The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% Solution
Reviews,  treat

The Ordinary. Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% | REVIEW

MOVE OVER Drunk Elephant. SAYONARA Sunday Riley.

There’s a new acid in town, and she is only $7.


You may have seen Alpha Lipoic Acid before in the “supplement section”. In supplement form, it is an antioxidant. WebMD also says that it “is used in the body to break down carbohydrates and to make energy for the other organs in the body.” But because I am not a doctor, I will just relay that message to you and let you do your own research about it.

Fun fact about Leslie Here – I am pretty into weightlifting. And Alpha Lipoic Acid is actually one of those supplements I have cycled in at one point or another because it is supposed to help with the LEAN GAINZ. (Especially when you are eating to be in Ketosis, or Keto diet, like I was earlier in the year.) But really – it just kind of gave me heartburn…

But for the face?!

For the skin, it is still an antioxidant. Which, if you are like me – could that not sound anymore BORING? I mean – when I hear that something is just an antioxidant, I get so tuned out. Like what does that even mean?!

(BTW an antioxidant protects the body, or skin in this case, from free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that basically are harassing your face every second of the day – some examples are pollution, dust, and the sun.)

But Alpha Lipoic Acid is different. Special. It is both fat soluble and water soluble, so it can protect you from those things in all the places of your faces. It also apparently enhances the antioxidant effects of Vitamin C & E (such a giver, that ALA.), and. AND. This is where you need to pay attention – assists with resistance and reversal of fine lines and wrinkles. REVERSAL. WTF.


The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% Solution

I wanted this REAL bad after a video from Wayne Goss where he basically said it was the best product, ever in the world, ever (here). I accidentally purchased the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, but have FINALLY got me wee lit’l hands on this.

This product has two ingredients. TWO. Propanediol & Thioctic Acid. A carrier and the main event. That’s it!!

The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% is meant to visibly target lackluster skin and signs of age. They also promise that this will give you a glow overnight after a single application. So kind of like the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask promised??



This product is water free, so they say it should feel a little more oily than other serums. But I didn’t find it to be greasy or heavy in any way. It isn’t sticky, sinks in pretty quickly. There is a very potent scent right off the bat…an herbal scent…. Ok.. this stuff smells like weed.

And it is a little strong. Like if you put it in the palm of your hands, and go full in, face first to rub it all in – you gon’ cough a lil. The scent lingers a little too – up to an hour. But as far as FEELING, there is no weird, sticky, gross feeling on the skin because of this product.

They do recommend to apply this NO MORE than 2-3 times a week, as it is very intense. So I will admit, I was a little nervous. But I have to be honest – this irritated my skin way less than some AHA products out there that are marketed as everyday use type of products. There is a slight warming feeling, some heat, and tingling. I would recommend mixing this acid with an oil if you have sensitive skin – this works well for me!


Um… overnight something! I mean good lord. This stuff is amazing!! I could immediately see, and feel, a difference in my skin after one use. I haven’t felt this way about a product since my first time trying Sunday Riley Good Genes!

The next morning my skin is smooth. It feels tightened and firm. It looks lifted, youthful, and glowing. I have never had an AHA product with Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid perform this well for me at smoothing, tightening, brightening or firming.

This is honestly one of the best treatment serums I have ever put on my face. 

Recommended Reading: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane, Sunday Riley Dupe?!


As someone who SWEARS by AHAs, and GOOD GENES by SUNDAY RILEY… I need to tell you something.

This product. This acid. Is so much better than those other acids at smoothing and tightening the skin. I was actually on the verge of repurchasing my holy grail lactic acid treatment – but I prefer the way this makes my skin look better!


Buy it. Now. Here. Do it. 



  • Victoria Ogburn

    Thanks for the great review on TO’s Alpha Lipoic, I followed you from the review you gave at Deciem. I have 2 must haves on the shopping list so far; TO’s Alpha Lipoic and the L-Ascorbic. I have Tretinoin .025% and still have lots of blanks to fill for a skin routine.

    Thank you much,


    • leslie

      Thanks so much for visiting!! Their stuff is so affordable, I’m always like “well – why not!” lol