Product Review: The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2%+ HA Serum

Hello guys, today i want to talk about an absolutely awesome product I’ve been using to battle dark spots and hyper-pigmentation- The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA serum.

Ordinary HA+alpha arbutin serum

Few months ago, I was looking for a good daytime moisturizer/serum I could include in my skin care routine. I had noticed the rave about Ordinary products which is a brand under a beauty company Deciem New York. I hit up a fellow blogger, Ije of The Beauty Frenzy Blog, who is a distributor of ordinary products here in Nigeria, to ask for advice on the perfect product for this purpose and this was one of the options.  I got it at a time I had deep acne scars and hyperpigmentation and honestly, I couldn’t have gotten a better product as a moisturizer at such a time.

Let’s get into the details shall we?


This product retailed for N6500 at the Beauty Frenzy Shop as at the time i ordered for it. On the website, it retails for 12.90USD


The key ingredients in this product, as described on the Ordinary website, are Purified Alpha Arbutin and Hyaluronic Acid. It has a pH of 4.85-4.9 which has been shown to be the most suitable pH for the degradation of Alpha Arbutin. It is alcohol free, vegan, nut free, cruelty free, oil and gluten free. This makes it perfect for problematic skin types because there is reduced risk of irritation in the absence of all of these ingredients.

Alpha Arbutin- it is a know whitening agent similar to hydroquinone, however, it has been seen to be a much safer alternative as it has natural origin from a plant called bearberry. It works by inhibiting the enzymes that stimulate production of melanin and has been proven to lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The concentration considered safe is usually 1%to 4% most alpha arbutin products come with 1% but this product contains a good concentration of 2% which makes it very effective.

Hyaluronic Acid- This is a natural substance which has the ability to hold in high amounts of moisture. It is perfect moisturizer for oily skin and aging skin as retaining moisture would reduce the amount of oil production and keep the skin looking plump and healthy. The form available in this product is its derivative called Sodium Hyaluronate which is more easily absorbed than hyaluronic acid itself. It is well known to make the skin glow, reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.



This product comes in a 30ml dropper bottle which I love because that made it easy for me to control the amount of product I used. One bottle lasts about 2 months which is pretty great considering the price and benefits. I had no issues using this at all. It was more of a blessing as I move around alot. The small packaging made it super easy to carry around and it’s very easy to use.


This product literally is almost like water only thicker. It has an almost gel like, sticky consistency but absorbs really well into the skin. I would advice first time users especially those with oily skin to start with a drop or two. Applying too much of this might be too sticky and cause production of more oil. It is odorless, light weight, after a minute or two you totally forget you just applied it on your face. I am super impressed that it has no fragrance. It’s  super safe and hypoallergenic.


As directed, I use it in the AM and PM. This ensures you see quick results from this product. I had been using a hydroquinone and glycolic acid night time serum for about two weeks before I got this. At first I would use the Ordinary serum only in the morning and maybe in between before my night time routine. After a week or two i decided to start layering it on top of my night time serum and I was glad I made that decision. Another thing I love about this is that it can be used under makeup without disturbing the longevity. If anything, it helps lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated underneath the makeup. Here’s is a step by step to how I layer it.

  1. Cleanse
  2. Tone
  3. Treatment such as acne spot treatment if I’m breaking out or at night I use both treatment and night time serum
  4. Ordinary Alpha Arbutin serum
  5. Moisturizer or sunscreen

I like to give an interval of 5-10 minutes whenever I’m layering serums and moisturizers so it is fully absorbed. This was my routine up until I used up the whole bottle.

REVIEWAlpha arbutin 2% + HA serum

I gotta admit at first, it seemed to make my skin produce even more oil whenever I applied it. This, however, didn’t last long as my skin was simply adjusting and as I mentioned earlier, I was applying way too much. With regular use, I watched my acne scars go from obvious to insignificant in a space of just two months. They were not completely gone but, at least, I could comfortably go around with no makeup on and I didn’t need a color corrector or concealer to cover my spots whenever I apply makeup. I think that is a great improvement.

My face when I first got the product
After one month
After two months

I won’t call this product an acne treatment, it plays little role in getting acne/ blemishes under control (You can check out some products that helped bring my acne under control here). The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin+HA serum is ideal for balanced skin which needs to be cleared of dark spots and pigmentation from either acne, sun damage and other skin conditions. It is also to be noted that I used it along side other products but this was specific for the pigmentation issues and it got the job done.


Another tip I would give is to make sure your skin is properly exfoliated for this product to work fine. I began to use this after I had gone for a purifying facial and I also got the product alongside a chemical peel- The Ordinary 30% AHA + 2% BHA peeling solution to from the same brand which I use weekly.


The pros definitely outweigh the cons, if any, on this product. I really don’t regret purchasing this and would definitely be repurchasing.

Pros: inexpensive, hypoallergenic, effective, vegan/cruelty free

Cons: It takes time to see significant results, cannot be used in place of a moisturizer (you’re still gonna need one anyways).

That’s all for this product guys. Honey Ricci strongly recommends this. I hope this review was comprehensive enough. Do share and drop in comments and questions.

You know I’m awesome, xoxo.

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  1. Love our in-depth this review was.

    I’ve never used this particular product but my friend does and she hasn’t really seen changes from this on her spots. You saying it takes a while before someone starts seeing results explains why my friend isn’t so motivated to consistently use it (she’s really an impatient person)

    But personally, deciem has my heart. I have used other products that never fail me. Products are fairly priced and so effective at that.

    1. Thank you love. Patience is really key and it’s quite paradoxical that using it less frequently because she isn’t seeing fast results only delays the positive effects she stands to gain from regular use. When I get a product I just go ahead and agree that I have to use it as my money cannot waste. So far I’m sure I’m using it correctly I can be sure if its effective. That eliminates the what ifs. And honestly, most products that work too fast are usually those that contain harmful ingredients. I’d rather be patient and get steady but safe results

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