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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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17 reviews

Share your experience with this product
4.4 out of 5
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Normal
  • Skin Tone Fair
  • Facial Features Mestiza
  • Age 21

Wish I got this sooner!!

To be quite honest, I was skeptical at first as I already had some experience with The Ordinary brand in the past. I was expecting the product to perform much like the Retinol 1%--which I wasn't that big of a fan of. To my shock, Granactive Retinoid 2% works so well in terms of resurfacing and brightening my skin after about a month of use. I've been using it every other day and has really transformed my skincare routine for the better. Glad I came across it, good purchase altogether.

about 1 month ago
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Oily
  • Skin Tone Fair
  • Facial Features Mestiza
  • Age 33

Kim Kardashian brought me here!

I can blame Kim Kardashian for purchasing this retinol product LOL I was watching a clip on Youtube about Kim's skin care routine and this came up among her best-kept secret for having that flawless skin. I hope I can also achieve her flawlessness *I wish!* hahaha I've only been using this for about two days and so far no breakouts and no dryness whatsoever. Anyhow, as with all retinol products make sure to just use this at night never in the morning AND always use sunscreen in your morning routine since retinol makes your skin extra sensitive to the sun.

2 months ago
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Combination
  • Skin Tone Fair
  • Facial Features Chinita
  • Age 39


I absolutely love this brand. This is my second bottle. And wil continue to buy this product. Little goes a Long way . With micro peeling effect for fine line and wrinkles. Keep my face youthful and flawless. I use this with hyaluronic acid. Works well wil pimple scars too and skin discolouration

2 months ago
Top Reviewer
Certified Buyer
  • Skin Type Oily
  • Skin Tone Medium
  • Facial Features Morena

It's awesome. Will keep buying and using for as long as it's working.

My first foray into retinols is TO's Granactive Retinoid 2% in squalane, which I could never get to work on my skin after trying it on and off for several months. I was skipping on moisturizer yet my face was still too oily, didn't see any progress, and I was breaking out all over. Thinking my skin isn't loving the squalane, I chucked it and got the Advanced Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. It was fine the first two tries (weekly) but broke me out on the third try. Read an article about layering it AFTER moisturizer (I use an aloe gel) to slow it down and hallelujah, it finally worked! Been using it every 3-4 nights and I can really see the difference the next day; smooth, supple skin, pigmentations fading and less pronounced acne (if any). I'm getting fewer bumps too. My skin is at its best the morning after I use this. It's that potent! Makes me want to use it everyday but know I should hold back for the same reason.

3 months ago
Top Reviewer
  • Skin Type Combination
  • Skin Tone Fair
  • Age 40

Not irritating.

I've been using this every other night for 3 months or so, as my active. I only use a couple of drops for my face, and I focus on the areas where lines will naturally form like forehead, laugh lines, sides of eyes, and also my cheeks and areas with freckles. I haven't noticed any increased skin sensitivity, though I do apply sunscreen daily. Will continue using this until I finish the bottle to see if there are any noticeable effects.

4 months ago
  • Skin Type Combination
  • Skin Tone Medium
  • Facial Features Morena
  • Age 24

I'm not sure but whatever, I'll give it a 5 stars.

Honestly, I don't know what this product does to my skin. It is marketed as an anti-aging and I am only 24 sssooo I guess I don't need it pa? I dunno. I am really not sure. I'm just using it since my mother won't. I have been using it with The Ordinary's Glycolic toner, sometimes interchangeably during PM routine. I have been experimenting this on my face hoping it would also help me with some pimples and their cousins - pimple marks. I don't know if it's doing something or what but I'm glad it doesn't cause breakouts on my face. I don't like the smell though, but I like that it absorbs into the skin like it doesn't just sit on it. Some products just sit on my skin like I'd worry if the products would be wiped off when I sleep. Aaanndd since this is a retinoid, I diligently obey the number rule: Do not use in the morning. The funny this is there are mornings that I had to walk outside the house with my face fully covered because I still wasn't able to wash and I'd worry about the retinoid. Anyway, I don't know if I'd repurchase this though, we'll see.

5 months ago
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