Where I got it: I got this from Victoria Health website for £11.90. I always buy my The Ordinary products from them because they have the entire range, they have great information and they also have a good waitlist system so if you order the product but it is not in stock, they won’t charge you until they are ready to be shipped. Anyway, I also got 3 other products and paid £8.00 for shipping. I ordered this on 2/9 and it was delivered on 19/9. It wasn’t the fastest shipping but Victoria Health always have consistent shipping times and they are really well packed.
What I got: This is a 30ml bottle of The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane. This is a water-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free solutions containing 5% concentration of the same advanced retinoid active complex used in the original Advanced Retinoid 2%. It 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.
This product uses next-generation retinoid active technologies which have been shown to achieve a 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.
How I find it: This is my first time using a Retinoid product, whilst I have used a Retinol product before (Paula’s Choice). For my understanding, Retinoid is much less irritating than Retinol. You have to use Retinol or Retinoid carefully – make sure you wear sunscreen, use it gradually, avoid when pregnant and when breastfeeding, etc. Most of The Ordinary’s Retinol and Retinoid products are in a Squalane base except for one that is in an emulsion and another one that is just a stable emulsion of 1% Retinol.
This is a 5% retinoid in Squalane. I have used Squalane before (Biossance) and they can be animal-derived (sharks), or can be plant-derived. This is a plant-derived squalane and they are highly moisturising and nourishing. Unlike plant oils, Squalane is completely non-greasy, is exceptionally pure and stays stable in varying UV, temperature and oxidative conditions.
Overall: I used this after any lightweight serum (do not use this with any other retinol or retinoid products (serum or moisturiser), like a hyaluronic acid serum or an antioxidant serum, then I use 2-3 drops of this all over my face. I use this only at night and most of the time I don’t need a moisturiser. It feels quite greasy when you first apply it and it feels like it is just gliding over the skin without sinking it. For my combination skin, it does take a few minutes to fully sink in and I need to make sure I don’t use more than 3 drops or the entire face. The serum doesn’t dry out my face or cause any breakouts but it doesn’t make my skin feel smoother and tighter in the morning. Not in a dry-tight sort of way, but more like a firmer way. My skin looks brighter and more radiant everytime I use it.