Best The Ordinary Products for Acne

Nowadays, the market is teeming with skincare solutions and treatment products. From natural to advanced research-backed products, thousands of cosmetic brands offer product lines, including body daily routine, skincare, haircare, acne treatment, and more.

With that said, The Ordinary is a skincare and beauty brand that is synonymous with the favorite skincare label with affordable products. Although the brand doesn’t have a gamut of products for acne treatment, there are few scientifically effective formulas that won’t break the bank.

To help clear the clouds of doubts regarding the acne-fighting masks, toners, and serums, we have compiled below a list of the best The Ordinary Products for acne.

List of the Best The Ordinary Products for Acne

For people struggling with frequent acne breakouts, scars, red spots, and oily skin, we have mentioned the most reliable and effective anti-acne products by The Ordinary.

1. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% toning solution helps in mild exfoliation. It is a toning solution made with alpha hydroxy acid that offers visible skin clarity, reduces skin irritation, and improves skin brightness. Continued use also improves skin texture.

How to use: Use it in the morning and evening before applying serums, moisturizers, or other skincare products.  It is better to use a soft cotton pad.

For sun protection, follow the instructions as provided in the directions or warnings section.


  • It is gentle and smoother on skin as compared to other products.
  • Affordable and value for money.
  • Great for treating months old acne.
  • It is a cruelty free product, which is the best thing about any cosmetic product.


It should be used on the face only.

Avoid using it in combination with other acidic solutions or for underarm lighting.

It should not be used on sensitive or compromised skin.

Price: $16.20

Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars

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2. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide

Whether you want something to lighten your skin tone or treat a combination of oily skin, redness, and acne. This one is a savior and can also be used as an alternative to Vitamin C serum.

One of the best ‘The Ordinary’ products for acne is Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% that is used for skin lightening, reduction of large pores, and treatment of acne-prone skin.

With a high concentration of Niacinamide, it is great for reducing skin irritation and blemishes, as well as brightening the skin tone. Whereas, zinc helps in sebum regulation. It is a high vitamin and mineral blemish formula that minimizes pores and balances sebum production.

How to use:

It can be used both in the morning and evening. First, cleanse your skin and apply the toner. Next, massage with a few drops all over the face. Depending on the skincare needs, it can either be used all over the face or for target/problem areas. After that, moisturizing cream or lotion. You can apply sunscreen.


  • Affordable and value for money.
  • It is oil-free, vegan, and alcohol-free.
  • It is also silicon-free and fragrance-free.
  • Quick results as compared to other products.
  • Best to treat oily skin or acne.
  • It is an anti-inflammatory product.


It should not be combined with Vitamin C or other acids. It can reduce the effectiveness if used with Vitamin C. Therefore, the two can only be used as each other’s alternative.

Price: $12.55

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0 stars

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3. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

This biweekly formula is ideal for acne treatment. A great addition to your anti-acne skincare routine, this intense exfoliating solution is used as a masque.

It contains potent acids such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and glycolic acid.

They make a powerful punch together for fighting acne and improving skin texture and tone. It also contains Tasmanian Pepperberry which is responsible for reducing irritation and Vitamin B5 acts as a healing agent.

How to use: It is ideal for use in the evening or at night.

Wash the face and dry it with a towel. It must be applied to dry skin only. Apply on the face and neck evenly with your fingertips. It is used as a masque and should only be left for 10 minutes. No more than that.

The skin may get burned due to the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) for prolonged exposure. Avoid contact with eyes and eye contour. If any irritation occurs, consult a physician.


  • Easy to use
  • Moisturizing and soft effect
  • It lightens hyperpigmentation and helps in getting clear skin.
  • Great for treating acne and uneven skin tone.

Precaution: It must not be used frequently. Limit the use to twice per week and avoid sun exposure. Use sunscreen and limit the exposure to a minimum when using the product and for a week after that.  Do not use it with retinol. If you are using this at night, use the retinol in the morning.

Price: $14.40

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

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4. Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

Salicylic Acid 2% Solution

An ideal solution for treating breakouts, acne, pimples, and blackheads, Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is among the best The Ordinary Products for acne. The 2% concentration is enough to fight acne and exfoliate the skin. It also minimizes skin irritation. It improves skin visibility and blemishes.

How to use: Clean your face and apply it gently all over the face with a major focus on active acne spots. Wash it off with lukewarm water after 10 minutes of application. You can start with once a day use and limiting it to twice a week application, if tolerable.


  • Affordable and value for money.
  • It can be used as a spot treatment for reducing acne.
  • It clears the inner walls of pores and reduces pimples.
  • It is vegan, oil-free, silicon-free, and alcohol-free.


It is advisable to wear sunscreen during the day as acids increase skin sensitivity. It is advisable to consult a physician if irritation or mild redness occurs.

It should not be used on peeling or sensitive skin. Thus, the patch test is suggested to check the reaction to your skin.

Price: $23.99

Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars

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5. Retinol 1% in Squalane

One of the bestsellers on Amazon is Retinol 1% in Squalane. It is listed among the best ‘The Ordinary’ Products for acne owing to its impressive results as an anti-acne and anti-aging solution. The water-free 1% solution contains pure 1% retinol and its potent concentration prevents pore clogging and assists in cell turnover.

It is a hydrating and non-comedogenic solution with plant-derived Squalane that prevents acne breakouts by inhibiting debris clogging of pores.

How to use:

Clean the face with regular water treatment. Dry the skin and apply a small amount of formula all over the face. As it takes time to build tolerance for some formulas or solutions, the skin might show mild redness, peeling, or irritation. Therefore, it is better to avoid daily application and limiting it to alternate-day use.


  • Great fit for an anti-aging skincare routine. Value for money and affordable.
  • It imparts softness to the skin and evens the tone and texture.
  • It facilitates dead skin removal if used properly as instructed.
  • Ideal for dry skin.


Patch testing is mandatory to check skin reaction, prior to use. Follow the instructions for application on unbroken skin. Avoid contact with peeling or compromised skin and mouth and eyes.

Consult a physician or dermatologist in case of irritation or other side effects as reactions vary for different skin types.

It contains retinol, which causes skin sensitivity; thus, the use of sunscreen is advisable.

Price: $22.61

Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 stars

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What are the key ingredients used in The Ordinary Products?

The key acne-fighting ingredients used in The Ordinary Products are as follows:

  • Niacinamide

Also known as Nicotinamide, it is an anti-inflammatory form of Vitamin B3 that helps in skin lightening; thereby, facilitating the reduction of large pores and acne scars. It helps in calming irritated skin, treating acne, as well as rosacea.

  • Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is an oil-soluble, skin exfoliating, beta hydroxy acid (BHA). It dives into the pores and dissolves the acne-causing debris by breaking it up. It is known as the star ingredient for acne treatment and large pore reduction.

  • Retinol

Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative used for treating acne and fights aging. It promotes skin cell turnover, which results in pore debris breakdown and preventing clogging that causes acne. It is a form of retinoic acid, which is treated as the gold standard for acne treatment. It is readily available over the counter; however, stronger retinoids require prescriptions.

How to use The Ordinary Products for acne treatment

For better and smoother results, the key to use The Ordinary Products for acne is taking it slow. Instead of combining a range of their products for acne treatment, try using one at a time. Observe the skin reactions and give your skin the necessary time to get used to the new addition to your routine. After a few weeks, you can add more solutions or tonics from the label as advised below.

The Ordinary Skincare routine for acne 

You don’t need all the products for the same problem. Using one at a time is the right way to do it or you can switch between alternates based on what suits your skin.

  1. First, cleanse your face gently with lukewarm water. Pat it dry with a soft cloth.
  2. Now, use the Salicylic Acid 2% solution as a masque.
  3. Next, use an anti-acne serum from a range of The Ordinary acne solutions (Niacinamide, Retinol, or Azelaic Acid).
  4. Next, use your daily care favorite moisturizing cream or lotion.
  5. Finish it with sunscreen during the day as acids increase the skin sensitivity to the sun.

As mentioned earlier, take it slow and be patient when switching to The Ordinary Products for acne treatment.

Are The Ordinary Products for acne any good?

The Ordinary Products for acne use high concentration key formulas that result in better texture, improved brightness, and acne-free skin all over the face. It is not only affordable but offers quick results for a limited application time. The products are well researched and come with instructions. If used properly, they prevent acne flare-ups and frequent breakouts. It is a budget-friendly investment for acne treatment.

What are the best ‘The Ordinary’ Products for acne treatment?

Some of the best ‘The Ordinary’ products for acne are Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, Glycolic Acid 7% solution, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, “Buffet” Serum, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, 100% plant-derived Squalane, and AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution.

What makes ‘The Ordinary’ Products better than other alternatives?

The Ordinary Products do not contain big triggers such as alcohol, oil, silicon or fragrance. Thus, allergies are definitely at bay. Apart from that, they are affordable. What costs between $100 and $500+ when it comes to acne treatment is done for as low as $10 with their products.

Final thoughts 

Although the acne treatment product line of ‘The Ordinary’ is limited, there are a few effective and result-oriented solutions that don’t go unnoticed.  The products are highly concentrated and many are natural that are used in the form of tonics, solutions, serums, and masque. Some acids increase skin sensitivity. Therefore, it is always better to use them in the evening and apply sunscreen as long as you are using the product.

The products have been used by thousands of people looking for cheaper and better alternatives for preventing acne breakouts that offer quicker results. Some big names are associated with the label who are known for their impressive skincare regime and beauty tips.

The bottom-line is ‘The Ordinary’ acne treatment products offer affordable solutions that are not limited to acne, but also impart even skin tone, improve texture, facilitate the reduction of large pores, and prevent anti-aging symptoms.

However, following the proper instructions as provided in the directions and warning section is necessary to avoid any complications because everyone has a different reaction to beauty products.

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