Skin-Care Tips

The Ordinary Just Dropped Its Gentlest Acne-Fighting Product Yet—And It’s Only $7

Photo: Getty Images/Michele Pevide
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As if The Ordinary didn’t already have enough of a cult following, they’ve just released a new product that’s guaranteed to grow their fan base: an ultra-gentle, super-effective, acne-fighting product: Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution Pore Clearing Serum ($7). You might be thinking: Yeah, yeah… I know about salicylic acid. What’s the big deal? But buckle up—this one’s special.


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The vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free formula is also water-free (hence the anhydrous moniker in the name); this typically means a formula is highly concentrated, and thus more effective. It also, as such, uses an oil carrier (we’ll get to that). Look at the back of any of your salicylic acid products, and you might notice that water is the first ingredient. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a key differentiator from this new product.

The Ordinary put exfoliating salicylic acid into this water-free serum, formulated to “effectively decongest the skin,” without the harshness of the standard salicylic acid products. With non-comedogenic, soothing squalane as the first ingredient, skin-smoothing capric triglyceride, and pentylene glycol as a humectant, this product is as powerful an acne fighter as it is a hydrating and calming skin soother.

Here’s why that’s a big deal: hormonal acne. Many, many of us deal with acne that has nothing to do with our skin type. In fact, a solid constituency of adult women with sensitive and dry skin deal with hormonal breakouts, so the standard acne treatments are typically quite harsh and aggressive on this type of skin. In turn, drying out the skin can leave it more agitated and painful than if the acne was left alone.

If you’ve got a face that’s on the drier side, and yet you still deal with pimples and breakouts (author’s note: same…I feel you), then this might be worth a shot. And at just $6.50 for 30mL of product, it’ll cost you less than a green juice to give it a try and see if it soothes your skin’s woes this winter.

One review from someone with dry skin says: “I have dry skin with terrible sebaceous filaments around my nose and some clogged pore issues on my chin. I’ve tried a lot of different things and assumed they were just part of life. [Two] days of using this and I haven’t seen my skin this clear in years. So glad I tried!”

It’s intended to be applied under moisturizer, but be forewarned: If your face is oilier, this may not settle well into your skin and could give you a stickier, greasier feeling per the Sephora reviews. Otherwise, check it out, and see for yourself!

For more tips on dealing with adult acne, check out the video below. 

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