The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Serum Review

Are you tired of acne and pimples and those stubborn marks once they subside? The reputed skincare and haircare brand The Ordinary has come up with an amazing product, The Ordinary Salicylic Acid Serum. This serum works wonders on oily and pimple-prone skin. Read on to know how this product helps.

About the product

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Serum is a chemical-based exfoliator and belongs to the Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) family with 2% BHA. This is the best thing if you want to get rid of blemishes, clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads and want better skin clarity. The solution has a gel-like texture with viscous consistency and has no fragrance. You need to use a little even if you want to use it all over your face. It is a multipurpose product. Those with intense acne problems will see a noticeable difference in two weeks!


  • The beta hydroxyl acid present in the serum acts as an exfoliator. It penetrates deep inside and exfoliates the inner walls of the pores. It removes all the dirt and grime and keeps your skin free of pimples and blackheads.
  • It dissolves the glue like component that binds all the skin cells on the outermost layer of the skin resulting in clearer and smoother skin.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties present in the serum makes it very soothing as it prevents redness and burning sensation. This property makes the serum a favorite among those with sensitive skin.
  • It helps to fade the facial scars and spots left by acne and pimples.
  • It’s great for oily skin since it controls sebum production and lends a matte finish to your skin.
  • When used before applying foundation, your makeup lasts longer.


  • Since it causes the skin to dry out, it is not suitable for those with dry skin.
  • It is also not ideal for sensitive skin as it may lead to breakouts and irritation.
  • The company recommends the use of sunscreen after using their Salicylic Acid 2% serum because it can make your skin even more sensitive to sun.
  • Initially you may experience acne breakout when you start using it.


  • Salicylic Acid
  • Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine
  • Dimethyl Isosorbide
  • Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate
  • Citric Acid
  • Polysorbate 20
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose
  • Ethoxydiglycol
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Sodium Benzoate
  • 1,2-hexanediol
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Aqua (Water)
  • Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf Water

Who can use?

The serum is ideal for those with oily and combination skin. However, it helps those with sensitive skin provided they use it at night on alternate days.

How to use?

  • Since this is an acid, go for a patch test first preferably on your arms.
  • This should be the first product in your skin care regimen after you have washed and dried your face.
  • Take 2 to 3 drops of the serum and apply it gently on the damp skin. Else you can apply it with your fingertips on the spots directly.
  • It will lather but do not rinse it off. Since it is water based, wait for a minute so that it gets absorbed in the skin and then carry on with your daily skin care routine.
  • Officially, the brand recommends spot application on affected areas twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
  • Applying it all over your face will give you an even skin tone but you should avoid the eye areas.
  • Those with sensitive skin and staying in places with hot temperature should apply it once, at night. During the morning, the BHA present in the solution may make your skin more sensitive when it gets exposed to sun and may lead to sunburn.
  • Do not use it if your skin is peeling.
  • Incorporate the product gradually in your daily skin care routine.

Things to remember

If you have not yet used any acid before and you get a tingling sensation, do not worry because it is quite normal. In case, the solution irritates your skin for more than 10 to 15 minutes, wash your face without any delay.


It is budget-friendly and costs USD 8.40 for 30 ml, also available in 15ml size. A 30 ml bottle can last for up to two months if used once daily.


The product comes in a sleek and small, white transparent glass bottle. It has a dropper applicator for dispensing the solution.

Score on a scale of 10

Parameters Rating
Efficacy 9
Composition 8
Texture 7
Packaging 9
Average score 8.25

Where to buy?

The product is currently not available on

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who manufactures The Ordinary products?

The products are manufactured by the parent company, DECIEM.

2. How safe the products are?

All the products go through safety evaluation before they are launched.

3. How to combine multiple The Ordinary products in my daily skincare routine?

A. The general rule is you should not go for water-based formulations before oil formulations. The brand recommends the use of not more than three types of serums in a single skincare routine.

4. Are The Ordinary products tested on animals?

No, The Ordinary products are not animal-tested.

5. What is the shelf-life of The Ordinary products?

It is three years when stored in room temperature and not opened. However, after opening you should refer to the PAO (Period After Opening) symbol. It helps to find out for how many months the products can be used? This is mentioned on the side of the package and on the product as well. The bottle features a digit followed by letter M, which stands for months.

6. Do they have a refund policy?

Yes, the parent company of The Ordinary, DECIEM offers 365-day full refund for all the products.

7. How to store The Ordinary products?

All The Ordinary products should be stored in a cool dry place. You should not expose them to direct sunlight, neither should they be refrigerated. However, refrigerate Retinols after opening but do not refrigerate Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%. Refrigeration has no impact on longevity.

8. Do they recommend products for skin problems?

Yes, they do. All you need to do is send an inquiry through their contact page including details like the products you like, your skin concerns and your skin care routine.

9. Can I get samples?

No, they do not provide samples at present but they are working on the idea.

10. Which products are not suitable for breastfeeding and pregnant women?

Breastfeeding and pregnant women should avoid their supplements and products containing retinol.

11. What if the products are out of stock?

To know about the availability of the products, you can sign up for their email notifications.

12. How do I know whether the products are genuine?

They are unable to do so unless you buy from them directly or one of their authorized retailers.

To conclude

If you have oily skin, then it’s the perfect solution. If you are looking for a product that will give you acne and blemish free skin, then you can surely try The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid 2% solution. You will just love it and order it again!

Leave a Comment