This Is Why The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid Masque Is My New Skincare Saviour

Louise Whitbread

The Ordinary has revolutionised skincare, offering high-quality formulas with effective ingredients at affordable prices and, since their launch in 2017, have quickly achieved cult status throughout the beauty community. Following on from the release of their first Squalane Cleanser in early 2019, the newest addition to the family is The Ordinary's New Salicylic Acid 2% Masque, which is retailing for £9.90.

Salicylic acid is an all-round superstar ingredient for acne-prone skin as it's known to break down debris on the skin surface that clogs pores and causes whiteheads, blackheads and inflammation, as Allure reports. In this new mask, The Ordinary has infused it with charcoal and clays which I've found to have deep-cleansing properties and ability to absorb excess oil, leaving a more radiant complexion. As somebody who has oily combination skin with a constant smattering of hormonal acne decorating my chin, the ingredients list ticks all my boxes. So how did it fare?

On first impressions, it’s similar to any typical clay mask; dark grey in colour with a thick yet fluid texture. I applied a thin layer to dry skin and left it on for the instructed 10 minutes. It’s a tad messy, so definitely apply this in the bathroom, so you can mop up any spillages before it stains. Immediately after it’s covered my face, there’s a cooling sensation which is refreshing on my angry spots.

Louise Whitbread
Louise Whitbread

As a beauty journalist, I’ve tried my fair share of clay masks but this particular one didn’t tighten up and become restrictive at all. With most, they render you unable to hold a conversation of drink your cup of tea annoyingly, but this one set onto the skin and didn’t budge but didn't feel like it was constricting my face at all. As far as clay face masks go, it’s comfortable. After the timer went off, I removed it with a Face Halo Pad, a circular flannel which I’ve recently stumbled upon and find very convenient to remove makeup and rinse off treatments like this. Plus once you're done, you can just chuck in the washing machine and it will come up as good as new. Removing it doesn’t take much work, I didn’t have to scrub at my face for a few minutes like some masks.

I was pleasantly surprised that my face felt calm, refreshed and best of all, the mask didn’t leave me looking patchy or irritated. Instead, the spots on my chin are less angry and inflamed, my complexion is smoother overall and feels matte, yet definitely looks brighter. I followed up with my Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum and Cerave Facial Moisturising Lotion to finish.

After using the masque (Credit: Louise Whitbread)

This is a great quick fix if you have a big event planned or want a weekly top-up treatment to help keep spots at bay. While it’s important to keep in mind that no treatment will get rid of spots completely within one use, there is a definite immediate improvement, so it’s earned a permanent spot in my skincare routine.

As its main ingredient is salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and therefore increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, it’s important to note that you should wear SPF and generally try minimise your sun exposure for at least a week after use.

As a 10-minute mask, it’s quick and fuss-free to use, (as long as you’re not applying it near any carpet!) and you can get your hands on it with change from a tenner. It’s a yes from me.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque is available to buy online and in-store at Deciem now.