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My horrible experience using “The Ordinary: Squalane cleanser and 7% Glycolic acid toning solution”.

Hi beauties,

I know you’ve all heard of the ordinary products. If you haven’t, they are a really affordable skincare line from the Deceim company that gives you the active ingredients in most skincare products. It is cool and I am yet to see one bad thing said about it except maybe today.

the ordinary packaging
the ordinary packaging

What I got

For my first time ever trying ‘the ordinary’ products after much research (i.e going through loads and loads of feeds and comparing prices). I decided to try the squalane cleanser and the glycolic toner. I got it from on Instagram (info about the vendor is at the end of this post)


The glycolic acid toner – this came in a white package (pictured above) with black text. Pretty minimalist and in line with the company’s aesthetic. The product is in a sealed bottle. There was an added attachment (a nozzle) to make dispensing the product easier. Also, the toner itself is a very pale yellow liquid that is fragrance-free.

the ordinary glycol 7% toning solutio
Glycolic acid toner

Thoughts – I love the minimalist packaging. I read that some people had problems with the bottle being sealed too tight that they couldn’t open it. However, this wasn’t the case for me (but I’m a strong girl lol).

Squalane cleanser – this came in the white brand packaging. The cleanser itself is in a grey tube. The cleanser has a petroleum jelly-like consistency and is fragrance-free.

the ordinary squalane cleanser
Squalane cleanser

Thoughts  the tube is clean and easy for dispensing the product.


Glycolic acid 7% toning solution: Aqua (water), glycolic acid, rosa damascena flower water, aloe barbadensis leaf water, propanediol, glycerin, triethanolamine, aminomethyl propanol, panax ginseng roott extract, tasmannia lanceolata fruit/leaf extract, aspartic acid, alanin, glycine, serine, valine, isoleucine, proline, threonine, histidine, phenylalanine, glutamic acid, arginine, PCA, sodium pca,sodium lactate, fructose, glucose, sucrose, urea, hexyl nicotinate, dextrin, citric acid, polysorbate 20, gellan gum, trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate, sodium chloride, hexylene glycol, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, 1,2-hexanediol, caprylyl glycol.

Squalane cleanser: Squalane, aqua(water), coco-caprylate/caprate, glycerin, sucrose stearate, ethyl macadamiate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sucrose laurate, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, sucrose dilaurate, sucrose trilaurate, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, isoceteth-20, sodium polyacrylate, tocopherol, hydroxymethoxyphenyl, decanone, trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate, malic acid, ethylhexylglycerin, chlorphenesin.

Direction for use

Squalane cleanser: “Dispense product into hands. Rub together to warm the product, allowing it to melt into an oil. Massage well onto dry face and rinse with warm water. If irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised. Refer to our website for an in-depth guide to patch testing. Keep out of reach of children.

Glycolic toner: “Use ideally in the PM, no more frequently than once per day. After cleaning, saturate a cotton pad with the formula and sweep across face and neck. Avoid the eye contour and contact with eyes. Do not rinse off. Continue with additional skin treatments as needed. Contact of the product with the skin must be of limited frequency or duration. If irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised. Refer to our website for an in-depth guide to patch testing. Keep out of reach of children.

Sunburn Alert:This product contains an alpha hydroxyl 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.

Thoughts: I did the patch testing as described on the website. The site I tested didn’t show any reaction to these products. Which is why everything that happened took me by surprise.


The glycolic acid toner was 5,000 naira and the squalene cleanser was 5,500 naira. I paid 1,800 naira for delivery to Kano from Lagos state.

Thoughts: the appeal of this brand is its price point and I wasn’t disappointed. Also, it costs 3,000 naira less than its well-known competition (rhymes with dixie) and that was what sold me on it.

Claims (on the website)

The squalane cleanser is a gentle cleansing product formulated to target makeup removal whilst leaving the skin feeling smooth and moisturized… being non-comedogenic and soap-free, this formula is designed to be gentle enough for daily use, without over-drying the skin, making it suitable for all skin types.

Thoughts: it removed all of my makeup including eye makeup as claimed. and was okay for a first step cleanser. 

The glycolic toner claimed the 7% toning solution offers mild exfoliation for improved skin radiance and visible clarity. 

Final thoughts

Honestly, I didn’t like any of these products. They were horrible for my skin and it says “for all skin types” on the packages. However, they are cheap and that’s where the appeal ends for me. The squalane cleanser gave me really painful breakouts of huge bumps on my skin which was weird since it is supposed to be just a cleansing balm. in spite of this, I kept using it for more than a week even after seeing the first hint that we weren’t compatible. I think I was in denial and I wanted something new in my double cleansing regimen. Because why wouldn’t it work for me when I have seen people raving about its greatness? Why? Well, I still don’t have the answer to that question and there are spots on my face. So… yeah.

As for The glycolic acid toner, it is supposed to sting a little according to those who have tried it. I think that was one of the reasons why I kept using it for three days thinking the sting (burn) I felt was normal. It was not! I’ve been told that this happens to first time users, to that I say never again people! I will use carefully formulated skincare that I understand on my skin from now on, thank you very much. Also, I read somewhere that you should try using the toner again when something like this happens to see if it was just a one-time thing. To that, I say “not today satan” and “not without a learned esthetician guiding my Bambi steps”.

In hindsight, I should have stopped using these products immediately and now I’ve got so many issues to treat on my face. Dark spots, texture, sensitivity, you name it and I’ve got it on a part of my face. Well, I have decided to treat this as a glass half full situation but it is hard. I mean with rude people saying “what happened to your face?” to the recent most shocking one “you look ugly” I have kinda been through it. 

Anyway, this is not to stop you from trying their products or acid toners in general. Obviously, we have different skins and react to products differently. Just be prepared. Know your skin type. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Also, there’s a video on youtube by the golden Rx that warns about using too much “the ordinary products”. I only tried two and I had a horrible experience I am not ready to venture into other products they offer. In fact, if anyone wants the toner I can give it out. I only used it thrice and I opened it 3 months ago (from the date of this publication) so you can still get a full nine months use out of it. 

Will I repurchase these products? No  



Have you tried these products before? did you enjoy them? let me know in the comments. is an online retail and wholesale makeup and beauty store based in Lagos, Nigeria where you can discover the latest beauty products, makeup and beauty tips, and trends. its a unique shopping experience featuring sought after beauty essentials.

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(5) Comments

  1. Hassana says:

    Wow I almost bought their products last week. Alhamdulillah I didn’t. Also, which is your favourite SPF please? The few I have used are making me breakout.

    1. I use Neutrogena ultra sheer sunblock now. Bio balance used to be great for me but after the disaster that was “the ordinary” it just started causing breakouts.

  2. Ebbie says:

    Wow, I’m really sold on the ordinary products, and this is kind of discouraging, what’s your skin type dear? And how can one know his/her skintype?

    1. Hi Ebbie, I know! Their price points were a major draw and now I feel like telling everyone I see to run from the products. It was really Bad! I have combination skin and I will have post up in a few days on how to know your skin type. Thanks for your support.

  3. […] because my skin was just not the same after the horrible incident of 2019 as detailed on this post. Your girl needed a miracle and they had a product called ‘miracle mask, it was a […]

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