I’ve been testing a lot of The Ordinary products over the past year, and so far I’ve been pretty impressed. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is no exception.
I’m already on my second bottle of this stuff. It’s so good I actually repurchased it. That says a lot. I hardly ever buy something twice.
This is a light milky serum that soaks in very quickly and layers well under evening moisturizer products. The retinol is not irritating at all, which is somewhat surprising given the 2% concentration. I didn’t use it every evening though. So it may have irritated my skin a bit if I used it daily (rather than every other day, which is my current routine).
This serum contains time-released retinol as well as a retinol ester called hydroxypinacolone retinoate. New retinol esters are just as effective as pure retinol (or perhaps even more effective), but don’t cause as much irritation. So I would expect others with sensitive skin to be able to use this retinol serum as successfully as I have. Those just starting out with retinol should still start very slowly though. Begin with only one or two applications per week so skin can grow accustomed to it. This should minimize the likelihood of increased sensitivity, redness, or flaking.
If you have pretty clogged pores or breakouts lurking under the surface, you may experience some “purging” when you start using retinol products. This is normal. The increased frequency of breakouts should go away within a few weeks. If it lasts longer than 4-6 weeks, or breakouts continue to get progressively worse, then you probably need to find a different product.
So far with The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion, I’ve experienced a decrease in breakouts, a more even skin tone, and decreased oiliness while using this serum. I can’t speak much to wrinkles since I don’t have many. But retinol products (in general, not just this one) have completely removed the “elevens” that were starting to form between my brows. The fact that they are still gone shows that this product is just as effective as other, more expensive, retinol products I was using previously.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate,. Bisabolol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Stearate,. Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Sucrose Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Behentrimonium Chloride, Potassium Citrate,. Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Disodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
As with other products from The Ordinary, this is fragrance free, vegan, and cruelty free. It’s also alcohol free and silicone free.
I highly recommend this serum to everyone. It provides excellent age prevention and skin health benefits with a good amount of retinol. Plus, the price simply can’t be beat. You’d be hard pressed to find another retinol serum this effective at this price point.
UPDATE: So, since I started using this product, the name has been changed. It went from Advanced Retinoid 2% to Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. The ingredients list, however, has remained the same. The Ordinary has also released several new retinoid products suspended in squalane. Super excited to try those out next!