Review: The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%

18 December 2017

I'm finally back to blogging, I've been taking some time away from blogging to settle into my new job and also for just a bit of self-care, however, I really wanted to get this post up as I'm in love with this product. It was also meant to be up a long time ago, as I was meant to review it alongside The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, so I'm really slacking! By now we know what The Ordinary is about, but if you're not sure they focus on quality key ingredients without the expensive price tag, but more info can be found by reading here and here.

The Ordinary says ‘Alpha Lipoic Acid is a highly potent antioxidant and can restore a renewed skin appearance, improving visible skin texture and tone when applied topically.’ Written on the bottle and the packaging is that it helps with brightening and helps to target the signs of ageing. I’m personally a sucker for anything that claims to help with brightening because I always feel that my skin is so dull. I also knew that I was missing an antioxidant in my skincare routine and wanted to try one so opted for this cost-effective option.

Alpha lipoic acid is great because it is fat and water soluble, meaning that it can work through various layers of the skin and be absorbed quicker. It’s a powerful acid that can help stimulate your skin cells and also works as an anti-inflammatory.

The Ordinary’s Alpha Lipoic Acid is designed to tackle:

  • Dull complexion
  • Uneven skin and tone
  • Signs of ageing 

Propanediol, Thioctic Acid.

The ingredients list is totally minimal which is why you’re left with a highly concentrated product.

The product comes in a glass bottle and a dropper. The liquid is this pale-yellow colour but nothing too horrifying. The smell is chemical, it’s not a good smell but it’s not completely bad either, it certainly hasn’t been fragranced to smell nice but once it’s on the skin the smell disappears after 5 seconds.

At 5% this product is extremely concentrated (any higher and you’re at risk of burning) so it’s advised you only use this 2-3 times a week. I started off using it 2 times and week and for the first week, upon application, this product did sting and burn slightly. This is perfectly normal when using something strong and new but it went away after a minute. I apply 2-3 drops and use that on my face and neck, honestly, I’m scared to use more. When you apply this it actually feels quite oily but after a minute or two this sinks in and you can’t feel it on your skin anymore.

I only apply this at night and the instructions for the product are to avoid direct sunlight after using this, so night is best. I always use an SPF anyway, but if you decided to purchase this make sure you do, otherwise you’ll burn your face off (not quite, but you get my drift).  After 2-3 months I went up to use this 3 times a week and my current routine now is Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Saturday. It works perfectly for me and gives my skin the break it needs.


I LOVE this product. I purchased it at the same time as the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA and we know I wasn’t a fan of that but this product, however…it is a strong favourite of mine. Certainly approaching skin hero status, I just want to finish the bottle before I make up my mind. But yes, the bottle is still going strong for something that I purchased at the end of March this year. This is obviously helped by the fact that you’re not using it every day but I’d still say this was great value for money as 2-3 times a week is still a considerable amount of product.

This product has helped with my complexion a lot, I always used to complain about how dull my skin was but this skin has made those complaints redundant. My skin isn’t the brightest it could be (I still need to eat the right foods) but it certainly is benefitting from the antioxidant and exfoliating benefits of this product. This product is also so easy to use and no faff. I put this on after I’ve spritzed my face with my La Roche Pozay Serozinc, and if I’m being good I let it sink in for 30mins before putting anything else on top, otherwise, it’s 5mins and then I slap whatever on top and go to bed. The product does absorb into your skin after 2-3 minutes though so you never need to worry that it will take a long time. I think this product works so well because of the high concentration and for me personally, I like that I don’t have to use it every day.

I personally haven’t noticed a difference in my skin tone using this product but I haven’t been watching that closely for it and it’s not what I want from the product. Personally I know evening out my skin tone/texture is gonna happen with a dermatologist so I am working on that. But in the meantime this dinky bottle is a great addition to my routine and is helping me out so much. I no longer feel like my skin is grim and dingy, honestly it does feel refreshed and the day after my skin just looks brighter.

So a definite yes from me on this product and with the price I can say I’ll be using it for a long long time. Have you tried this product?

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