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The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Solution Ingredients Explained

3.3   (3 ratings)
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Updated July 18, 2023 Added by Chrysta.k

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Overview

What it is

Serum with 9 ingredients that contains BHA

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores and scar healing

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

The Ordinary is from Canada. This product is used in 316 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Serum with 9 ingredients that contains BHA

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 9

Squalane Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides isn't fungal acne safe.

Very Disliked Full details ->
4-T-Butylcyclohexanol Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

4-T-Butylcyclohexanol is a fragrance.

Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone Skin Conditioning

Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is a synthetically created molecule made to mimic ginger extract.

Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Chlorphenesin Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative. It helps protect a product against bacteria in order to extend shelf life. In most cases, Chlorphenesin is paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol.

Disliked Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

3
3
3
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 9 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

Because squalane boosts hydration in the skin, it also comes with plenty of benefits: it is an antioxidant and can help fight free radicals and skin damage. Squalane is also found to have a detoxifying effect when applied.

Squalane comes from squalene, which occurs naturally within the sebum of our skin. It is one of the oils our skin produces to keep itself hydrated. Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene and has a longer shelf life.

Research shows that squalane is non-irritating (even at 100% concentration).

In general, it's a fantastic ingredient. It does a great job at hydrating the skin, and it's suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The source of squalane may impact malassezia / fungal acne. This is because olive oil derived squalane can contain impurities such as fatty acids and plant waxes. Sugarcane derived squalane is recommended for anyone with malassezia concerns.

Is squalane vegan?

This depends on the source. Squalane can be derived from both plants and animals. Most squalane used in skincare comes from plants.

Please note: the source of squalane is only known if disclosed by the brand. We recommend reaching out to the brand if you have any questions about their squalane.

Read more about squalene with an "e".

Learn more about Squalane
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Mixed

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

The hydrophilic trait of Pentylene Glycol makes it a humectant. As a humectant, Pentylene Glycol helps draw moisture from the air to your skin. This can help keep your skin hydrated.

This property also makes Pentylene Glycol a great texture enhancer. It can help thicken or emulsify a product. Emulsifiers help stabilize a product. It does this by preventing certain ingredients from separating.

Pentylene Glycol also acts as a mild preservative and helps to keep a product microbe-free.

Some people may experience mild eye and skin irritation from Pentylene Glycol. We always recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient in your routine.

Pentylene Glycol has a low molecular weight and is part of the 1,2-glycol family.

Learn more about Pentylene Glycol
Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising
Very Disliked

Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides isn't fungal acne safe.

Masking, Perfuming
Mixed

4-T-Butylcyclohexanol is a fragrance.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is a synthetically created molecule made to mimic ginger extract.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to soothe skin.

According to one study, it is an HA booster, antioxidant, and anti-irritant.

In this study, this ingredient was able to stimulate higher hyaluronic acid levels of the dermal and epidermal layers on a skin-like model. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant, which means it helps attract moisture to your skin. Humectants help keep skin hydrated.

As an antioxidant, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is able to fight off damage from free-radical molecules.

Learn more about Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone
Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Antimicrobial, Preservative
Disliked

Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative. It helps protect a product against bacteria in order to extend shelf life. In most cases, Chlorphenesin is paired with other preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and caprylyl glycol.

Chlorphenesin is a biocide. This means it is able to help fight the microorganisms on our skin. It is also able to fight odor-releasing bacteria.

Chlorphenesin is soluble in both water and glycerin.

Studies show Chlorphenesin is easily absorbed by our skin. You should speak with a skincare professional if you have concerns about using Chlorphenesin.

Learn more about Chlorphenesin

Reviews

3.3
from 3 ratings
Doesn't Work (1) Great Value (1) No Scent (1)
jesssimon's avatar

jesssimon

4 months ago ยท Combination Skin
Review

Started using this product around 3-4 months ago. I have noticed a complete transformation in my acne. I had been using products with โ€œfatty...

Started using this product around 3-4 months ago. I have noticed a complete transformation in my acne. I had been using products with โ€œfatty alcoholsโ€ (Cerave), and unfortunately broke out.. bad. I had a ton of deep painful spots, majority on my chin and forehead. This product completely cleared/healed those spots within one month of use. Since then I have noticed, if I do get a spot, it appears much smaller and heals much faster. Of course this might not work for everyone. But to me this is a holy grail. The Ordinary does have some hit or miss products but this has seriously saved my skin.

Sophfeah's avatar

Sophfeah

5 months ago ยท Combination Skin
Review

makes my ENTIRE face red it does absolutely not work do not buy
it doesn't burn but it looks like you didn't put sunscreen on the next day and I...

makes my ENTIRE face red it does absolutely not work do not buy
it doesn't burn but it looks like you didn't put sunscreen on the next day and I didn't see any positive effects from using this product.

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