I so get it my friend, you're asking me what's the best The Ordinary Retinol for beginners because The Ordinary skincare can be so darn overwhelming. Not anymore. Not when you read this :D

The Ordinary Retinol for Beginners, Which One’s Best?

In Anti-Ageing & Protective Skincare, The Ordinary Reviews by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

I so get it my friend, you’re asking me what’s the best The Ordinary Retinol for beginners because The Ordinary skincare can be so darn overwhelming.

It’s like walking into Willy Wonker’s Chocolate factory – where do you start? At the lickable wallpaper? The frothing, chocolate river? Do you grab an everlasting gobstopper or go dance on candy peaks with an Oompa-Loompa?

There’s so much to try you’re in decision overwhelm and you really want to get yourself the best The Ordinary retinol for beginners because you really don’t want to…

Eat the 3-course chewing gum that Willy tells you not to and turn into a giant blueberry like Violet Beauregarde.

Or fall into the giant chocolate river and be sucked up the chocolate pipe like Augustus Gloop (I mean if there had to be a way to exit 😂)

Or turn paper-thin and 10 foot high like Mike Teavee because you get too keen, too eager and jumped right in with the wrong retinol.

Spoiler alert – I’m about to tell you which The Ordinary retinol is proven by science to be the best the Ordinary retinol for beginners. So you can get glowing, radiant skin that has you feeling like the awesomesauce you are – Wahoo! Are you excited? Eeek – let’s get going.

I so get it my friend, you're asking me what's the best The Ordinary Retinol for beginners because The Ordinary skincare can be so darn overwhelming. Not anymore. Not when you read this :D

Which Retinol or Retinoid is best for a beginner?

My friend before we dive into the chocolate river for answers 😉 there’s one quick distinction you need to understand. It’s going to make understanding The Ordinary’s retinoid portfolio a whole load easier.

Did you see that word?


It’s different to retinol eh.

But what the heck does it mean?

It’s super easy to think of retinoid vs. retinol this way.

Retinoid is a family name. Take my name for example – Cheryl Woodman, Retinoid is like Woodman- it’s a family name.

Whereas retinol is like my name, Cheryl. There’s only one of me (I hope 😂) and there’s only one retinol.

Retinol is a type of retinoid.

Retinoid is a family of actives that can be anti-ageing to your skin. Yay (!)

Fact – The Ordinary retinoid portfolio uses two different retinoids;

  1. Retinol
  2. Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate – you’ll also hear this one nicknamed ‘Granactive Retinoid‘ – again just think of this as Granactive being like your first name and Retinoid being the family name 🙂

So which is the best The Ordinary retinol for beginners?

Best The Ordinary Retinol for Beginners

I’m about to rock your world my friend because actually the best The Ordinary retinol for beginners is not a retinol at all, it’s a retinoid 😀.

It’s like we’ve just turned your floating chocolate river into a stream of salted caramel. You came for one thing and you’re leaving with something else that’s also so delicious.

In my scientific opinion choosing a formula of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate is the best beginners ‘retinol’ 🙂 from The Ordinary because of its significantly lower risk of irritation.

Eek – have you stumbled across this yet? Retinol can burn your skin off… cause inflammaging, flaking, redness and itchiness… make you never, ever want to use retinol again if you go in too fast, too strong or use it the wrong way. It’s like being waterboarded in Willy’s chocolate river 😲🙈😂.

(psst – this is why a higher strength retinoid can actually have less risk of irritating your skin vs. a lower strength of retinol – boggling eh)

Take a peek at this skin test I’m sharing below, it’s an example of why I recommend Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate as a beginner’s retinoid vs. retinol. This skin test shows what happens when a serum with a 0.5% concentration of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate is rubbed into skin vs. a serum with a 0.5% concentration of retinol.

Skin a is Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate.

Skin b is retinol.

Best retinol for beginners, with low irritation.

(Image source) 

Do you see how in photo b skin looks pink, red, mottled and has an uneven tone?

This is how your skin shouts – help I’m feeling a bit stressed out and you need to change something… NOW. GIMME a hot cocoa, tuck me up in bed, let me binge watch Netflix Inventing Anna while someone cleans my whole house and does all my clothes washing 😂.

This is why as a general recommendation, in my scientific opinion The Ordinary’s 2% Granactive Retinoid in Squalane is the best The Ordinary Retinol for beginners.

Psst – but there’s one extra big must know.

Retinol Tips for Beginners

It matter’s a heck load what you use with The Ordinary’s retinoids. Because depending on your overall skincare routine you could be dunking broccoli tress into Willy’s chocolate fudge fountain instead of marshmallows 😱.

Yup – you know that face you’re pulling now… that’s the one your skin’s going to be pulling too.

The overall skincare routine you create around your The Ordinary retinoid can help your The Ordinary retinoid get you the glowing, makeupless, healthy, happy skin you want. Yay.

Or it can get you irritated, red, flaky, angry and stressed out skin (psst – which means your skin’s in a state of accelerated ageing – exactly what you’re trying to prevent – I know, I know, it’s so ironic right).

To start a The Ordinary skincare routine with hyper potential to get you the healthier, happier, makeupless skin you love, without overwhelm 😅, join me inside my online course Extraordinary Skin With The Ordinary – you can use that link to get started instantly.

Inside you’re about to find a printable step by step worksheet… you’re going to put in your skin type plus your top two skin concerns, then you’re going to use my serum choosing cheatsheet to without worry or overwhelm design yourself a perfect The Ordinary skincare routine for your very special skin type.

Literally, all you need to do is follow. I’m taking the thinking bit out of the equation :).

There’s no worrying about the science.

There’s no having to decipher all those techy, science sounding words.

There’s just you getting a The Ordinary skincare routine with maximum potential to have you feeling awesome makeupless 😃.

This is what Monica told me after taking Extraordinary Skin With The Ordinary;

“I read blogs and blogs, even chatted with the Ordinary online. After 2 months of mediocre results, and considering buying more products, I decided to take your course.

I am so happy I did! I would’ve wasted more money buying more products I really didn’t need.

And even with the products I do have, this course showed me a better way and time (AM/PM) to use them.

It’s only been a few days and I already see a difference. Plus I feel much more confident knowing I’m using the products correctly. It’s also a bonus to refer back to the course whenever I need a refresher! I will recommend to all my friends! Thank you!’ 

Click here to find out more and enrol now > 

My course is also going to help you double-check if The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 2% is the perfect fit for you. Or if you should be using something completely different altogether. Yay.

I can’t wait to see you inside.

Psst – if you have a friend who’s also completely baffled by The Ordinary skincare, will you use that big green button below to share this blog on with my love and hugs? I’m so excited to be helping you and your loved ones feel like the awesome sauce you are 💛