What is retinol?
Retinol is a topical derivative of vitamin A that exfoliates the skin, regenerates cell production, and boosts collagen over a matter of hours. Boasting both anti-ageing and acne-reducing superpowers, this multi-tasking saviour will also help your skin to better absorb any other products you apply afterwards (meaning more bang for your buck with follow-up serums, night creams or overnight masks). Nice one, retinol.
Why should I use it?
If tackling acne and scarring is high on your skincare agenda, retinol speeds up cell turnover in order to help heal the skin, while exfoliating the outer layers, preventing pores from clogging and reducing breakouts. Anti-ageing more of an issue? Retinol helps with that, too – it stimulates collagen and blood vessel production, helping to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation spots.
How do I use it?
As sunlight is to retinol what kryptonite is to Superman, retinol should only be used during your night-time routine, a couple of times a week (increasing to every other day, if needed, once acclimatised). Start by applying a pea-size amount all over the face, followed by a nourishing moisturiser. Lastly, remember to use an SPF come morning as retinol can harshen the impact of UV on your skin. The effects of retinol build over time and take roughly three months to work, so keep the faith if you don’t notice results straight away.
While the powers of retinol are undeniable, if you’ve got a sensitive skin type, keep an eye out for any irritation. While some dryness and/or redness is normal initially, if this persists and causes discomfort then it might not be for you. Plus, be careful when layering up skincare – never use a retinol in combination with other exfoliants like glycolic acid.
The Ordinary's 2% Retinol in Squalane is a water-free solution which 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. Granactive Retinoid, an active technology from Grant Industries, is a solubilized system of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, a highly-advanced form of retinoid which is, in fact, a non-prescription ester of all-trans direct retinoic acid that offers a multi-fold better effect against signs of ageing than retinol, retinyl palmitate and nearly all other forms of non-prescription retinoid.
The Ordinary’s portfolio of retinoids includes the following formulations:
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane (Moderate Strength, No Irritation)
Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane (High Strength, No to Low Irritation)
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane (Low Strength, Moderate Irritation)
Retinol 0.5% in Squalane (Moderate Strength, High Irritation)
Retinol 1% in Squalane (High Strength, Very High Irritation)
This product uses next-generation retinoid active technologies which have been shown to achieve better reduction in signs of ageing than retinol without irritation. These technologies cannot be compared directly with retinol itself in terms of concentration because they include a different retinoid molecule, in a similar way that Retinol cannot be compared with Retinoic Acid in terms of concentration. If you have interest in a retinol product, please refer to our Retinol portfolio above which products contain pure retinol and cost less since many retinol technologies cost less than their next-generation counterparts like Granactive Retinoid.
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.