Shop Retinol

Using Retinol in your skincare routine is a great way to even out a blotchy skin tone, reduce pigmentation, improve skin texture, and minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Some derivatives of Retinol can be applied directly to the skin, allowing you to enjoy the endless benefits of Vitamin A with lessened irritation.

The Ordinary offers a selection of treatments and serums enriched with Retinol. These products can have dramatic results on an ageing complexion and improve its general health and beauty.

What is the difference between Vitamin A and Retinol?
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that naturally occurs in the skin, whilst Vitamin A is naturally present in many foods.

What is Retinol, and how does it work?
Vitamin A is important for cell production and growth. Incorporating a Retinol-based product into your skincare routine can help with evening skin tone, reducing the appearance of pores, and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. Certain derivatives of Retinol are known to cause less irritation to sensitive skins. These tend to be more suitable for those who have not used a Retinol-based product before, or find Retinol in its pure form to be too active.

Which skin types is Retinol best for?
There are many benefits of applying Retinol onto the skin. However, this potent ingredient is not suitable for all skin types. Normal, combination, oily, and ageing skin types are the best targets for Retinol, especially if they suffer from acne or breakouts. Those with sensitive skin should avoid Retinol-based products, which can cause irritation.

Retinol is recommended and beneficial for most skin types, but sensitive skins do need to be careful with Vitamin-A-based products.

Do’s and don’ts of Retinol
Incorporating Retinol into your skincare routine is a step that should not be taken lightly. This high-potency ingredient can cause irritation and sun sensitivity on all complexions if used incorrectly.

  • DO apply Retinol at night-time after cleansing. It should not be used in the day, as it increases sun sensitivity, which can lead to potential UV damage.
  • DO apply a moisturiser or hydrating serum afterwards if the Retinol leaves skin feeling overly dry.
  • DON’T apply Retinol after exfoliation, as skin is too vulnerable.
  • DON’T use alongside other active ingredients.

Is Retinol good for acne?
Vitamin A encourages skin-cell renewal, so Retinol-based products are great for acne-prone skin. They can help to rid skin of dead-cell build-up, prevent congestion, and also help to regulate the amount of oil produced by the skin.

Is Retinol good for scars and pigmentation?
With continued use, Retinol-based products can effectively reduce the appearance of scarring and pigmentation. Retinol helps to boost cellular turnover for a fresher complexion.

Is Retinol good for rosacea?
Retinol-based products are not recommended for those who suffer from rosacea, as this ingredient can cause further irritation and encourage flare-ups. Instead, reach for calmer active ingredients that help to reduce inflammation.

Is Retinol comedogenic?
Retinol is non-comedogenic, so it will not cause skin congestion.

Is Retinol good for wrinkles?
Retinol is known for being one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients, not just for preventing ageing but also for reversing the existing signs. With continued use, Retinol-based products can help to minimise the appearance and depth of fine lines, wrinkles, and expression lines.

Is Retinol good for dark spots?
Retinol encourages skin cell turnover and, therefore, helps to even out and brighten any dark spots on the skin.

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Recent reviews on Retinol products

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%
The Ordinary
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

Gentle Retinoid

I'm in my 30s and just had a baby so my skin wasn't exactly in the best condition. I find this retinol has smoothed out my skin and given it some life again (even with minimal sleep!). I find it quite gentle on the skin and use it every night (along with the ordinary moisturiser and buffet serum).
The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in SqualaneThe Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
The Ordinary
The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane


I Absolutely this product and I’ve just been using it for 13 days!
They say not expect results within 3-6 months, however at my firs week I already felt a massive improvement!
I have sensitive dry skin, and when my period comes always appears 4 pimple in my chicks and some more in my chin, always in the same spots and they are living me marks ☹
However with this, I felt my skin has improved, the scars are already lighter and no new spots, my period just arrived after a week using this product!
Also I’ve noticed my pores are a bit less visible.
I haven’t felt any secondary effect in my skin, no irritation or anything at all.
So after a month I’ll definitely buy the 0.5% as my skin tolerates it very well.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%
The Ordinary
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

Great serum

I like this a lot! I’ve added it into my evening routine and I think it’s really helping reduce sunspots and scarring on my face.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in SqualaneThe Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane
The Ordinary
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

Good but didn't work well on my acne scars.

I bought this product to target my acne scars as I was recommended incorporating retinol into my skincare routine. It is a good product generally speaking but I haven't found it to really help much with my acne scars. I know retinol takes time to show effects but even so, 6 months of using it and I'm not overly impressed with the results. That being said, I don't hate the product either. I will continue using it as I still have almost a whole left but it could just be that my acne scars didn't respond to the product as I had hoped (rather than the product itself being bad).

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