REVIEW: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% For Acne Scarring – Skin Texture Improvement Essential

Retinol is a powerful skincare ingredient that repairs skin’s appearance, texture and overall quality – most often praised for its anti-ageing properties. One of its best uses however? Reducing acne scarring! While most retinols will cost you a pretty penny, The Ordinary has a budget friendly range available . . . but how effective are they at reducing scarring? Let’s find out.

If you have oily, acne-prone or textured skin, this product is for you! The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion aims to fix skin’s texture problems and boost its overall appearance . . . but can it do it without causing breakouts or moisture overload? Spoiler alert: yes, yes it can.

Hello, wonderful people of the world.. Today, I am going to be sharing with you one of my all-time favourite skincare products. How all time? Let me share.

I have been consistently using the Ordinary’s Retinol range since a recommendation from Hoi Yin Li’s blog well over four years ago and it is one of the only products I have ever used that still consistently works with visible effects. I’ve repurchased it countless times; I actually just bought my fifth bottle of the stuff since being over here in Australia. It is very much now a true essential.

The Results Of Using The Ordinary’s Retinol Products For Acne Scarring



As you can see, after consistently using their retinol products over the past few years, my skin is clear!

Hey, if you’re looking for more of my top products for healing acne scarring read this post!

But anyways – what is this miracle product supposed to do?

What does The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion claim to do?

A gentle but hardworking serum which targets all signs of ageing and textural irregularities.” – BeautyBay

Retinol products are fantastic for preventing signs of aging (I’m 22 now, apparently this is a thing I’ll have to worry about over the next few years) and fixing issues with skin’s texture. While not a treatment for active acne, it is fantastic for healing acne scars.

Advanced Retinoid 2% –  $13.90

Does it live up to the claims?

Most definitely. I’d give this a full 5/5*s; I personally think it goes above and beyond these claims. Not only does my skin feel like it’s overall in better condition when I use this product, it actually looks it. Your skin glows, and just looks a lot healthier.

While signs of aging aren’t a concern of mine quite yet, I can definitely see how this would work to soften wrinkles as it manages to really reduce the textural irregularities scarring leaves on my face. If you do have any facial scarring, definitely recommend this – especially as it works really well with oily skin.

Does it break you out? Is it too moisturising?

One of the biggest issues I find as a girl with oily skin is finding products that work to moisturise and heal your face, without adding too much moisture and causing breakouts. A common theme you’ll find with most of my reviews are products that manage to walk that line; this is no exception.

What I love about this product:

Yeah, yeah, we all get it by now: I bloody love this stuff. Let me just bullet point exactly why.

  • Helps reduce large pores or uneven texture left from acne
  • Improves skins condition visibly; leaves it feeling healthy
  • When you use it at night, you wake up to skin that’s just . . . better
  • Super cost effective. A little goes a massive way and, using the pipette included in the packaging, it’s insanely easy to make sure you’re using the right amount. The bottle has a really good amount in it, especially for the price. So there’s that.
  • Great for reducing acne scars.

A word of warning on using retinol products . . .

If you are interested in glowing like a goddess, protecting your skin from textural nonsense and you do decide to give this product a go . . . just a word of warning: retinols should only be used at night; they increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight and UV exposure makes them less effective. Two things we don’t want.

The Ordinary do have a full range of different retinol and retinoid solutions to try, depending on what level you’re after. On my latest repurchase of this goodie, I’ve actually moved up to a full 1% retinol instead of a retinoid to test it out . . . depending on how that goes (and whether I can actually be bothered; this review has been a year in making, after all), you might see a product review floating around one of these days.

Anyways, my loves, this is just a quick ole’ post to finally get use of these product photos! I hope everyone’s doing all good; are any of you big fans of The Ordinary? Do you use retinol products? Let me know your thoughts down below!


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25 thoughts on “REVIEW: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% For Acne Scarring – Skin Texture Improvement Essential”

  1. Barney Rubble – 7 in the morning I woke up to Jah. Rush out the door to inhale the smog... Breathe well. Floating and balanced.

    I got put on roacutaine when I was 17. Damn near killed. Made my skin fantastic though. Doctors heavily discouraged me from joining the class action unfortunately.

  2. Julia Thacker – London – Comedic novelist, committed bibliophile, afternoon tea blogger, walking personality disorder. Spoiling a good view since 1987 and other mental meanderings.

    Very interesting article. I have breakouts occasionally but thanks to Acnecide 5% benzoyl peroxide gel (I think it is known as Benzac outside of the UK) and a small dose of sulphur 30c in capsule form my skin is really fine now after a few years of struggle. Different things work for different people but when something truly works when you’re frantic over your skin you cling to them and hope they can help others suffering the same problems. I’m so glad this is working so well for you as I don’t think that enough people realise quite how much sadness acne even in its mildest form can cause. Finding good products and hearing that they do work is inspiring and should encourage people to seek out whatever regime works best for them. Thank you for sharing

  3. seaofwordsx – Christina, 27 years old, blog about my journey in life, loving yourself and mental health 🌸

    This sounds so good! Thank you for sharing. I suffer from an oily skin so this would definitely help me so much. I’m happy it works well for you too

  4. PeculiarPorter – I pretend to have style while I eat burritos and try to support good causes. Striving towards a sustainable wardrobe. 📍 CT 💌

    Oh my goodness, this product sounds magical! I definitely need to look into this!

    xo Logan

  5. UniquelyMe – I'm a teen blogger who, basically, believes that being unique and being yourself is the best thing you could be! And, duh, I can't leave out music, books and Marvel, of course! 🎶📚🕷

    Hey girl! Um, I’m not sure if you’ll see this, but I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Congratulations x

  6. Brother Markus – Deutschland – Ich heiße M., bin 32 Jahre alt, in Kairo geboren und in einer Orthodoxischen Familie aufgewachsen. Als ich 4 Jahre alt war, trennten sich meine Eltern, und ich und mein Bruder lebten bei meiner Mutter. Als ich in das Alter kam wo ich  lesen und schreiben lernte, kaufte mir meine Mutter eine Bibel mit Bildern und Texten . Und fast jeden Abend lasen wir sie gemeinsam. Aufgrund der Traditionen der Orthodoxischen Kirche empfing ich zwei der sieben Sakramente, die Taufe und die Kommunion. Obwohl die Jahre vergingen, hatte ich nicht die Hoffnung verloren, dass meine Eltern wieder zusammen kommen  aber leider war es nicht der Fall. Deshalb entschied ich mich mit 12 Jahren zu meinem Vater zu ziehen.  Und in der Zwischenzeit vergingen die Jahre. Mit 16 schrieb ich mich im Firmungsvorbereitungskurs ein. Während der Vorbereitungstreffen fühlte ich mich, obwohl über Gott gesprochen wurde, fehl am Platz,  und ich beendete den Besuch der Firmungskatechese. Im Alter von 19 Jahren zog ich wieder zu meiner Mutter. In all diesen Jahren hatte ich mich total von Gott entfernt, bis ich mich im Sommer 2007 während der Ferien in Kairo befand. Ich lernte einen jungen Mönch kennen, der heute mein echter Freund ist. Wir haben uns kennengelernt  im Unterschied zu mir war und ist er sehr gläubig. Eines Tages lud er mich ein, mit ihm in die Versammlung zu gehen. Und ich ging mit. Nach diesem Treffen begann ich die Versammlung regelmäßig zu besuchen, weil ich spürte, dass etwas in mir begann, sich zu verändern. Im gleichen Jahr, im November, entschied ich mich, an einer Jugendfreizeit teilzunehmen. An einem der Abende, während wir uns für den Präsentationsabend vorbereiteten, bekam ich aufgrund einer Allergie Blasen im Gesicht, und ich entschied auf dem Zimmer zu bleiben. Und mein echtr Freund blieb bei mir, er tröstete mich, und wir sprachen über den Herrn. Und ich nahm den Herrn Jesus in meinem Herzen auf,  in jenen Augenblicken spürte ich in meinem Körper, wie sich eine Wärme ausbreitete, ich spürte e Ruhe und Wohlbefinden, und ich verstand, dass ich den Heiligen Geist empfangen hatte. Indem ich die Bibel las,  verschwand eine meiner grössten Ängste, nämlich die Angst vor dem Tod. Heute möchte ich diesen Vers aus Johannes 3,16 mit euch teilen: ” Denn so [sehr] hat Gott die Welt geliebt, dass er seinen eingeborenen Sohn gab, damit jeder, der an ihn glaubt, nicht verloren geht, sondern ewiges Leben hat.” Mit diesem Vers möchte ich euch Mut machen. Gottes Liebe ist perfekt. Er ist bereit, dir jede Sünde zu vergeben und dir die Errettung zu schenken. Wärst du bereit, Gott deine Sünden zu bekennen? Trotz meiner Schwierigkeiten bin ich zuversichtlich, dass ich mit Fleiß und Unterstützung meine Ziele erreichen kann. Ich glaube jedenfalls daran. Wie man in einem alten Sprichwort sagt: Kann der Glaube Berge versetzen ,mit anderem worten ,es ist alles möglich ,wenn man an seine Träume glaubt Als aktiver Katholik oder Orthodex ist für mich Kirche -Gemeinschaft und nichts anderes. Ich hatte das Glück in einer positiven Gemeinde mit tollen Pfarrern aufzuwachsen, die Gemeinschaft hat mich aus manchem tiefen seelischen Löchern wieder motiviert weiter zu machen. Ich konnte und kann mich auch nach meinem Outing angenommen und geborgen fühlen. Dafür bin ich sehr dankbar. ich glaube an Gott, Gemeinschaft und die Liebe die unsere Welt besser macht. Egal ob Frau, Mann ; Frau, Frau oder Mann, Mann. Verantwortung für einen Menschen zu übernehmen und ihn zu lieben kann nur ein göttliches Geschenk sein. Gott ist Liebe – nichts anderes. Wer lieben kann ist glücklich. Ich bin ein Cocktail aus Feuer und Eis. Ich kann ein Engel sein und im nächsten Moment ein Teufel werden, aber vertrau mir, wenn du gut zu mir bist, wirst du meine Flügel sehen. Ich bin unberechenbar, emotionaler Narr, besonders sensibel, herrisch, eigensinnig, schwermütig, boshaft, mürrisch, rebellisch, abenteuerlustig. Manchmal ernst, manchmal frech. Und ich liebe es, Menschen zu ärgern. Ich vertraue Menschen blind, ich vergebe Menschen leicht, ich vergesse all das Schlechte, das sie leicht taten. Ich bin ein Idiot und dann verletzen mich die Leute, brechen mich, ruinieren mich. Ich wiederhole den gleichen Fehler immer wieder. Und ich weine manchmal.


  7. kittyp0p – My name is Shannon. I'm Italian, 24-years old, and I've been dating my boyfriend for almost 5 years. I'm a CEO. I have a cat & a frog that I adore. I'm into fashion, self-care, makeup, photography, dance, organizing, and art in any form.

    I recently watched a Beauty Within video on YouTube that mentioned The Ordinary. I wanna try their niacinamide but unfortunately they don’t sell at Sephora anymore. I’ll have to buy it online soon and test it out (:

  8. Pingback: The Ordinary 2% Retinoid Review – Acne Scars + Skin Texture Improvement Essential – Inner Beauty

  9. Keri Elaine – Hi! My name is Keri and I am a working actress. Welcome to my corner of the internet, where I talk a ton about mindset, share some travel highlights, the arts, life experiences with a splash of fashion. If you appreciate the arts, fashion, mindset, comedic skits, and open conversation, then this is the site for you!

    There is no better feeling than waking up to better skin. I’ve heard of The Ordinary and I will definitely check them out since you’ve been using them for a year now. ALSO product photos are gorgeous per ususal Mia.

  10. Pingback: The Ordinary 2% Retinoid Review – Acne Scars + Skin Texture Improvement Essential – Perfect Girl life style fashion

  11. Nancy – Check out my blog at

    Oooh! I still haven’t tried products from The Ordinary yet. I keep hearing great things about it, especially with it being affordable and having positive results. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! Retinoid really does wonders!!


    1. crystalsandcurls – I'm going through a bit of an existential crisis right now, I'll tell you about myself when I figure out if I'm real or not.

      They’re a fabulous brand, I’ve never not loved one of their products. Thanks for reading, Nancy

    1. crystalsandcurls – I'm going through a bit of an existential crisis right now, I'll tell you about myself when I figure out if I'm real or not.

      Thank you for reading, Lenne! I honestly can’t recommend this enough x

  12. melissa – Colorado, USA – Living in beautiful Montana and searching for the very best that life has to offer for women over 40. We are in this together ladies, and it's not for the faint of heart!

    Awesome post! My love for The Ordinary goes deep. It’s always so great to hear a review from people who have been using a product consistently. Skin care results take time……but oh so worth it.
    ~Melissa xx

    1. crystalsandcurls – I'm going through a bit of an existential crisis right now, I'll tell you about myself when I figure out if I'm real or not.

      Thank you for reading, Melissa! I definitely agree with you – it take time to see results, so I prefer reviews from people that have used products for a while 🙂 xx

  13. K.M. Sutton – I am a country girl living on the Upper East Side of the concrete jungle. My friends call me a modern day Renaissance woman. I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, from being a yoga instructor to holistic chef, to skating coach, to glorified nanny, to student. I am a self admitted coffee junkie. A wannabe mermaid. A wanderluster who dreams of other countries. A fashionista who really does need a bigger bank account. But most important of all, I dream of living in a bungalow by the ocean and being a published writer (in style of course) sipping coffee in the morning and a martini in the evening. I love to meet my readers, so feel free to comment or email me. Happy reading!

    This sounds amazing! thanks for sharing beauty! <3

  14. HI Mia,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience using The Ordinary 2% retinol serum. Before I read your post, I was unsure about the quality of this product because it is on a lower price range. I usually tend to try products with slightly higher price range as it usually reflects better quality. However, I may give it a try since you highly recommend it 🙂 Besides The Ordinary, have you tried Lilyana’s Retinol Cream.? It also has similar positive reviews but it is on a higher price range given it’s organic ingredients.

    I am trying to take a look at what is best in the market before I make a purchase decision. Thank you for your advice

  15. Pingback: REVIEW: Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules - . . . Life.

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