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Neutrogena Retinol Boost Serum Versus The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

Serum
Serum
American Brand United States
Canadian Brand Canada

Updated on January 14, 2024

Overview

What they are

These products are both reef safe serums. 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, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

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

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

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
Retinol Boost Serum
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.

Dimethicone Emollient, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
1 / 0 Silicon Icon
SiliconSilicon Icon

Dimethicone is a silicone used for making products smooth and silky. It also has the added benefit of sealing in hydration. The amount of dimethicone found in beauty products is considered safe and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores.

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Very Disliked Full details ->
Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate Absorbent

Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is a synthetic powder used as an absorbent, thickener, and anti-caking agent.

Disliked Full details ->
Dimethicone Crosspolymer Emulsion Stabilising

Dimethicone Crosspolymer is a silicone created by modifying dimethicone with hydrocarbon side chains. Due to its large size, it does not penetrate skin. It is considered non-occlusive.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ammonium Alum Astringent

We don't have a description for Ammonium Alum.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Crosspolymer Emulsion Stabilising

We don't have a description for Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Crosspolymer.

Unknown Full details ->
Cellulose Absorbent

Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls. It is used as an emulsifier, absorbent, and texture enhancer.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate Antimicrobial, Emollient, Skin Conditioning

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is made up of Benzoic Acid and long chain alcohols. It has a low molecular weight.

Disliked Full details ->
Ascorbyl Glucoside Antioxidant
Vitamin C IconAntioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 6 Benefits

Ascorbyl Glucoside is a stable form of Vitamin C. It is created by combining glucose from starch.

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.

Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract Skin Protecting

We don't have a description for Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
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.

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.
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning

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

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.
Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

C13-14 Isoparaffin Emollient, Solvent
May worsen Oily Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
2 Concerns

C13-14 Isoparaffin is created from petroleum-based mineral oils. It is an emollient and helps thicken a product.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Laureth-7 Emulsifying

Laureth-7 is created by the ethoxylation of lauryl alcohol using ethylene oxide. Lauryl alcohol is a fatty alcohol with hydrating properties.

Disliked Full details ->
Polyacrylamide

Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer. It is used to stabilize products and bind ingredients. When hydrated, Polyacrylamide forms a soft gel.

Disliked Full details ->
Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

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

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

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.

Sorbic Acid Preservative
Preservative IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Sorbic Acid is a preservative. It is the most commonly used food preservative in the world.

Very 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 microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Parfum Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give a scent to products.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Granactive Retinoid 5% 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.
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate Antimicrobial, Emollient, Skin Conditioning

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is made up of Benzoic Acid and long chain alcohols. It has a low molecular weight.

Disliked Full details ->
Bisabolol Masking, Skin Conditioning, Soothing
Helps reduce irritation Icon
Helps reduce irritationHelps reduce irritation Icon

Bisabolol is pimarily used to add fragrance to a product. However, it is also famous for helping soothe skin.

Dimethyl Isosorbide Solvent

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent and helps deliver actives into your skin. It is created from sorbitol.

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.

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.
Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate 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 Icon
RetinoidRetinoid Icon 7 Benefits 2 Concerns

This ingredient is a retinoid. It usually goes by a more common name: "Granactive".

Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit Extract Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon

Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit Extract is an antioxidant.

Unknown Full details ->
Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract Antimicrobial, Masking, Skin Conditioning

Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract comes from rosemary. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean.

Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone Skin Conditioning

Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is a synthetically created molecule made to mimic ginger extract.

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

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

Antimicrobial, Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Disliked

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is made up of Benzoic Acid and long chain alcohols. It has a low molecular weight.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is an emollient and texture enhancer. Due to its solubility, it is often used in sunscreens to help evenly distribute active ingredients.

As an emollient, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate helps soften and hydrate your skin. Emollients create a film on your skin that traps moisture within.

This ingredient has been reported to cause eye irritation.

Learn more about C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
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

Ingredient Ratings

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

Retinol Boost Serum
8
3
12
3
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane
4
4
1
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

15 Routines
7% use in am
93% use in pm
80% use every day
107 Routines
8% use in am
92% use in pm
75% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->

Reviews

Here's what our community thinks

Neutrogena Retinol Boost Serum 26 ingredients

Retinol Boost Serum hasn't been rated yet.
Rate it now

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane 10 ingredients

4.0 /5
from 3 ratings
Oily (2) Great Value (2) Light (1)
AshN.'s avatar

AshN.

6 months ago Β· Oily Skin
Review

(Tried May 2023) Another retinoid in The Ordinary's lineup that I enjoyed using. As far as efficacy, it's the strongest of the three formulations....

(Tried May 2023) Another retinoid in The Ordinary's lineup that I enjoyed using. As far as efficacy, it's the strongest of the three formulations. This is what I upgraded to after using The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. I experienced no irritation with this product despite it's strength and I liked how radiant my skin felt the next morning. Very affordable for the amount and how long it lasts. The only thing I disliked with this formulation is that it's more similar to an oil rather than a serum.

YuxuanP's avatar

YuxuanP

4 months ago Β· Combination Skin
Review

This serum is really greasy and not easy to absorb, but for its price point I think the skin feel is just what it is. I personally would not...

This serum is really greasy and not easy to absorb, but for its price point I think the skin feel is just what it is. I personally would not repurchase