Review The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum Review

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum is one of The Ordinary's bestselling serums which consists of Alpha-Arbutin & Hyaluronic Acid. The Ordinary's Alpha Arbutin Serum purposes to treat pigmentation and fade marks, it's one of the best actives that suits well with all ingredients. Read on to know what The Ordinary's Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum has to offer.

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me by  for review purposes. I was not paid to write a review but that does not affect my thoughts on it. Do take note that my experience with this product may not be the same as yours as each skin type is different. Your Milage May Vary (YMMV)

What is The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum?

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum is a daily serum that could be treated as a spot serum.  The Ordinary claims it to be a concentrated serum with pure alpha-arbutin and hyaluronic acid. Alpha-Arbutin is known for its ability to reduce the appearance of acne marks, age spots and also improve skin tone. The Ordinary uses a high 2% concentration versus a standard concentration of 1% and is supported with a next-generation form of Hyaluronic Acid for enhanced delivery. They also claim that the pH of this formula is the most suitable pH to minimize degradation of Alpha Arbutin.

What The Ordinary Claims on Its Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum

Refer website:
1. pH 4.5-5.5
2. Silicone-free
3. Alcohol-free
4. Vegan
5. Fragrance-free

Product Details
Global: website
Price: 68MYR | XXUSD (30ml)
Origin: Canada
Skin Concern: Dark Marks, Pigmentation
Skin Types: All Skin Types
PAO: 12 Months
Full Ingredients List (INCI): 
GoodieSuperstar | Blocky | Icky
Aqua (Water), Alpha-Arbutin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lactic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

How To Apply

Apply a few drops to the face in the AM and PM as part of your skincare regimen. It would be easier to dap it in with your palms on selected areas or the while face. Always use sunscreen afterwards in the day. Better start with a patch test to see if irritation occurs.

My Thoughts on The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum

I've wanted to try Alpha-Arbutin for a long time since I've read so many raved about this ingredient online. They say it's a perfect ingredient to clear acne marks, dark spots and so on. My main concern is my past acne marks that darkened, and I've been having a hard time clearing it out to get crystal clear skin. My skin is acne-prone, so I tend to get acne easily from time to time. I can easily soothe down acne, but I've been having a big problem clearing the marks. So when I read about Alpha-Arbutin, I knew I just had to try this, but it took me a while to muster up and actually try it because it's a new active for me, so I'm unsure if my skin would be suitable with it.
I chose to use The Ordinary's Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum because it was one of the most raved products for Alpha-Arbutin and the INCI list is simple. So after a week of trying this serum, this is my review of The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum.
Swipe left for more pictures:

Looking into the full list of ingredients for The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum, its active ingredient is, of course, Alpha-Arbutin and also Hyaluronic Acid. The Ordinary claimed that it's paired with the next-generation form of Hyaluronic Acid for enhanced delivery. Which seems to be Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, another cousin of Hyaluronic acid, which has smaller particles that can penetrate deeper into the skin. This serum also contains Lactic Acid, a milder form of exfoliation which is also great to treat dark spots. Other than that, the formulation shows moisturizing ingredients for the rest. It's free from any kind of irritating and comedogenic ingredients. 

It comes in a clear frosted glass bottle with a screw lid dropper. Design is simple and neat for both bottle and outer box. It gives an elegant feel with the glass bottle, and the dropper functions well. The labels are in English and French, and even though it's small, it's packed with every detail needed. I have no complaint about their packaging.

Its clear serum is runny, but the consistency of it is denser than I thought. It glides smoothly on the skin and absorbs pretty fast as well. However, it is sticky once applied, but once it is dried out and fully absorbs, it gives a nice smooth feel to the skin.

The labels state that it's fragrance-free, but it has a strong earthy scent which I guess is from one of the ingredients used. As long as it doesn't use artificial fragrance, then it should be fine.

I made sure I studied Alpha-Arbutin first before I started using this serum, which is probably why I'm seeing fine results after a week of using it. I'm using this in my AM and PM routine just after applying another layer of serum on top. I applied hydrating serums first because this serum is tacky, and it feels heavy on the skin. I make sure my first layer of serum is completely absorbed before I applied the Alpha-Arbutin serum; this is to make sure I don't degrade it and have its full benefits absorbed. I also use the Alpha-Arbutin serum as a spot treatment, where I only pat it in areas where I want to reduce dark marks on my cheeks. The hydrating serum I used in my first layer is used for the whole face, so my skin doesn't feel so dry before applying moisturizer. I also make sure this Alpha-Arbutin serum is completely absorbed before I apply moisturizer afterwards.

After a week of using this, I can visibly see a reduction in my past acne marks. Honestly, I tried so many products to clear these marks, but none of them manages to completely clear them out before my skin starts to grow acne again. But with this one, I'm impressed, it's been a week, and I see no new acne popping out. My skin is smooth, but past acne marks are still visible. I'm guessing it may take a while before I can fully see clear results. Right now, I can only see minimal fading of my acne marks.

UPDATE: 16/8/2021

result using alpha arbutin
Pictures are taken at the same place and time, colour varies due to natural lighting

I'm impressed honestly, the pictures above show my skin condition before using Alpha Arbutin in my skincare routine proceeding to after a few weeks of using it. As you can see, my acne marks are almost clear! I can't wait to see the results after a month of using it which I really hope my acne marks won't be visible anymore.

Overall Thoughts
I've read excellent reviews for the brand and also the product. This is also my first time trying a serum from this brand, and I regret not trying it sooner. I was probably always afraid of their actives' potency since this brand is famous for potent actives and zero shity ingredients. I'm glad that I chose to use The Ordinary's Alpha Arbutin Serum first because Alpha-Arbutin is an active ingredient that goes well with any ingredient, especially exfoliants, vitamin c's and retinol. So I didn't have to change my current routine to start using this. 

Overall, I feel like this is my next holy grail product!

My Rate
Rate: 5/5
Repurchase: Yes!
To Purchase

Other Products From The Ordinary

1. The Ordinary Sunscreen
A daily broad-spectrum physical sunscreen