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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%

Great first timer retinoid

I was looking to add retinol to my routine and read how great The Ordinary is. I love it, its super nice to put on and it's helped heaps with breakouts in the first month of use and my skin looks so fresh
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%
The Ordinary
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

Not quite what I expected

I am kinda used to that ‘sting’ that Retinol products give. This product didn’t have this, only very slightly. Haven’t seen as dramatic results so far as other retinol products, but will keep using and see if it holds up.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%
The Ordinary
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%


I find this to be a great retinol product to use on alternate nights when I dont want to use my full strength retinol. Its nice and gentle.

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