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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% 30ml

4.6 of 534 reviews


4 instalments of $4.48


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4 instalments of $4.48


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  • 20s
  • 30s
  • 40s
  • 50+

Eye Concern:

  • Age Prevention
  • Deep Lines

Skin Concern:

  • Acne, breakouts and blackheads
  • Dull, dry or dehydrated skin
  • First signs of ageing
  • Pigmentation, uneven skin tone
  • Wrinkles and loss of firmness

Skin Type:

  • Dry
  • Normal to dry
  • Normal to oily
  • Oily

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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 of 534 reviews

94% recommend this product

  1. 37

  2. 11

  3. 5

  4. 0

  5. 0

Most Helpful Positive

Love this!


I absolutely love this product I definitely feel as if it does everything, it clears blemishes as well as firms my skin, I use it nightly on its own and feel that I don’t need anything else. My skin always looks clear as well as plump which is amazing!

Most Helpful Criticism



I'm just not sure about this product. I love the brand for the cheap price point but I didn't notice much of a difference using it on my skin.
  1. Love this!


    I absolutely love this product I definitely feel as if it does everything, it clears blemishes as well as firms my skin, I use it nightly on its own and feel that I don’t need anything else. My skin always looks clear as well as plump which is amazing!
  2. Fantastic product


    Excellent - it gives minimal irritation despite it being a retinoid. I love how it smooths my skin overnight
  3. Excellent product


    I've been using this for a couple of months in conjunction with a few other serums from the ordinary. This is my favourite one by far. It smoothes the skin gently exfoliates. It doesn't sting - for reference, i have combination skin but more on the dry side. This, combined with the lactic acid twice a week has made a huge difference to the smoothness, clarity and look of my skin.
  4. Good intro to retinol


    This was the first retinol I started using consistently. I like it's not so strong that it dries out the skin or it peels. I use it every second night. I haven't used it long enough to see dramatic results but it does help with keeping my skin clear.
  5. Can't go wrong with Vitamin A


    I was told by a beautician that Vitamin A helped with acne-prone skin and I haven't looked back since using this. I use it only at night and interchangeably with Alpha Lipoic Acid and it has definitely helped control my breakouts and with my overall complexion. Be careful with this one though if you have sensitive skin, might be good to spot test first.
  6. hyperpigmentation hero


    This has worked really well on my acne scarred skin! It's reduced hyperpigmentation by a lot!
  7. Great for hormonal breakouts!


    I'm 42 years old and have been experiencing hormonal breakouts about 3 or 4 days before my period. Nasty pimples around my nose and cheeks that disappear after my period starts, but it's 4 or so days of yucky and painful acne. This product has been a godsend for this time of month. If I apply at night, the next morning the acne is really minimised.
    I did have a period of "purge" which for me was peeling skin under my nose. This occasionally happens, but it's not a massive issue. This has most definitely helped me a lot and I really missed it when I recently ran out. Recommended!
  8. Great serum


    I accidentally ordered this instead of one of the other retinoid serums from The Ordinary and I love it! Its a lovely light texture and absorbs quickly. My 50 year old face is not looking too bad using Buffet in the morning and this at night followed by a face oil. Love it!
  9. Part of my nightly routine


    I began using this along with a few other products from The Ordinary and after a consultant suggested this as a first time retinoid user. I use this as part of my night routine and I wake up with my skin looking brighter and a lot less red then it used to. Would definitely recommend.
  10. Effective


    Non irritating and effective. My wrinkles around the eyes and frown lines have definitely softened. I'll continue using this strength for the next 6 to 12 months, then switch to the 5% strength to see how that goes.
  11. Such an Improvement in texture and feel of skin.


    This product has been great so far. I have noticed such an improvement in the texture of my skin, its so soft. I have been using every second day. It did dry my skin a bit if used on a daily basis, every second day works better for me. Will keep using, I think it's great.
  12. Cheap


    I'm just not sure about this product. I love the brand for the cheap price point but I didn't notice much of a difference using it on my skin.
  13. Great product repeat order


    Love this this brand sits in my bedside ready to use every night
  14. You need this in your skin care routine!!!


    Having had used other retinoid products before I was pretty reluctant to give this a go, I can't turn back now. This is a must have and will change the way your skin looks and feels - obviously go gently when first using but once your skin Is use to it you will be hooked! The ordinary products are amazing and super great value for money!
  15. Nightime essential


    I use this product every night and it has done wonders for my skin. Would recommend to everyone. Great product, great brand.
  16. Nice retinol serum


    I bought this a while back and I am still using this now. It doesn't cause any irritation at all and I find that it does help with my acne. It leaves my skin feeling moisturised as well, not drying at all. It's great for beginners new to retinol.
  17. not too drying for a retinol


    I have fairly sensitive skin, so am slowly easing myself into this, paired with a few serums and lots of SPF. So far ok, feels good and not causing any bad flakiness yet - using twice per week. Will increase, have heard its got great benefits so looking forward to it. So far so good for a retinol as others make me flake.
  18. Being a freelancer


    Seriously great results! After day 3 of applying at night after my cleanser and wiping my face clean in the morning, I am loving this product. My skin has that after-a-run-glow or fasting glow. I did buy 3 vials when I ordered, to gift and share. A friend who has great skin once recommended this brand to me - I wish I had of got onto it earlier.
  19. The best product I’ve ever used


    I have had acne/blemishes for years. I’ve had stubborn congestion on both sides of my cheeks from where i used to have acne. No matter what I used, I could never get rid of it. Until I discovered this product! Ive been using it for just over a week, and my skin is almost completely clear of blemishes and my stubborn congestion is almost completely!! My skin hasn’t looked this clear, since before puberty lol
    This is by far the best product I’ve ever used for my blemishes and I will continue to use religiously!!!
  20. Incredible


    Have been using this nightly for about 12 months, and my skin is so smooth! I'm in my 30s, and this was my first foray into retinoids. Great place to start. Low irritation, but great results if you give it time! I use this with TO niacinamide 10%, and a bland moisturiser (from cerave) over the top, every night.
  21. Affordable product of excellent quality for adult acne!


    I suddenly started having acne this year at the age of 29 despite never having it as a teenager. I was previously on a routine with a combination of AHA / BHA and decided to swap over to something more targeted for acne.

    I bought this and the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and after a month it has definitely helped to clear up my acne. I'm down to about 1-2 spots at any given time which is much better than it had been.

    I've reordered both and I'm glad to have found a solution at a decent cost with fast order dispatch and shipping. I found the reviews and responses to how to layer the products really helpful too - thank you!
  22. Not drying like other retinols


    This is a great beginner form of retinol has it causes little to no irritation. With that though, means that it isn't very potent and effects are minimal. I would possibly go a higher strength and dilute it with moisturiser to begin with then slowly take out the moisturiser.
  23. Love this retinol!


    I think this used to be called "Advanced Retinoid" and I'm so glad I found that out as I was worried they discontinued this. I prefer this emulsion consistency to the oil based ones as I don't like to feel oily. I use this twice a week at night, and the morning after I apply this my skin feels smooth and looks much less dull. When I first got this I went overboard and used it every night - don't do this! It'll make your skin "purge" and have crazy dry patches and pimples and bumps.
  24. Thumbs up


    Skin looks nice & healthy after this, have had it for a while.
    Also have the 5% in squalene and can say that I like the 2% better. As someone who has severe scarring from acne, this definitely has helped over time to heal the skin.
  25. Ineffective


    I wanted to love this serum as I love most products from The Ordinary, however I saw no change in my skin after finishing a whole bottle of this. Prior to this I hadn't used retinol/retinoid products so I was expecting to see at least some change in my skin from this but unfortunately this did nothing.
  26. 3rd week using and seeing a big difference


    This product making my skin sing. Loving how much this has already helped with fine lines
  27. Look no further than THIS for your night serum!


    HOLY HECK! This works wonders! I notice a difference in my fine lines and skin tone within two weeks! I use this religiously and have even conned my husband into using this! I an 29, he is 31 and we LOVE what we see in the way of our fine line correction! I also use the BUFFET serum AM + PM along with the moisturiser! This is a winning combination!
  28. Skin refresh

    Jo Jo

    I added this to my night care to reduce redness and it really does the job. With acne prone skin and dry areas, I constantly have new scarring from small breakouts, but this calms it all down and by morning it looks healed and smooth. I ran out of retinoid for a week and my skin just couldn't settle down, so this is a cornerstone!

    I use Niacinamide, then HA, then Retinoid, followed by Moisturising factors. If I've toned with Glycolic acid, I skip the retinoid.
  29. Quality and cost effective


    I am in my early 30s and have combination skin. This is my second time buying this product. I have bought other, more expensive retinols in the past, and haven't found any of them have had noticeable results, however I find that this definitely helps to reduce breakouts, so for the price I'm very happy. I haven't noticed any sensitivity or irritation, and use it every second night.
  30. Pretty good


    I think it’s good. I’ve been using it for a month and haven’t seen any drastic results but it hasn’t caused any issues.
  31. Great!


    To find a retinol at this price is remarkable! They usually cost over $100. So I am very happy with this. I will be buying again!
  32. Great product


    I have to say it is really great in anti ageing. Very gentle. I had used it for five months and really noticed lines reduced. My skin becomes smooth and tight. I have breakouts on my face but this product doesn't cause any irritation. I also apply it on my spots.
  33. Good


    This product feels really nice when applying. I have found that it has smoothed my skin out a fair bit
  34. Takes some getting use to but so worth it


    I had some purging initially causing slight breakout on the skin where i notally get congestion.. but I also found my blackheads were really loose.. like just wanting to fall out with a little exfoliation. It is hard to tell what product is working cause I started The Ordinary at the one time... but I feel like this is doing stuff.
    Don't over do it and burn your skin.
    I use it only once or twice a week and that works for me. I started using everyday and that was too much for me.
    Stay with this product cause it is fantastic. 3 weeks in and im loving it
  35. 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).
  36. 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.
  37. A great intro product


    This is my first experience using Retinol and I have to say I think this product is a good introduction to it. I am 40+ but am lucky enough not to have wrinkles or fine lines (yet!) and I’m hoping this subtle retinol will help stave them off for a while yet. I also don’t have sensitive skin and don’t experience the tingling sensation that others have mentioned. It actually feels like it’s soaking in as soon as I apply it rather than sitting on top of the skin. My skin is clear and dare I say glowing! Will be continuing to use this product in my regime.
  38. Does exactly what I’d hoped


    I’m new to Retinol & occasionally have sensitive skin so was a little nervous about this. No need to be! This did exactly what I’d hoped it would, no reactions & after using for a month I’m really happy with the results.. My skin is smoother & my lines are reduced..
  39. Not sure


    It feels nice to apply and I have no irritation, not sure if it is doing anything yet
  40. Incredible


    This feels beautifully tingly when applied and the results speak for themselves. The low price aside, this product is a must for women of all ages!
  41. Amazing product amazing price!


    This stuff is great really noticed a difference with my skin texture and works well for my olive oily/combo skin.
    Much rather it in the emulsion solution over the squaline too less greasy!
  42. Great


    I use this with vitimin C and it's been great. My skin is smooth and clear.
  43. Good for hydration/skin texture, unsure about oily skin


    I have quite oily skin. I have found this okay. I have repurchased as it is a great price for the ingredients but do avoid putting it on if I have a day the next day for makeup.
  44. High quality, good value retinoid


    I use this second nightly, along with the ordinary the buffet. The other night I use NeoStrata GelPlus and in the mornings I use the buffet and vit c. I have kept this regime up for 3 months and am so impressed. I have combination skin, in my mid 30s. I have found I have much plumper, clearer and smoother skin. This was my first retinoid, I didn’t start with anything lighter and have been just fine. No dryness or redness, and I would estimate I use a quarter of a teaspoon and I do get a slight sting but only for a few minutes. Will definitely be keeping this up and repurchasing.
  45. I love this product!


    This product is so affordable compared to other Retinoid products. It feels amazing on my skin and I can already see improvements on my blemishes. No skin irritation at all.This product really exceeded my expectations. I will definitely continue to purchase it.
  46. Not good for my dry skin


    After reading so many good reviews i bought it but no luck .It made my skin extremely dry and patchy because my skin is already gets too dry in winters..In my opinion only good for normal and oil skin.
  47. Amazing


    I love using this retinoid at night. My fine lines have diminished and my acne scarred have lightened and my skin is left plump
  48. good for sensitive skin


    I have been using this one for the last couple of years and have noticed a decrease in my forehead lines, smoother skin texture and less blemishes. I don't have a reaction to this !!
  49. GLOWING!


    This product has left my skin glowing! I use it every night as one of the last steps in my routine and it sinks into your skin almost instantly but still leaving you feeling hydrated. I wake up in the morning with crazy bright skin and my makeup goes on so well because of it. I have been using for 3 weeks - so will see how it goes on other aspects like pigmentation etc.
  50. Effective anti ageing product


    I use this a few times a week at night, skin is more even toned and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is reduced. Like all TO products this is great value for money and a long lasting product.
  51. pigmentation improved, acne still happening


    Skin type: combination
    Skin concerns: uneven skin tone, comedones, acne
    Product review: I've used this emulsion every second day for about 4 months and feel that it has helped to even out my skin tone. I used to have a lot more comedones on my forehead, but this has definitely reduced since starting to use this product. A little goes a long way and 2-3 drops covers my whole face well. I find this formula non-irritating and it spreads easily. Would recommend and will likely be buying it again.
  52. great starting retinol


    I have acne prone skin and my skin was very dull with scaring and I have fine lines
    have been using this every night and has been great
    this has not taken my acne away but has helped with the texture of my skin and scaring and definately has not made my acne worse
    i don't mind the sticky texture as it stops feeling sticky quickly
    definately reccomend
    love the ordinary
  53. Good formula


    This is an amazing anti ageing product and it gives me smooth, plump and healthy skin and reduces the appearance of my forehead lines. My acne scars have also lightened over time due to this product. Definitely recommend it!
  54. Review & Earn

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