What’s in the ‘AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution’ from The Ordinary?

TrueThings by Kinnari
5 min readAug 4, 2020

A simple ten minute mask that took the internet by storm and left my skin glowing. The ‘AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution’ from The Ordinary is a great product to improve the appearance of skin texture and to reduce the look of fine lines (

It all started when I was watching TikTok and I stumbled upon the trending peeling solution. And after my past great experiences with the Ordinary I decided to give this a try. The ten minute mask might tingle a little but after washing it off my skin was brighter and more refreshed. I then decided to do research on the ingredients in the peeling solution because I was left in awe by the results. Below is the list of ingredients in the ‘AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution’

Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

The terms may be confusing but the definitions aren’t. Below is the list of ingredients with the definitions that have been summarized.

Glycolic Acid — Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that’s derived from sugar cane; used in chemical peels and anti-aging skin products; can irritate skin in large amounts (

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water — Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water is an aqueous solution of the steam distillate obtained from the leaves of Aloe barbadensis. Used as an antimicrobial agent. (

Sodium Hydroxide — Also known as lye, sodium hydroxide is a highly alkaline ingredient used in small amounts in cosmetics to establish and hold the pH of a product. It’s also used as a cleansing and denaturing agent. In high concentrations, it’s a significant skin sensitizer (

Daucus Carota Sativa Extract — Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract is an extract of the roots of the carrot, Daucuscarota sativa. Used to keep the skin soft. (

Propanediol — Derived from plant sugars such as corn and is used as a solvent (

Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine — Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine is extracted from coconut oil. It’s used as a surfactant (

Salicylic Acid — Salicylic acid is a naturally occurring compound, which can be isolated from the bark of the willow tree. It can also be synthetically produced, either by biosynthesis of the amino acid phenylalanine, or from phenol ( Used as an anti acne agent (

Potassium Citrate — The plant-derived or synthetic potassium salt of citric acid, this ingredient acts as a buffering and chelating agent in cosmetics. Potassium citrate is also a food-grade additive and is also used medically to help improve certain health conditions (

Lactic Acid — Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid; naturally produced in the process of bacterial fermentation, for example milk fermentation. Lactic acid is frequently used as an exfoliant and in anti-wrinkle products (

Tartaric Acid — Tartaric acid naturally occurs in plants like grapes, apricots, apples, bananas, avocados and tamarinds. Tartaric acid has become a common ingredient in skincare products due to its keratolytic and astringent properties. It moisturizes the skin, stimulates the metabolism, promotes healing and it also has an anti-aging effect (

Citric Acid — Citric acid is naturally found in citric fruits and juices, and is used to control the acidity of the product.

Panthenol — Panthenol is a form of vitamin B5, used as a moisturizer and lubricating compound. This ingredient is listed in the PETA’s Caring Consumer guide as a substance that can be of either animal or plant origin (

Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer — A modified form of skin-replenishing hyaluronic acid attached to a polymer structure that keeps it within skin’s uppermost layers longer, allowing for enhanced hydration. Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is not animal-derived (

Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract — Tasmanian Pepper is a shrub, It has small, round, purple-black berries that when dried, look like black pepper. And is used for it;s anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and antimicrobial activity (

Glycerin — Glycerin (also called glycerol) is a naturally occurring alcohol compound and a component of many lipids. Glycerin may be of animal or vegetable origin. It’s used as a moisturizer in many skincare products. (

Pentylene Glycol — Pentylene Glycol is sourced from Sugarcane and Corn by-product, it acts like a barrier for your skin and extreme temperature or any other toxins that may come in contact to the skin.

Xanthan gum — Xanthan gum is made by taking glucose, sucrose, or lactose then it is fermented by Xanthomonas campestris, a bacteria. Next, it is made into a solid by isopropyl alcohol. “Then after drying, it is ground into fine powder. It turns into gum when added to a liquid” ( It is used for product texture and formulation.

Polysorbate 20 — Polysorbate 20 (Tween 20) is a synthetic, surfactant and emulsifier used in cleaners and personal care products. Used as a solubilizing agent. (

Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate — Naturally-derived chelating agent that improves the efficacy of preservatives & antioxidants and plays a crucial role in the stability & efficacy of skin care products (

Potassium Sorbate — Potassium sorbate is a potassium salt of sorbic acid, a naturally occurring antimicrobial compound; used as a preservative. It is used as a preservative. (

Sodium Benzoate — Sodium benzoate is produced by a reaction of benzoic acid with sodium hydroxide, which makes it dissolve in water and is used as a preservative (

Ethylhexylglycerin — Ethylhexylglycerin is a clear liquid preservative derived from vegetable glycerin, often coconut or palm oil (

1,2-Hexanediol — 1,2-hexanediol is produced by oxidizing the double bond of 1-hexene using hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizing agent. Caprylyl glycol is synthesized via catalytic oxidation of the corresponding alkylene oxide. Ethylhexylglycerin is made from glycerin. And is used as a solvent (

Caprylyl Glycol — Caprylyl glycol is an alcohol derived from caprylic acid, which is naturally found in palm and coconut oils. Caprylyl glycol is a humectant, meaning it’s a substance that helps the skin retain water. (

In conclusion, the ‘AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution’ is filled with ingredients that help improve the texture and appearance of skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) exfoliates the skin’s topmost surface for a brighter and more even appearance. Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) also exfoliates the skin with an extended function to help clear pore congestion. This combined 32% AHA/BHA solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance (

All the data and usage facts are based on my research and my use of the product. I am not a skincare expert, I am just expressing my opinions. I have not been paid by ‘The Ordinary’ to write this article.

TrueThings by Kinnari

High schooler who loves Biology, Science, and Ingredients