The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
Highly-Stable, Water-Free Solution of 0.2% Pure Retinol
Reduce wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging with this low-strength retinol serum.
What It Is
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane a lightweight serum with a low concentration of retinol in a squalane base.
What It Does
This treatment visibly reduces the signs of aging. It diminishes the look of wrinkles and fine lines, brightens dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and smooths and refines the skin’s texture.
- Retinol: a well-researched retinoid with powerful anti-aging benefits
- Squalane: an plant-derived emollient ingredient that offers lightweight hydration
This water-free solution contains 0.2% pure Retinol, an ingredient that can reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing. While Retinol has been studied extensively, it is irritating to the skin and newer technologies exist that mimic the visible effects of Retinol without causing skin irritation. For this reason, we generally recommend using Granactive Retinoid 2% or Granactive Retinoid 5% instead of this formula.
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)
Caution: Retinol can cause significant irritation, redness and peeling, especially around the eyes and mouth, in the early stages of treatment while skin builds tolerance. If you have not used high-strength retinol formulas in the past, we strongly recommend that you start your retinol regimen with our Retinol 0.2% in Squalane and adjust to higher strengths of Retinol 0.5% in Squalane and Retinol 1% in Squalane as your skin builds tolerance. You will achieve the same end results without the unpleasant redness and peeling along the way.
Note: Water can affect the stability of retinol. Additionally, plant oils in retinol formulations can trigger lipid peroxidation and can impair retinol integrity. This formula does not contain water, silicones, plant oils or alcohol.
EU Shipping Note: We are able to ship this product within the European Union. However, please note that the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has published an opinion on April 20, 2016 suggesting that Retinol content of cosmetics should be limited to 0.3% as summarized on page 67 of the publication listed below. While this opinion has not yet affected regulatory restrictions, it may in the near future and such restriction would apply to all products sold within the EU containing Retinol. We recommend considering Granactive Retinoid 2% or 5% from The Ordinary if you are concerned about use of Retinol products.
Read the European Safety Report here.
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.
Apply a small amount at night before oils, moisturizers, and creams. Do not use this serum with other products containing retinoids, such as retinoic acid. Retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation. We recommend wearing sunscreen during the day. If irritation occurs, this product can be diluted to reduce its strength.
Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Retinol, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, BHT.
Our 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.
Recently on Social Media
Say hello to our extended range (🙈) of retinoid formulations, which now includes the high-strength, low-irritation, water-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free, super-lightweight Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane, delivering 0.5% Direct Ester of All-Trans Retinoic Acid. Explore the full range at theordinary.com under Retinoids. ❤️🐒
A few comments on social media...
- Oh wow, that 5% squalene sounds soo tempting 😍 If you ever come up with a great retinoid product with a strength of a prescription formula - that would be amazing.KRYSTYNA.UA
- I must have them all!AUDIE.BENJAMIN
- ✨god is good to us✨AN.EB
- This is awesome! 👏MARIAHBOWER
- I continue to love The Ordinary more and more 😍😍😍ALEXANDRIALAYNE_
- This whole line is everything!!LACKSTAR
9.6 (9 reviews)
By KH on 28 December 2017
I bought this, along with the Retinol 0.5% in Squalane, to ease me into using retinol. (When I finish this bottle, I will "graduate" to the higher concentration.) I haven't experienced any irritation while using this, although this is a lower concentration, so I will see if using the 0.5% and eventually the 1% is any different. It is a moisturizing formula, and absorbs quickly. I apply it after I wash my face, making sure to pat my face dry to maximize the effectiveness of the retinol. If you apply it to dehydrated skin, it can feel greasy because there is no moisture to seal in, but if your skin is properly hydrated, it will seal in moisture and make it feel soft. My hormonal acne started to fade within a few days of using this product, but I'm not sure if it's related. I was wondering if it is better to store this product in the fridge after opening, and whether I can use this product after using ascorbic acid on the same night?
Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us ❤ If you are an inexperienced user of Vitamin C, Retinoids or Direct Acids and wish to incorporate multiple of these ingredients into your skincare regimen, we suggest using them on alternate evenings, or waiting until your skin has adjusted to one before introducing another. We suggest storing all of our serums at room temperature, however, there is no harm in refrigerating (with the exception of The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% which should not be refrigerated). Refrigerating our products will not enhance their longevity. We suggest using all products from The Ordinary within 12 months after opening. We hope this clarifies! 🐒❤
By KR on 21 December 2017
I've been using for about a week now, and I love it. I feel like the squalane is a great carrier for the retinol because it feels hydrating on the face which alleviates the type of tightness, irritation, or redness that is commonly associated with retinoids. I have not seen any significant improvement in only a week, but I can already notice subtle changes in the overall complexion of my skin. I can not say whether it's due to the retinol, niacinamide, vitamin C, or lactic acid, but something is working and I will stick with my AM & PM skin regimen thus far. I am extremely impressed at the packaging and products of all the items I've ordered, especially for the price. Thank you, Deciem, for creating this quality line of skincare at an affordable price.
Thank you so much for these lovely words 😍 We're so happy to hear that you are enjoying everything so far! 🐒❤
By CP on 19 December 2017
I LOVE this product until I realized BHT is an ingredient ... Why??? BHT is SO bad for the body - damaging affects to the body over time. Makes me sad.
Hi Christina! Thank you for sharing this review with us ❤ No conclusive study ever has found anything wrong with low amounts of BHT, which is a powerful antioxidant. Should you have any further concerns regarding ingredients or your routine, please visit deciem.com/contact to be in touch with our very helpful Service team. We hope this clarifies! 🐒❤
By MG on 12 December 2017
This is the loveliest retinol I’ve ever used. It is so comfortable and gentle like a fairy 🤗. I am on a half of a bottle, using it for 3 weeks. There was a very light peeling and sensitivity on the second and forth day of usage but that was it. It gives you a sensation of retinol working on the skin but without those terrible pain and uberdryness. My skin adjusted perfectly and I use it every day now. I even became brave enough to use it in the orbital floor area. And it is melting stupid under eye milias away. That retinol was the only new product I introduced into the routine and I believe this is it.
Thank you so much, The Ordinary😊
Yay! We're so happy to hear that you're enjoying 🐒❤ Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us!
By Ac on 10 December 2017
Day 2 and So far so good. Can I use a moisturizer as the last step each night?
Hi Angela! You can definitely use a moisturizer after this in your PM routine!