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Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (Previously Advanced Retinoid 2%)

Icon value vegan
Icon value gluten free
Icon silicone free
Icon value cruelty free


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CLAIM TO FAME: A highly-effective anti-aging product that uses next-generation retinoid active technologies

FAST FACTS: Combines two forms of next-generation retinoid actives; features a 2% concentration of granactive retinoid, which offers a multi-fold better effect against signs of aging than retinol, retinyl palmitate and nearly all other forms of non-prescription retinoid; provides a sustained-delivery form of pure retinol in a protective capsule system, which supports both the delivery and the effect of granactive retinoid; features a pH level of 4.00-5.00; vegan formula is cruelty-free and doesn’t contain water, alcohol, silicone, nut, gluten, and soy

PERFECT FOR: More effective anti-aging effects without irritation

October 9, 2017
”I love this stuff! It has done wonders for my skin, I use it 3 times a week before bed and I always wake up the next morning with the best skin…might have to work my way up to every evening.”
– AVB (from theordinary.com)

September 28, 2017
”This is my first retinoid/retinol product and I’m impressed! This worked so well to rid of the texture on my forehead (little bumps) and decrease the size of my pores. My skin is looking so much better since I started using this! I still have a ton of little white heads along my jaw line, but can’t complain! I’ll be trying one of the new higher strength retinoid formulas for this purpose.”
–JP (from theordinary.com)

WHAT YOU GET: (1) Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (Previously Advanced Retinoid 2%)
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Bisabolol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carrageenan, Xanthan gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Sucrose Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Isoceteth-20, Behentrimonium Chloride, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Disodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

Formulations are updated from time to time as part of our commitment to innovation. As such, the ingredient list shown here may vary from the box of the product depending on time and region of purchase.

Apply a small amount to face in the PM as part of your skincare regimen, after water serums but before heavier treatments. Do not use with other retinoid treatments. Avoid unprotected solar exposure. Store in a cool, dry place.

Caution: Retinoids can make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation. Sun protection is particularly important when using retinoids. This product must not be used in conjunction with other retinoids including retinol or retinoic acid. This product is not a treatment for acne. Acne-prone skin may experience a temporary increase in acne during the first few weeks of using any form of retinoid including those used in this formulation.

Note: When pregnant or breastfeeding, it is recommended to avoid any skincare products containing retinoids such as formulations with Granactive Retinoid or Retinol.

The Ordinary

“Clinical formulations with integrity”—that’s what The Ordinary is about. Created to celebrate truth, veracity, and reliability, the beauty company is focused on advanced functional beauty while honestly communicating its products to its consumers. The end goal? Bringing to market effective, well-known technologies at reasonable prices. As part of DECIEM’s brands, The Ordinary is also free of Parabens, Sulphates, Mineral Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Animal Oils, Benzalkonium Chloride, Coal Tar Dyes, Formaldehyde, Mercury, and Oxybenzone and does not test on animals. All you need is to try out one of their bestselling products, extremely affordable and effective skincare products and you’ll realize what makes The Ordinary, extraordinary.

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31 reviews

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Top Reviewer
  • Skin Type Oily
  • Skin Tone Medium
  • Facial Features Morena
  • Age 20

You can never go wrong with TO

I read that vitamin c and retinol/retinoid are the two most effective actives that one should include in his/her routine. However, most retinol products give you horrible side effects before you get to see the good benefits it offers. Luckily, TO formulates skin care products with lesser irritations like this one so I bought one and emptied its bottle for three months and I can say that this really helped me with controlling my acne, acne marks, and my small pitted scars. The texture is creamy, the scent somehow reminds of me a cough syrup, and the packaging is really okay because it is designed to protect the product from reacting when exposed to UV. You will not see an overnight result, but you'll clearly see the difference when you compare your before and after pictures. Worth it!

6 days ago
Top Reviewer
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Combination
  • Skin Tone Fair
  • Facial Features Morena
  • Age 23

Keeps the pimples at bay

I’ve yet to see its anti-ageing effects. However, I’ve seen it keep the pimples at bay!! It doesn’t do much with my hormonal acne but for pimples, it’s pretty good. It also doesn’t dry out my face. I tend to use it together with TO’s niacinamide at night. Don’t forget to use sunblock whenever you’re going out though.

10 days ago
Top Reviewer
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Combination
  • Skin Tone Fair
  • Facial Features Mestiza
  • Age 21


Very happy with this purchase. This retinoid is non-irritating. You can use it every night without getting dryness or any reaction. It works well too. Though this isn't a product for acne, it lightens scars a little bit. Also this absorbs into the skin really well. Great product. One drop is enough to cover a lot. Well worth the price.

17 days ago
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Combination
  • Skin Tone Medium
  • Facial Features Morena
  • Age 39


bought this May 2018 and used it the same day upon arrival. it has not broken me but i don’t like the texture as it is sticky. i am used in using retinol actives and by-products and my skin has not reacted when i incorporated this in my skincare. pro: comes with glass dropper, amber glass bottle (supporting less to no use of plastic and hope beautymnl will start to ship without plastic pouches), active ingredients and product will last as you don’t need much to slather to your face con: sticky and you must know your acid (the ordinary has lots of acids and you need to know which one would work on your skin) TIP: retinol products and its by-products have high concentration of vitamin A, thus, your skin is more susceptible to sun damage if not properly cared on. wear sunblocks and reapply if needed be. do not stay under the sun even wearing sunblock

21 days ago
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Oily
  • Skin Tone Medium
  • Facial Features Morena
  • Age 27

A+ for smooth skin!

I tried this after I finished another retinol product and, although, the smell and texture of it weirded me out, it gave me better results. Looking back at things now, i'm glad they didn't add any additional fragrance to mask the weird greasy smell. The TO website doesn't recommend using this with Niacinamide though so i had to stop using that too but i feel like this, along with their Lactic Acid and Vit. C, i don't need anything else :) The lines under my eyes have also slowly diminished :)

about 2 months ago
Top Reviewer
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Oily
  • Skin Tone Medium
  • Facial Features Chinita
  • Age 25

Does its job!

I've been using this product every night for a month or two, and I really like it! It hasn't caused my skin to become sensitive, and my skin looks great in the morning-- I can definitely see smaller pores and brighter skin. Although I'm not sure helps in lightening dark spots, because my scars still take ages to disappear. I wish it did because I see other people's reviews who claim it helps lighten their dark spots. But I'm still happy with it because I just love how it makes my skin glow in the morning.

about 2 months ago
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