6 Best The Ordinary for Acne & Acne Scars for Your Daily Skincare Routine

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The Ordinary is in no way an ordinary beauty and skincare label. The brand is slowly becoming synonymous with acne and acne scars treatment. After all, their effective scientific formulas have earned an excellent reputation in the skincare and beauty industry. So what is the best The Ordinary products for acne & acne scars? It’s time to find out the top-selling products!

But before I review those, I have a lot of territory to cover. The affordable brand here targets other individual concerns too. Such as dry skin, uneven skin texture, excess sebum production, etc.

So you need to fully understand what the key ingredients are. And how to choose a product that’s well suited for your particular skin problems.

Shall we begin then?

the ordinary

The Ordinary is a beauty and skincare brand that primarily focuses on advanced functional beauty. Their products are a form of treatment that flawlessly become a part of your current skincare routine between toning and moisturizing.

The Ordinary products are either oil-based or water-based formulations. So it’s highly advisable to use the former before applying the latter. The skin types this brand targets include dry and dehydrated skin, mature and aging skin, acne-prone and oily skin, and dull skin with hyperpigmentation.

The team specializes in materials chemistry and biochemistry. But what contributes to the brand’s growing popularity is the affordable price. And their products are sold in such huge numbers also because they have the ability to treat acne, acne scars, and dark spots the most effectively.

The Ordinary Products - Key Ingredients You Need to Know

1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids for Exfoliation

These are natural exfoliants that get rid of dead skin cells to make place for new, fresh ones. What alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, etc. also do is help in retaining your skin’s natural moisture. Along with boosting skin firmness, which means anti-aging benefits.

And the leader of the pack here is none other than glycolic acid.

2. Vitamin C for Hyperpigmentation

Vitamin C in your daily diet is crucial; everybody knows that, right? But not many of us know and understand the importance of antioxidant-rich topical Vitamin C for skin health. A serum like this brightens and evens out your skin tone. While also minimizing the appearance of aging-related signs like wrinkles and fine lines.

The majority of skincare products have ascorbic acid as Vitamin C.

3. Niacinamide for Hydration

Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 and it boosts your skin’s hydration levels. In fact, it also encourages collagen production i.e. improving skin elasticity and strength.

This particular water-soluble vitamin treats hyperpigmentation as well.

4. Azelaic Acid for Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Naturally-occurring azelaic acid is packed with antioxidants that have been proven to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. More often than not, soon after acne comes inflammation, which causes hyperpigmentation. So, at such times, azelaic acid prevents the spread of discolored skin cells.

5. Retinoids for Cellular Turnover

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A. And the topical form of this boosts the growth of unblemished, new skin cells. The best part about retinoids is that they penetrate deep into your skin for treating not only acne but also hyperpigmentation.

6. Salicylic Acid for Acne Prevention

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid most commonly used in skincare products. This chemical exfoliant dissolves dead skin cells that often clog your pores. Therefore, preventing acne, including whiteheads and blackheads.

Its oil-soluble nature allows salicylic acid to penetrate beneath your skin’s surface for eliminating excess sebum. It also reduces inflammation and improves skin texture.

Is The Ordinary products Good for Acne and Acne Scars?

I don’t see why not because the brand has created formulations that contain acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, etc.

And as far as fading acne scars are concerned, there are ingredients such as lactic acid, azelaic acid, Vitamin C, retinoids, and more.

Then boosting hydration is another very effective method of reducing the appearance of not only acne scars but also fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, etc. So for boosting hydration, the brand offers formulas infused with ingredients like niacinamide.

The Best "The Ordinary" Products for Acne & Acne Scars

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque

Formulated for blemish-prone skin, The Ordinary masque here is infused with a safe, effective 2-percent concentration of acne-fighting salicylic acid. So it, no doubt, decreases your frequency of breakouts.

The clay-based formula feels gentle and easy to apply and remove. And if you apply on your problematic areas and leave it on for just 10 minutes, it doesn’t cause any skin irritation or redness. Plus, there are no harsh chemicals, which makes matters even better.

Key Features

  • 2-percent salicylic acid; an optimal amount
  • The masque targets acne, whiteheads, and blackheads
  • Gentle to apply and remove after only 10 minutes

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% 30ml

This is a high-strength vitamin and mineral blemish formula that visibly regulates your sebum and minimizes your pores. In the case of the latter, it makes your pores nearly nonexistent. All thanks to niacinamide.

As for acne, the formula has the ability to take it away as soon as possible. Even scaling caused by skin conditions like psoriasis disappears.

The Ordinary here is a great choice for mature, aging skin as much as it is for darker complexions. It takes care of hormonal acne, enlarged pores, and even skin texture concerns.

Key Features

  • Niacinamide minimizes pore appearance
  • Zinc clears away acne-causing bacteria and oil
  • It gets absorbed very quickly

The Ordinary Peeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2%

The Ordinary Peeling Solution 30ml AHA 30% + BHA 2%

Now it’s time for me to rave about this 10-minute exfoliating peeling solution that’s equipped with both alpha and beta hydroxy acids in the right concentrations. Once you add this into your skincare routine, you’re bound to notice a drastic reduction in your acne scarring. Even your uneven skin tone is sure to improve.

And the best part about it all is that the solution doesn’t burn as long as you keep it on for just 10 minutes. What you should be expecting instead is younger-looking, smooth, and glowy skin.

Key Features

  • Formulated with acne-clearing chemical exfoliants
  • Low-viscosity masque to be left on for only 10 minutes
  • It lightens acne scars and hyperpigmentation

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalene

You’re now dealing with a highly-stable, water-free solution of 1-percent pure retinol. Retinol is well-known for its ability to minimize the visibility of fine lines, wrinkles, and even photodamaged skin.

But it cannot be said enough that you have to apply high-SPF sunscreen with this formula. Because retinol tends to make the skin very sensitive to sunlight.

That said, this product diminishes acne scars and improves and smoothens skin texture to a greater extent than you can imagine.

Key Features

  • A gentle formula ideal for sensitive skin
  • It contains pure retinol to reduce acne scars, fine lines, etc.
  • Suits cystic acne-prone and blemish-prone skin

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

A water-free, stable Vitamin C serum that actually works. Just within a week of use, you notice a massive difference in acne scars. Mature skin, in this case, starts to look wrinkle-free as well.

It’s created to get rid of dead skin cells. So, over time, your skin begins to feel smoother with fewer and fewer blackheads until they’re completely gone.

When you’re above 40 and you find a serum that makes your skin look younger and brighter, you simply shouldn’t let it go.

Key Features

  • Formulated with Vitamin C for collagen production
  • It’s super moisturizing
  • Hyaluronic also included to boose hydration

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + Ha 30ml

A high-strength lactic acid peeling formulation, The Ordinary has specifically created this for mild exfoliation. It’s got pure Tasmanian pepper berry, which minimizes the sensitivity and inflammation often accompanied by exfoliation.

You should look forward to a clearer, softer skin. It’s a gentle solution that works on sensitive skin as well. There’s hyaluronic acid infused into the formula for moisture retention. And let’s not forget that lactic acid reduces pore appearance and improves skin texture and tone.

Key Features

  • Formulated with mild exfoliant lactic acid
  • Purified Tasmanian pepper berry reduces skin irritation
  • Even though gentle, it tackles blemishes, fine lines, etc.

The Ordinary Morning Routine for Acne and Acne Scars

You start by gently cleansing your face, and then follow the instructions below…

The routine is quick and simple. But if you have some more time on your hands, then you can add these products as well…

The Ordinary Evening Routine for Acne and Acne Scars

After you double-cleanse your face and apply toner, incorporate the following products into your evening skincare routine...

The Ordinary  Routine for Acne and Acne Scars

How to Patch Test The Ordinary Products On Your Skin?

Here’s the ultimate patch testing guide for the different types of The Ordinary products for acne.

How to Patch Test The Ordinary Masques and Peeling Solutions

  • Apply the masque or peeling solution on a small area of your upper forearm.
  • Leave it on for the span of time specified by the brand. This is very important.
  • Then rinse or take it off after the specified time frame has lapsed.
  • If you’re sensitive to the product, then look for signs like skin irritation, swelling of mouth and eyes, hives, difficulty in breathing, blistering, burning, redness, or itching.
    If any of that happens, then pay a visit to your physician immediately.

How to Patch Test The Ordinary Leave-On Products

  • Once again, apply a small patch of the serum, moisturizer, or oil on the skin of your upper forearm. Make sure that the skin is clean and dry before application.
  • After the completion of 24 hours, you can rinse it off.
  • Do any side effects like itching, burning, redness, irritation, or blistering bother? If and when they occur, then it’s best to avoid using the product.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use The Ordinary Niacinamide Every Day?

You can apply this anti-blemish formula twice daily to visibly minimize your pores and regulate your sebum production. It works best for oily skin.

Does Niacinamide Reduce Acne Scars?

Niacinamide has the strength to tackle acne, wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation, and rosacea. And it consists of anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, niacinamide can reduce the inflammation often accompanied by acne and acne scars. In fact, it also prevents the formation of potential breakouts.

Can I Use The Ordinary Peeling Solution On Acne?

The answer to this question, unfortunately, is NO. If you apply this particular peeling solution directly on your acne or pimple, it might cause mild to severe irritation. Use it on your acne scars instead. After all, it’s the closest an at-home peeling solution that can come to a professional dermatologist peel session.

Has The Ordinary 2% Salicylic Acid Solution Been Discontinued?

The brand says that the Salicylic Acid Solution is only out of stock at the moment because the product is undergoing some improvement and changes. Once it’s ready to work its charm like all the other The Ordinary products, you can buy it then.

The Bottom Line

We’re all skincare and beauty buffs at Skincare Top List. So, obviously, we’ve heard of this amazing and affordable brand, The Ordinary. Their products get sold out very quickly you know. And there are many, many reasons for that. I have done my best to share with you a slice of that pie here in this article.

Every ingredient is special and performs a unique task in terms of caring for your skin. The Ordinary is a brand that treats everything; chronic acne, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, rosacea, and more. There’s science behind every single product formulated by The Ordinary, no doubt.

So choose your solution based on your particular skin concern. And the best part about it all is that positive and desirable results don’t take long to develop. Therefore, it’s time to make The Ordinary a part of your daily skincare routine right away.

Did you like this post about the best The Ordinary for acne & acne scars? Why not pin it!

best The Ordinary products for acne & acne scars

Lydia E. Millen is the founder of Skincare Top List. She created the blog to move one step closer to being a skincare influencer. Her roots are deeply embedded in the professional skin & cosmetics training courses she has undertaken for skincare and beauty. And it’s her vast and expert knowledge that takes the form of this wonderful blog.


  1. Thank you so much for this article. Just what I was looking for. Perfect explanation to it all??

    • So true! Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts. You are doing amazing work! I’ve been using Retin-A (Tretinoin)+Moisturizer for about 3 years now. So happy I googled ‘My247reta’ and got retin-a ❤️. It is hands down the most effective anti-aging, anti-dark spot, anti-whatever skin flaw you may have. It’s also the only thing that has actually helped with my acne. People comment on my skin daily, and have for the past 3 years since I started using it.

  2. Is it safe to have all Ordinary products in a skincare routine? Would that be too many active ingredients? Love this post btw, so helpful!

  3. Is it safe to have all Ordinary products in a skincare routine? Would that be too many active ingredients? Love this post btw, so helpful!

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