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Product Comparison

Here's our complete breakdown comparing the ingredients, attributes, and more of The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA versus The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA .

Last updated on July 18, 2023. Published on July 01, 2021

Overview

What they are

These products are both vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe serums. They have a total of 4 ingredients in common

Cool Features

They both contain AHA

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for anti aging, brightening skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

They both do not contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, parabens, silicones or sulfates

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that need an update? Let us know.

Serum Canadian Brand Canada
Serum Canadian Brand Canada

Serum

Serums are highly concentrated with ingredients to provide skin with benefits. They should be used after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Serum

Serums are highly concentrated with ingredients to provide skin with benefits. They should be used after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Price

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

AHA
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging
Dark Spots
Scar Healing
Brightening (2)

Concerns

Irritating (2)
Rosacea
Eczema

Notable Ingredients

AHA

Benefits

Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging
Dark Spots (2)
Scar Healing (2)
Brightening

Concerns

Irritating
Rosacea
Eczema
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Ingredients Side-by-side

Ingredients that are highlighted in purple are present in both products.

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Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA contains this as ingredient number 1.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA contains this as ingredient number 1.

2
What it does: Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Benefits of Lactic Acid are that it can help to reduce large pores and reduce the effects of aging. Some potential downsides are that it can be bad for dry skin, cause irritation, worsen eczema, and worsen rosacea.

Not only does it help exfoliate the skin, it helps strengthen the skin's barrier. When applied, lactic acid helps the skin create ceramides.

Lactic acid is an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant that comes from the fermentation of lactose β€” a carbohydrate found in milk.

Legend has it that Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk to help reduce wrinkles.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Lactic Acid

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA contains this as ingredient number 2.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA contains this as ingredient number 8.

3
What it does: Solvent
Community Rating: Liked

Propanediol helps absorb ingredients into your skin, boosting their benefits. It can act as an emollient, making your skin softer. Propanediol can help products last longer by boosting the properties of preservatives within the formulation.

Propanediol is not likely to cause sensitivity and considered safe to use.

It is derived from corn or petroleum with a clear color and no scent.

Learn more about Propanediol

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA contains this as ingredient number 5.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA contains this as ingredient number 5.

4
What it does:
Community Rating: Liked

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate is used to help stabilize a product.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it helps prevent metal ions from binding to other ingredients. This prevents unwanted reactions in products. Metal ions can come into a product via the water ingredient. They are found in trace amounts and are not known to be harmful.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA contains this as ingredient number 11.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA contains this as ingredient number 9.

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these two products.

53% are loved or liked
27% have mixed ratings
20% are disliked or very disliked
0% have no rating yet
42% are loved or liked
17% have mixed ratings
42% are disliked or very disliked
0% have no rating yet

Usage

Here's some more info on how this product is used by our community.

When to use

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Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 15 ingredients

3.3 /5
from 3 ratings

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA 12 ingredients

3.9 /5
from 11 ratings
Hydrating (3) Great Value (3) Absorbs Well (3) Light (3) Works Well (2) No Scent (2)
sarape's avatar

sarape

11 days ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

This product has became a holy grail for me so quick. The Hyaluronic Acid in this serums works wonders and makes my fine lines to disappear almost...

This product has became a holy grail for me so quick. The Hyaluronic Acid in this serums works wonders and makes my fine lines to disappear almost completely, like no other HA product i've ever tried has done before. The Alpha Arbutin has also helped a lot with fading my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, that used to fade much slower with my previous routine.

And it can do all of this without pilling or stickyness, which I was afraid of experiencing since some The Ordinary products have poor formulations that really mess up the product. This one, can be combined with almost any product.

And the best part, it's really inexpensive, so that's a win/win.

AshN.'s avatar

AshN.

4 months ago Β· Dry Skin
Review

(Tried Nov 2022) This turned out to be one of those products that I had a bit of a hard time determining whether or not it worked even after a few...

(Tried Nov 2022) This turned out to be one of those products that I had a bit of a hard time determining whether or not it worked even after a few purchases. If anything, I appreciated how budget friendly it was and the hydrating feel of the serum, but I can't say it did much for my stubborn dark spots.

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