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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane 30ml

4.5 of 132 reviews


4 instalments of $4.58

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4 instalments of $4.58

Or 4 instalments of $4.58 with LEARN MORE

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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane is a water-free solution that contains a 2% concentration of an advanced retinoid active complex called Granactive Retinoid that has been shown to offer better results against multiple signs of ageing than retinol without any of the irritation and drawbacks common with retinol.


  • Cruelty Free
  • Vegan

What customers say

GREAT - 85% recommend

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Skin Concern:

  • First signs of ageing
  • Wrinkles and loss of firmness

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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

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The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane Reviews

4.5 of 132 reviews

85% recommend this product

  1. 83

  2. 36

  3. 12

  4. 0

  5. 1

Most Helpful Positive



I can’t imagine my skin care routine without this. I have been using for a couple of months and my acne scars are almost completely gone. It’s honestly amazing for the spice. Also love that glow you get the morning after!!

Most Helpful Criticism

The oil hurt my eyes.


This was the first The Ordinary retinol based product that I used. It is super easy to apply but the oiliness of the product meant it slowly seeped into my eyes and irritated them quite a bit during the night. I have recently changed over to The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion and I much prefer the creamy texture!
  1. Okay product for the price


    First time using a retinoid product and did not live up to the hype for me. Did leave my skin feeling slightly softer after a month's use but that's about it. Was hoping it might improve pigmentation problems but no changes noticed. Definitely a good price point though.
  2. Obsessed!


    I can’t imagine my skin care routine without this. I have been using for a couple of months and my acne scars are almost completely gone. It’s honestly amazing for the spice. Also love that glow you get the morning after!!
  3. Plumps beautifully


    I use this every other night, it plumps my skin and nourishes so that the skin looks healthy. I like squeezing my cheeks after Ive used Granactive Retinoid Emulsion because they're so plump and nice. The Squalane in it is nice too.
  4. great for skin texture and acne scars


    After using this in my night-time routine, I wake up with plump soft skin with less texture and smaller pores. I absolutely love it and i've only been using it for a month! I also notice that my acne scars are becoming lighter. Such great results for a crazily cheap product.
  5. Not completely non-irritating, but looking promising


    I chose this formula as I have very sensitive skin and rosacea, so while I wanted to tackle fine lines I didn't want to irritate my skin. This weak retinoid formula promised to be non-irritating but in the first few weeks of using it I got some really bad break-outs! I could only use it once or twice a week initially, but have now managed to build up my resistance over a few months and now get no ...
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  6. First time user, life time convert!


    This product was called 'cult' and I was wondering if it would live up to the hype. Need not have been concerned as my beauty therapist told me recently that my skin was GLOWING!

    I combined this product with the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum which took it to the next level. Will 100% repurchase.
  7. Wonderful product


    verified purchaser
    I have built up my resistance to two nights a week and using this and several other ordinary products have helped my skin. I would definitely purchase this again.
  8. LOVE


    LOVE this retinoid. Finished my first bottle and have since moved on to the 5%, but this is a great product to start with if just venturing into the world of retinoid for the first time. Didn't irritate my skin at all, and left it feeling lovely the next day.
  9. Good value effective retinoid


    I found 2% too strong at first and mixed it into moisturiser or would apply it last. It's great value and you can extend it further this way, rather than going for the lower concentrations. It works well and the squalane helps with the dryness and peeling that comes with beginner retinol users, but best to gradually ramp up the amount you're using. I made the mistake of applying 4 drops straight u...
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  10. LOVE


    As someone with SUPER SENSITIVE SKIN (contact dermatitis, chemical like burns from other products) I was skeptical this would be gentle on my skin, but hey - a few weeks in and nothing to report but improvements in my skin!
  11. Nice product


    I found this product easy to use it is very oily but my skin was very soft the next morning. I currently use it once a week. I did try three times after a month but started to peel so I have gone back to twice a week. I understand it takes a while to get use to it. I have not had any irritation or red skin.
  12. Good value


    I found this product easy to use it is very oily but my skin was very soft the next morning. I currently use it once a week. I did try three times after a month but started to peel so I have gone back to twice a week. I understand it takes a while to get use to it. I have not had any irritation or red skin.
  13. A nice first step into retinoids


    I was wary of using retinoids due to sensitive skin and am happy to report no reaction at all. I’m finishing up my first bottle and I’ve noticed a small improvement of fine lines around my eyes.
  14. effective, not reactive


    I have "reactive" skin, which means that it's not overly sensative, but products with really active ingredients can make my face stay red for ages.
    I thought I would start with this concentration before I moved to the stronger ones, but am pleased to say that my skin did not turn red AT ALL after use, turns out I could have amped up the concentration from the get go.
  15. Great for early stages of wrinkles


    Been using it for months , and it does feel a bit oily at first but it later slowly gets absorbed by the skin. I use it in my pm routine so It feels good and works good over night. Buying my third bottle.
  16. Love It!


    This is my first retinol product and I'm loving it so far. I'm still quite young but I'm hoping on the anti-aging train early haha! The squalane makes it feel nice on the skin, and I didn't find any irritation with this product. However, a tiny bit goes a long way! Because it's in an oil, it has a lot more slip so it spreads quite well with a small amount. I haven't seen any visible results yet si...
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  17. a little bit goes a long way


    super affordable and accessible skin care, a great introduction to retinols.. I do find it a bit oily so a little bit goes a very long way.
  18. Too oily


    I like this product that makes my skin smooth, but I don't like it with Squalene, it makes it too oily and too watery. I prefer with Emulsion 2%
  19. Already seeing results!


    I have only been using this for a bit over a week and can already see a difference in my skin! My skin is looking clearer and more radiant. I can’t wait to see what the results will be after using it for a longer period. After doing research about retinoids and retinols, I decided to purchase this particular one because it was suggested to start on a lower dose if your skin is not used to having t...
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  20. Great introduction to retinols


    I decided to adventure into retinol as it was the one thing missing from my skincare. I've found this to be a great introduction as I had read about the irritation that retinols can cause and how Granactive Retinoids are less reactive. True to claim I had no issues with starting this in my routine, irritation free. Been using for 2 months now and my skin is so much softer and redness has decreased...
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  21. Use sparingly


    I found this product to be a bit oily and have reduced the amount I put on. I like the way it made my skin look smoother and I’m hoping to continue seeing improvements in texture and fine lines. I will probably buy again because of the good price.
  22. The holy grail


    After years of hormonal pigmentations, I’m really hoping that this gentle formula will be able to reduce the signs on my skin and help my uneven tone. Fingers crossed
  23. Must have!


    I use this every second night and love it! I don't have any wrinkles yet and am hoping this prevents them.
  24. Good value for money


    Wish I could love oils on my face, realised I prefer retinol in cream base. But if you love oils, can't beat this price!
  25. Great for first signs of aging


    I can have sensitive skin but I have not had any issues with this product. It’s oily but I like it. My skins texture improved with a fortnight. I use this after buffet most nights.
  26. Love the smoothness, not so much the sting


    This product overall leaves my skin hydrated and has appeared smoother in just a few days. I did notice it creeps its way into my eyes, leaving them stingy and itchy. Ive started using it sparingly and not going as close to the eye as i could with other retinoids, bit of a down point but other than that an effective product.
  27. Helpful for skin


    Great product and an unbeatable price.

    Started to add retinol into my daily routine and Notice the my skin is smoother and more hydrated
  28. Great product


    Very gentle. It did reduce my pores and make my skin smooth. Love retinoid products.
  29. No irritation and effective


    Not as strong as a retinol, the name and different ranges was confusing but this is a great starter retinol/retinoid. DOes leave skin a little red and can feel the acitvie ingredients but almost no irritation. No breakouts on my skin. I will be trying the emulsion verison of this next as I feel the squalene leaves me too greasy
  30. Affordable and amazing


    I'd been looking for a while for a way to cure my pigmentation from acne scarring and I'd heard about vitamin A. This product is a great starting point to help fade any scars whilst leaving the skin bright, smooth, and youthful! I used this along with the buffet serum and the daily moisturiser.
  31. great affordable product


    This is the first retinoid I have used and I loved it. so affordable compared to other brands. very light texture and doesn't leave skin feeling sticky. occasional skin peeling as expected. left skin feeling smooth. did not have any sensitivity
  32. Fades acne scars but very oily


    I found this product did begin to help fade some of my acne scars after a few months of usage but it's a very oily product and doesn't really sink into the skin properly, making it rather uncomfortable to sleep with it on. Probably would purchase the cream version instead next time.
  33. The oil hurt my eyes.


    This was the first The Ordinary retinol based product that I used. It is super easy to apply but the oiliness of the product meant it slowly seeped into my eyes and irritated them quite a bit during the night. I have recently changed over to The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion and I much prefer the creamy texture!
  34. Softens my skin and reduces fine lines and large pores


    This does exactly what it is supposed to. I have been using it for a couple of months, gradually at first and now every night. It is a great no-frills and affordable retinoid which I feel is maintaining my skin breakout free while helping to reduce my fine lines.
  35. It works!


    Noticed visible results in less than a week. Love this stuff! It feels nice on your skin too
  36. Love it!


    As a first time retinoid user, I've been really pleased with this product. I've been using it twice a week and have noticed an improvement in my skin's texture and tone.
  37. Good Value


    Great product at an affordable price, good option if you don’t want to spend hundreds on high end product
  38. Late night hydration


    I have oily skin, but i find that this works fantastically at night to hydrate before going to sleep. Best in small doses though!
  39. No difference


    Not noticed any difference in my skin using this. I won't repurchase.
  40. Breakouts


    This is the second product i have tried from the Ordinary and much to my disappointment they have both caused breakouts and no improvement at all.
  41. Love this!


    I have been using this for almost a year and it has changed my skin for the better! It's gentle (I have sensitive skin) and has evened out my skin tone and I have a smoother complexion and firmer skin. Highly recommend this!
  42. Ok


    I tried this instead of my usual retinoid from the ordinary, I found it didn’t work as well as the one without squalene, it may be good if you have dry skin and find the retinoids on it’s own too harsh however I felt this didn’t work as well for me.
  43. Holy Grail!


    I couldn't love this product more! I have sensitive and fair skin, redness and blemishes and I had noticed my skin becoming textured even with my best skincare efforts - this product has been key in turning that around! Minimised pores, smooth texture and tone, reducing redness and improving overall appearance - is there anything this gem can't do! I didn't experience any sensitivity but others ma...
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  44. Amazing


    I've suffered with PCOS skin issues for years. I've used this for a week with some other products in the range and not only had no more cystic acne popping up but the rough scarring on my chin is already smoother. A must have for PCOS sufferers.
  45. Fabulous non irritating retinoid


    A great product, has taken my skin to the next level. Has made a great difference in improving my skin tone and texture. I have not had any issues with tolerating this product.
  46. Works great


    I started with the 2% and will definitely be moving up to the 5% once my bottle finishes. I found this has helped with my scarring overall skin texture. I personally find that this works best after thoroughly cleansing the skin, applying it on to bare skin and finishing with kiehls ultra face cream. I started finding results after continuous use vs. sporadic
  47. Not good for me


    Didn’t do anything much at all. Not a product that is recommend :(
  48. Love it!!


    I’ve noticed a big difference in my skin since using this product. When I break out it clears up a lot quicker and overall complexion has improved. I want to try the 5% next time but would highly recommend this product to people with problem skin
  49. Good but didn't work well on my acne scars.


    I bought this product to target my acne scars as I was recommended incorporating retinol into my skincare routine. It is a good product generally speaking but I haven't found it to really help much with my acne scars. I know retinol takes time to show effects but even so, 6 months of using it and I'm not overly impressed with the results. That being said, I don't hate the product either. I will co...
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  50. I really wanted to love this


    For the price and hype I really wanted to love this. I felt it Made no difference to my skin..
  51. Perfect intro to retinoids


    Love this! Makes my skin feel so soft and the results are pretty good! I feel that it has definitely with some of my fine lines. Highly recommend!
  52. Helping to reduce pimple scarring


    I have been using this product for around 2 weeks now. It’s an oil-based product, so I put it on after cleansing and toning, but before my night oil (Kiehl's midnight recovery oil). I have to ensure I put lip balm on before using this product, as I have found it dries out my lips. I have also noticed that I have obviously been forgetting to place the product between my nostrils, and the skin there...
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  53. Great


    I have combination/acne prone skin. This product is great for anti aging and it also helps with my scar. I don’t have any negative reaction using this and I’m also grateful for the price. Definitely recommend.
  54. Better than other high end retinoids


    Super hydrating, feels like silk. I’ve used other high end products and this is just as good if not better!
  55. Like it


    I love the ordinary. This makes my skin more even, smooth, toned, and soft! An amazing product for the price and lasted a fair while considering the size of the bottle!
  56. Great


    So happy with this product
    I've been using this product for at least 6 months now and keep getting compliments about how clear my skin is. A bit oily, but easily absorbed. I am very happy with the results!
  57. Best value


    This bottle lasts a long time and the product goes a long way. Such good value so you can’t go wrong
  58. 10/10


    Retinol is great for anti aging and I couldn’t be happier that this product caused no irritation to my sensitive skin.100% recommend and grateful for the low price!!!
  59. Great


    ive had irritation with retinol before but never with this!


    this helps me achieve my flawless skin! I sometimes use it all over the body! It is cheap but it works! This is a must!
  61. No turning back! Amazing


    This was the first retinol product I ever used and since then I have not looked back! Retinol is a must have product ingredient for anyone looking to fight the signs of aging. I have since moved on to a stronger retinol as my skin became use to this one but that was after a very long time. I have very sensitive skin which is combination (break outs but also dry and some fine lines) at first my ski...
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  62. Great product


    Great product containing a vitamin A metabolite without producing redness or sensitivity. Unlike other vitamin A products, this made my skin smooth and plump without any redness or hypersensitivity. Great price point and overall, an excellent product.
  63. AH-MAZING!


    Such amazing results for the price and still a very potent formulation. It did take some adjusting for my skin but the reaction definitely wasn't horrible, and the results are worth it!
  64. My first retinoid - took some time to adjust


    I purchased this product as i was interested in trying a retinol / retinoid product and i had read that this was a good one to start with for those with sensitive skin.

    I did find that my skin took several weeks to adjust and i had some flaking and dryness for the first 3-4 weeks. I am glad i stuck with it as have been very happy with the results, both in terms of fine lines and mild...
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  65. best Retinol serum in my skin


    It works in my skin definitely and I am a big fan for Squalane as well.
    Less irritated but enough retinol, so it is a great serum.
    The price is so friendly, will repurchase and highly recommended.
  66. Packs a moisture punch


    I use this in my night time skincare routine, and it packs a lot of moisture into my skin. I just let it sit while I sleep and I wake up the next morning with dewy skin!
  67. Awesome product that doesn't break the bank


    I've been using The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalene for about a year. I have found that since adding it to my routine, my skin has looked clearer - with the product helping some of my cystic acne scars.
  68. gently on skin


    Been using this few weeks. It doesn't irritate my skin. I use whole face and eyes. Will upgrade to higher dose 5% once finish
  69. Fantastic!


    Love this product! I only use a few times a week and am starting to see the benefits. Love the packaging too, it's a very cool dropper and glass bottle.
  70. Great product. I've noticed a difference in my smile lines


    I've been using this product since mid-last year and I've noticed a difference in the appearance of the smile lines under my eyes, in particular. When I haven't been using it for a period due to running out, they definitely look more pronounced.
    It layers beautifully with my other nighttime products (TO Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, TO 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil).
    It hasn't...
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  71. My 1st The Ordinary product

    Broken Silver

    I have almost finished the bottle. I did not get any allergic reactions to the product. Whats nice is that it spreads very easily and lasts for a long time. I recently up graded to the 5% Granactive Retinoid. There is what I believe to be a natural smell to the product, meant to be used in the PM/night anyway.
  72. No difference in my skin


    I am about half way through this bottle. The only positives about this product would be that it didn't irritate my skin. This is the first time for me using retinol. I am 34, with combination, acne prone skin. I don't show any visible signs of aging skin such as wrinkles, however my skin is a bit dehydrated and it shows more around my eyes. My main skin concern is acne. I have been using this seru...
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  73. Rich in moisture


    I use this in my night time skincare routine, and it packs a lot of moisture into my skin. I just let it sit while I sleep and I wake up the next morning with dewy skin!
  74. Very easy to use & great for sensitive skin


    Purchased for my Mum who has had bad reactions to other anti ageing formulas in the past. This is a very thin serum, easy to apply & doesn't cause any irritations to her skin. Benefits are already beginning to show after only 2 applications over the past week. Highly recommend
  75. Dewy skin base


    This serum adds so much moisture back into my skin straight out of the shower. I get dry skin and it loves this product. I’ve been using it for months and it’s my favourite Ordinary product!
  76. Great product


    Really nice to apply & no inflammation / redness on my skin - which you can sometimes get with Retinoids.
    I will definitely be purchasing again!
  77. Amazing


    I changed to this from the emulsion version as I herd it is better for younger skin - I love it :) skin looks more soft and plump in the morning and soaks in quick - I have combination skin and this doesn’t make my face shiny
  78. Great!


    Just finished my first bottle of this!

    I’m a 28 year old with oily, sensitive skin prone to a lot of white heads and a few dark spots due to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. No signs of deep wrinkles yet, but a few tiny lines around my eyes and that’s it.

    I love the consistency of this, a little goes a long way as it spreads quite easily. Felt even moisturising whils...
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  79. Love it


    A great retinol product - it produces great results and hasnt given me any breakouts. My skin is smoother and brighter than before. A great price point.
  80. Very effective


    Started using this again a few weeks ago and have really noticed a difference in my skin. I love it. Will repurchase for sure. Very cost effective for the quality of the product.
  81. Promising early results


    Backround info: 28, fair skin that is prone to cystic acne and scarring, no signs of ageing yet. Purchased to even out my skintone and improve scarring/pigmentation after many years of acne. I currently wear another brand of oil to bed so I'm used to this squalane formula. Normally, I wake up with nice and even skin from the oil I was already using, but notice when I use the retinoid, I am waking ...
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  82. Like it at first but now I have second thoughts (Follow-up review after 1 month)


    I have used this for more than a month now. I really appreciate the effect of retinoid. Although the ordinary claims that this product is very mild, it still causes some irritation to me which is tolerable. The main thing that I don't like about his product is the solvent - Squalane. When I applies it to the skin, it feels like it's not absorbing and just stay on top of my skin. Because of this, I...
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  83. It’s working


    I have started using this the last 2 weeks, 3 times a week. I use it along with other The Ordinary products and it’s definitely working on my skin. I’m in my 40s and so far it has brightened my skin but I’m hoping it ends up reducing pigmentation over time. I’ve sensitive skin and have had no reactions. Worth a try for the price!
  84. Retinol at its finest!


    I really like this serum. I use it at night, after the lactic acid serum. It's plumps out my skin and in the morning, I swear it's less wrinkly. I have combination skin and I find it helps keep down flakiness and oiliness.
  85. Good start, great for hands!


    I'm 42, dry skin, freckles. As I have never used retinols/retinoids I started at this low strength formula. I did find it a bit greasy, though it did not break me out. As I have been really getting in to caring for my skin, I'm not sure what positive attributes this is causing on my face as I use many products, I have however found a BIG difference in my hands. I have been applying this to my ...
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  86. Finally a product which prevents acne!


    I am a twenty five year old woman who has fair combination complexion prone to hormonal acne. I have been using The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane for approximately 6 months now and I am still on the same bottle! I use this product approximately 5 times a week at night. I have not noticed any visible changes in my skin, although I have not suffered from any major signs of ageing (ye...
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  87. Fantastic


    Lovely product. This is my first retinol, and it's definitely refined my skin tone
  88. Great


    I've used it a couple of times now with no irritation. Every other Retinoid I've used has irritated my skin horribly. Definitely worth a try, especially at such a reasonable price.
  89. Amazing!


    My skin looks glows, product didn't irritate my sensitive skin, great over moisturiser in winter months.
  90. Night treatment


    Amazing to use before bed if you want to wake up with clear smooth skin. Fights wrinkles effectively.
  91. This is amazing!


    My skin has not looked this good in forever, I’ve been using this every night for the past few months. I loved it so much I recommend it to everyone and even brought my mum a bottle.
  92. Great product for a great price


    I’ve used other retinol products with a much heftier price tag so wanted to give this one a go for its affordability and reputation and so far I’ve been very happy. I started out using it slowly, once a week, then twice now the recommended 3 times a week and haven’t had any reactions. My skin overall looks clearer and I think it’s having an effect. Will definitely continue using!
  93. Amazing products but need to be cautious when introducing it to the skin


    This product has amazing effects. After I use it for two times, it causes a really good purging with blackheads coming out of the pores every time I wash my face. It feels so good with them leaving my pores. However, be aware that your skin will look very rough and horrible during the purging. It looks worse before it gets better. Make sure you will not be around some mean friends after using this...
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  94. Repeat purchase - awesome stuff!


    This is a brilliant product for all-round improvement to the appearance of my (40 year old) skin. I'm on my 2nd bottle. Lasts ages, even with nightly use, and I have never experienced any irritation. I have also tried The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoid Emulsion, and find this much more effective. Highly recommended.
  95. Great!


    I bought this about 10 months ago and have been using it on and off (not a fault of the product, just me getting lax with skincare for a few months) and my skin doesn't have an issue with it at all! I really enjoy how soft it makes my skin feel especially because of the squalane. I'm not sure how well the retinol is doing however. My skin is usually quite dry so the minimising of my smile lines mi...
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  96. Good


    I've used it a few times every night and have already noticed a difference in the really fine lines under my eyes. I have very oily skin and thought I'd be able to omit moisturizer from my nightly regimen (since there is oil in the product). However, I noticed tiny dry patches appearing when I put my foundation on. This is nothing bad against the product, but I'm going to use a moisturizer again a...
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  97. good product :)


    I recently just got introduced to the maze of chemical skincare and a friend of mine told me to have a try on The Ordinary Retinoid/Retinol products. I have normal/dry skin and had no irritation/reactions from using it on my face and neck area. However, it made my neck all red and sensitive. I had to strain myself from scratching all over the neck area. Luckily, it only lasted for 2-3 days. Now I...
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  98. Nice evening product


    I purchased this as part of a new regime from the Ordinary. I have used it for about ten weeks. My skin is somewhat oily but this hasn’t broken me out at all and feels nice and smooth. I have used it for a bit of light evening Gua Sha and it works pretty well for that - it stays slippery for a few minutes. I can’t say for sure that I’ve seen any dramatic improvements through using this hence the ...
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  99. Skin feels lovely


    Have just started using this, I have normal to dry skin so was worried this would dry out my skin. But I had no reactions to it and my skin felt so soft and dewy the next morning. I haven't been using it long enough to judge the effects on my pores or wrinkles yet so will need to update my review at a later date.
  100. needed something for my first signs of age


    I have been applying this on my fine lines and enlarged pores and have noticed my skin looks better in the morning, my normally HUGE pores dont look so obvious. I plan to go to the next strength up after this bottle because I've had no iriitation or problems with it at all.
  101. Review & Earn
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