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The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution


4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars74%
  • 4 Stars17%
  • 3 Stars5%
  • 2 Stars2%
  • 1 Star2%
4.60 / 5 based on 492 Reviews


Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 7% toning solution offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance and visible clarity. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture 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. The formula is further supported with inclusion of ginseng root and aloe vera for both visible radiance and soothing benefits. 

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. 

This pH of this formula is approximately 3.6. Glycolic Acid has a pKa of 3.6 and pKa is the most important aspect to consider in formulating with acids. pKa implies acid availability. When pKa is close to pH, there is an ideal balance between salt and acidity, maximizing effectiveness of the acid and reducing irritation. Higher pH numbers in such a case would increase salt which counter-intuitively would make the formula even more irritating than if the formula was more acidic. 

Note: While exfoliating acids can result in quick visible benefits, we generally suggest indirect forms of skin exfoliation in favour of direct forms such as this formula due to potential inflammation and sensitivity associated with acids. Please refer to NIOD's Non-Acid Acid Precursor for such a reference.

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The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Reviews (492)
Q&A (47)
Media (50)
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Lenise M.
La Quinta
95 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 2
So I bought this as a substitute for the Pixi Glow Tonic, since everyone said it is comparable. I just want to clarify one tiny thing for those that might do the same, this is NOT the same. This is far more concentrated, and far less watered down. I think other ingredients take control in Pixi (are at a greater % than the glycolic) where as this is mainly glycolic acid. It is not just your "ordinary" (pun totally intended)  toner, and should be used as such. Firstly this is a great toner for people who aren't 25 years old anymore (I'm 42), who has a drier complexion, but also still might be struggling with breakouts, or an oily t-zone, and pore issues. This is toner stings when you apply it, people seem to think that is a bad thing, but it's not. It should NOT burn, and it should NOT cause redness. If it does that, you may want to ease up on usage, or only apply it to only to problem areas 2-3 times a week.

I apply AM, and PM.
I wash my face with a non drying facial wash (think CeraVe gentle formula)
I exfoliate with  a soft gentle facial pad.
I apply toner, then let it set for 10 minutes
I then apply a ceramide serum (I like niacinamide)
I then apply Rose hip oil infused moisturizer
I apply SUNBLOCK in the PM
I then apply makeup, after I let those set for at least 20 minutes.

My skin not only GLOWS like I was literally just born, but my fine lines have seriously diminished, my pores have shrunk, and I experience less breakouts. Also makeup looks less cakey, and that is a HUGE plus.
Braili T.
Hubbard , OR
20 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
Let me start off by saying that I have never found a product that has really made a difference in clearing my acne. I have oily skin, and my face ALWAYS has a few-many blemishes on it at all times. Prior to using this product, I had been using a moisturizer and some other skincare products with hydrating/exfoliating acids in them, so I was pretty confident that my skin would be able to handle this. Once you apply it to your skin it does tingle/burn a little bit, especially if you have acne. To be honest, I like the tingling sensation and it doesn't bother me one bit! I don't think this would be the best thing to use for people with sensitive skin. I use this nearly every night after I take off my makeup. I apply it with a cotton round to my entire face and neck with the exception of my eye area. With every other toner I've used, my face has felt really dry after I've applied it. Surprisingly, I don't even need to apply a moisturizer after I use this. My face feels baby soft and hydrated! I've been using this product for about a month now. I've seen a dramatic difference in the texture of my skin, a decrease in redness/acne scarring, and less issues with breakouts than I have ever had since I was very young. Over time, this has decreased the frequency and severity of my breakouts and has helped to speed up the healing time of the breakouts I do have. My makeup applies much smoother and looks much better on my skin than before I started using this product. When a breakout develops throughout the day and I apply this after I remove my makeup, within an hour or so the redness of the acne decreases significantly. I do not use any other acids on the days that I use this product (as advised on the bottle). Once weekly I use the The Ordinary AHA + BHA 2% Peeling Solution as well, which is another fantastic product. The packaging is minimalist, beautiful, and makes the toning solution easy to dispense onto the cotton round. The affordability of these products can't be beat with how effective they are. I will definitely repurchase! This is a staple in my skincare routine and I can't imagine it ever being replaced. The only con about this brand is that their products sell out fast, so you need to snag them as soon as they come back in stock. Buying in multiples is smart and easy with how affordable they are. I would highly recommend this product!
Megan M.
Oak Ridge
348 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 4
I finally had to order directly from manufacturer site because it's always sold out on third party sites such as Sephora. This is the best value skincare that really works. This 7 percent toner makes a stunning difference to my skin with each use. As it exfoliates surface cells it leaves behind a bright and radiant healthy face to work with. It is specified to be used at night and that's when I do face serum/tx so I use it prior to that and after I wash my face. I've had decrease in breakouts, redness and skin irritation. It does tingle and burn a bit when I first started using it but that subsided pretty quickly and doesn't irritate my skin or cause a reaction at all now. It just works. This is a surface exfoliate so it's on to going to do so much but it does exactly what I need it to. I would recommend this to anyone that is not a beginner with AHA. This is not a diluted down aha and may cause burning, irritation and redness etc to those sensitive or those that are new to them. Start with a mixed product or indirect method first.
*Review update: it's been 6 weeks that's I've added this to my routine. It's my pm toner and my skin is definitely more radiant. Redness is decreased around my nose area and my skin tone is more even with a general overall improvement in my skin clarity. Definitely will continue using this at night in conjunction with my routine
Denise H.
Wilmington , NC
225 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 4
This is my first real experience with Glycolic Acid toners, and I’m glad I heard about The Ordinary because you get a huge bottle (8oz) for under $9 whereas with the Pixi Glow Tonic its double that and more.
I like that it comes with a squirt nozzle because that makes it alot easier to use just the right amount and saturate a cotton pad. I use it only at night after removing my makeup and washing my face and notice that I get a faint tingling sensation which is normal, its the acid declogging pores and toning! Since I’ve been using this for a little over a week now, I’ve noticed a big improvement in the clarity of my skin and my pores aren’t so bad and visible anymore! Highly recommend this!!
Kelsi B.
78 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 2
I started using this product not too long ago and so far I love it. It’s visibly helped make my pores appear smaller, helped combat sebum buildup and loosen blackheads. It’s available at a great price point as well. Glycolic acid is the smallest molecule of all AHAs so it’s most effective at penetrating the skin and providing all of the benefits of chemical exfoliation.

It’s common for the product to sting a little bit the first few times you use it, but you can dilute with water 50/50 then 75/24 to build up your skins tolerance. When used properly over time, the effects of glycolic acid are cumulative and therefore more effective than using it in a peel at higher concentrations less often.

Be sure to have a good cleanser and moisturizer in your routine that do not irritate or dry your skin out in any way before adding this product to your routine, as additional irritation is possible the first few uses. As with any other AHA, this product will increase photosensitivity as should only be used if you intend to wear sunscreen daily.
Marilyn D.
East Lansing
2 reviews
If you are looking for a cheap alternative to other toners, this is the ONE. This is an AHA, which means an Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Glycolic Acid is a derivative found in sugar cane. This works to weaken the upper layer of dead skin cells, allowing new skin cells to show through. Many dermatologists use this for chemical peels and such. The ordinary's 7% toning solution offers a decent amount of exfoliation without irritating the skin, therefore I felt comfortable enough to use this daily. This doesn't contain fragrance either, as do a lot of toners (Pixi's Glow tonic). This is very cheap for the amount of product you get also. 
Abby R.
49 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
This is my new holy grail toner. It gets rid of dead skin cells without irritating and definitely micro exfoliates. I noticed that my skin is clearer and more healthy looking while I am using this product. There's definitely a difference. I have a really bad hyperpigmentation and acne scarring from cystic acne as a teen, and this flattens out those scars like nothing else I have tried. It's not overly exfoliating to the point where my skin gets too raw, but it definitely definitely makes my skin very smooth. It's so affordable and so easy to use. I love the no-frills approach. Will definitely repurchase!
Jordie M.
Claremont, NH
205 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 2
This is a fantastic dupe for the Pixi Glow Tonic I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a great glycolic acid toner at a more affordable price. The ingredients are almost identical except to the Pixi Glow Tonic. I did find however, the Glow Tonic does have a more appealing scent. The ordinary brand one tends to have a slight chemical smell. The glycolic acid percentage is also higher in The Ordinary brand toner so if you have sensitive skin you may want to be careful using it.
Minhee H.
New York, NY
44 reviews
Beauty Junkie Expert Level 1
So simple yet so effective. I love products like these. They are not show offy, they're just here to do their job. And this toning solution does its job beautifully and effortlessly. It comes with a cap and also a twisting nossle (think sriracha cap but clear). When i first started using this, it made my face tingle, and it still tingles if I have active pimples. But it tingles less now, if it tingles me at all, and it brightens up my complexion and evens out my hyper pigmentation. 
Jennifer F.
16 reviews
I was interested to try this because I had been using the Pixi Glow Tonic and wanted to step up to something stronger to help with my uneven skin tone and general and of adding on my face and decollete. Though this is only 2% stronger, it definitely is harder on my skin. Though I was only using it 2 times per week, I found it really upset my skin a great deal. I think it was also working, but I ended up with lots of red scaly spots and so had to take a break from using it.
Lydda L.
Miami Beach
202 reviews
Can anyone compare to the drunk elephant product??? I’m really curious to buy this but I’m a little worried that it is so cheap. Compared to the other versions of this type of product I’m just shocked this would not damage my skin. Could it be as good as it seems?
Annshu S.
18 reviews
Anybody experienced acne due to this? I'm not sure if this is causing me acne 😓
Danielle D.
75 reviews
Since The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution is ideal for use in PM... ...what toner do you use in the AM? 🧖‍♀️
Charlie R.
Bristol , Bradley Stoke
570 reviews
Amanda K.
Rch Cucamonga, CA
44 reviews
will this help with uneven skin tone/redness, and texture?

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