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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% 30ml

4.6 of 744 reviews


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4 instalments of $4.48

Or 4 instalments of $4.48 with LEARN MORE

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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% combines two forms of next-generation retinoid actives in a combined concentration of 2% by weight.
  • Cruelty Free
  • Vegan
  • Artificial Fragrance Free
  • Sulphate Free

What customers say

SUPERIOR - 93% recommend

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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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Questions & Answers

(43 Questions)

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%

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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% Reviews

4.6 of 744 reviews

93% recommend this product

  1. 530

  2. 172

  3. 35

  4. 9

  5. 0

Most Helpful Positive

1000% LOVE This Retinol


This product is gentle and is a cheap option when stepping up your retinol game!
I really love it!

Most Helpful Criticism

Not sure if this is effective, mildly irritating


I purchased this several times, and thought my skin was just sensitive, but as soon as I stopped using it, I no longer had the red sensitive skin I seemed to be suffering from... Maybe this is because I used it too much (every night). I also did not see a noticeable reduction in wrinkles, but these things are really difficult to gauge. I am 27 with first signs of ageing.
  1. 1000% LOVE This Retinol


    This product is gentle and is a cheap option when stepping up your retinol game!
    I really love it!
  2. Light texture, skin feels amazing next morning


    I apply the Granactive Retinoid Emulsion every night before going to bed, after a toner, and I love how my skin feels when I wake up. When I have spots or small pimples in the evening, the next morning they are way less prominent. I have an oily skin and this emulsion works perfectly for me. Highly recommended!Light texture, skin feels amazing next morning
  3. Love love this serum!


    This serum has transformed my skin! Waiting for this to come back in stock as I have run out! I apply at night and wake up with glowy, plump skin! So, so good!!
  4. Love


    I found this retinol doesn't irritate my skin as much as other retinol products so I will definitely repurchase.
  5. Looking fabulous never came easier!


    Easy on the skin, gentle and light weight. Just 2-3 drops on the skin after a shower and a face cleanse. Boom, easy to look fab and help your skin regain collagen.
  6. Retonal


    Great product to start you on retinoids, didn’t cause much of a purge and my skin tolerated it really well
  7. Fantastic


    I use retinoid in my nighttime routine but more sporadically then routinely. But this retinoid emulsion is amazing, even my husband commented on my skin after using a few nights in a row. I did not have any issues with it but perhaps that’s because I do use retinoid from time to time.
  8. Absorbed quickly and left skin feeling hydrated.


    Absorbed quickly and left skin feeling hydrated. Great value and speedy postage.
  9. Really like this

    Liz O

    This has helped with some fine lines that were beginning to form on my forehead. It's also helped a little with texture. It does have a wee bit of a smell to it, but it's next to nothing and goes away quickly.
  10. Glowing skin


    Love this! Started it as part of a new skin care regime with 3 other The Ordinary products that were recommended for ageing skin and it’s been amazing! Even my husband has mentioned you look like you are glowing! Definitely recommend it especially for the price!
  11. Fantastic!!


    i only purchased it not even 2 weeks ago and i can already see a massive difference. i have even been getting compliments saying that my skin looks so much better and more alive. 100% going to repurchase. i HIGHLY recommend.
  12. Effective


    I had major acne breakouts and using this has helped my skin reduce how frequently my skin breaks out
  13. amazing


    This does not dry out my skin and is so creamy and helpful for my skin
  14. Good for price !!


    I was really expecting amazing results from this product because of all the amazing reviews, and was hoping to see some immediate reduction of the fine lines around my eyes, but so far I can honestly say I cant see any difference as far as the lines and wrinkles are concerned. I have noticed that my skin has a really healthy glow and appears much smoother. Since I have never used retinoids before,...
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  15. Fantastic!!


    i have always had a lot of dark spots on my face such as under my eyes, my cheeks. this product is amazing. i only purchased it not even 2 weeks ago and i can already see a massive difference. i have even been getting compliments saying that my skin looks so much better and more alive. 100% going to repurchase. i HIGHLY recommend.
  16. Really happy with this purchase!


    Retinoid products generally wreck havoc on my skin, but NOT THIS ONE! I didn't experience a massive breakout or redness like I have in the past. Great product at a great price.
  17. Don't know what you've got till it's gone!


    I used this for about 6 months straight and then it became sold out everywhere and I ran out. I did not realise what a difference this was making to my skin. I have quite oily, dehydrated skin that is super prone to breakouts. When I was using this product my skin was really hydrated and plump and any breakouts I did get were gone within a day or so. I've really noticed a big change in my skin sin...
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  18. Awesome product for a great price!


    I recently finished my first bottle of this stuff and can only recommend it to anyone!
    My skin loved it and felt hydrated and plump.

    Overall I highly recommend this product to anyone(!!), especially if you are new to skincare and want to try something, its a great place to start:)
  19. A staple in my skincare routine


    Pros, all pros.

    - lightweight
    - noticeable fading of pigmentation
    - gentle enough for my very sensitive skin

  20. First time retinol user


    First time using a product like this, starting a skin care regime. I find that its a good start, low irritation to my skin and works well with the buffet and caffeine solution.
  21. Great addition to my simple routine


    I started using this after reading a book by Anjali Mahato, a dermatologist in the UK. I was on roaccutane for 2 years in my early 20s with very heavy, painful acne, so I am very cautious about the products I use these days. This retinoid has helped clear up my acne scars long term, and I was lucky not to experience any of the sensitivity that some have. I use it nightly after cleansing and have h...
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  22. Great addition to my simple routine


    I started using this after reading a book by Anjali Mahato, a dermatologist in the UK. I was on roaccutane for 2 years in my early 20s with very heavy, painful acne, so I am very cautious about the products I use these days. This retinoid has helped clear up my acne scars long term, and I was lucky not to experience any of the sensitivity that some have. I use it nightly after cleansing and have h...
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  23. No complaints


    Couldn't imagine not using this, I have been using it every second night so my skin can get used to the retinoid. It has a milky texture, slightly runny - I believe it has contributed to the overall health of my skin!
  24. No noticeable difference


    This serum didn’t do much for my oily Asian skin that is prone to breakouts. Found that it contributed to my breakouts and didn’t notice any visible difference to my skin health and fine lines.
  25. Great Product!


    I’ve been using this product for the last 6 months and it’s amazing! It makes my skin feel and look great! I had an issue with my product having faulty packaging and immediately contacted customer service and they got back so quickly and sent a replacement out! Awesome customer service and awesome product!
  26. Enjoying It So Far


    I recently decided to begin using retinoids in my skincare regimen and I thought I'd start with this product due to its affordable price and popularity. I use it three times a week at night and while I haven't found any immediate effects - I am happy that it has been suitable for my sensitive, acne prone skin. All retinoids take time to work so I'm looking forward to continuing to use this!
  27. So far so good


    I've used this product for around 2 weeks now and I do feel like it does reduce the appearance of breakout slightly. I think I would have to use this longer to see the proper effects of it!
  28. Love it!


    I mostly use this when my skin feels dry or sensitive. Although it is a retinoid, I find it more hydrating but not heavy!
  29. Unsure


    I like the creamy consistency, and it was definitely non-irritating for a retinol product, but even after months of consistent use, I'm yet to see of any changes in my skin.
  30. Good introduction to retinol


    A good introduction to retinol. Noticeable difference in skin, using twice a week once I’d just about finished the bottle. Zero irritation but ended up purchasing a more expensive and stronger retinol once I used this one up. Use alone at night time for best results.
  31. My Intro to Retinol


    Gentle enough that I didn't experience any adverse side effects, with a lovely texture. Really enjoyed finishing my PM skincare routine with this a few times a week. Looking forward to seeing the longer term effects for such a decent price!
  32. Amazing


    My first retinoid product and I’m definitely converted! It reduces signs of aging and breakouts and ill be upgrading to the 5% when I’ve finished this as my skin is not at all sensitive to it
  33. Not sure if this is effective, mildly irritating


    I purchased this several times, and thought my skin was just sensitive, but as soon as I stopped using it, I no longer had the red sensitive skin I seemed to be suffering from... Maybe this is because I used it too much (every night). I also did not see a noticeable reduction in wrinkles, but these things are really difficult to gauge. I am 27 with first signs of ageing.


    I have seen so many retinoid products with oil in nomination. It is a great formula but I sometimes prefer not to mix with oil as I have my own favourite ones. This emulsion is just retinoid and not irritating my skin. I started using once per week and now a couple of times per week mixing with low strength retinol.
  35. Not brilliant


    I have been using this retinoid every third night for about 3 months now and I haven’t noticed a difference in my skin at all... for a while I was using this after my hyalauronic acid serum and it was just polling straight off. Now I just use it on freshly washed skin. It feels really oily and smells really chemically. I’m going to keep using it until it runs out But I probably won’t be repurchas...
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  36. creamy


    I like how even though this is a retinoid, I did not experience a lot of dryness with use. I thought it was easy to apply, and i noticed some fading of dark marks over a month
  37. So far so good


    Bought this for my boyfriend as I have finally convinced him to start doing skin-care after 4 years together. This was a product that was recommended on the podcast (if I remember correctly). It's great for those just starting/easing into the use of Retinoid as it is considered a lighter option and not too crazy for the skin. My boyfriend hasn't had any issues with it and likes the creamy texture,...
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  38. Great nighttime product


    Great as a first step in my nighttime routine, i combine with the ordinary buffet and a more hydrating oil then moisturiser. While it doesn't feel like its doing anything, my skin always looks more even and rested in the morning
  39. A nice retinol to try


    I was pleased with this product as I am prone to breakouts and had seen the odd report of someone claiming it caused them to breakout. I found this had the opposite effect and my skin has been looking calmer and my blemishes have significantly decreased. I also have sensitive skin and it appears more hydrated and has been behaving itself.
  40. Good


    I like the creamy texture and the smell. It helps with acne too
  41. Holy grail product


    Holy moly. This along with the glycolic toner has changed my skin. I used to suffer with awful breakouts and red pimple scars. 12 months on from using this product 2 times a week my skin is so much better. I still have faint scars and the occasional breakout but the difference in texture and pigmentation has been incredible. I experience NO irritation whatsoever. Will continue to use a few more bo...
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  42. Pretty good but makes my skin slightly dry


    This product is great and draws all of the impurities out of your skin. The serum does make my skin feel dry by morning but have combated that by wearing a heavier moisturiser on the days after i use this at night.
  43. Changed my life!


    Best and cheapest retinol product on the market. I was using samples of the Sunday Reilly Luna oil (~$150 for a small bottle) which really helped my skin- did some research and realised it was probably the retinol so found the (much, much cheaper) Ordinary version and am now so much more confident in my skin. My skin feels smoother but also firmer. Was alternating retinol one night and vitamin c a...
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  44. Good introduction to retinol.


    Its a really good product for someone venturing into Vit A products. Did not irritate my skin at all. I could use it almost everyday although I did introduce it slowly to avoid any peeling/flakiness.
  45. Non-irritating and creamy, unsure of results


    This is my first retinol/retinoid and it's not what i was expecting! it's really creamy and nice to apply, not at all irritating but i haven't yet seen obvious results in terms of anti-aging properties.
  46. My Mum Loves This Product


    I bought this product for my mum and she has advised me to feed back that she loves the formulation. She finds it to be great value for money, a very smooth and well tolerated formulation, and is thrilled with the results. She says she feels her skin is hydrated and fresh, and that her redness and pigmentation are becoming less obvious.
  47. A family staple !


    I've used this serum for 2 years . Now my 18 and 16 year olds also. The 18yo's acne proned dry skin has become manageable since. The texture has smoothed while the acne scarring has lightened. However, the 16yo's combination skin isn't really problematic though it's being used sporadically as a preventative measure.
  48. My first retinoid


    I use this 3 times per week. Skin always feels so soft after applying. I like the consistency of the product. Hasn't made a s much of a difference as i expected so next time i will probably go to stronger formulation. My skin is oily and oiliness has reduced as result of this i think.
  49. gold standard


    You have to be consistent with this product to get the best out of it. I didn't use it properly the first time round, but I've gotten a second bottle and am seeing a difference.
  50. Multiple benefits


    I actually bought this for the anti-ageing benefits of retinol but I find it also works really well for helping to keep my skin clear. More than once it's stopped a blind people from coming through! It's a lifesaver
  51. Love!


    Really happy with how non-irritating this solution is (only using 1-2 x per week). Nice experience to use and always leaves me with clear, fresh skin the next day.
  52. Repurchasing


    I love this product. Texture is creamy, hydrating and moisturising. It is my second bottle, and I can see that my skin texture has improved, it is more even.
  53. Second purchase of this product!

    James Choi

    thinking about price and brand recognition, great value for those need to consider money and quality same time!!
  54. The best and most affordable Retinoid


    This stuff is amazing - every night I use it, I wake with glowy, lush skin.
    I'm in my early twenties, starting to notice some fine lines, after I use this, they're basically gone the next day. Also works wonders for my skin (I used to have bad cystic acne, now just mild congestion and scarring), it really helps with that
  55. Cost effective anti-ager


    Love this retinoid, I have fair and sensitive skin and this product works quite well. I use x3 times a week in the evening and think it 100% helps manage my age-ing!
  56. Stick with it and be amazed


    This is my first time trying a retinol. I was a little nervous and initially I broke out a lot around my nose and chin. However I was told to stick with it and I am so glad I did. After about 2 months my pores appear smaller as do the lines around my eyes. My skin has never looked better, I love this product, the price is amazing too
  57. Works!


    Don't understand how it works, but skin always looks more refined after I use this. Doesn't dry me out either.
  58. doesn't last long


    i prefer the oil version because it lasts longer
  59. No reason to be sacred of Retinol


    I had never used Retinol as I never knew how to use it properly - but this formula and system is simple to plan and understand. You only need such a small amount so it's excellent value for money.
  60. Fantastic!


    I have never used a retinol before and this was not too harsh for my normal to combination skin type. the main improvement that I've seen is that emerging pimples last no where near as long as they normally would and sometimes prevents them even surfacing. Absolutely love and am about to repurchase but at the 5%.
  61. Smoothens Skin


    I apply this at night only, after I put on the Hyorolic Acid.
    It evens out my skin and removes any whitehead bumps. Feels really soft the next morning too.
  62. excellent retinoid


    This is a great retinoid for breakouts and acne scarring. My go-to product now, will definitely be purchasing more.
  63. No need for highlighter


    This gives my such an amazing glow, use it every night and my skin has never looked this nice!
  64. Great oil-free retinoid first sensitive skin


    I started off using it 1-2 days per week and it’s already helping so much- noticing less breakouts, smoother skin around my eye area, perfect to squeeze into the 3 step moisture method and non irritating at all. Excited to see how my skin looks in 3 months!
  65. Stunning product


    Hands down the best alternative to oil based retinoids that I've found thus far. 4 bottles through this and it really takes the cake. Squalene based retinoids often break me out but this emulsion is very effective at doing what it advertises. It's gentle but still effective enough to see obvious changes within weeks and I've had no issues with dryness after easing into using it (2-3 times a week) ...
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  66. Eh


    Smells funny, and after months of use, did not notice a difference. Have gone up to a higher percentage, so maybe I will change my mind!
  67. A bit disappointed at first


    It breaks out my skin so bad the first time I used it. I tried using it again the next week after my skin calms down a bit but got the same result. Third time's the charm, and it finally calms my skin. A bit disappointed at first but starting to see some results.
  68. Smoother skin in a couple of weeks


    This is the first retinol product I've tried so I can't compare with any other. I chose the emulsion over the other TO retinol products as my skin hates squalane for some reason. The texture is great, quite moisturising and 'creamy'. I apply at the end of the day and found that I don't need a moisturiser afterwards. I got a small purge reaction in the first 2 weeks but nothing major, just a few sp...
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  69. The Ordinary Retinol


    Loving this product. Doesn't sting or tingle.
    There is no bad smell. My skin feels great. I use this 3 times a week.
  70. Great for the price


    Surprising hydrating and smoothing, and great for the price, but it does seem to sensitize and redden my skin, even when I use it sparingly.
  71. Best for pigmentation


    This is a beauty for pigment, highly recommend
  72. Simple but amazing


    I use this on myself and my boyfriend and both of us have seen a huge improvement in skin texture. I feel like it makes my skin look plump and glossy, can't go without it!
  73. Anti Ageing


    Was surprised at the texture of this which is more like a milky lotion, doesn't sting or irritate my skin. Have increased usage to several nights a week, I use this over buffett, skin looks smoother and healthier after using this. May upgrade to a higher strength when I need to repurchase. Effective, affordable anti ageing product from The Ordinary.
  74. not my cup of tea


    i used this on my face at first but it is a little stingy, so now i use it on my neck.
    It is not my first time to use Retinol. i have been using estee lauder and Roc Retinol products. They were all fine.
  75. Feels nice


    I recently changed from the ordinary retinol in squalane to this one as had seen reviews about the texture being nicer. I totally agree with this. Found the squalane too oily and it would get in my eyes overnight.
  76. My favourite retinol from TO


    After trying the Retinoid in Squalane I decided Retinol was not the thing for me, it was too oily and caused irritations to my skin. Then, I got recommended this product and it has changed my mind on Retinol. It absorbs very well and helped some of my old acne scars to fade, the texture was very nice and I absolutely love this product, I will totally repurchase once I finish it.
  77. Great


    Great product. My skin looks better. It layers well will other products. Feels nice on the skin. I will continue to use. Great price. I recommend.
  78. magical


    love the feel on my skin, works like magic over night
  79. Soothing and smoothing


    For the price, you can’t go wrong with this. It applied smoothly and actually quite hydrating too! It’s helping with my breakouts too
  80. Night time serum of my dreams!


    Luxurious enough to use on its own at night, or under a beaver night cream. The results delivered vs the cost are just incredible - I struggle to see myself buying many other night serum! Huge fan of The Ordinary
  81. Exactly what my skin craved


    I started using this after reading an article that Kim Kardashian swears by it haha... It was then that I discovered The Ordinary and all that this wonderful and affordable skincare brand had to offer. I love this emulsion - it has a milky, creamy texture and goes on smooth. It doesn't leave my face oily or wet as I initially expected, instead absorbs beautifully. Increasing my use slowly (it is s...
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  82. Love the texture


    Love the way this feels on my face after I cleanse and exfoliate. Leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated. No stingy effect which I like, and yet to notice a difference however nice to apply for that 'clean face' feeling before bed.
  83. Better texture than Retinoid in squalane


    It's a good retinoid serum, to apply after my moisturiser at night, don't need to keep this one in the fridge, compared to the squalane retinoid. I don't have any irritation using The Ordinary retinoids range, I prefer this emulsion texture to the Squalane Retinoid, which is very oily and make my eyes watery when I apply it near my eyes. Love the emulsion Retinoid 2%, just want it more potent!
  84. Awesome


    I’ve only been using for a short time but I’m seeing really good results already! I have dry highly reactive/rosacea skin, I’ve had to give up on retinol in the past. This hasn’t caused any sensitivity so far and I’m seeing clear improvement with spots and redness. Started every other night then went to nightly within a week no probs so far
  85. The best


    This serum has really helped bring closed comedones out and stopped them all together, would definitely recommend if this is a problem you have.
  86. Not a fan


    I wasn’t overly impressed by this serum, you get what you pay for. I didn’t notice any improvements to my skin and I won’t be repurchasing. Asap vitamin A is much better.
  87. First time retinold user


    Using night time along with esteer lauder. As a first time user, experiencing light "stingy" using it (short time but happens Every time using it) but it seems normal as seeing people having same reaction.
    Will definitely keep continue to see how it really work.
  88. Love it!


    I have combination oily skin. I have always had issues with breakouts and now I am in my late 20’s I wanted something to help with the fine lines I am noticing.

    I love this product- I put it on at night before bed and my skin always feel great the next day. I have noticed my breakouts clearing a lot too. I will continue to purchase- such a great price!
  89. 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
  90. 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.
  91. gentle


    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.
  92. Anti Ageing product

    Sweet Pea

    I use this several times a week at night after applying Buffet, have noticed an improvement in skin tone and texture using this, may upgrade to a higher percentage next time though.
  93. great serum and amazing price point!


    used one bottle of this and loved how it made my skin feel! feel like im seeing results from the ordinary retinol range! i recently switched to a product in squalane as this was unfortunately sold out. i do like it as well.. the only downside for me is that i do get a bit confused by the large range of products and which one would be best for me !
  94. Heavenly


    Absolutely love this! I have really bad scars and hyperpigmentation from acne and within days of using this i could see a difference.
  95. Amazing


    I have dehydrated skin and surprising I find this a bit moisturising too. I use it underneath my moisturiser and my skin has improved so much
  96. Smooth


    This seems to be doing a great job I use it with nianimicide acid to combat pimples at night time. It goes on smooth and smells good. It brightend your skin and feels good. I recommend using after a toner and before a moisturiser
  97. Perfect


    This is my go to product at night and it works for my skin all the time. My skin felt textured and dry when I ran out of this
  98. Great results


    I have pigmentation and dry aging skin and I have been using this for 2 months or so now and have really noticed a difference. My skin tone is definitely more even. I will be moving up to the 5% next time in the hope I get even better results.
  99. Brightens face overnight


    I use this once a week and I feel like I can see this difference in my skin the next morning, face looks brighter and feels nice and smooth!
  100. Review & Earn
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