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Updated on July 18, 2023

Overview

What they are

These products are both vegan and cruelty-free . They have a total of 2 ingredients in common

Cool Features

They both contain retinoid

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

They both do not contain any harsh alcohols, parabens, silicones or sulfates

What's Inside

They both contain oils

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10
Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10
Serum
British Brand United Kingdom
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
Facial Treatment
Canadian Brand Canada

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
Crystal Retinal 10
Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Isododecane Emollient, Solvent

Isododecane is a fragrance, emollient, and solvent.

Disliked Full details ->
Cetearyl Olivate
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Cetearyl Olivate is an emulsifier and texture enhancer. It is derived from the fatty acids of olive oil and Cetearyl alcohol, and is biodegradable.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer Emulsion Stabilising

This long ingredient is a copolymer of sodium acrylate and sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate monomers.

Disliked Full details ->
Cetearyl Alcohol Emollient, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2 / 1 Fatty Alcohol IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Fatty AlcoholFatty Alcohol Icon 3 Concerns

Cetearyl alcohol is a mixture of two fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. It is mainly used as an emulsifier. Emulsifiers help prevent the separation of oils and products. Due to its composition, it can also be used to thicken a product or help create foam.

2 Com. / 1 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Ppg-12/Smdi Copolymer Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Ppg-12/Smdi Copolymer.

Unknown Full details ->
Sorbitan Olivate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sorbitan Olivate is created from the fatty acids in olive oil and sorbitol.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Titanium Dioxide Cosmetic Colorant, UV Absorber, UV Filter
0 / 0 Mineral UV Filter IconNon-Reef-Safe Icon
Mineral UV FilterMineral UV Filter Icon Non-Reef-SafeNon-Reef-Safe Icon

Titanium dioxide is known for its UVA and UVB protection properties. It is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. Titanium Dioxide is a physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreens reflect light and prevent it from reaching your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Squalane Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Eclipta Prostrata Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Eclipta Prostrata Extract.

Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer Emulsion Stabilising

This is a synthetic polymer. It helps improve the texture of products by adding thickness and gel-like feel.

Disliked Full details ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Cyclodextrin Absorbent

We don't have a description for Cyclodextrin.

Unknown Full details ->
Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising

This ingredient is a semi-synthetic polymer created from cellulose. In case you need a refresher, cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Hyaluronate Humectant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Hyaluronic Acid Icon
Hyaluronic AcidHyaluronic Acid Icon

Sodium Hyaluronate is hyaluronic acid's salt form. It is commonly derived from the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Antioxidant, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate is a version of ascorbic acid, or pure Vitamin C.

Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract Skin Conditioning

Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract is extract from the neem plant.

Alumina Abrasive, Absorbent
Exfoliant Icon
ExfoliantExfoliant Icon

Alumina is another name for the compound aluminum oxide. It is used as a thickener, absorbent, and abrasive.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Isostearic Acid Cleansing, Emulsifying
Bad for Acne Prone Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2 Concerns

Isostearic acid is a saturated fatty acid. Its structure makes it a great surfactant.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Lecithin Emollient, Emulsifying, Skin Conditioning

Lecithin is a term for a group of substances found in plants, animals, and humans. They are made up of mixture of fatty acids. These fatty acids usually are a mixture of phosphoric acid's choline ester connected to stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids. Most lecithins are created from plant ingredients scuh as sunflower.

Disliked Full details ->
Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

This ingredient is an emulsifier. It is created from Polyglycerin-3 and Ricinoleic Acid.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Hydroxyacetophenone Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Hydroxyacetophenone is antioxidant and helps with skin conditioning.

Polyhydroxystearic Acid Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polyhydroxystearic Acid is a soft wax made from castor oil.

Disliked Full details ->
Stearic Acid Cleansing, Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising
2-3 / 0 May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2 Concerns

Stearic Acid is a fatty acid. It is an emollient, emulsifier, and texture enhancer.

2-3 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

Ethylhexylglycerin (we can't pronounce this either) is commonly used as a preservative and skin softener. It is derived from glyceryl.

3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon 5 Benefits

You might know this ingredient as Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a more stable version of ascorbic acid.

Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil Emollient, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Oil Icon
OilOil Icon

Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil is the oil obtained from the seed of the edible carrot. The oil is created by steaming and distilling the seeds of the plant.

Sodium Polyaspartate Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Sodium Polyaspartate.

Unknown Full details ->
Climbazole Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Climbazole is a preservative.

Retinal Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 3 Concerns

Retinal is a form of retinoid. Retinoids are the gold-standard class of anti-aging ingredients.

Dipteryx Odorata Bean Extract Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Dipteryx Odorata Bean Extract is a fragrance.

Unknown Full details ->
Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract Skin Conditioning

Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract comes from the honeysuckle flower.

Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

This Honeysuckle flower extract comes from the Italian honeysuckle. It is an antioxidant, antimicrobial, and fragrance.

Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Oil Skin Conditioning
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Oil is an oil and isn't fungal acne safe.

Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Oil IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil is the oil expressed from the seeds of Moringa oleifera plant. It is more commonly known as Moringa seed oil.

Polysorbate 60 Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 60 is used to help stabilize products. It is a surfactant and emulsifier. These properties help keep ingredients together in a product. Surfactants help reduce surface tension between ingredients with different states, such as liquids and solids. Emulsifiers help prevent oils and waters from separating.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sorbitan Isostearate Emulsifying
1-2 / 0 Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Sorbitan Isostearate is an emulsifer and cleaning agent. It is created from isostearic acid and sorbitol.

1-2 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Pentylene Glycol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Pentylene glycol is typically used within a product to thicken it. It also adds a smooth, soft, and moisturizing feel to the product. It is naturally found in plants such as sugar beets.

Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Smoothing

Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract comes from the vanilla orchid native to central America. It is a skin-soothing ingredient.

Decylene Glycol Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Decylene Glycol.

Unknown Full details ->
BHA Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

This BHA stands for butylated hydroxyanisole. If you are looking for the beta-hydroxy acid, aka as Salicylic Acid, click here.

1,2-Hexanediol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

Coumarin Perfuming
Fragrance IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Coumarins are a group of substances found naturally in plants. There are over 1300 types of coumarins identified. It has a natural vanilla scent.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Retinol 1% in Squalane
Squalane Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride Masking, Skin Conditioning

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Retinol Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 8 Benefits 3 Concerns

Retinol is a gold-standard ingredient for anti-aging. It is a form of Vitamin A and belongs to the class of retinoids that also includes tretinoin.

Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit Extract Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit Extract is an antioxidant.

Unknown Full details ->
Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0-2 / 0 Oil IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

This ingredient is the fixed oil extracted from seeds of the desert shrub Jojoba. It is more commonly known as jojoba oil. The seed oil is liquid wax ester from the plant. It is non-comedogenic.

0-2 Com. / 0 Irr.
BHT Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

BHT is a synthetic antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it helps your body fight off free-radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells.

Very Disliked Full details ->

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an emollient, solvent, and texture enhancer. It is considered a skin-softener by helping the skin prevent moisture loss.

Within a product, Caprylic Triglyceride can thicken the product and make spreadability easier by dissolving clumping compounds. An added benefit of Caprylic Triglyceride is its antioxidant properties.

Caprylic Triglyceride is made by combining glycerin with coconut oil, forming a clear liquid. Caprylic Triglyceride has not been found to be toxic for human use in concentrations under 50%.

While there is an assumption Caprylic Triglyceride can clog pores due to it being derived from coconut oil, there is no research supporting this.

Learn more about Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Squalane is an emollient that helps the skin hold onto moisture. It's an oily liquid that occurs naturally in certain types of fish and plant oils.

Because squalane boosts hydration in the skin, it also comes with plenty of benefits: it is an antioxidant and can help fight free radicals and skin damage. Squalane is also found to have a detoxifying effect when applied.

Squalane comes from squalene, which occurs naturally within the sebum of our skin. It is one of the oils our skin produces to keep itself hydrated. Squalane is the hydrogenated version of squalene and has a longer shelf life.

Research shows that squalane is non-irritating (even at 100% concentration).

In general, it's a fantastic ingredient. It does a great job at hydrating the skin, and it's suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The source of squalane may impact malassezia / fungal acne. This is because olive oil derived squalane can contain impurities such as fatty acids and plant waxes. Sugarcane derived squalane is recommended for anyone with malassezia concerns.

Is squalane vegan?

This depends on the source. Squalane can be derived from both plants and animals. Most squalane used in skincare comes from plants.

Please note: the source of squalane is only known if disclosed by the brand. We recommend reaching out to the brand if you have any questions about their squalane.

Read more about squalene with an "e".

Learn more about Squalane

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these two products.

Crystal Retinal 10
16
8
17
6
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Retinol 1% in Squalane
2
2
1
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

33 Routines
3% use in am
97% use in pm
79% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
454 Routines
8% use in am
92% use in pm
78% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10 47 ingredients

5.0 /5
from 1 rating

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane 6 ingredients

3.0 /5
from 4 ratings
Oily (3) Broke Me Out (1) Doesn't Work (1) Great Value (1) Heavy (1) Absorbs Well (1)
specialuniquesnowflake's avatar

specialuniquesnowflake

3 months ago Β· Normal Skin
Review

Just no. Oily products absolutely don't work for me. They just sit on my skin for hours, feels like they don't absorb at all. Therefore no visible...

Just no. Oily products absolutely don't work for me. They just sit on my skin for hours, feels like they don't absorb at all. Therefore no visible effect either. If oily products don't work for you, just skip this one.

magicalmarion's avatar

magicalmarion

5 months ago Β· Sensitive Skin
Review

Gave me a balancing skin complexion and nice soft feeling by using it as an evening serum. But when i used it more often broke me out (fungal...

Gave me a balancing skin complexion and nice soft feeling by using it as an evening serum. But when i used it more often broke me out (fungal acne). Didn’t see any major changes but did not irritate me.