Review: The Ordinary – Aloe 2% + NAG 2% Solution

Where to purchase: The Ordinary’s Website: HERE / Look Fantastic: HERE / Beauty Bay: HERE / Sephora: HERE / Cult Beauty: HERE / Ulta: HERE

Price: £12.90 / $16.06

Volume: 30ml

Made in: Canada.

What is it?: Water-based Serum.

What does it do?: Meant to soothe the skin and reduce the formation of post-acne marks through the use of Collagen-stimulating, brightening and exfoliating ingredients. It also helps reduce the look of pores and helps strengthen the skin’s barrier.

Aims to: Reduce Textural Irregularities, Uneven Skin Tone, Look of Redness.

Supposedly Good for: Dry Skins.

What I think: All Skin Types; Oily and Combination Skins could easily use this water light serum. Even sensitive skins could use this (perhaps space out uses if you are sensitive to Lactic Acid).


Vegan?: Yes.

Cruelty Free?: Yes.

How long does it last after opening?: 12 Months.

pH: 5-6

Packaging: UV excluding Glass Bottle with a dropper.


Directions: Apple a few drops to the face in the AM and/or PM.

How I use it: I apply this in the PM right after toning. 3-4 drops for the face and neck, before applying moisturiser.

Key Ingredients: Aloe Leaf Juice Powder (Soothing) + N-Acetyl Glucosamine It is a Hyaluronic Acid Precursor, a Natural Moisturising Factor (Hydrating and Moisturising), and also Helps fade dark spots and can improve the look of wrinkles (You can read about it more HERE).

Other Key Ingredients:  Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone a spice from the ginger family (Antioxidant) / Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 (well-ageing + reduces fine-lines) / Lactic Acid (Exfoliating and hydrating) /

Full Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Propanediol, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Biosaccharide Gum-2, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Isoceteth-20, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Fungal scne safe?: Yes

Texture: Extremely similar (almost gloopy) serum textures that are typical for The Ordinary (i.e. like their Hyaluronic Acid Serum or their Lactic Acid Serum).

Sticky?: If I applied a lot, then this could start to get sticky (but it’s quite difficult to apply that much).

Greasy?: No.

Balls up?: It hasn’t for me, but I would make sure not to apply a facial oil on top of this.


-As you can see this is a lightweight and watery, easily-spreadable serum!


Swatch Comparison: No Product (Left) VS Product (Right)

Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?: Yes (due to the Lactic acid in here).

Summer or Winter?: Both seasons.

Layerable?: Yes.


Video Swatch:

  • As you can see, this has a lightweight, watery-gel texture.

Fragrance?: Fragrance + EO Free

Good Under Makeup?: I would not use it under makeup.

How long have I been using this?: 2-3 Months.

Will I use until Completion?: Yes.

How Long will that take?: Another 2-3 Months.

The Effect?: Instantly: Hydrates the skin. Long-term: This has been helping with the congestion around my T-zone, I have also enjoyed how it’s helped with my redness post-blemish/acne.

Support the Blog!

Giving a donation really helps with the maintenance of the blog! any money made will go towards purchasing products for review!


What I like:

  • Fragrance + EO Free
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Lightweight Serum
  • Soothing
  • Hydrating
  • Did not irritate / worsen my skin
  • Has overall helped with both the texture and tone of my skin

What I don’t like:

  • Slightly gloopy (typical of The Ordinary serums, but you’ve got to enjoy that texture). But it can become tacky if too much is added.
  • Will sting if the skin is sensitised.

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4 (nearly 3.9) / 5 – I’ve enjoyed this serum and I enjoy the sort of ”all in one” effect it provides with a bit of brightening, re-texturising, hydrating and soothing. It’s a great partner to someone who has an effective blemish-prone routine and wants something on those sensitive days where you just want a good recovery serum that helps improve and benefit the skin. I enjoy using this when I don’t feel like using Retinoids or stronger exfoliating acids, but want something that will still help brighten my skin and reduce congestion etc. I would recommend this to blemish-prone skins, especially if you are sensitive and don’t want to use strong acids on the skin and would like to start off with something a bit more gentler. I don’t think oily skins would have a problem with this due to it’s watery and lightweight nature.

Would I repurchase?: Yes as I find it quite an intriguing product (would I pick this over a retinoid? No. But I would use it as an add-on to help improve the skin. I like the addition of collagen and barrier-repairing peptides).

Dupe?: In terms of ingredients; a similar dupe is The Ordinary’s 5% Lactic Acid + HA Serum (9 ingredients in common including Hyaluronic Acid and Lactic Acid) if you want a similar texture as well. Furthermore Lactic acid will help with brown hydration, textural irregularities and post-acne marks.

Available at The Ordinary LINK / The Skin Store LINK / Stylevana LINK

(10% Swatches + Review HERE).

  • The Geek and Gorgeous aPad serum is also a similar dupe as it too helps with congestion and reduces the look of pores and helps with redness and texture, but uses an Azelaic acid-type ingredient (Swatches + Review HERE)

Available at the G&G Website: LINK

  • The Clear Skin Days Clarifying Serum is also a great alternative; it contains AHA and BHA to decongest and re-texturise the skin, and also has a similar ”gloopy” texture. It is aimed at blemish-prone and congested skins.

Swatches + Review: HERE

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

Follow me on IG for Updates!

Note: I earn a small commission when you purchase through affiliate links, which helps me purchase products for review + also help improve the Blog! If you would like to support me, thank you ever so much! and if not, that’s fine – I hope you enjoy my posts! 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s