Rated 4.32 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Positive Review The HOLY GRAIL
You guys!!!! I bought this on a whim. From previous dermatologist appointments I knew retinol was great for your skin so i decided to try it. A little bit of a background.. I'm 25 and have had cystic acne and black heads that wouldn't ever go away, fine lines and I also worked at a tanning salon for a few years so my skins seen better days. I bought this and I had a pimple on my neck, the morning I woke up, the swelling went down drastically and I noticed my skim was getting smoother. Fast forward to month 1 and I hardly break out now, my pores have SIGNIFICANTLY shrunk, my fine lines are going away and my black heads are finally going away. Mind you, for at least my skin type being oily anyway, this does make it Uber shiny.. however it does not break you out or "purge" my acne scars are becoming less noticeable along with the texture is evening out. I pray they don't discontinue this or change the formula. 10/10 recommend and it doesn't make my skin dry or irritated as well. I even sometimes use this after a glycolic toner.
Most Helpful Critical Review No Results
I'm getting to that age where anti-aging products are changing from preventative to correcting. I had normal skin until around 30 when I became more prone to breakouts. I've started to develop fine lines between my eyebrows and marionette (naso-labial). I used to be able to exfoliate them away but over the past two years or so, they've become more stubborn (this is what it's like to age, if you're curious). I started using retinol about three years ago when someone gifted me an EL set with the night repair serum and moisturizer. I started getting comments from people who ID'd me that they were shocked and young class mates (I'm back in school continuing my education) that were confused when I mentioned my age. I'm super skeptical about skin products like anyone with basic anatomy and physiology training, so when this happened I still questioned it...until I stopped using them and saw the crazy difference in my skin. Went from those products to Alpha Skin Wrinkle Repair Cream, to The Ordinary Retinol .5% in Squalane, to this. I had the same experience switching from the .5% in Squalane to the Granactive Retinol as I did when I switched from using the EL products to nothing. I read all the hype about it being the "next generation" of retinol, just as effective but without irritation or sun-sensitivity, etc. After about a month of using this, I was starting to look in the mirror and get depressed. Fine lines, texture, and pigmentation were all getting worse, and on top of that "peach fuzz" was getting really obvious on my face. It never crossed my mind that this product wasn't working because everything from the ordinary is great and they're claims are usually spot on. BUT, after switching back to the old retinol, all signs of aging have improved drastically.
Reviewed by 120 customers Must have!
Alexis from Ocala Fl
I love this product and the price cannot be beaten. I use this 3-4 times a week it is a must have. This is just the retinol nothing else no frills. the price point is great and the product gets the job done. If you're new to retinols start with the 1% and work up from there. If you've been using retinal a switching to this brand try this one then move up.
The Ordinary is NOT ORDINARY!
Nurse777 from Louisiana
I absolutely LOVE all of THE Ordinary products. They are all so inexpensive and everyone that I have tried so far work so well. My concerns are anti-aging and they have many for this problem. I have added this emulsion into my skincare routine, and I have definitely noticed a reduction in my fine lines on my forehead. So worth every penny!
Excellent product. Great value
Sammy from Phx, Az
Wonderful addition to my nightly beauty products.
After only 2 weeks I can already see a difference!
Iriz from Santa Cruz, CA
I love this product!
S from Dallas
I love this product! Cured my acne quickly and helped with over all tone and redness
LisaAnn from Whitewater
This product is smooth and smells wonderful. I've only been using it at night for the past week, so not sure if it's doing anything yet. I purchased a second bottle so that I can give it a chance. The price is great!
this is a staple in my nightly skin care routine
gc from LA
I use this every night after ordinary's niacinamide serum and before my cerave moisturizer. I love the way it makes my skin feel. I have also noticed a definite shift in how quickly acne heals and my acne scars have faded significantly.
My favorite serum!!
Skylar from Mississippi
My skin glows when I use this, and improves the texture of my face. I love it!!
Good enough for Kim Kardashian, it's good enough for me!
Luzanne from Malibu, California
Every so often, a beautiful celebrity provides non-sponsored product recommendations. That was the genesis of discovering that Kim Kardashian has it in her skincare Arsenal. Anything I can do to move a step closer to her flawless complexion is worth trying. At the low price point, experimentation is a no brainer.
My skin is oily, acneic, and sensitive - the trifecta! Almost every retinoid is intolerable and results in a tomato red coloring. Not the case with this product which means it must not be too strong. It won't be one of my forever products like The Ordinary's Niacinimide. But, if you're looking for a lightweight retinol that's gentle on skin, this product may be for you. If you're looking for a retinoid to pack a punch and transform skin, it probably isn't for you.
Given the low price point, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Love so far
el from fl
After a few days of using my acne has gone down quite a bit and my skin looks much glowier. This product isn't irritating to me at all. I've been keeping it in the fridge like the packaging suggests, it feels really nice on my skin when it's cold!
Cured my hormonal acne
B from Blacksburg, VA
After having clear skin for most of my life, I switched birth control pills and was suddenly suffering from painful cystic hormonal acne breakouts around my mouth and chin. I had been using Niacinimie + Zinc in the AM, and Mandelic Acid or Lactic Acid exfoliant in PM for a year, with previous glowing and clear skin. I started using Granactive Retinoid in PM instead of an exfoliant, and within 3 treatments, my acne was almost gone. I still have a few remaining smaller whiteheads pop up every now and again, but I'm no longer in pain from the deep-rooted pimples and needing to wear tons of concealer everyday. I started using 2x per week and worked up to 1x per day gradually with no reactions or sensitivity. I'm so happy to have my confidence back, this stuff is a miracle in a bottle!
On my 4th bottle of this stuff
Gabrielle from gulfport
I adore this and hope they never stop making this. It completely eradicated my fine lines and helped clear up my skin! I also break out way less while using it. Just perfection.
Great product for great value
Larlass from Herndon, VA
I love most of the Ordinary's products, and this one may be my favorite. It's gentle enough to use nightly, though you may want to start off using it less frequently to see how your skin reacts. It's great for improving skin texture, and for overall brightness and radiance. I am using it as part of a regimen to combat dark spots from sun damage and it does a pretty good job at that as well.
Great in my routine!
The ordinary fan girl from Chicago
I love this! I have sensitive skin and this didn't make me break out. I use this with the niacinimode + zinc, followed by this, then buffet and then my moisturizer and eye cream! Love
good for my skin type
crash from hutchinson, ks
I have oily skin and this doesn't make my skin feel rubbery or clog my pores. Not the greatest ingrediants but its a good solution for me.
made me break out
laice from Portland, Oregon
I do have sensitive skin. the hyleronic acid by ordinary works well and clears acne. this retinol, unfortunately, caused lots of acne immediately after use.
Bella from Tampa
I was using this serum when I first started a skincare routine, over two years ago... recently I checked the ingredient list of this out of curiosity of what I was putting on my skin back then. I have learned a lot since then... well this serum has "CARRAGEENAN" in it. it's a type of red seaweed algae and it causes inflammation. I always check labels to make sure this "Carrageenan" ingredient is NOT in it. That's including my coconut milks and other products. They specifically say "free of carrageenan". skin care of food, it acts as a thickening agent or gel/gum! disgusting.
gentle and effective
lindsey from ohio
i started off slow alternating days with this and it's been going well. it's strong enough to see a difference but gentle enough that i don't get peeling and irritation. i have oily skin, hormonal acne, and my skin doesn't tend to be sensitive.
Brittany from WV
This caused an immediate reaction in me when I did a patch test. I used another brand of retinol for the past year or so with no issue. I'm glad I patch tested or I would have been mad. Definitely returning.
Complete game-changer for adult acne
MJ from Los Angeles, CA
The photos on the left are me wearing NO makeup on my skin after using this retinol for a couple months. I am in my late twenties and started getting acne recently, after having no acne most of my life. This retinoid serum made a HUGE difference!! Really exfoliates and renews skin.
Here's my full routine in case it helps: I use the Oridinary retinol every other night, CeraVe face cream at night, CeraVe SPF lotion in the day and Paula's Choice acne cream every other day, and CeraVe gentle face wash twice a day. I also stopped eating gluten which really reduced inflammation in my body, I am clearly sensitive to it. I have tried so many things for years and this is the routine that works for me! Don't give up!! You WILL find something that works. I was at my breaking point and battling for years but I found a solution, so you will too!
Caused cystic acne breakout
cass from chicago
Wanted to use this for some super minor scarring and dark spots on my chin. However, it worsened my mascne in this area and caused huge, painful cystic acne that would turn into whiteheads. I never pick my pimples but I now have 2 more dark spot scars despite religiously using my SPF and tinkering with my routine with this retinoid by using it only 2x a week, up to every day of the week. I patiently waited for the "retinoid purge" to end, but as the months went on, it only seemed to get worse. After 3 months, I discontinued and have gone back to using Ordinary's lactic acid which is giving me results, just much more slowly, and the painful acne cleared up right away.
2 stars because I loved that it didn't give me redness or irritation, worked great with my favorite water-based moisturizer, and absorbs into skin quickly.
I'm going to finish a few more weeks of lactic, give my skin a break, and then try to slowly reintroduce this. For reference I don't normally have sensitive skin, but understand I may just have to try other retinoids if this one continues causing issues past the normal purge period of around 6weeks.
Great Gentle Retinoid
Zoë from Kentucky
I have generally clear skin, though I do get consistent breakouts. I wanted a gentle retinoid that was easy to use and not too harsh. I am happy with the results! It took about a week for my skin to get used to it, but I can tell there is a marked difference when I do and don't use this in my nighttime skincare routine. 4 stars ONLY because it's not my favorite smell—it's not bad, but I don't love it. This product is great in every other way.
RitzBitz from New York
For now I'm in the middle. I like the creamy consistency and it sits nicely on my skin but not sure if it is taking any effect. I will see what a month will bring for me. My man has commented how my skin looks nice and clear so let's see.
Read the bottle info
Big red from Ulta California
I'm still mid bottle using. So results still not up to my expectations!! Main reason leaving a review though… is for the ones reading reviews. If you purchase this product, it says it right on the bottle "after opening must refrigerate"…!! I think maybe that's why I haven't seen result so quickly (idk).. but imma stick it out and finish a bottle. I'll give an update if I can remember. But for now, read reviews, and instructions on bottle (on any product)…
Didn't Love It
Hazel from USA
I'm happy that this product has worked for so many people, but it just didn't do it for me. No matter how little I used, it just sat on my oily skin and didn't absorb. It left my skin greasy and a little sticky too, and I believe it also contributed to the breakouts I've been having recently, even though my skin was clearing up prior to using this product. Didn't love it. Glad its working for others though! Not sure I'd recommend it to anyone with oily, acne prone skin.