I’m slowly but surely making my way through reviewing The Ordinary products I purchased when the brand first launched. Previously I reviewed the Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1% Blemish Serum, and I’m currently testing the 10% Lactic Acid, so if you’d like to follow along with my testing process check out my Instagram. The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% is a treatment product that offers similar benefits to retinol, but promises less/no irritating effects such as drying and peeling skin. Is this product from The Ordinary a low-cost, low-irritation retinol option worthy of praise? Let’s find out!
Combo, acne-prone, clog-prone
I have a lot of texture and a bit of hyperpigmentation from the frequent clogs in my skin, so I mainly use a retinol/retinoid to reduce texture and pigmentation.
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Ethyl Linoleate, Propanediol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Bisabolol, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinol, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glyceryl Stearate, Ceteareth-12, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carrageenan, Xanthan Gum, Acacia Senegal Gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Sucrose Laurate, Polysorbate 20, Behentrimonium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Disodium EDTA, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
- glycerin: A humectant that can help to protect the skin from dehydration
- Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate: a form of retinol said to give the same results as retinol without the irritation
Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (abbreviated HPR), […] is an ester of Retinoic Acid and works similar to Tretinoin (Retin–A) but without the irritation. Unlike Retinoic Acid, results of the standard RIPT (Repeat Insult Patch Test) skin irritation test showed no irritation after 21 days of continual use. And because it is not a drug it can be used in cosmetic products. Results of a two week study showed that a 0.1% concentration of HPR applied topically gave a 50% improvement in skin roughness and a 40% improvement in skin surface scaling, an indicator of dryness. No irritation was evident in any of the test subjects. And unlike Retinol and other derivatives that must be converted to the biologically active form of Retinoic Acid, HPR binds directly with Retinoid receptors to initiate a response (i.e. cell proliferation and differentiation) in the skin. Think of receptor binding as turning on or off a light switch. When the Retinoic Acid binds to the receptor the light switch turns on, initiating a cellular response. By the same token, HPR is also capable of turning on the light switch, whereas, Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate must first be converted to Retinoic Acid.
- Retinol: Aids cell turnover, good for improving texture and pigmentation.
- Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract: Anti-inflammatory, strengthens capillaries
- Caprylic/capric triglyceride is a coconut-derived ingredient, so you’ll want to avoid this if you’re sensitive to coconut-based ingredients