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Q&A: Which of The Ordinary Serums That Are Suitable For My Skintype? / What Are Your Recommendations?

Assalamualaikum and hello my lovely Pah people So since I have been selling The Ordinary serums, a lot of people ask me which serum...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Q&A: Which Active Ingredients Are Suitable For My Skin Issues? (Part 1)

Assalamualaikum and hello my beautiful people.

Sorry there was no review post this week because I'm basically writing this post to get you guys to prepare for my next preorder. So it's gonna be on 15th of June, so you guys still have time to do your research and all.

Okay, let's just get right into it.

This post is actually sambungan from my previous Q&A post. Go check it out if you haven't. Gonna copy paste the disclaimer here~~~

Disclaimer: Totally not a beautician nor an expert, also not a fricking skincare consultant. Whatever knowledge yang aku dapat, aku tak kisah nak share dengan sesiapa pun. Tak kisah lah daripada mana pun. I know even if you read articles online pun tak semestinya benda tu betul 100%, ya betul, tapi tulah pentingnya kalau google search tu jangan bukak 1 article or jangan search 1 keyword je. Rajin-rajin lah buat research betul-betul, nak cantik kan? Kena lah rajin. Kalau tak rajin, macam mana nak cantik? Kalau ada maid yang boleh apply kan skincare bagai takpe kot. Jojiasdkalsda

Haha. Malas nak revise ayat. Whatever. Copy paste je from last post. Sonang.

Of course we're gonna start with the basics. What are active ingredients? Selama ni familiar dengan sunscreen punya active ingredient je kan? Or maybe acne spot treatment macam benzoyl peroxide etc.

The term “active ingredients” refers to those ingredients that have been scientifically proven to have the effects that are being touted in advertisements and on the label. They have been shown to actually change your skin and it’s known exactly what amount of these ingredients is needed to produce the desired effect.

Source: Does That Stuff Really Work? The Importance of Active Ingredients in Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

I've found an interesting article online and it was written by a chemist and they said if it is an active ingredient, it would be a drug because it alters your skin/body compounds and stuff (IDK MAN) which is illegal. It is much more complex so if you wanna read that, here you go: Do Active Ingredients in Cosmetics Work? Now I understand why he/she wrote that way, simply because cosmetic brands always claims that their product is soooo innovative lah, developed by world class scientist lah blablabla. 

Well, okay I'm not gonna make you guys more confused, aku pun actually baru baca pasal active ingredients stuff ni. I'm like the worst person ever kalau korang nak mintak pendapat aku tentang active ingredients 😅 I only know what I'm using so I apologize if I can't help you. Like I said so many fricking times, I'm not a skincare consultant, aku punya knowledge masih limited so if you guys are more advanced than me, boleh baca other articles online yang lagi deeper about this whole active ingredient stuff.

I'm not sure if I could cover all active ingredients in 1 post because this post is gonna be damn long. So I will split it into 2 parts okay?


I'm going to just list down what active ingredients I'm currently using and then other actives that are available from The Ordinary okay? You need to read this thoroughly because everything is mentioned in here, jangan malas membaca tau sis sis sekalian.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

AHAs react with the upper layer of the epidermis, weakening the binding properties of the lipids that hold your dead skin cells together. When you apply AHA, this outer skin “dissolves” to reveal the underlying skin. Sounds gross, but it’s a good thing that jump starts turnover.

AHAs are great for dry, sun-damaged skin, helping reveal radiance by reducing the appearance of wrinkles, roughness, hyper pigmentation, and maybe even stimulating collagen and elastin.

While there are many variations, glycolic acid and lactic acid penetrate a little better than their peers. When picking a formula, keep in mind that AHAs must be absorbed into the skin to do their work—skip the cleansers that rinse off before they’re able to dig in. Side effects include skin irritation and increased sun sensitivity. Darker skinned folks may experience pigment changes.

Info from here: Alpha or Beta? How to Choose between AHA and BHA Acids

I have shared my experience using AHA, the Alpha-H Liquid Gold (Review). I loooove both AHA and BHA, I only use AHA if I feel like my skin macam takde issues sangat. Kalau ada issues then baru I pakai BHA. If you were to ask me, which one is better? AHA ke BHA? Both has different functions, but if you have acne prone skin, I highly, HIGHLY recommend using BHA and I will explain why it's better. Oh if you have normal to dry skin or sensitive skin pon actually boleh try AHA. Just make sure to use it 2-3 days once or alternate evenings.

Read more: The Difference Between AHA and BHA Exfoliants

Beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid)

BHA are lipid soluble, meaning they dissolve in oil or fat. This distinction makes BHAs better at penetrating pores full of sebum and they’re less irritating than AHAs—great news for those with sensitive skin or acne.

This exfoliant sloughs off dead skins to make way for the new, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles, roughness, and pigmentation issues. Since BHA is derived from aspirin, these products also boast anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing, and anti-irritant benefits.

There’s really only one kind of BHA found in skincare: salicylic acid.. BHA can work its magic in lower concentrations, meaning you should scoop up products that list salicylic acid at least midway through the ingredient list or contain between one and two percent.

BHAs also need to be absorbed in the skin to work—skip washes and go for toners, gels, and lotions that wont get washed off right away. Both acids make your skin more susceptible to sun damage and for some people, sensitivity can increase by as much as 50 percent.

Info from here: Alpha or Beta? How to Choose between AHA and BHA Acids

Like I have mentioned a lot before, BHA is my skin saviour. It helps a lot with my breakouts and my pigmentation, I don't have anything else to say. If you're still struggling with acne, just try it and you won't have any regrets.

Now, there isn't a product like the Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant from The Ordinary, they only have the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution and Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution is for acne spot treatment only since it has 15ml of product, so if you guys wanted BHA product, I'd say go for the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. It's like semua ada. AHA ada BHA ada. Okay la tu. But if you need a good BHA exfoliant, I HIGHLY recommend Paula's Choice punya tu. Ughhh I love it so much.

Again, if you're not used to using acids in your routine, use it 2-3 days once or alternate evenings and a little goes a long way. If you used too much, you might get chemical burns.

Read more: How to Exfoliate Skin (and Why It's So Important)

Now there are some "contraindications" while using AHA and BHA together with Retinol and Vitamin C. I read it is something related to their pH levels, irritating tu of course sebab ingredients yang aku sebut semua tu claims to help with "skin cell renewal"? I guess so. But I did more readings and it is totally fine if you're using those ingredients in one routine as long as you let the first layer of your skincare for few minutes (30 minutes tops) and then baru apply Retinol or Vitamin C. Well, if I'm being honest with you, I just let them sit for 5 minutes and just continue with the rest of my skincare routine and I can still see they're working pretty well on my skin.

Warning: If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, I recommend you guys to consult with your doctor dulu. If I'm not mistaken for AHA, maximum strength you can use is 5% and for BHA, 2%. But please please please, consult with your doctor dulu okay?

Read more:
The Skin-Cream Ingredients You Should Never Mix and Match

The Ordinary has a lot of AHA products so let me go through one by one on products that I have used/currently using only okay?

1. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Link: Website, Review

I briefly talked about it in my previous Q&A post so you guys just baca sana je okay? This is a great product for beginner in my opinion because it is quite gentle even though it has 7% glycolic acid.

2. Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% 
Link: Website

Lactic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 5% formulation offers very mild exfoliation and is supported with a purified Tasmanian pepperberry known to reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that is often associated with exfoliation.

Contraindications: Lactic Acid should not be used on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin. Please refer to additional sun protection note and other warnings in provided Directions. 

Apply once per day, ideally in the PM. Can be diluted with other treatments to reduce strength until skin develops tolerance. Avoid contact with eyes. If irritation persists, discontinue use and consult a physician. (Sunburn Alert: This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.)

This comes in a 10% strength as well but I chose the 5% because I'm scared ya know. So apparently Lactic Acid is much milder than Glycolic Acid but when I used this (I used it daily at that time), I got some chemical burns all over my cheeks and chin. I have mentioned this a lot of times before, most of The Ordinary products are formulated with Hyaluronic Acid and I personally love it. It leaves my skin very soft and supple even though it's... acid ya know?

I can't really say if it helps with any small bumps on forehead because I don't have them. For fine lines pon I cannot really say, I am turning 29 this year so I'm gonna start having wrinkles and fine lines no matter what anyway.

How do I use it: After toner/hydrating lotion, before other serums. Only in the PM.


3. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Link: Website, Review

With 30% Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (Glycolic/Lactic/Tartaric/Citric), 2% Beta Hydroxyl Acid (Salicylic Acid), Hyaluronic Acid Crosspolymer, Vitamin B5, Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry 

Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin's topmost surface for a brighter and more even appearance. Beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) also exfoliate 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. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use. 

This formula contains a studied Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative to help reduce irritation associated with acid use. This derivative is of plant origin and varies in colour seasonally and this colour variation may be apparent in the formula from time to time. This formula is further supported with a crosspolymer form of hyaluronic acid for comfort, Vitamin B5 to assist healing and black carrot as an antioxidant. 

Note: This formula contains a very high concentration of free acids. We recommend use only if you are an experienced user of acid exfoliation and your skin is not sensitive.

Contraindications: This formula should not be used on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin. Please refer to additional sun protection note and other warnings in provided Directions. 

Use ideally in the PM, no more frequently than twice per week. Clean face and wait for skin to dry. Do not use on wet skin. Apply evenly across face and neck using your fingertips. Leave on for no more than 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes both during application and rinse off. This low-viscosity solution is intended to be used as a masque. Do not leave on for longer than 10 minutes. If persistent irritation occurs, discontinue use and consult a physician. (Sunburn Alert: This product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards. Use only as directed. Contact of the product with the skin must be of limited frequency or duration.)

This has become one of my fave acid products from The Ordinary. It has both of AHA & BHA, which is pretty awesome untuk orang malas. So it's basically like a mask but you just need to put like a really thin layer. Trust me, you don't wanna put too much. My skin can be quite sensitive sometimes so whenever I use this, it really tingles, it's not stinging like painfully stinging, it's just tingles. After I washed it off, I can see my skin is a lot brighter and my pigmentation (post acne) macam kurang gelap. Oh and lepas pakai mask ni usually I pakai moisturizing mask but the other day aku tak pakai pun muka macam quite soft (surprisingly) because acid kan selalu macam drying lah kan.

How do I use it: Spread a thin layer on muh face, let it for no more than 10 minutes (as per direction) and continue with my skincare routine without using other acids.


Read my full review on this product here


L-Ascorbic Acid

This is the only form of vitamin C that you should look for in your skin care products. There are many skin care products on the market today that boast vitamin C derivatives as an ingredient (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or ascorbyl palmitate, for example), but L-ascorbic acid is the only useful form of vitamin C in skin care products. With age and sun exposure, collagen synthesis in the skin decreases, leading to wrinkles. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, minimizing fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.

From here: Skin Care and Cosmetics

I think everybody knows what Vitamin C does to your skin. They're basically multi-functional ingredient, it's brightening, glowing, it can reduce pigmentation, fine lines etc. It is one of brightening ingredients other than Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Hydroquinone but you guys know Hydroquinone is not safe for us so people are opt to Arbutin, Kojic Acid & L-Ascorbic Acid.

***Arbutin is another active ingredient as well but I covered it all in my Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA review. So go check it out for more info.

If I'm being honest with you, I didn't really use Vitamin C serum in my skincare routine until The Ordinary came along. Wasn't really interested in it even though I know it's great for sun spots and pigmentation but I didn't really cared that much pon. So when I started taking preorders for The Ordinary, most of my customers ordered the Vitamin C 23% Suspension and most of them told me that that stuff stinging as fudge and I'm like, NOPE. Lucky there are other 3 Vitamin C serums from The Ordinary but all of them has different consistency and different Vitamin C derivatives.

Why I decided to get the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%? Simply because it's a water-based serum and it's like in the middle strength other than the Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F. I am really intrigued to try the 20% one tapi it's the priciest among The Ordinary products so aku pun macam krik krik jela. But maybe I will, I am intrigued to try all of the Vitamin C products from The Ordinary. The Ordinary provided Vitamin C guide, so you guys can check that out here:- The Ordinary Vitamin C Guide.

Now I have story story about the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% in Part 1. So I'm not gonna elaborate more here about it. It really is up to you whether you want the pure L-Ascorbic Acid or other Vitamin C derivatives in your routine. If you asked me which one I would choose pon I cnanot really tell sebab all of them macam lain-lain kan. So yeah.

Read more:
Get To Know Your Vitamin C

The most popular contraindication for the Vitamin C is not to mix Niacinamide with pure L-Ascorbic Acid. However, if it's from Vitamin C derivatives, eg Ascorbyl Glucoside, it works the best with Niacinamide. It's like making the Niacinamide more effective if I'm not mistaken. I have shared my experience using them both together on my Instagram, my AGS 12% review so you can check them out. :)


I guess that's gonna be all for tonight because I didn't have time to do some research for other active ingredients. So aku kasi lepas ni dulu lah. Next one maybe I'll post on Wednesday kalau sempat Insya Allah. Paling lewat dah tu. Hahaha.

So I hope this is helpful enough? I'm sorry if it's not enough info ke apa ke because I'm just not good in explaining so that's why I letak mana-mana articles links bagai tu untuk korang refer to okay?

So yeah thank you for reading!

Stay gorgeous <3


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