sensitive breakouts, or anyone that does not use a sun protectant during the day.
With that said, unlike many of the toners I’ve tried, this one is great for all skin tones! I often find that it is hard to find toners for hyperpigmentation, people of color and deeper complexions, but I’ve seen actual results from this one within a relatively short time frame. My skin has more radiance to it, I’ve noticed my pores look smaller, and I feel like my fine lines are less noticeable.
This glycolic acid toner is great for anyone who wants to address a myriad of issues with a single product. What is glycolic acid? Glycolic acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and most noticeably impacts the skin by revealing newer skin (and removing dull/dead skin), reducing scarring and diminishing fine lines. This makes it a great acid for anti-aging, and the perfect toner/acid for acne scarring, but it isn’t recommended in concert with other retinol products as that can harm or burn the skin. You’d probably want this to be your one-stop-shop for anything under the toning/brightening umbrella, and work up to building on this as your primary brightening or toning skincare component.
To incorporate this toner into your routine, plan to use it at night after you remove your makeup and cleanse your face. I dampen a cotton round about 50-60% with the toner and smooth over my face and chest in light, sweeping motions, avoiding the eye area; I do use this over my eyebrows, but I don’t get any closer than that and don’t go up any farther than my cheekbones beneath my eyes.
I’ve noticed if I use this product after exfoliating or using my Clarisonic, it will sting a bit, so I recommend switching any exfoliating to days when you do not use this toner, or switching your exfoliator into your morning skin routine.
After you apply this toner, allow it a few minutes to absorb into the skin. I layer my serums on top and my evening moisturizer, all of which happen to be geared towards brightening.
‘Wait – I thought you just said’ – Yes, I did say that this toner is better as your only brightening component, and I meant that for a few reasons. First, when you incorporate a new product into your routine, you want to be able to measure if it is working, so give this a fair chance by putting your other brightening products on hold.
The other reason you want to avoid other brighteners in your routine is that you want to give your skin the time to adjust. AHA toners tend to be active, sometimes a little too active for most skin types. I’d recommend either starting with this as your only brightening skin routine component, or if you have something you love too much to give up, try this only every other day for the first couple of weeks.
I got this in my Sephora VIB Rouge Sale Haul, so back in mid-August. I’ve been using it consistently, nightly along with my regular skincare and noticed a difference within a few days. I had a few fresh dark spots and my skin looked clearer pretty fast, along with an overall glow and the appearance of newer looking skin. In my opinion, it is one of the best products for toning the skin, and one of the best toners for darker skin tones, though I’m sure it works well for light/medium complexions, too!
My evening routine:
Cleanser | Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser | I use this to take my makeup off (after makeup remover wipes). It is light, gentle and really clears the makeup off for that white-towel kind of clean.
Toner| The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution | Then I use this on a cotton round to tone, like I mentioned before.
Serum | OLEHENRIKSEN Truth Serum – or – Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Vitamin C Power Serum – or – The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion | I’ll use one, or a medley of these next on my skin. I’ve been using all of these longer than a year. Also, I don’t typically use more than a drop of the emulsion along with the glycolic acid toner.
Oil | Colour Pop Strawberry Seed Face Oil | At night I prefer to use an oil and no moisturizer on my skin, though I do use an eye cream (below). Skin benefits of strawberry include natural brightening as it is full of vitamin C. Strawberry skincare products are great for the skin for that reason, and I love the light feel of this oil, although I don’t like the dropper/distributor on the bottle at all. If I am breaking out, I swap this for the Luna Retinol Oil but like I said, you shouldn’t use other retinol products with The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution.
Eye Cream | Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado | I don’t consistently use an eye cream (please silence your gasps of horror) but this is the one currently in rotation. It is very rich, and I literally tap in a sprinkle-sized amount under each eye.
I hope I covered everything! Please message me if you have more questions, or just share your thoughts and experience using this toner/other products from The Ordinary. As always, thank you for reading
**None of the included links are affiliate links.