Minimalist Skincare Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion Review: 8 Weeks Result [BEFORE & AFTER]

About the Brand

Minimalist skincare is an Indian brand that is completely based on chemical skincare formulas. The brand faced some severe backlash from beauty bloggers and the audience because of their idea to copy the formula and packaging of the brand “The Ordinary” but we will be giving an honest opinion keeping this controversy beside. This review is based on the results we saw after 8 weeks of continuous application of the Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion. Although, the brand is quite transparent with the ingredient source and list, which is a very good thing.

Must Read: Minimalist Skincare Vitamin C (Ethyl Ascorbic Acid) 10% + Acetyl Glucosamine 1% Serum Review (8 Weeks Results)

Importance of Retinol in Skincare


Retinol is one of the strongest ingredients in the skincare industry. If it suits your skin then it can treat almost all skin concerns. But, if it doesn’t suit your skin then it may show some side effects also. You don’t need to worry as your skin takes some time to adjust with retinol. You may see a little bit of purging after using this but it is very normal and will be fine after regular use.

You May Also Like: Minimalist Alpha Arbutin 2% + Hyaluronic Acid 1% Serum Review: 8 Weeks Result BEFORE & AFTER [2021]

Product Information


Price: INR 699
Suitable For: All skin types.
Rated: 4.5/5
Texture: Watery
Colour: Greenish
Smell: No smell
Quantity: 30ml
Other Essential Information: Fragrance-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, oil-free.
pH: 5.0-6.0



Aloe Vera Juice, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Propanediol, Ethoxydiglycol, Hydroxyp­inacolone Retinoate, Tocopherol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Pullulan, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sclerotium Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Lecithin.

About the Ingredients


1. Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera juice is quite beneficial for the skin. It helps to soothe irritated and acne-skin. It also helps in treating skin burns and wounds or UV damaged skin. As the first ingredient is aloe vera juice, it tells us that this serum is aloe-based so we will suggest people who are allergic to aloe should not try this particular serum.

2. Dimethyl Isosorbide

Dimethyl Isosorbide is a solvent that is used to stabilize active ingredients. It is used in this serum to stabilize vitamin c so that the product can work efficiently on the skin. However, talking about Dimethyl Isosorbide or DMI, it is derived from corn sugar and is 100% safe to use.

3. Propanediol

Propanediol performs various roles in a skincare product. It can be used as a solvent, humectant, or emollient. Studies show that propanediol is good for the skin and can make your skin clear, clean, and soft. Well, some studies also suggest that propanediol is better than propylene glycol which is commonly used in skincare products.

4. Ethoxydiglycol

Ethoxydiglycol is a humectant and helps to hydrate the skin. It helps in preventing water loss from the skin making the skin look hydrated and fresh. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel concluded that Ethoxydiglycol is safe to use.

5. Hydroxyp­inacolone Retinoate

Hydroxyp­inacolone Retinoate is a new member of the retinoid family. It works better than other retinoids. Also, it does not irritate the skin. It is very safe to use and works fast than other retinoids.

6. Tocopherol

Tocopherol is an antioxidant which helps to prevent the skin from UV damage. It also helps in repairing the skin. Moreover, tocopherol has been considered safe to use in skin and body care products.

7. Arachidyl Alcohol

Arachidyl alcohol is an emollient. It is used in product as a thickening agent. However, it is also good for making the skin softer and plumper.

8. Behenyl Alcohol

Behenyl alcohol is also a thickening agent and is generally used in beauty products. There are no side effects known for using this ingredient on the skin.

9. Arachidyl Glucoside

Arachidyl glucoside is a gentle exfoliator that can be used on an everyday basis to remove dead skin cells. It is good for treating textured and purging skin. It also helps in reducing pigmentation and dark spots. The ingredient also helps in declogging the pores and evening out the skin tone.

10. Phenoxyethanol

Phenoxyethanol is used as an anti-bacterial ingredient in cosmetic products. But, studies suggest that this chemical is not so good for the skin especially if you are breastfeeding. Studies show that this chemical can react badly if gets absorbed by the skin. We would not suggest breastfeeding women to use this serum.

11. Pullulan

Pullulan is a naturally-occurring ingredient that helps in defining the texture of a product. It makes the product thick so that the product can stay on the surface.

12. Ethylhexylglycerin

Ethylhexylglycerin is used as a humectant and emollient to stabilize other ingredients. This acts as an anti-bacterial ingredient and helps to save the product from getting spoiled.

13. Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum is very hydrating for the skin. It does not have any side-effects on the skin and can be used by everyone. It is 100% safe and is used in most of the cosmetic or skincare products.

14. Hydroxyethylcellulose

Hydroxyethylcellulose is a thickening agent that is used to thicken aqueous cosmetic and personal care products. It is usually used to thicken body washes, shampoos, shower gels, serums, etc. However, there are no such known side effects after using this ingredient.

15. Sclerotium Gum

Sclerotium Gum acts as a thickening agent and helps in improving the texture of the product. It has a gel-like consistency which helps to hydrate the skin. It also helps to make the skin soft and supple.

16. Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate

Trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate is a naturally derived ingredient that is used to stabilize the efficacy of preservatives and antioxidants. It is used in personal care products to increase the shelf life of ingredients.

17. Lecithin

Lecithin is a penetration enhancer that ultimately helps in penetrating the product deeper so that we can witness the most results from the product.



The Minimalist Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion comes in a dark-colored glass bottle. The dark-colored bottle prevents the oxidization of ingredients. The bottle also comes with a glass dropper inside it. Although, the consistency of the emulsion is thick and is a little difficult to take out through the dropper. We will rate the packaging 6/10 as the glass dropper could not take the product out easily. We would recommend the brand to change the packaging and a pump instead of a glass dropper. 

Product Claims

  1. Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  2. Slows down the ageing process.
  3. Makes the skin brighter and glowy.


  1. Improve skin texture.
  2. Brightens the skin.
  3. Reduce dark spots and acne marks.
  4. Dries out active acne.
  5. Repair sun-damaged sun.
  6. Exfoliate gently.
  7. Makes skin soft and smooth.
  8. Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  9. Free from harmful chemicals.
  10. Fragrance-free.


  1. May not suit you.
  2. Little strong formula.
  3. Can cause purging in the initial days of using the serum.
  4. Packaging is not good. Glass dropper can take the product out which makes the application messy and time consuming.

8-Weeks Result


The continuous use of granactive retinoid 2% emulsion for 8 weeks has shown some mind-blowing results. As you can see, the before and after images clearly show that the skin is looking much brighter and glowy. However, the dark spots and acne marks are also lighter. The texture is also improved. We want to recommend you to use this product after seeing the results.

Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Patch test recommended before using this product.
  2. For external use only.
  3. Apply a thick layer of sunscreen on the next day of using it.
  4. Only use it during the nighttime.
  5. Start with 2-3 times a week and gradually increase it.

How to Use?

  1. Wash your face with your regular cleanser.
  2. Take 2-3 drops of the minimalist granactive retinoid 2% emulsion.
  3. Warm it in your palm.
  4. Apply it all over the face.
  5. Massage gently.
  6. Dab the product into the skin and let your skin absorb it.
  7. Follow with your night cream.
  8. Do not use any other active ingredient on the top of retinol.
  9. Do not use this at night.



We will rate the Minimalist Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion as 9/10 as the results we saw are quite good and appreciable. Also, the formula is free from harsh chemicals, parabens and fragrance which is very rare. We would suggest you to use this serum for at-least 3 months regularly to see maximum benefits. It will surely improve your skin texture and will treat your skin concerns.

You May Also like: Minimalist Skincare Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Review: 8 Weeks Result [BEFORE & AFTER]

Also Read: Minimalist Sepicalm 3%+Oat Moisturizer Review: PRICE, PROS & CONS

1. Is it good to include retinol i your skincare?

Yes, retinol is a very effective ingredient and can solve most of your skin problems.

2. What is the right age to start using retinol?

Well, the right age to start using retinol is after you turn 20 but you can start using it after you are 18.

3. Can retinol help in reducing the appearance of dark spots and acne marks?

Yes, retinol can lighten dark spots and acne marks.

4. Can retinol treat acne scars?

Retinol can treat acne scars but if you have deep scarring on your face then it may not work on that.

5. What is the price of Minimalist Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion?

INR 699.

6. Can you use retinol everyday?

Yes, you should use retinol everyday to witness maximum benefits. We suggest you to start with 2-3 times a week and then gradually increase it.

7. Can you layer retinol with other active ingredient?

Yes, you can layer with some active ingredient but if you are using retinol for the first time then do not layer it with other actives.