The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane Ingredients Explained

Last updated on July 18, 2023. Submitted by LizLozinsky_400.

Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 8 ingredients that contains retinoid

Cool Features

It is vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, fragrances, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

The Ordinary is from Canada. This product is used in 297 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

Retinoid

Benefits

Hydrating (2)
Good For Oily Skin
Skin Texture
Reduces Large Pores
Anti-Aging
Dark Spots
Scar Healing
Acne Fighting
Brightening

Concerns

Drying
Irritating
Eczema

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin Icon
2
Masking, Skin Conditioning
3
Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0-2 / 0
Oil IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
4
Skin Conditioning
Retinoid IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconMay worsen Eczema IconHelps brighten skin Icon
5
Antioxidant
Antioxidant Icon
6
Antimicrobial, Masking, Skin Conditioning
7
Skin Conditioning
8
Antioxidant, Masking
Antioxidant Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 8 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
2
What it does: Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: 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
3
What it does: Emollient, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil is the fixed oil expressed or extracted from seeds of the desert shrub Jojoba, or Simmondsia chinensis. Jojoba is native to the southwestern US. The seed oil is liquid wax ester from the plant. It is non-comedogenic.

Jojoba oil does not contain fragrance and has many fatty-acids, making it a great soothing ingredient. Jojoba contains Vitamin E, a great moisturizing ingredient. Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect your skin against free-radical damage. This may help in anti-aging.

Jojoba seed oil is a humectant, meaning it helps draw moisture from the air. This helps keep your skin hydrated.

While jojoba has antibacterial properties, it is only able to kill some bacteria. It has also been shown to help in wound healing. Indigenous cultures have used jojoba as a moisturizer and to help treat burns.

It is found to be similar to natural human skin sebum, so it has a great effect on dry skin. Jojoba oil may even help with regulating sebum production.

Although jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, we recommend speaking with a professional about using this ingredient if you have any concerns.

Jojoba oil may not be fungal acne safe. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil
4
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and proven to help with anti-aging.

It promotes collagen production, increases new cell turnoever, and protects your skin as an antioxidant.

Retinol boosts collagen production and increases cell turnover. This makes retinol effective in removing wrinkles, fading dark spots, and reducing the appearance of pores.

Retinol is less effective when exposed to sun. Be sure to look for appropriate packaging to keep your retinol potent.

Using retinol and retinoids will increase sun-sensitivity in the first few weeks of use. Though studies show retinoids increase your skin's natural SPF with continuous use, it is best to always wear sunscreen and sun-protection.

We recommend speaking with a medical professional about using this ingredient during pregnancy.

Retinol may cause irritation in some people, so be sure to patch test. Experts recommend 'ramping up' retinol use: start using this ingredient once a week and work up to using it daily.

Read about Tretinoin

Learn more about Retinol
5
What it does: Antioxidant

Solanum Lycopersicum Fruit Extract is an antioxidant.

6
What it does: Antimicrobial, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Mixed

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

While Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil can be volatile due to its fragrant properties, this component is usually removed in the leaf extract.

Rosemary Leaf Extract can help protect your skin against damage from free-radical molecules. It contains many antioxidants such as rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid. Rosemarinic acid has been found to help soothe skin conditions such as eczema and acne.

Learn more about Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract
7
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

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

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to soothe skin.

According to one study, it is an HA booster, antioxidant, and anti-irritant.

In this study, this ingredient was able to stimulate higher hyaluronic acid levels of the dermal and epidermal layers on a skin-like model. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant, which means it helps attract moisture to your skin. Humectants help keep skin hydrated.

As an antioxidant, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone is able to fight off damage from free-radical molecules.

Learn more about Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone
8
What it does: Antioxidant, Masking
Community Rating: Very Disliked

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.

BHT also helps stabilize products and prevent them from degrading. Many products are sensitive to air and light. BHT prevents them from breaking down when exposed.

Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 8 ingredients in this product ✨

38% are loved or liked
38% have mixed ratings
13% are disliked or very disliked
13% have no rating yet

When to use

We've created a guide with info on when you should use The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane. We've also included some recommended products to use it with, as well as some routine inspiration!

Read our guide on when to use Retinol 0.2% in Squalane ->
Verified by SkinSort

We're dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date and science-backed ingredient info out there.

The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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