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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

The Ordinary Authentic
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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% by The Ordinary

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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, previously known as Advanced Retinoid 2%, is one the most-popular Retinoid-based products from the skincare experts at The Ordinary. Known for being one of the most effective ingredients for anti-ageing, Retinoids come in different potencies and varying formulations to reduce sensitivity.


The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is a lightweight, moderate-strength emulsion with low irritation levels. The product’s active ingredient, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR), a less abrasive alternative to retinoic acid, or prescription retinol medication, to accelerate skin cell turnover and reverse the signs of ageing and acne.

Key benefits of The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion:

  • Moderate-strength Retinoid
  • Low risk of irritation for Retinol skincare
  • Lightweight, creamy emulsion
  • Can treat a variety of skin conditions, including pigmentation, ageing, and acne
  • Helps prevent the formation of wrinkles
  • 30ml

What is Retinoid?

‘Retinoid’ is a broad name for any product that contains a derivative of Vitamin A. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% contains two different forms of Retinoids that are easily absorbed by the skin. This product causes less irritation than traditional forms of Retinoid.


The main active Retinoid is Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR), a specific and advanced form of Retinoid that works harder to diminish signs of ageing whilst being more gentle on skin. This is blended with a form of pure Retinol in a protective capsule system, which aids the delivery of the HPR.


How does The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion work?

This anti-ageing serum from The Ordinary works by accelerating the rate of skin cell turnover, making way for newer, fresher, and healthier cell growth underneath. It also helps to slow down the degeneration of collagen in the skin, the main protein for youthful-looking skin, and helps to prevent the formation of dynamic facial folds and wrinkles. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion can help with pigmentation, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, and active breakouts.


How to use The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

Introducing Retinoids into your skincare routine slowly is important to prevent irritation and sensitivity. Start with just once a week, and then slowly increase usage up to a maximum of four times a week. The emulsion should only be applied at night, because Retinol can heighten skin sensitivity to UVA and UVB rays. A daytime sunscreen is always recommended when using this product.


Apply the emulsion after water-based serums and before oils and heavier creams. Do not use this product along with other Retinoid treatments.


Who should use The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion?

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is suitable for anyone who is concerned about skin texture, acne breakouts, ageing skin, or pigmentation. Retinoids should be avoided when pregnant or breastfeeding and should not be used on very sensitive, damaged, or compromised skin.


How does Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion compare to other The Ordinary skincare products?

In 2017, The Ordinary expanded its collection of Retinoid products to introduce new formulations and strengths. Advanced Retinoid 2% was renamed to Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion to fit in with the new naming conventions of the extended range.


Here is a breakdown of the different Retinoid formulas The Ordinary currently makes:


Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane (Moderate Strength, No Irritation)

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane (High Strength, No to Low Irritation)

Retinol 0.2% in Squalane (Low Strength, Moderate Irritation)

Retinol 0.5% in Squalane (Moderate Strength, High Irritation)

Retinol 1% in Squalane (High Strength, Very High Irritation)


The Granactive Retinoid collection uses the same delivery system for the same active ingredient, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR), a less harsh alternative to retinoic acid but a relatively new creation in the skincare world. The remaining three products use pure Retinol, a tried and tested ingredient, which, once applied, needs to be converted by the body in order to deliver benefits. Retinol can cause irritation, so it is important to introduce it slowly into your skincare routine.


Does The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion help with acne?

Retinol for acne is a great way to both minimise active breakouts and prevent future breakouts from occurring. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion helps to accelerate skin cell turnover to minimise the longevity of acne whilst promoting healthier skin cell growth for a clearer complexion.


Is The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion good for scars and pigmentation?

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is a great product to include in a routine for treating scarring and pigmentation, as it helps to speed up skin cell turnover for newer and fresher skin. The emulsion works particularly well for fading scars and pigmentation when used in conjunction with a vitamin C product.


Is The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion good for rosacea?

When looking for new methods and products to minimise and treat rosacea, it is always recommended that you consult a doctor first. Whilst the emulsion can help with the symptoms and appearance of rosacea, it may further irritation, particularly on those who have extremely dry, dehydrated, or compromised skin.


Is The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion comedogenic?

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion contains acne-reducing ingredients, so despite its light oil base, it is non-comedogenic and suitable for those with congested skin.


Is The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion good for wrinkles?

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion has anti-ageing properties, making it an excellent product for treating and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids are known as being one of the only ingredients to not only prevent premature ageing but actively reverse it too.


Is good for dark spots?

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is a great product to assist in treating dark spots, especially when used in conjunction with a vitamin C serum.


All of our products are filled/measured by weight/volume so the product is correctly filled to 30 ml. The packaging does not accurately reflect the size of the fill. However, this is intentional as some air must be allowed at the top for the product to actually close.

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Reviews (315)
Review and earn
It's a good entry level product for someone just starting with active products - 17-01-2019 by

It's a great stepping stone. I love the 5% in squaline now :)

Improved pigmentatuon and blackheads - 17-01-2019 by

Since using this my blackheads have decreased. I use this every 2nd night and love it. My pigmentation has improved and my face looks generally clearer

Use this - 15-01-2019 by

Everyone quickly get onto your retinoids. Smooths out the skin, keeps your fine lines away. I love this product and the price is fab

Didn’t love this product - 15-01-2019 by

I didn’t love the product, the consistency wasn’t great, it was similar to a watery cream. It Didn’t leave my skin feeling any different. I wouldn’t buy it again.

Does what it says - 15-01-2019 by

Awesome product. Including for my sensitive skin. Reduces my breakouts and is slowly evening out my skin tone. Love being able to buy individual products from The Ordinary as my sensitive skin is usually reactive to at lease one ingredient in pre-made things.

This didn't irritate my skin at all so I will be moving up to the stronger one next.

6 months in... - 14-01-2019 by

My 16yo son's dry + acne proned facial skin used to be raw, inflamed and angry. Although he now takes prescribed Oratane his problematic skin still needed work.

This Retinoid, alongside TO's Lactic acid 5% (the Salicylic acid 2% didn't work for him) has helped immensely with lesser breakouts, facial texture, and fading of blemishes that are left behind.

The key to his now clearer, brighter, and manageable facial skin (alongside these products) would be persistence and consistency !!!

So, watching my sons confidence grow these products get my vote !

good value - 14-01-2019 by

Smooth, creamy non-tacky serum, no irritation. Would still advise to use sparingly at first if your skin isn't used to retinol/retinoids. The price is the most attractive thing about this product because good retinoids can be expensive

I can use this serum on sensitive areas like under the eyes, near the lips etc and it causes no flaking or redness . I have a prescription for Tretinoin but like to alternate with this serum to give my skin a break from the harshness of the medical-grade stuff. I would recommend if your skin is sensitive or you are just starting to use retinol

Broke out - sensitive skin - 11-01-2019 by

I bought this to help with anti aging. I have quite sensitive skin so was a little apprehensive about trying retinol/retinoid for the first time. Unfortunately, this made my face EXPLODE in pimples.

My usually very sensitive skin did not flare up, it was mainly just the breakout.

I will give it another few weeks to see if that calms down, but at the moment I won't be using this again.

Great product - 09-01-2019 by

I love this product, I noticed results almost immediately. I always wake up with more radiant skin after using this at night, and I often recommend this product to others. I definitely think that it helped clear up breakouts a lot faster too.

Works well on my sensitive skin - 09-01-2019 by

I have sensitive skin so I was a little hesitant about trying a product with 2% of retinol but after using the lower %s of retinol in the Ordinary range and not reacting to it, I decided to give it a go. The primary use of this product is for anti-aging and I have definitely noticed a reduction in the appearance of my fine lines on my forehead. I use this every second night. I also love how affordable it is.

Works for me - 08-01-2019 by

Has a lovely light texture and feels smooth on. I use it each night and my skin feels lovely and well hydrated in the mornings.

great product - 05-01-2019 by

This product has been great on my skin. I have been using it now for 3 months with no irritation because of the type of retinol salt. Its a great starter retinol and you can build up from there. I have been happy with the results thus far so I have repurchased it. It felt like it smoothed my skin following the very first night I used the product. Would highly recommend

Leaves skin glowing and soft - 05-01-2019 by

This product makes my skin feel very glowing and healthy.

Using this for anti-aging purposes so it's hard to tell if the product is working but my skin definitely feels really smooth and healthy.

Love this for wrinkle prevention - 04-01-2019 by

This is just like a powerful retinol product only gentle! I absolutely love this for prevention of wrinkles and it’s definitely improved my fine lines. Highly recommend.

Noticeable Difference - 01-01-2019 by

Since using this product i have received so many compliments on my skin! For my combination, aging skin, it has worked to brighten my complexion, lighten pigmentation and give an overall freshness to my face!

Another great product from The Ordinary - 31-12-2018 by

Works very well on skin. Recommend this retinol product.

Love it. - 31-12-2018 by

I was a bit worried about this product with my sensitive skin but have had no issues with it. Effective product-starting to see a real reduction in fine lines.

Great product - great brand! - 31-12-2018 by

I love all of The Ordinary products I have tried, they are such great value and provide real results! This product is no different; I use this twice a week and my skin has never been better. Can’t recommend this product or any other from this brand highly enough.

KIM K USES THIS ADD TO BAG - 30-12-2018 by

Love love love! but use sparingly as it is a harsh product and always apply sunscreen when going outside as it does strip the skin.

Love love love - 29-12-2018 by

Literally cannot go without this product! Huge difference and I’ve only been using it for just over a month! My skin has never looked this good !!!!

Can't Live Without It - 29-12-2018 by

I've been using this for a couple of years now and I can't fault it. It took some adjusting when I first started it - my skin would break out but I was told to expect this for a couple of weeks. I haven't had any problems with it since.

Good serum for anti aging - 28-12-2018 by

I have quite sensitive skin so it took a while for me to get used to this. Only use at night and wear sunscreen the next day. This is quite a strong serum and I don’t use it daily. Definitely saw improvements in fine lines.

Lovely product - 28-12-2018 by

I find this product fantastic! Feels initially oily but settles into skin quickly and on waking my skin looks and feels really fresh. I don’t find it particularly hydrating, so a moisturizer over the top suits me. Cannot believe the price for quality.

Perfect introduction to Retinoids - 27-12-2018 by

Have been reading about the benefits of retinol for ages but had always been to scared to try it on my dry, sensitive and acne prone skin so I was so happy to discover this. I have been using irregularly for a few weeks with a few other new TO products so haven't noticed a particular difference due to this product but the texture is wonderful, and overall results have been great. I have been applying with a silicone make up sponge which I find really helps spread it out evenly and makes sure I don't use to much/get it all over my hands instead of my face.

18 months on... - 26-12-2018 by

Unsure what bottle count i'm now on but my oily yet dehydrated skin adores this. My 45yo skin has become clearer and smoother over the past year and a half. A definite staple !

Hydrating and non-irritating - 25-12-2018 by

This is my first time trying a retinol product. Am pleased to say that this is a very beginner friendly product. Decided to try this to help with skin texture as well as get in early to help with preventing signs of skin aging. Whilst I haven't used it long enough yet (about 3 weeks) to see any huge differences, I can say that it feels very hydrating and lovely to apply and I always seems to have a good skin day the day after I apply it. I have not experienced any irritation at all from this product. Am excited to see the longer term benefits

Huge fan of this - 24-12-2018 by

I have dry, eczema-prone and extremely sensitive skin. The fact that I can use a mid-strength retinol on my face still amazes me! I love the ordinary's products, but it feels like this one is a cut above the rest. Keeps my face fresh, healthy, and sits great with other products. Can't recommend this more highly especially to beginners or sensitive skins!!

Not for me - 24-12-2018 by

I've tried about 3 different retinol products from different companies but this is my least favourite of the three however it is great for the price and doesn't have anything really wrong with it I just didn't really feel like it was more effective than others I had tried.

Amazing - 21-12-2018 by

I used one bottle, then bought three at once... I love this product so much and can’t believe the results for the price. Definitely recommend!

Staple! - 21-12-2018 by

I have a few products from The Ordinary but was putting off trying a Retinoid because I was worried it would be too harsh. I was pleased to find it's quite gentle and hydrating. I only use it at night because I'm conscious of the sensitivity to sunlight, so I alternate it with Niacimade in the morning. It'll definitely go into the rotation now before bed, followed with The Buffet and a good moisturiser.

Great retinol product - 20-12-2018 by

I have tried a few retinol products (that were much more expensive than this one) and I have to say this one works just as well! Will be repurchasing for sure. I love the Ordinary for their great value for money.

Gentle - 19-12-2018 by

This feels nice and gentle and has a nice smoothing/plumping effect on fine lines on my face (normal skin), I use it every other day, lasts for many weeks as only a little is needed, light and spreads well / evenly.

Great product! - 17-12-2018 by

I have tried several different retinol/retinoid products including all of the Ordinarys and this one is by far my favourite. It is gentle enough to use everyday but powerful enough to really improve skins texture, tone, imperfections, fine lines etc. I use this layered with oils and other serums & it works beautifully

Obsessed - 17-12-2018 by

The best skin product I’ve ever purchased! Helped so much with lines around my eyes and also prevents acne breakouts all in one.

Gorgeous!!! - 15-12-2018 by

I accidentally bought two and gave the extra to my mum and we both love it! It's rich and nourishing and doesn't irritate my or my mum's skin! My skin is young and her's mature but both dry and it's not breaking anyone out (mine is blemish prone).

Instant noticeable difference - 13-12-2018 by

Using this product revitalised my skin! It instantly made my skin exceptionally smoother, brighter, and reduced fine lines. I used it only as an exfoliant and managed to rub off a lot of dry skin before washing it off, consequently I experienced no irritation

Fine lines are reduced - 12-12-2018 by

I've got a few signs of premature ageing, especially on my forehead and around my mouth, and this has definitely helped. I've noticed a definite reduction in fine lines. I've used this for a while now and it has never irritated my skin, and layers well under moisturiser.

Accidental discovery! - 12-12-2018 by

I am one of those who suffers from the adult, hormonal, the worst kind of acne and has tried Every single product out there and had to keep going back to proactiv. I bought this for all together different purpose and not acne treatment. However, I noticed its effect on active pimple/acne after a night.
Long story short, reviewing while purchasing the third bottle, replaced proactiv. It works! on active (pus/bacteria filled yuck!) pimples too. Doesn't burn like proactiv at all!! shrinks the pimple, kills the bacteria, but isn't too dry, non peeling.
I also don't write reviews normally but after having suffered/ing for so long, and having tried almost everything, I got to write this as most of us are looking for less harsh, more natural alternative to acne treatment. Also something that works. Found it effective than Paula's Choice too. Using it as both spot treatment (better than Kate Somerville, Mario Badescu drying pink spot lotion).
Skin type : Oily.

Skin texture has improved - 07-12-2018 by

I purchased this because so many people were making a big fuss over it. I'm glad I did though, as I've noticed a real difference in my skin texture. I'm only 29 so I have no visible signs of ageing, and I didn't purchase it for anti ageing, more for acne prevention, and just to help with my general skin condition. I do still get breakouts, but nothing to severe. I'm also hoping that with regular use it will help me to keep my skin look young for longer.

Love it! - 06-12-2018 by

I bought this product because my skin was looking dull and starting to sag a bit but this product has improved the elasticity completely. Would recommend.

Really works - 06-12-2018 by

I’m a first time user of anti-aging products and retinol. I started using this over a month ago with some other ordinary products. The first week there was some redness and dryness but after my skin adjusted there were no side effects. My skin looks better then ever and it really does reduce the appearance of fine lines giving a smooth appearance and tighter skin.! The texture is easy to apply and absorbs rather quickly. Really good for first time retinoid users! I’m thinking of upgrading to the 5% retinol for hopefully faster results. Can’t wait to see how my skin in the next few months. Great price and affordable

Amazing! - 05-12-2018 by

I started using this product just this year. I started with lower concentrations of retinol from The Ordinary range and worked my way up to this beauty. I was hesitant to use at first because I was always outdoors and I feared that my skin will be overly sensitive under the sun. It stung a bit for the first two weeks but now my skin have adjusted well. And because I am using retinoid, I am now also regularly using sunblock to protect my skin. The results are not instant. Just be patient. You will notice your pores getting smaller! Try it!

GREAT - 05-12-2018 by

Such a inexpensive and effective product for those looking for results. Will be repurchasing

Cheap and effective! - 28-11-2018 by

Love this product. Was paying more for a plastic tube of retinol serum from Skinstitute and wont go back to it. Got great results with this for treating acne break out recently. Its very similar to the Skinstitute Serum I was using in terms of colour, consistency and effect but cheaper and better packaging (less plastic and easier to apply!!) Love this stuff. Going to buy more of the range

So far so good - 28-11-2018 by

This product (along with others) was recommended to me in Chat on the Adore Beauty site as I was looking for anti-ageing products and had heard about The Ordinary. I have used this for just over a week and am enjoying how it makes my skin feel. I have an oily t-zone, prone to adult acne around my nose, mouth and chin. I had a large pimple on the side of my nose and it didn't eventuate. It just calmed right down and disappeared without breaking the skin. My skin feels smoother and the product is lovely to use. I find myself wanting to use it every night but I stick to the once-every-two-nights recommendation and always use sunscreen in the day.

I can go makeup free for the first time in years! - 28-11-2018 by

I have aging, oily skin with large visible pores and never go out without a full face of makeup. Until now. After using The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion for a few weeks, my skin looks and feels fantastic. Smoother, more even toned, less visible pores and less lines. I’m so impressed by the improvement. Now all I need is sunscreen and a touch of colour on my lips and I’m good to go. I’ve had comments on how good my skin is looking, which has never happened before! I was afraid at first to use a retinoid, thinking that my skin would just go red as I’m sensitive to some products. No redness and no flaking. Just smoother, fresher skin. The price of this magical product is magical itself. I would expect to pay so much more for such an effective product. My advice is to stock up!

Obsessed! - 27-11-2018 by

So good at rejuvenating skin and getting rid of lines

Great product - 27-11-2018 by

good at minimising breakout, good texture, skin feels good

Very Gentle, yet Effective! - 27-11-2018 by

I am a big fan of this product. It is very gentle for my sensitive skin and really works a treat for my acne. I spot treat my acne and redness from old acne marks each second night and in the morning when I wake, there is a noticable difference! It is such a great product, that is a really affordable price! Very effective in reducing my acne!

MAGIC SERUM - 26-11-2018 by

I want to leave another review of this product because I’ve been using it for 6 weeks now and that’s about how long they say you need to wait to see significant results.
I have (had) fair skin with lots of redness, lots of dry flakes, very bumpy, scarring and sun damage. My skin now is bright, little to no redness (only a little tiny bit around my nose/mouth), no red spots and my sun damage is getting kinda fuzzy as if it’s fading away and my skin is really smooth. I’ve been going out without makeup for the first time in my life. I can’t believe the results!! I’ve been sending before and after pics (which I take regularly) to my friends and family because I’m just so happy with the results so far! I use the serum every night (a whole dropper full) and I’m about half way through the bottle now after 6 weeks so I think the value for money is incredible as well. So 1 bottle will last about 12 weeks with daily use. I have t experienced any reaction to the serum but my skin has become more sensitive to salicylic acid as it stings when I used it and my face felt burned afterwards (I no longer use it but I don’t like or need it anyway). In saying that I’ve been using The Ordinary vitamin c cream every morning for almost a month and that has not caused any reaction or sensitivity and I think it has helped the retinoid to brighten my skin. I can’t recommend this product enough if you have any of the problems I mentioned. I wish I could upload my results photo!!!

really like this for night time use! - 26-11-2018 by

Skin feels much smoother, firmer and clearer in the morning. Also great formula, feels comfortable on the skin and not tacky at all. Would definitely recommend. Keen to try the 5% formula next!

One word: AMAZING!! - 26-11-2018 by

This is the first retinoid product I have used. I've been using it for several months now and I can never go back to not having this in my routine!! Absolutely love it. I use it on alternate nights. I have fairly normal combination skin and I have had no issues with sensitivity with this. I get far fewer breakouts and my overall skin texture has improved immensely.

Fantastic - 22-11-2018 by

Love this retinoid emulsion, I have very sensitive skin, my skin always reacts when I try new products so I have always been too scared to try retinol before. Reading all the info on here about the retinoid though, I was convinced to try it and I'm very glad I did! I find this is very helpful at keeping breakouts under control, small ones are gone the next day and it shows more clarity to my skin. Very happy to have found this product and will try additional products by The Ordinary in the future.

Beautiful texture - 22-11-2018 by

I love the way this emulsion feels on my skin. It skins in quickly and leaves no residue. I prefer it so much more to the retinoid in squalane. I use this every second night and my skin is smooth and soft when I wake up. Have already repurchased several times!

Saw a difference overnight - 20-11-2018 by

I literally used this once and then woke up with the smoothest skin I've ever seen! Crazy! I have semi-sensitive combination skin and was a little afraid of using a retinoid but this is very gently, yet still super effective. It's good for not only anti-aging but for smoothing out your skin and fading any marks. I only started using this once a week, then twice a week as suggested, but now I am going to start using it every 2 days and see how I go. I used it last night and my makeup applied SO beautifully this morning, a must have product for such a great price!

Miracle worker - 19-11-2018 by

My skin is so different in one week!
First time using retinol though I am a regular glycolic acid user so my skin is a bit tough.
The texture of my face is so smooth now and my wrinkles are only noticeable if I’m wearing makeup that settles into them.

Great value, great product - can I bathe in it! - 19-11-2018 by

Feels lovely on the skin, soaks in beautifully and in the morning face is brighter, tighter and softer! Very happy with this product and continue to purchase. I use every second night as I routine with a lactic acid/liquid gold treatment.

Seems to be good for pimples - 16-11-2018 by

I bought a few products at the same time and this was the only one that didn't have an instant effect. I think it has helped with blemishes though. I have sensitive skin but had no issues using this.

Good product - 16-11-2018 by

This is a good product and definitely worth a try given the price. Whilst I don't think this helped with my primary skin concern (stubborn acne), it does work really well to hydrate and prevent dullness, especially around the under-eye area. I believe this would be excellent for preventing wrinkles and ageing, as it is a wonderfully creamy product. I'll continue to use in conjunction with my normal acne treatments.

Great Results - 16-11-2018 by

Been using this for 3 weeks now. I suffer from the occasional break out but also have wrinkles around my eyes. I use this nightly and have seen a massive difference. My skin seems a lot smoother and more even skin tone and I'm shedding dead skin cells quite quickly. I haven't had any major break outs since. Highly recommend.

Amazing - 12-11-2018 by

Every night I use this I wake up with smoother and clearer skin. I’ve seen a massive difference in wrinkles around my eye area after using for just a few weeks!

Love it - 12-11-2018 by

My all time favourite serum!

Sooo good - 09-11-2018 by

I was a bit hesitant about buying this as I’m
Only 25 and assumed I wouldn’t see much different on my combination skin, but as soon as I put it on my skin soaks it up no issues and the next morning any acne scarring I had is gone and my skin is super clear! I’m only using it twice a week at the moment

A must have - 08-11-2018 by

This is a fantastic product to add to your skincare routine. I use it weekly and my skin always feels incredible when I wake the next morning! So soft and smooth, it's fantastic. This is the first retinol product I've used. I was a bit nervous to start as I have quite sensitive skin, but I have had no irritation or negative impact at all! I actually notice more tingling with the vit c and AHAs. I haven't been using long enough to speak to the anti aging results, but I have definitely noticed my skin is healthier, more glow-y, smooth and soft.

Lovely formula! - 07-11-2018 by

I have combination skin, and this product is formulated perfectly for me! Not greasy at all, but isn't drying either, so if I'm going through a dry skin phase it's generally not too much trouble. I wouldn't call it moisturising, though, so if I'm particularly dry and flakey this is really not enough on its own. Absolutely no redness/dryness/flaking that you'd normally associate with a retinoid product. I can't actually speak to its anti-ageing properties, though, because I'm only 19, and have been using it for like a year. At this price point, though, I would be happy with any tiny degree of anti-ageing!

The dropper bottle is not ideal, I have to say; I often knock it over by accident and lose half my product! Also leads to very quick oxidation, but this isn't an issue to me because I use the whole bottle within about 3 weeks (I use it on some of my body too as I have significant scarring and thought it might help - certainly seems to speed up the healing of lesions that haven't healed already, but not really useful to fade scars).

Would recommend - 07-11-2018 by

Not sure how well it works for me, but I think it has helped. I probably need to stick with it more religiously for a little longer. At its price point and being cruelty free I suggest giving it a go, different things work for different peoples skin. I’m 27 with fairly normal skin, prone to occasional hormonal breakouts.

This is such an amazing product - 05-11-2018 by

This has made a huge difference to my skin... tightened pores, improved hyperpigmentation and just in general looking more glowy. Ive just reordered my third bottle.
And the price as just cant go wrong

We'll see about the wrinkles! - 05-11-2018 by

I don't suffer from pigmentation, so I was mostly using this to see if it could help with regards to acne and anti-ageing. I haven't found it has made any impact on my hormonal acne, but I'm happy to give it a chance with regards to anti-ageing benefits. At 33 with oily skin and some extra weight, it's not so easy to measure those effects in a 10 month time span, but this product has no adverse effect so I'll keep using it!

THIS STUFF IS AMAZING - 31-10-2018 by

i saw an instant change in my (21) and my mums (51) skin. Absolutely amazing

Love it! - 31-10-2018 by

I ordered this for the first time from ADOREBEAUTY after seeing all the positive reviews and I must say it's amazing!
I wasn't sure how I would go, as I have sensitive skin, but I love it!
The thing I noticed the most is it gives my skin a glow that I didn't have previously and my skin isn't dull anymore.
Would definitely recommend and will continue to use .

Great product! - 30-10-2018 by

I am in my 30s and have normal to dry skin. I always hear things about the potential for Retinoids to be harsh and had never used one before. So I was pleasantly surprised by this! Not harsh smell, lovely texture and is absorbed very quickly. Follow the instructions of the bottle and product description and you can't go wrong!

No Difference - 30-10-2018 by

I have combination/oily skin prone to breakouts in my t-zone and dryness. Used a few of The Ordinary products religiously for over a month and noticed no difference at all. Would not purchase again or recommend

I'll never look back - 30-10-2018 by

I started my retinol regime with this product about a month ago. I REALLY LOVE THIS! The texture is light, non greasy at all. My skin texture is improving, A LOT. I'm unable to tell the difference as I see my own face everyday, but I'm very surprised when my husband (whom I met once in a month due to long distance relationship :( ) recognised the difference in my skin. He told me that my skin is much softer and even skin tone. I'm definitely going to stay with this product for a very long time.

Doesn't work - 30-10-2018 by

I really wanted to like this one since it has been really hyped up. It is not bad as such, and felt nice on the skin. Unfortunately it did not do anything to improve my skin at all. I have oily skin and find the Ordinary's retinol in squalane works much more effectively than this one.

Amazing serum, unbelievable price! - 30-10-2018 by

Love love love this product, I have been using it for a few months now and have noticed a massive change in the texture of my skin! It’s not drying at all and you only need a tiny bit so I haven’t even used a quarter of the jar yet!

Wake up to great skin - 29-10-2018 by

Use this at night and my skin always looks better in the morning!

Not what I wanted but a good retinoid - 29-10-2018 by

I bought this hoping it would help with keratosis Pilaris but it didn’t really make a difference over a few months. However I like using it under a night cream and I do notice scars/discolouration fades a little.

Life-changing and so cheap! - 29-10-2018 by

I bought this retinol cream after having used prescription retinoid creams for a couple of years. Firstly, if your skin concerns are more serious I highly recommend going to a doctor and seeing if they can help you, before trying your hand at any other skincare products. My skin has calmed down lately but I am still acne prone with noticeable scarring (also VERY sensitive with eczema patches). After using this, my acne got worse in the first week or two. But I stuck with it and now my skin has never looked better. It is so much less harsh on the skin than other retinoids - doesn’t dry me out or cause irritation or redness (for me, this is saying a lot). It has helped my scarring so much and while I still do get the occasional pimple, they are much smaller and less often and don’t scar nearly as much. My skin has never ever been so soft and clear and healthy looking. And all this, for less than 20 dollars! Compared to other retinoids on the market that I have used, this is amazing. I highly recommend trying this out.

Fantastic product - 29-10-2018 by

I’ve been using this product for about a year now. My main skin concerns are fine lines, pigmentation and the occasional breakout.
This product is quickly absorbed, extremely gentle for a retinoid and works, albeit gradually, to fade pigmentation, even skin tone and refresh a dull complexion. I haven’t had a breakout since I started using this.
Although my fine lines haven’t gotten any better they also haven’t gotten any worse.
Remember to always use SPF when using a retinol product as your skin will be very sensitive to UV.

Great starter retinoid - 26-10-2018 by

This product is liquidy, very spreadable, and not at all tacky, and is amazing for those who are just beginning to dip their toes into retinoids. It's not sensitizing or uncomfortable to use (provided you start out gradually), and is effective enough to help with hyperpigmentation and acne. On my combo skin, it has helped to reduce oil production as well. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to kickstart their anti-ageing skincare regimen!

No obvious difference - 26-10-2018 by

I had no negative reaction to this product (and have sensitive skin) but noticed no improvement to skin texture/ clarity

Amazing!! - 25-10-2018 by

This really helped with my skin overall, particularly with the texture. in combination with other products from the ordinary I found my skin healing much quicker. This is really amazing for the price.

The holy grail - 24-10-2018 by

If you are looking for a serum that you will see instant results you have found it. I bought this out of curiosity mainly because Kim Kardashian wears it so i must try it.BUT OH MY WORD it works! I love the price point and how effective this is. Within a few days my skin looked more supple and hydration was restored. 2 days in it was glowing and dewy! I have used more expensive products like la mer, and estee lauder and Dior serums but nothing was effective as this. I was actually really surprised the price point for the quality of the product. I have told so many of my friends about this and now everyone is on it. I have fair skin and combination skin type so i had no problems with an oily T zone which i do get quite often i felt the pH was restored. I will continue to use it. Just as a heads up this serum is quite tacky and a little goes a long way.

My dark spots seem less noticeable in only a week - 24-10-2018 by

I am not 100% certain if this product is totally responsible for my dark sun and age spots being less noticeable in only a week as I am using with Buffet. All I know is I am seeing a fantastic improvement in my skin's condition since using this after Buffet. I am excited to try other products in the range now and at these prices I actually can afford to.

My favorite Retinoid - 24-10-2018 by

I've been using the Retinoid in Squalene for a while now and am happy to be back using this emulsion. I by far prefer the texture and I've never had a negative reaction to this product.

I hope to use again and again!

Great budget retinol - 23-10-2018 by

Like all of the ordinary serums I have tried, this is a great budget staple. I'm not sure if I've experienced any radical results with this as much as I have with other products, but it's definitely a good serum for clear, radiant skin. Perhaps I need something stronger but the 2% is a nice moderate retinol perfect for beginners or moderate users. For reference, I'm 27 with fairly normal, sometimes slightly sensitive skin. I get no irritation or tingling from this. I probably prefer my Skinstitut retinol serum though that I bought on adorebeauty.

Don't hesitate...go for it! - 23-10-2018 by

I was skeptical of this product given the hype it has received on social media lately, plus I have never believed in "anti-aging" claims. UNTIL NOW.
I have been using this for a week now (before bed after cleansing and moisturising) and It has already significantly diminished frown lines and my complexion has come to life! My skin feels like silk the next morning and I have already been complimented on the difference in my face! It lasts for ages as you literally don't need any more than a pea sized amount to cover your whole face.
I have sensitive acne prone skin (which is clear now thanks to Clinique and The Ordinary Salicylic Acid)...and this product did not hurt or irritate my skin at all.
Seriously, if you're on the fence about this, TRY IT!

Love!! - 22-10-2018 by

I love this product. Love love love it. It's the first time I've used any sort of retinol, and so far I've had no issues with it irritating my skin. What I have noticed is how amazingly clear my skin looks on the mornings after I use it (using it three nights a week). My scarring is definitely less noticeable, and the general texture of my skin is so much better since I've been using this product. I'd give it 6 stars if I could!

Good but not life changing - 19-10-2018 by

I've been experimenting with this product in conjunction with the THE ORDINARY HYALURONIC ACID 2% + B5 that i use every night and incorporate this product 2 nights a week. I have to say that I like it but I don't know if has made a major difference in my skin. I know that I feel hydrated and good the next morning but I have been on again off again with it and I can definitely say that once you skip a week your skin goes back to the way it was before you've used the product.

Better than more expensive counterparts - 18-10-2018 by

I cannot love this product anymore. I've used retinols in the past, which is why I was excited to try this, this uses a retinoate, which is easier for the skin to break down into retinoic acid. This means no irritation.
Other brands can charge well over $200 for a product with retinoate, so I'm super happy to have found this!

If you love retinol but don't want the irritation, give this a shot. I've noticed a dramatic difference in my skins tone and texture.

Great for large pores and redness - 18-10-2018 by

All my life, I have had large pores and red cheeks. Nothing I have tried (in my price range) has helped. I have used the Granactive Retinoid for three months now and my pores, while still visible, have shrunk considerably and I am not as red. I am really really happy with this product

Love! - 18-10-2018 by

I looooove this product. I have dabbled in straight retinol since my early 20s but my sensitive skin just can't handle it. Some retinols have irritated my skin so badly it's taken months to recover. Not this stuff! This is probably the single most effective product I've ever used in terms of a noticeable difference in my skin. Softens fine lines quickly, evens skin tone, plumps skin. I use it on my hands and décolletage, plus anywhere on my body that is prone to lumps and bumps (e.g. keratosis pilaris on my upper arms or to prevent irritation after shaving). This stuff has never irritated my skin, and I have rosacea and psoriasis so that is really saying something!

Next generation! - 17-10-2018 by

A highly advanced form of retinoid that reduces signs of ageing and isn't irritating to the skin. I use it 2 or 3 times a week, at night, and my skin tone and fine lines have visibly improved. I only wish it came in a higher strength.

Gentle retinoid treatment - 16-10-2018 by

This is great for anyone new to retinoids as it's gentle and not too drying. As long as you're not expecting overnight results (ie: could take months to see any valuable changes) then this is a valuable tool in any anti-aging arsenal.

I could not be more in love - 16-10-2018 by

I have noticed a big difference in my skin tone and general appearance since using this product. I’m a big fan of The Ordinary in general and this would be my favourite product. My main skin concerns are pigmentation, fine lines, and dullness and I’ve seen improvements since adding this retinol into my regime :)

I use it on my decolletage and arms - 15-10-2018 by

I only use Liquid Gold on my face so I bought this to try on my body, mainly due to the price and great reviews. It use every few days and it works great on my arms, neck and decolletage areas!! Would definitely recommend - love the dropper too.

Great product if you want to start with Retinol - 15-10-2018 by

This was my first experience with derivate of Vitamin A as I was recommended this as the product with moderate strength with no irritation to start with. I love that it contains Squalane that hydrates the skin as well. I have been using it every night since I purchased it ( 5 months ago ) together with same brand Vit C and
their moisturiser (am) And can see that my skin is more illuminate and looks healthy. This is an amazing product with great result and no side effects. Next step for me is to purchased 5% to add it into my regime.

Husband made a comment that the past few days I look fresh - 15-10-2018 by

Love it! My skin feels firmer, starting to notice clearer skin and pigmentation seems to be lessening. Using in conjunction with three other ordinary products. Heading over to do a second order, then doing a total bathroom cleanout.

IN LOVE - 15-10-2018 by

I can't tell for sure if this particularly has improved my skin (I'm also using the 2% salicylic acid), but my skin looks brighter and clearer within the past week of regular use. I wasn't expecting any immediate effects- I was getting this more as a preventative for winkles and plan on getting the 5% retinoid to use once every two weeks- but I really think the combination of using this and salicylic acid has done wonders for my skin.

Glowing - 15-10-2018 by

I was a bit skeptical with this at first because I broke out on the areas I tested it out. But because of the great reviews I decided to stop testing it out on parts of my skin and applied it to my whole face at my own risk and woke up to a pleasant surprise the next morning. My skin glows every time I use this product and I have received so many compliments on it!
However the bottle gets stiffer and more difficult to open (probably something to do with the chemical reaction).

Q & A
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