Granactive Retinoid vs Retinol

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People try all sorts of things to make their skin look better. Many of those products contain some form of vitamin A, and they are known by many names, including retinol.  You’ve likely also heard the term Granactive retinoid, and may wonder what is the difference between Granactive retinoid vs Retinol?

Vitamin A products can speed up the cell turnover process; in other words, produce new skin cells much faster. This, in turn, gives you skin that looks younger because it always has a fresh and renewed look.

In this article, we’re going to go over the main differences between Granactive retinoid and Retinol to make choosing your skincare products a little easier.

A derivative of Vitamin A, retinol is the most common and well-studied retinoid available over-the-counter. Simply put, it’s like a vitamin A tablet except you don’t ingest it, and its main job is to speed up the production of new skin cells. To have great skin, new skin cells have to be produced continuously, which is done naturally in the skin. However, starting at the age of 25, the rate of regeneration slows down.

Essentially, products with retinol in them speed up the process so that your skin looks great all the time. The generation of new skin cells helps skin look smoother and younger, resulting in fewer lines and wrinkles and even less acne.

What Is Granactive Retinoid?

Retinol belongs to a family of products known as retinoids, and the new generation of retinoids is called hydroxypinacolone retinoate, or HPR. Granactive Retinoid is actually the trade name of HPR, so the two terms are often used interchangeably. Think of retinoids, which includes HPR, as an umbrella covering several different products. One of those products is retinol.

There are, however, both similarities and differences between retinol and Granactive retinoid, and we’ll take a look at both of them here.

PS: Note that Granactive retinoid is essentially made up of 10% HPR (the active ingredient) and 90% a solvent. So, if you see the percentage of Granactive retinoid on an ingredient list, divide it by ten to get its real concentration.

Granactive Retinoid vs Retinol - The Main Differences

If you’re still confused about the differences between retinol and Granactive retinoid, you’re not alone. But once you get familiar with some of the ways they’re alike and some of the ways they are different, it’ll be a little easier to decide which one is right for you. Let’s start with the following facts.

Both retinol and Granactive retinoid have powerful anti-aging properties

As we age, our skin starts to sag and wrinkles start to form, in part because the production of collagen and elastin goes down. 

Both retinol and Granactive retinoid plump up the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and tighten up the skin. Most of the skin problems we have as we age can be reduced with regular use of one of these products.

Granactive retinoid is less irritant than retinol

While both products are excellent and produce great results, retinol can be a bit more irritating than Granactive retinoid.

Why? Mostly because your skin can only benefit from the active form of vitamin A, which is retinoic acid. Retinol must be converted to retinaldehyde and then to retinoic acid before it can be effective (which can be irritating). On the other hand, granactive retinoid is already a retinoic acid, which means it has less irritation risk than retinol.

Retinoid conversion process

The retinoid conversion process

Granactive retinoid is more stable and lasts longer than retinol

Granactive retinoid is proven to be more stable over time and even has a longer shelf life than retinol does. This means that you not only enjoy more powerful anti-aging benefits with the newest retinoid, but you can enjoy them for a much longer period of time.

In a study published in 2020, researchers studied the stability of 16 retinoid derivatives in 12 commercial cosmetics over the course of six months. It was revealed that the stability of the newer hydroxypinacolone retinoate was the most notable among the tested retinoids.

Remember that HPR is a pure form of retinoid, so it is always going to be more potent and produce better anti-aging results than retinol does.

Granactive is a fast-acting retinoid

It is easy to understand why this is so. As already mentioned, Granactive retinoid doesn’t have to be broken down in order to be absorbed by the skin, which is why the results are immediate. With retinol, the results are great but you’ll have to wait for them, simply because it takes time for the product to break down once you rub it into your skin.

Granactive Retinoid vs. Retinol – Which Is Better?

There’s no doubt that both retinol and Granactive retinoid are excellent anti-aging products. However, the latter does offer three advantages that the former doesn’t have:

  • Works very quickly.
  • It is stable.
  • It won’t produce irritation like retinol sometimes does.

Nevertheless, you’ll have to decide for yourself which one is right for you. They are both effective ingredients that can truly work wonders on your skin.

Reduction of lines and wrinkles after 14-day Granactive Retinoid application

Reduction of lines and wrinkles after 14-day Granactive Retinoid application

FAQ - Granactive Retinoid vs Retinol

Q: What does the Ordinary Granactive retinoid do?

A: The Ordinary Granactive retinoid 2% in Squalane serum has many benefits. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, addresses uneven skin tone, and rejuvenates the skin, making it seem younger and fresher.

Q: Is Granactive retinoid effective?

A: Even though it hasn’t been around as long as retinol has, Granactive retinoid has been studied a lot and the results show that it has the ability to increase collagen production, which makes it effective in reducing the lines and wrinkles associated with the aging process. It also helps with evening-out skin tone and fading dark spots.

Q: How long does it take Granactive retinoid to work?

A: This will vary depending on the strength you use and how often you use it. For most people, it takes three to six months to see the full effects of the product, but you may start to notice a difference after just four weeks.

Q: Is Granactive retinoid stronger than retinol?

A: Both Granactive retinoid and retinol come in various strengths. Regardless of which product you choose, always start with the lowest strength and work up slowly from there.

Q: When do you use Granactive retinoids?

A: You can use it once a day, in the evening. Make sure you apply it to clean, dry skin and that you use a moisturizer afterward. Again, don’t use it seven days a week at first. Instead, start with one day a week and build up from there. Also, keep in mind that retinoids may enhance your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so make sure to apply sunscreen before going outside during the day.

Q: Can I use hyaluronic acid with Granactive retinoid?

A: Yes, you can. Use your Granactive retinoid first, then your hyaluronic acid. Make sure each one is completely absorbed before applying anything else to your skin.

Q: Is Granactive retinoid safe for sensitive skin?

A: For sensitive skin type that is prone to redness and irritation, HPR may be a great choice. If the early adverse effects of stronger retinoids are too much for your skin, try using HPR in combination with hyaluronic acid.

The Bottom Line: Granactive Retinoid vs Retinol

Granactive retinoid and retinol are both members of the retinoid family. You can use either one of these ingredients to help reduce the effects of aging on the skin. Each one has its pros and cons and each one can be expensive or inexpensive, depending on the type of product it’s in and where you buy it from. The important thing to remember with both is to start out with a low strength and use it only one to two days per week, then build up slowly from there.

Vitamin A products work wonders for the skin and help with problem areas such as lines, wrinkles, puffiness, photoaged skin, dull skin, pigmentation, and even acne. They give you a brighter and lighter look and much smoother, softer skin, and they can make you look much younger and feel better about yourself all the way around.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.