Is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution red facial worth the faff?

There are some products that seem made for Instagram – and The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is one of them.

Leaving your face looking like it’s covered in the blood of your enemies makes this peel ripe ground for Instagram selfies.

Add in the price and it’s a far more accessible way to get that classic vampire facial selfie without paying hundreds of pounds for the actual PRP microneedling treatment.

But is it worth the hype?

Our weekly series, Is It Worth The Faff?, is here to explore whether viral beauty products and treatments are worth you spending your hard-earned cash, looking at the faff involved versus the results.

This week, we’re tackling The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (catchy name), also known as the red facial and the vampire peel.

What is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution?

If you’re new to the world of acids, the idea of smothering chemical-sounding stuff on your face is a tad scary – especially if said acids have the appearance of blood.

Think of this particular acid as a way to exfoliate without scrubbing at your skin.

It’s a 10-minute exfoliating facial that contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), which essentially eats at the skin’s top surface to clear imperfections and add brightness and smoothness, and beta hydroxy acids (BHA), which helps to clear out the pores.

You’ll find AHAs and BHAs in a lot of acid toners and solutions for daily use, but this facial combines them at a higher concentration to pack more of a punch in a weekly go.

It’s recommended that you smear it over your face twice a week for a maximum of ten minutes (if you’re new to acids, do six or seven minutes at first).

Deciem claims: ‘This combined 32% AHA/BHA solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use.’

Oh, and it costs £6.30 for a bottle – far cheaper than your average fancy face mask.

Faff involved

There’s minimal faff required here – and the effort involved is pretty fun, especially as it’s so suited to Instagram.

First you clean your face and pat it dry. Then use your little pipette to drop some of the red liquid either directly on to your face (for that dripping blood look) or into your fingertips.

When you do this bit, it’ll look super dramatic. Worth a quick pic.

Then you want to gently smooth it in – no rubbing, please. Apply across the face and neck, avoiding the eye area, making sure you get into the creases of your nose and along your jawline.

Then you just have to wait ten minutes. Don’t leave it on for longer, as ten minutes really is all the time it needs to work. As we said, if you’re new to acids, aim for seven minutes the first time you use it.

The first few times you use the stuff, you’ll likely experience a light tingling sensation as you smear it on. Don’t panic – this is normal.

If your face feels like it’s on fire, though, don’t try to power through. Wash it off and don’t wait for the full ten minutes to be up.

Once your time is up, you gently wash it off (again, no scrubbing, please), then apply moisturiser. If you’re doing this during the daytime, make sure to load up on sunscreen (yes, even if you’re inside all day), as AHA and BHA increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

The results

What I like most about the Peeling Solution – other than the way it makes me look metal as f*** when I open the door to the postman – is that you can see and feel instant results.

The moment I wash the product off my face, my skin feels baby soft and super smooth.

The next day, I’ll often spot one or two small whiteheads, but no major reaction or negative effects.

I’ve been using the Peeling Solution for a month or so now, and while the effects might not be obvious to anyone else, I can feel a difference – my skin feels and looks smoother and I’ve noticed fewer blackheads and blocked pores.

Is The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution worth the faff?

For £6.30 a bottle, the answer’s obvious: absolutely, yes.

I’m a fan of face masks and this has immediately taken the place of all my usual favourites – because I know exactly what’s in it and I can feel it working.

The faff is minimal – and as I’ve mentioned, looks scary and wonderful – and the results are brilliant.

At a low price for a high concentration of active ingredients, it’s worth the minimal money and time it requires.

Just please make sure to protect your skin and load up on suncream after use. You should be doing this anyway, but once you go down the direct acids route, your usual problem-free sunbathing could leave you with a sorely burned face that’s definitely not worth the faff.

Do you have a beauty hack to share or a product you want to see us test?

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