The Ordinary

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane



The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane is a highly-stable, water-free solution of 1% direct retinol.

Why We Love It

A high percentage of straight up retinol in a water-free formula to prevent oxidation. This simple serum is in a base of squalane to nourish and deliver the active ingredient effectively. 

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane


This water-free solution contains 1% pure Retinol, an ingredient that can reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing. This potent formula should be considered an advanced treatment, and it is recommended to begin with a lower strength retinol or retinoid before transitioning to this product. 

What Retinoids from The Ordinary are available as alternatives?

Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (Moderate Strength, No Irritation) 

Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane (High Strength, No to Low Irritation)

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. We suggest this product be used within 12 months after opening.

Caution: Retinol can cause irritation, redness and peeling, especially around the eyes and mouth, in the early stages of treatment while skin builds tolerance. If persistent irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised. Refrigerate after opening.

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 to face in the PM as part of your skincare regimen, after cleansing and water-based products. Do not use with other retinoid treatments.

Please note: Introducing Retinoids into your skincare routine slowly is important to prevent irritation and sensitivity. We recommend beginning with once weekly and gradually increasing frequency over a number of weeks. 


Apply 2-3 drops to face and massage until absorbed, avoiding the eye and lip areas. 


Heavier creams and balms if desired. 

Please Note: Retinoids can make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation. Sun protection is particularly important when using retinoids.


It is recommended to avoid application of other retinoids, exfoliating acids and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) within the same routine to prevent potential skin irritation.



+ Can help repair the visible signs of ageing, including fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture and tone. 

+ Nourishing base of Squalane provides a comforting delivery vehicle for the high-potency treatment. 

+ Suitable for use by those with normal to dry or very dry skin. 

+ Water-free, alcohol-free and silicone-free to ensure the integrity and stability of the active retinol. 

+ Retinol has been shown to improve the frequency and severity of acne breakouts and to help heal post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation following a breakout. 



A hydrocarbon derived by hydrogenation of squalene - a natural component of skin sebum. It is a great moisturising and emollient ingredient as well as being a source of replenishing fatty acids and antioxidants. 


Retinol is the gold standard of anti-ageing ingredients. This Vitamin A derivative targets multiple skin concerns including breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone and texture.


Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Retinol, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, Bht.

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