How to Use The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA

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Lactic Acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and an exfoliant that you can use on all skin types. It is gentler than many other exfoliants and has a large molecule structure, which means it is very gentle on the skin. Best of all, the results are instant so as soon as you use it, you’ll notice an immediate difference. Indeed, this exfoliant can also be used for a variety of skin problems, including dull-looking skin and acne, to name a few. The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 5% + HA serum is one of the best serums offered by the brand. In this article, we look at how to use The Ordinary Lactic Acid, its benefits, how to dilute it, and more.

The main task of The Ordinary Lactic Acid is to remove dead skin cells so that they can be replaced by newer and better-looking skin.

If your skin looks lifeless or you feel as though it isn’t getting the clean it deserves, The Ordinary Lactic Acid will make it look better instantly. It cleans deep and stimulates the production of new skin cells. This means that it will help with skin issues related to pigmentation, sun damage, large pores, fine lines, and even acne.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5 vs. 10

The Ordinary comes in two main formulas, and they both have hyaluronic acid in them in the amount of 2%.

One formula is comprised of 5% lactic acid and the other is comprised of 10% lactic acid. The hyaluronic acid at 2% works great with the lactic acid to moisturize and make the skin softer and clearer.

If you’re new to The Ordinary or to any other brand of lactic acid, it is recommended that you start by using the 5% solution because it is much gentler.

How to Use The Ordinary Lactic Acid the Right Way?

Before using any type of chemical peel, you should always test the product on a small area of the skin before using it on the facial area.

To perform the patch test, apply a small amount of the serum on your forearm and leave it on for approximately 24 hours before washing it off. Do not use the product if any signs of redness or irritation occur during the test period.

The Ordinary lactic acid is a serum and should be used in the evenings after your toner and before your moisturizer.

Simply spread a thin layer of the serum on your face, then allow it to absorb completely before applying your moisturizer.

The reason why you only use the product at night is that lactic acid may increase sensitivity to sunlight. When it’s used at night, this is never a problem.

How Often Should I Use It?

If you’ve never used lactic acid before, it’s best to start out by using it only two or three times per week. Wait to see if your skin has a reaction to it, and when you’re sure you’re not having any negative reactions, you can slowly work up to using it daily.

Build up slowly, though, because you have to make sure that your skin is not too sensitive to the product. Some people, in fact, do best when using The Ordinary lactic acid no more than three or four times per week.

What to Use After The Ordinary Lactic Acid?

After you’re sure that The Ordinary lactic acid is working on your skin without any type of reaction to the product, make sure that it is absorbed completely, and then apply a moisturizer to the skin.

A good moisturizer is important because lactic acid is an exfoliant, and all exfoliants need to be followed up by something that softens and conditions the skin afterwards.

When Should I Use It?

The Ordinary lactic acid should only be used once a day and no more. Use the product at night, as chemical exfoliants can cause sensitivity to the sun if applied in the morning.

In addition, it helps heal the skin of any imperfections as you sleep. These two reasons mean using the product once a day and only at night simply makes more sense than using it in the morning.

How to Dilute The Ordinary Lactic Acid?

If you try the 5% lactic acid product and it’s a bit too harsh, you can dilute it with other products to make sure your skin is less sensitive to it. The best products to use to dilute The Ordinary include other serums or moisturizers.

If you use one that contains hyaluronic acid, that will work especially well. You can use any type of moisturizer or serum, and you only need to add small amounts to it for it to work right.

What Shouldn’t You Mix With It?

When trying to dilute any type of lactic acid, never mix it with another type of acid. If the product lists lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, peptides, or retinol as an ingredient, you wouldn’t want to mix that in with The Ordinary lactic acid.

If you do, the product will simply be too harsh for your skin and will very likely cause irritation or breakouts. While certain types of acid are great exfoliators and actually good for the skin, too much acid is simply too harsh for most skin to handle.

Which Is Better: The Ordinary Lactic Acid or Mandelic Acid?

Both lactic acid and mandelic acid are AHAs, so they are both good for a variety of skin problems. The main advantage that mandelic acid has over lactic acid is that it is much gentler on the skin.
While both of these types of acids will exfoliate and help with sun damage, acne, pigmentation, and dull-looking skin, mandelic acid is generally recommended more often for people who have sensitive skin. If you have had problems using lactic acid in the past, you might want to give mandelic acid a try.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long do I leave The Ordinary lactic acid on?

A: You will leave The Ordinary lactic acid on until it has completely absorbed into the skin. This way, it can work its magic and produce the results that you are looking for. And don’t forget to follow it up with a good moisturizer.

Q: Do I moisturize after The Ordinary lactic acid?

A: Always. While lactic acid is gentle on the skin, it can still dry the skin out slightly; therefore, a good moisturizer is a must after using any brand of lactic acid.

Q: Do you wash off The Ordinary lactic acid?

A: No, you do not. Just let it absorb completely into the skin, add your moisturizer, and just wait for the great results.

Q: Can I use The Ordinary lactic acid and niacinamide together?

A: Not only are you able to use lactic acid and niacinamide together, but they can actually complement one another very well. This is because niacinamide works against inflammation, which means that it can help get rid of tiny blemishes. This capability is a great complement to lactic acid.

Q: Can I use The Ordinary lactic acid with hyaluronic acid?

A: You can indeed use The Ordinary lactic acid with hyaluronic acid (HA), using the HA as a diluter or as an addition to the lactic acid treatment.

Q: Can I use The Ordinary lactic acid with vitamin C?

A: It is generally not recommended that you use The Ordinary lactic acid and vitamin C together, simply because it can make your skin overly sensitive to direct sunlight. If you wish to use both of these as part of your skincare regimen, use vitamin C in the morning and lactic acid in the evening.

Q: Can I use lactic acid with retinol?

A: Unfortunately, no. Retinol and acids cannot be used together. If they are, the skin can develop breakouts and irritations because it is simply too much for the skin to handle.

Q: Does The Ordinary lactic acid help with acne scars?

A: The Ordinary works wonders with many types of skin conditions, including acne scars. It removes dead skin cells and encourages the growth of new cells, which reduces the appearance of acne scars, pigmentation, and some brown spots.

Q: Is It Good for sensitive skin?

A: This acid is one of the gentlest types of AHA, so you can use it on sensitive skin without any issues. Nevertheless, it is still recommended that you start off by using it only a few times a week and build up to daily use from there.

Q: Should I use sunscreen after The Ordinary lactic acid?

A: It is still a good idea to use sunscreen when using any type of lactic acid. This is because lactic acid can make your skin more sensitive, especially to sunlight. You don’t have to apply sunscreen right after using The Ordinary. You can apply it in the morning and use your lactic acid in the evenings.

Bottom Line

The Ordinary Lactic Acid is a gentle alpha-hydroxy acid that works wonders on numerous skin problems. More than anything else, it’s an exfoliant that removes dead skin cells and encourages the growth of brand-new cells. You can start by using it two or three times per week, but slowly building up to daily use is recommended.

You apply the product only once a day in the evenings, and you let it absorb completely before applying your moisturizer.

Using The Ordinary is simple and is a great addition to anyone’s skincare routine. It is also a relatively inexpensive product that you can use without breaking the bank.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.