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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

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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.

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Reviews (105)
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Amazing and affordable - 18-06-2018 by

I purchased this after reading all of the glowing reviews, not quite believing that it could live up to the hype, but it has. My skin looks so good!

Good for dry skin - 18-06-2018 by

I have dry skin so I bought this as I read that it was milder on the skin than other retinoid products. The first few times I used this it stung my skin quite a bit, especially on my cheeks and near my eyes. I found this was easier to apply if I mixed it with a little snail serum (cosrx) before application, just as my skin was getting used to it. Now that I've been using it for a few months (twice a week) I can apply it straight to my face and neck and there is still a mild tingling but no stinging. I'm not sure that it's reduced my wrinkles or made my skin brighter, but you do have to persist for a while with mild retinoid products like this. I have found that if I have the beginning of a pimple and I use this product, it reduces or gets rid of it by the next morning, likely because of the retinoid's exfoliating properties.
I have recommended this to friends as a first retinoid, but may graduate to something stronger when I finish this bottle.

Smooth and feels nice - 16-06-2018 by

Purchased this product after reading a guide about adding retinol to your skin routine to help prevent fine lines and retain moisture as you approach 30+. This product is very affordable so I thought I’d give it a try and I’m quite happy with it. A little goes a long way and it absorbs quickly into your skin, so despite being time poor this was easy to add to my evening skin routine.

Great price and right ingredients! - 16-06-2018 by

I have a lot of respect for this brand as a lot of others charge an arm and a leg for the EXACT same active ingredient. It is simple and thats why the product works- no added, worthless ingredients to plump up the ingredient list and make it seem ok for brands to charge $$$$. I find it has smoothed out pigmentation problems I have had and reduced fines lines on my forehead. Make sure you increase SPF protection with it.

Definitely a product and a brand you should get behind!!

Affordable and effective anti-aging for all! - 14-06-2018 by

This is the holy grail of all skin care. I have used this for a few weeks now and my skin has not looked better. It is not super harsh on the skin like other retinoid products, however do be careful with the sun exposure whilst using this!

It is a great anti-aging product, that helps the skin feel more soft, smooth and subtle. I can notice a reduction in fine forehead lines and my skins feels supple and hydrated. The formula is almost like a milky serum and isn't too heavy on the skin.


Affordable retinoid serum - 12-06-2018 by

I purchased (and re-purchased) the TO serum under the former name, Advanced Retinoid 2%. This was my first retinoid product and I wasn't sure how my skin would react to it. It's fantastic! I didn't suffer from any irritation or break out luckily. I used this sparingly at first, once a week building up to 2-3 times a week. It is a light yellow milky emulsion and applies on very lightweight and layers well under other serums and moisturisers. This is one of the more affordable retinol products I've tried and likely to re-purchase again.

Works on scarring - 11-06-2018 by

I've been using the Granactive Retinoid for 2 months now and I can definately see a difference in my skin. My scarring has started to go down and slowly fade away. My skin and neck feel super smooth in the mornings. Best part is that a small amount goes a long way.

It's very nice. - 11-06-2018 by

I use this every second night. My face looks so smooth and bright I am so happy with the results!
But do NOT use vit C with this. I used the powder TO has and my skin starred to burn and I had to wipe it all off

Unsure on the wrinkles, work on the blemishes - 08-06-2018 by

I have only been using this product for about 9months. I'm not sure at how well it is performing it's anti-aging functions (i.e. wrinkle prevention), but it has certainly helped with blemishes (along with the Niacinamide) and does not irritate my skin.

I alternate this product in the PM with Paula's Choice BHA exfoliant.

worked - but be careful of facial waxing - 05-06-2018 by

i really loved using this product, it feels really nice to apply and didn't leave my skin feeling super dry or irritated. this was my first retinoid product that ive used so i didnt go into this knowing everything, i went and got my facial waxing done and woke up the next morning to the darkest pigmentation ive ever had and after some research, i now know that you should not get any facial waxing while using any retimoid products, so thats definitely something to consider while using.

I wanted so long for this! - 04-06-2018 by

I waited so long for this to be in stock, so happy I caught it when it was briefly back in stock. I really like the formula, it soaks in fast. I can't for the long term results.

I love this stuff. - 04-06-2018 by

This little bottle is just awesome. It make my skin brighter and reduced the huge pores I had on my nose. I now buy several bottles at a time to avoid running out!

WORTH THE WAIT - 31-05-2018 by

I'm a huge fan of The Orindary and this was probably the longest I had to wait for stock to come back in but it is absolutely worth the wait. Seeing all these positive reviews, I was a bit skeptical to try it for myself. But even with first use, you do notice brighter complexion and smoother texture. Day 2, you notice your skin looks more plump and day 3, my skin hasn't looked this good in a long time. I can't wait to see what it'll achieve in weeks to come so ladies, such an effective retinol product at this price is a chance not to be missed!

Finally got my hand on it! - 31-05-2018 by

I have been waiting so long go get my hands on this product and as soon as Adore beauty got it in stock I brought it so fast and I am so happy I did! I like the formula and how it applys. 3rd use and I am in love. I can't wait to see the ongoing benefits!

Impressed so far! - 28-05-2018 by

Wow! i have only used this product twice and am already seeing a difference in my skin.What i noticed instantly is how smooth my skin is feeling.Feels lovely on the skin and easy to apply.I’m looking forward to continue use of this product to help with some pigmentation and a few fine lines.Will review again in a few weeks but so far am very impressed with this serum-and the price is unbeatable!

Wonderful product for those new to retinoids - 20-05-2018 by

I've been using this product for a few months now after hearing so many good things about it, and I'm seriously impressed!

My skin went through a purging stage for a couple of weeks where I had quite a few pimples pop up (they warn you about this when first starting on a retinol, your skin can get worse before it gets better), and now that that's over my skin looks flawless.

My pores are reduced in size, my skin is glowing and smooth, and I haven't gotten any more pimples (I'm very prone to breakouts!).

Another huge bonus is the price point, it's so affordable for such a quality product.

I've now gotten my mum onto using this who is also seeing awesome results, and we'll both continue to buy it!

A good starter - 18-05-2018 by

I've used this for a year and I think it's a good allrounder and one to start off with, I tried the 1% but this caused a rash on many occasion. I'd like to try the others with squareness.

Amazing! - 18-05-2018 by

This product actually works - it seems to slow down acne formation, reduce oil production and improve fine lines! Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't tried it myself.

So glad i added this to my skincare routine! - 17-05-2018 by

I have been using this for about 3 months and what a noticeable difference! It dosnt dry out my skin, and my pores look smaller

The jury is still out.. - 16-05-2018 by

I really wanted to love this product as I have read and heard so many great things about this brand, but after a few weeks I'm just not sure it's actually doing much. If anything, I feel like it could be making my skin purge as I seem to find more little spots coming to the surface the following day after use, but I'm not noticing any of the results I expected to see after reading all the reviews here. Will keep at it and use the rest of the bottle (maybe it needs longer to work) but if results don't change I probably won't repurchase.

Very gentle retinoid great for starters - 13-05-2018 by

This is probably the most gentle retinoid I've ever used. Doesn't leave my skin tight and dry like most. Easy to apply, it has really helped brighten my skin. Also the price is really amazing! Most retinoid products are insanely expensive. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a gentle way to reverse the signs of aging.

Very good - 12-05-2018 by

I've been using this product on and off for about a year, and I really like it! I believe retinoids are a "long term investment" so I'm not really focusing on the results I see now, but what will hopefully be long-term anti-aging effects. I find the texture very pleasant and my skin feels soft after using it, with no irritation. I use it 2-3 times a week, alternating with acid-based products. The price is the cherry on top that makes it a must-have for almost any skincare routine.

New User, Happy So Far - 12-05-2018 by

I've only been using this product for about 2 weeks, every second night but I have been really enjoying it so far. I get a lot of under the surface congestion/pimples and am surprised to have seen that this actually has really been helping with it! Skin texture is smoother and less pink. Will definitely be continuing with regular use

Great in small doses - 11-05-2018 by

I was so excited to get my hands on this product because it is a fraction of the cost of other retinoid treatments I've purchased, and seemed like it could be a little more gentle (which I need!).
My skin is combination and can get really congested around my chin, as well as feeling a bit thick and dull overall. This product noticeably brightened my complexion after a few weeks, but I have also had some of that patchy redness/dryness that I've seen with other retinoid products. I will keep using it but I need a stronger moisturiser to counteract that dryness.

Prevention is the key - 10-05-2018 by

It's a really milky but light serum with no scent. I don't have deep wrinkles so I use this more for prevention and to hide some fine lines on my forehead. It's really nice serum to use at night and I haven't noticed any irritation to my skin. Great product for an even better price!

Love it - 10-05-2018 by

Have been using this for almost a month now, and i can say i can definitely feel that my skin seems more plump! I use it after cleansing and before putting on my rich moisturiser at night.

I have acne prone, combination and dehydrated skin and this product did not break me out which is great.

I was a skeptic as i know Kim K uses this serum but to be honest it actually seems to be working for me.

At this price it is definitely an option for you to buy it and see if it will work with your skin.

Noticed no change waste of moneu - 08-05-2018 by

Have been using for two weeks now and have noticed no change what so ever, if anything it’s made my skin worse. Not sure why all the great reviews did nothing for my skin :(

Have repurchased three times! - 08-05-2018 by

Love this product for a few times a week. Makes my skin feel renewed!

Love this product - 08-05-2018 by

I am 59 with normal skin type with a couple of small spots of skin discolouration on my face and have been looking for that little "extra something" to add to my night time beauty routine and I found it. It can be a little bit daunting browsing The Ordinary products for the first time but once you read about the products you soon find the right one for you. I use it in conjunction with The Buffet and the Hylauronic Acid 2% and I am so happy with all of them. I also finish my routine with The Ordinary Maula Oil which I love!! But I have to say just using this product on its own is also amazing. Would really say to anyone give it a try, for the price tag, you just can't go wrong!!

Wow! worth the hype - 08-05-2018 by

I absolutely love this product! I always ensure i have a spare in the cupboard because the ordinary products are so highly sought after. Since using this retinoid my pigmentation has substantially reduced and my skin has a fresher look to it.

Just get it! - 08-05-2018 by

Just buy this serum already!

I decided I needed to incorporate a serum into my routine and got this after reading the reviews and seeing the bargain-basement price I figured I didn't have much to lose.

I have combination mis-30s skin and I use this nightly under rosehip oil. My skin is so plumped and dewy and it helps to clear blemishes too. I've been using for almost 2 months now and no irritation or sensitivity (I did use it only every second night for a week or so, but my skin easily handles this nightly).

I'm such a convert to The Ordinary now, love it!

Botox in a bottle - 08-05-2018 by

I have fairly sensitive skin so was a little worried trying this product but I needn't have worried. No irristation at all, and noticed a subtle blurring of my fine lines and imperfections in a matter of weeks.
I use it every third night with the rosehip oil and my skin has been fab, I even went out without make up today!

Amazing - 07-05-2018 by

This has made a difference to my pigmentation in just a few weeks. My skin is noticeably smoother and more even. So much cheaper then other serums im using and really packs a punch.

Retinoid without the oil - 07-05-2018 by

I like this and alternate with the 1% retinol by TO. I prefer this on my "greasy" days and when i want to use a heavier moisturiser and not have any oil. It sinks in much faster than the squalene solutions and i can layer more on after. A great solution for oily guys and gals. I just wish the 1% retinol came in the emulsion!!!

Ordinary is great - 07-05-2018 by

I have many The Ordinary products and recently purchased this one. I love the feel as I use it before bed. It is not super oily and my skin is liking the product.

Nice - 30-04-2018 by

I've been using this every other night after cleansing and before my Marula Oil. It's really helped with smoothing my skin and gradually fading my acne scars.
I'm lucky enough to not suffer from any wrinkles (yet!) but have noticed very very faint frown lines have disappeared!

I would definitely continue using this

The best - 30-04-2018 by

Had on and off acne. Medication from dermatologist also dint work. Everytime I have acne I leaves dark spots even though acne reduces. But I have used this product from ordinary on my face at bedtime after moisturising my face, and this product is amazing. It not only reduced my acne but also clearing my acne spots. And this is the review after using the product for only 3 days .!!!! I highly recommend this product.

Works well - 29-04-2018 by

Fine lines around my mouth are less prominent, and acne scars on my chin are faded. Skin looks and feels plumper. I've been using it 4 nights a week. Doesn't smell great.

awesome - 29-04-2018 by

I am 55 years old and have pigmented bits on my sin, this works wonders.. Its non greasy and I use it at night before bed nd makes my skin look and feel wonderful. I would highly recommend this wonderful product, I did a search for reviews on retinol and this as recommended and the price..awesome..

Must have for your skincare regimen - 29-04-2018 by

I currently read a big article about this product and saw that Kim Kardashian was highly recommending it. Most celebrities do rave about certain products and they’re only doing it for the pay but wow I’m actually shocked on how well this works. I instantly noticed a difference in my skin was much more plumper, hydrated, and clear.

Break me out - 29-04-2018 by

I've tried this product for 3 months now and so far I'm not liking it. After 1 week of using, I've got several breakouts all over my face and they don't seem to go away. So I stopped using it and switch to the buffer solution and omg, I love it, it healed my skin within 3 days. Definitely, recommend the buffer solution over this product.

Highly recommend! - 17-04-2018 by

I recently added this product to my regime and have instantly noticed a difference! I use it in the evenings hydrolonic acid 5% and before 100% squalane. I use it about 4 times a week and lactic acid 5% the other 3 days! Whilst all the products have been amazing I instantly noticed my skin was brighter and plumper after adding this! Highly recommend!!

Meh - 17-04-2018 by

Unfortuantely I don't see the hype with this product. Nothing visibly different happened with my skin. I don't have sensitive skin, and I do have combination. So if you want to give it a try and have a similar skin type, the product is worth giving a go.

Sensational value for money - 12-04-2018 by

This product is fantastic. I can't recommend it highly enough. It is perfect for my skin. I use it at night post shower, pre bed & it leaves my skin looking dewy & super moisturised. I use a night cream under eye with it - but that's just my routine, it's not necessary.

Made a difference - 12-04-2018 by

I have definetely seen a difference in my skin and fine lines are disappearing and my skin looks a little brighter. I use it with a night cream and it has not drying effects - will continue to use this product and what a great price!

Really works! - 12-04-2018 by

I've used this about 5 times bow with no adverse reaction and I have very sensitive skin. I wake up to soft glowing skin! I get acne and I'm not sure if it's the combination of a couple of the ordinary products but seeing a reduction and my scarring is fading.

FABULOUS - 11-04-2018 by

I love this. I use it at night after cleansing my skin I then follow it up with another of The Ordinary products before I go to bed. It’s just one of 4 that I own and will continue to use my skin feels Ah-mazing......

Gentle and effective! - 11-04-2018 by

Have had male and female friends ask me ‘why does your skin look so good?’ This brand is a dream come true and this product is fabulous for fine lines and overall plumping and evenness! I have dry combination skin that easily gets irritated and reacts to many products! This stuff is so effective for such sensitive skin. With pale skin and lines beginning to appear this retinoid emulsion literally makes lines disappear! As well as evens redness and hydrates leaving skin feel smooth and soft and full of life :)

Smoothed my skin - 11-04-2018 by

I get lots of little bumps around my chin area and Adding this to my skin care routine helped get rid of them almost overnight. Prefer this to the more expensive brands

Clears up my skin - 05-04-2018 by

Love this product. I stopped using it for awhile just to see if it made a difference and it does as soon as I started using it again my skin is much clearer

Awesome - 29-03-2018 by

This works so well that i use less of other more expensive products as the ordinary skin care does it all so much better and you get what you pay for not just moisturizer with a little bit of skin care mixed in. It's still gentle on the skin i use this 2-3 times a week as i feel i need a little more boost.

Clears my skin - 26-03-2018 by

This is amazing. I used to use the previous version and switched to this for my third bottle. It clears my skin and leaves it glowing and I think fine lines have reduced. When I've run out and haven't used it I can tell. Love it.

Amazing for Keratosis Pilaris - 22-03-2018 by

I decided to try this serum on my arms for Keratosis Pilaris and scarring, and within a month I have seen a noticeable difference - scars have faded and KP much less prominent! I’m so glad I found this because Vitamin A treatments can be super pricey in the long term- definitely recommend trying this serum!

So far, so good - 22-03-2018 by

I've been using this once a week to start with, to ease my skin into it, and so far have had good results. I use at night as recommended and I'm careful to avoid sun exposure and to wear a hat due to the increased sensitivity to light. It goes on smoothly and absorbs well, and I have yet to experience any negative reactions to it. Now I just have to find a cruelty free and noncondogenic sunscreen to wear.

Amazing stuff - 22-03-2018 by

After reading a few articles on this i decided to give it a try. After a few days i could already see the difference my skin looked fresh and glowy. I have overhauled my entire skincare routine to use just the ordinary products.

Lovely feeling - 22-03-2018 by

Love this product. Im in my late 50's, combo skin and a 'couple' of wrinkles. ha ha Have gone through about 3 bottles of this stuff - feels nice, sinks in, smells nice (not perfumed or anything) My lines have not disappeared but I think the condition of my skin is great. Night I use buffet, then this, then the Mag Ascorbyl Phosphate, no other moisturiser, (enough moisturising for me expect perhaps in the dead of winter).
Will continue to purchase

Amazing retinoid! - 19-03-2018 by

This is my first dabble in vitamin A/ Retinol/ Retinoid and I have to say I love it. My skin is instantly smoother, even and glowy the next day. It is effective, but not harsh, and I don't notice any irritation on my skin after use. I have recommended this to my mother, sister and friends as well. Compared to other vitamin A products that are so expensive, such as the Rationale number 6 night cream which I've used and loved, this is amazing and I would purchase this again preferentially.

Love it - 19-03-2018 by

I love this stuff. Part of my staple skin care regime ft the ordinary products.

Outstanding! - 21-02-2018 by

I worked as a cosmetic nurse specialising in pharmaceutical skin care for years. This product absolutely mops the floor with the $200+ Vit A's on the market. Its does not cause irritation or gives you that retinoid "red glow". I'm so impressed and addicted to this magic emulsion!

Glowing skin - 14-02-2018 by

Love this product. Everyone keeps asking me why my skin is glowing!!! I use it about 3-4 times a week under a rosehip oil at night. Haven’t noticed any irritation (have mildly sensitive skin) this is pretty much the only product that’s ever made a noticeable difference to the appearance of my skin (and trust me, I’ve tried them all!!) it’s the best!

Fantastic Product - 13-02-2018 by

Saw the reviews and decided to try this product for myself. I am absoulutely loving it. My skin feels so soft and my lines are fading. My skin has brightened and blemishes have faded significantly. I am so happy I tried this product. I tone after washing my face then apply a small amount of moisturiser, wait till it dries, and apply the Retinoid Emulsion (you only need a small amount). I then apply more moisturiser or night cream. It has really made a huge difference in how my skin looks and feels. I have ordered two other products that compliment this one. Thrilled with this brand. AdoreBeauty enusres a fast delivery and I love the samples I receive.

Brilliant ! - 13-02-2018 by

Finally a no frills product that actually does what it says it will !! I am 53 and have oily skin, so, have a combination of skin concerns which include aging, oilyness, and, pigmentation. Have been using this along with several others from the range and am extremely impressed with the results. I will NEVER waste my money on expensive " fancy pants " skincare products again.

An excellent performer! - 08-02-2018 by

I’m 62 with combination skin (a bit dry, oily nose area) and love how this retinoid works on wrinkles and fine lines, with no irritation whatsoever. The Ordinary can be tricky to navigate, but is definitely worth experimenting with. For night I’m trying their 10% LA, the HA and this 2% retinoid and it’s working a treat! I love the emulsion formula, very easy to apply and reduces the stickiness of the other products. Winner!

Good for a little bit of refining - 06-02-2018 by

Seems to refine pores slightly, which is nice. Nice texture, makes you feel a bit pampered.

So far so patient!! - 06-02-2018 by

This product is really great but I would definitely say you need to have patience and persistence. I have combination, sensitive and acne prone skin. I have been struggling with hormal breakouts off and on for the past 6 years and have tried so many skin care treatments and medications. I bought this product after reading and researching The Ordinary and their products and benefits of using these for treating acne. I decided to give it a go, and I have no regrets. My skin is glowing more and I’m starting to see a big reduction in new acne. I use this product along with salicylic acid 2% solution, vitamin c suspension (every couple of nights) and plant derived squalane or rosehip oil - for hydration. At first I thought it was a lot of products to pile on my skin but it all glides on smoothly and my skin is able to absorb all the products and their goodness while I’m sleeping. I did notice some irritation (dry flaky and itchy) with using this product but I think it is because I was using it too regularly.

Best Product from the Ordinary - 06-02-2018 by

I have recently done a purchase of a number of products from the ordinary for my oily/acne prone skin. I was looking for a product which would hydrate my skin and prevent early signs of ageing while not further irritating my acne. I have been applying this product every night before bed even over the top of medical grade acne treatment and have found it to be very hydrating, I love the texture and always wake up with soft and plump feeling skin. I have experienced absolutely no irritation and could not recommend this serum highly enough. I am confident it would suit all skin types including dry and sensitive and think you should introduce it to your skin care regime if you are like me and looking for some early anti-ageing products. Will definitely buy again

Excellent - 30-01-2018 by

Have started applying the retionol at night for the last week and a half. I found it to be amazing, can feel the active ingredients when applied on my skin. I only use a small amount and it is extremely important to ensure you wear sunscreen as it can make your sign more sensitive to the sun.

OMG!!! - 08-01-2018 by

This product has saved my skin! I am mid 30's and still struggle with hormonal breakouts like a teen! Ugh...

I decided to try this product due to 'no down time' that normal ret A's have!

My skin is clear, soft and almost all of my redness has gone! I will absolutely continue on with this as with my other Ordinary serums!!

My fave of The Ordinary retinoids! - 08-01-2018 by

I use this on my face and actually on my bottom too where I get spots! It's done wonders for the backside and I prefer it to the retinol in squalene as it dries with no greasy feel and seems to be keeping me smooth and helping to fade spots. On teh face it's great too, skin is very soft but as someone with dry skin I am careful not to get it on my under eye skin and around the corners of my nose otherwise I find I get some light peeling and dryness.

Good value - 08-01-2018 by

Great for layering underneath a moisturiser for added hydration or to be a base for makeup. Can take a while to be absorbed.I was using everyday but it did cause minor breakouts with me, so now just use it when my skin needs a boost.

Promising - 08-01-2018 by

This is a smooth, non oily addition to my night time skincare. I find that this pairs well with all of my acids and would not hesitate to repurchase. The texture of my skin has reduced slightly and hyper-pigmentation has been lightly touched. Overall it is has replaced a more expensive retinoid.

Love this stuff! - 19-12-2017 by

I have been using this product at night in conjunction with the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and the Organic Rose Hip Oil and my skin is looking great. I have definitely noticed a difference in the fine lines around my eyes. I have somewhat sensitive skin but have had no reaction at all. I would highly recommend.

New Generation Genius - 22-11-2017 by

Beauty is not pain! There is no irritation, no sensitivity, redness or peeling.
I stand by this product with the research that goes behind this new generation product. I use this every other day as I am also using other acids, and I have not experienced any increased irritation or peeling and the results after a month of use was fantastic, I will definitely continue using this.

Works on Oily, Acne-prone skin! - 13-11-2017 by

Unlike some other retinol creams that I've used in the past, this retinoid serum is non-drying and lightweight and has just completely transformed my oily, acne-prone skin. I have used this product along with The Ordinary's 10% Niacinamide serum every two nights, and it's made my skin a lot smoother, brighter and has reduced my acne and associated redness/inflammation. I do still get an odd pimple here and there, but so much less that I used to. My acne seems to heal faster now as well after using this product.

I've almost finished the entire bottle, so recently bought TO's new 2% Retinoid in Squalene. I'll let you guys know how that one compares to this one once I've used it!

Amazing! - 13-11-2017 by

This is another game changer from The Ordinary.

This retinol product somehow manages to be incredibly gentle, with no flaking or redness, yet incredibly powerful, with smoother, even toned, poreless skin!

And how do they do this for less than $20?!?!? It blows me away.

Do yourself, your skin and your wallet a favour. Buy this NOW.

Saviour! - 02-11-2017 by

After reading the reviews I had to try it for myself. I have hormonal breakouts on my chin after coming off the pill and have been trying so many different products to clear it. This product actually really works! I haven’t used a retinoid before and absolutely love this one. It has cleared my breakouts & old scarring after 2 weeks (although I do not scar for long). It has brightened up my complexion and smoothed out my skin

Game Changer - 27-10-2017 by

I bought this product after hunting for a retinol/retinoid cream which wouldn't cost me a fortune. I was dubious because of the low cost however this product is INCREDIBLE. I am 29 and have been suffering with hormonal adult acne on and off for the past 5 years. My break outs are controlled now however I was left with red marks and scars. I'm also starting to get fine lines and my skin was looking dull.
The product has been my savior! I apply at night only and every morning I wake up feeling like I have new skin. It has shrunk my pores so much I can barely see them and my break outs have diminished by up to 80%. It also does a great job at fading red marks and helps to heal old blemishes much quicker. HERO PRODUCT!!!

New Fav! - 25-10-2017 by

The only product so far that has managed to improve pigmentation problem areas. Using less concealer and feeling more confident!

LOVE this product - 24-10-2017 by

I love this product. This is the very first retinol/retinoid product I've ever used, and I was worried I'd have irritation and flaking (as I've heard that this is pretty common). I needn't have worried, this is so gentle that it hasn't irritated my skin at all. I'm in my 20s and starting to introduce some preventative anti-aging products, and I will definitely be re-purchasing this one - you really can't beat it for the price!

Glowing Skin - 22-10-2017 by

Instant results - left my skin smooth and glowing from the first application. Highly recommend this product.

Great in my night-time routine - 16-10-2017 by

Easy to apply and has been helping to sort out the redness i have on and around my nose. I use this at night and make sure to apply an spf in the daytime. I use this 3 times a week and alternate it with The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. A little goes a long way.

Great on sensitive skin. - 04-10-2017 by

The best retinol treatment. I have sensitive skin & other retinol products burn my skin. I also have mature combination skin prone to breakouts. This product treats signs of aging, clears breakouts but without any adverse burning. I will order it again.

Very effective, amazing price! - 02-10-2017 by

I used this product for about 2 months before seeing any improvement but it eventually really does work! Have noticed improved skin clarity and fine lines diminished
My only gripe would be that I wish it came in a tube as I've heard it loses effectiveness very quickly when exposed to air

Must have! - 02-10-2017 by

I can't believe it took me this long to find this product. It's affordable and it works straight away. It helps with red spots and gives me that youthful glow. I have no problems using this every night. Definitely a must buy for anyone

Great price & great product! - 27-09-2017 by

I have normal skin and love using retinoid to improve my fine lines and general appearance of skin. I use this in the PM and am loving it! Great price and product- very happy. Will re-purchase or try their more powerful retinoid next time.

Fantastic - 22-09-2017 by

Cleared my skin up pretty much the first night. I have normal/oily skin and had some breakouts. This helped immediately, I always wake up with amazing skin. It feels soft and nourished.

SO good! - 07-09-2017 by

I've been using this for the last month and a half and have really seen results. It's much gentler than Dermalogica's Retionoid so it can be used more often. Really seen my skin tone even out and the redness in my face begin to disappear.

Brillaint - 03-09-2017 by

10 days and already getting compliments. Use at night and fabulous

First Active Product Ever - 02-09-2017 by

First time using a Retinoid (or any Active) of any description.

With 2 months use I have noticed an even tone and (just ever so slightly) smoother lines around my eyes. I have had no discomfort at all.

Fairly late to the skincare game (43 years of age with oily & dehydrated skin) and enjoying/loving all the pampering my skin is receiving !!!

Love it ! - 25-08-2017 by

I've been using it for three weeks now and I love it so much ! My skin is much brighter softer on touch and feels so hydrated!! I know what retinol is , I've been using it before from professional cosmetic line and I want to say I'll never go back to it . I love my the ordinary retinoid now so much better !!! Highly recommend ❤️❤️

Best purchase of my life! - 25-08-2017 by

I have a lot of redness and texture issues from a horrible hormonal outbreak last year. This has resulted in many pigmentation and deep scars which has been the worst for my self esteem. Countless bottles of serums, lotions and exfoliation options later, I have found my holy grail! This Retinoid is the best thing I've ever tried. I was as skeptical due to all my prior disappointments but the Ordinary Retinoid has been a lifesaver. I am fortunate enough not to have any active pimples anymore so it works great for evening out my skin tone and texture. It takes about a week see progress but I promise you it is worth the wait. My hyperpigmentation has faded so much and my skin is the smoothest it's ever been. I've been using this for the past two months and it's given me my confidence back. Although it won't resurface my deeper acne scars, it helps the overall texture. I would 100% recommend it anyone like me, especially at such a cheap price.

Really wanted to like this... - 24-08-2017 by

Really wanted to like this product for the price. But should have guessed though as well for them being so cheap. I was a regular user of Skinstitut retinol but decided to try this, as they have received so Rave reviews apparently. Sadly it started to break me out and this isn't an initial breakout because I was already a regular retinol user. I'll go back to skinstitut.

AMAZING - 23-08-2017 by

This is an incredible product, I have only been using for a week but already my skin feels and looks so much better. I have really sensitive, combination skin and I'm prone to breakouts so its really difficult trying to find decent products that don't destroy my face.

I use after Buffet in evening and follow with rose hip oil.
Every 3rd day I swap the retinoid with lactic acid for exfoliation.

The Ordinary is bloody incredible.

FANTASTIC! - 16-08-2017 by

I'm in that awkward stage of life where I'm still getting big greasy pores and pimples and some nice lines.
After 1 week of this my skin has never ever felt so amazing. I am using Buffet as well twice a day and this at night. I have not had any irritation and only got a couple of extra pimples when starting. I'm getting compliments on my skin almost every day!
I'm a convert!

Best Retinol I've Used - 29-07-2017 by

At 52 I have tried a lot of the 'hyped' products on the market with little to no results.

The Ordinary Retinoid 2% works! Not over night, (it took about 2 weeks before I started to see any change in my skin), however the change is visible. I know I will never look 25 again, but ... I have seen a change in the tone of my skin, the wrinkles and sagging.

The price put me off at first because I had purchased products well over $250.00 with no results. My advise ... try this product ladies, (and gents). What have you got to lose? At under $10.00, this is outstanding. Good on The Ordinary, for being different!!! 9.5 out of 10

Love it! - 25-07-2017 by

Love this product, it is very affordable yet works better then high end/luxury products. I have definitely seen a difference in my skin after using it for a couple of weeks. Recommend it for all different types of skin. Will definitely be purchasing it again.

Retinol vs Retinoid - 11-07-2017 by

Deciem/The Ordinary currently offer 2 retinol products (the 1% Retinol Emulsion and this one - the Advanced Retinoid 2%). The 1% is actually the stronger of the two because of the difference in ingredients (retinol vs retinoid).

I found perhaps the best review I've ever read of all The Ordinary’s products on a U.K. website called Victoria Health (

And in their words:
“There is a big difference between a retinoid and retinol, which is why the [2%] product is more gentle than the [1%] retinol despite being double the strength.
Retinoid esters (like those in the 2% product) are structurally larger, so they take longer to be absorbed into the skin, which is what makes the ingredient so non-irritating”.

Most prescription retinols come in roughly these strengths (in order of potency);

0.01%, 0.025%, 0.050% and finally the 0.1% (or 1%).

So The Ordinary’s 1% product is equivalent (in retinol strength) to the strongest of the RetinA’s, therefore if you haven't used retinols before, bear in mind you're jumping in at the very deepest end with that one, and will more than likely be flaky, peeling, red and inflamed for the best part of a week. With retinols you have to work up to it VERY gradually (3-4 months on each strength, advised by some dermatologists).

The 2% product will be a much better alternative because it avoids the irritation associated with traditional retinols (even on someone who has never used them before). So if you're new to retinols or want something a little less aggressive this 2% is advanced, very effective but still gentle.

I've used prescription retinols for a few years and can say that having now used both of The Ordinary’s retinol formulas, it would appear (from my own experience) that the 2% is definitely less irritating and I had no shedding, flaking or peeling whatsoever with that product, and it's gentle enough for me to use it every second day.
The 1% caused a full shedding 48 hours later (that took another 4 days to fully resolve).
So be aware - the 1% is NOT the less potent of the two. It's actually the reverse.

Nice Product - 07-07-2017 by

I like this product - it delivers for those who can't do normal retinol. My skin felt exfoliated all the time (no need for any other exfoliation) and it felt smooth and there was no irritation.
Because I still want to try and stick with the standard retinol (I went in boots and all and of course ended up with dry red horrible skin), I am using the standard retinol one a week and then building up over a long period of time.
I noticed this week when I used the standard retinol for the first time in a while that the difference was even more noticeable (skin even softer and smoother and glowing).
I think once I am using the standard retinol more I will drop this product though...only because I like the strength of the standard retinol if that makes sense.

NO DOUBT - 02-07-2017 by

Definitely tops the list. I have been having hyper-pigmentation for quite some time and after applying 3-4 drops for the very first time, I saw immediate results the next morning. My face was brighter and clearer, and lesser dark spots. I have sensitive skin, and for this to work, just shows how much of a find this was. Recommend this to everyone!

Glowy skin - 14-06-2017 by

First time using a retinoid, and no problems - just really nice glowing skin. Use with Rosehip oil at night.

Q & A
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