Battle of Affordable Anti-Aging Serums: The Ordinary vs. Sephora

Hey everyone! Today, I’m comparing two popular and very affordable anti-aging serums: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane and Sephora Targeted Anti-Aging Serum with 1% Bakuchiol. Both have their own strengths, but I have a particular soft spot for Sephora’s serum, especially given my personal circumstances. Let’s dive into the details!

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

Vibe: Potent and straightforward.
Experience: This serum is a powerful anti-aging solution, thanks to its 2% granactive retinoid. It’s known for reducing fine lines, improving skin texture, and promoting a youthful glow. The squalane base provides excellent hydration, making it suitable for dry skin. However, retinoids are not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding, which limits its use for some.


  • Effective: Great for reducing signs of aging and improving skin texture.
  • Hydrating: The squalane base keeps skin moisturized.
  • Affordable: Budget-friendly without compromising on quality.


  • Not Pregnancy Safe: Retinoids are a no-go during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Potential Irritation: Some users may experience dryness or irritation, especially when starting out.

Important: If you’re new to retinoids, it’s important to start with the lowest concentration possible to allow your skin to build tolerance. Gradually, you can move to higher concentrations as your skin adapts. This approach helps minimize irritation and maximize the benefits of retinoids.

Sephora Targeted Anti-Aging Serum with 1% Bakuchiol

Vibe: Gentle and pregnancy-safe.
Experience: I absolutely adore Sephora’s serum because it features 1% bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to retinol. It offers similar anti-aging benefits – like reducing fine lines and improving skin elasticity – without the irritation often associated with retinoids. This makes it a perfect choice for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The serum is also packed with hydrating ingredients, keeping my skin smooth and supple.


  • Pregnancy-Safe: Bakuchiol is a safe alternative to retinol during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Gentle: Less likely to cause irritation compared to traditional retinoids.
  • Effective: Provides visible anti-aging benefits with regular use.
  • Affordable: Budget-friendly without compromising on quality.


  • Less Potent: While effective, it may take longer to see dramatic results compared to stronger retinoids.

Why I Adore Sephora’s Serum

As someone who has been through pregnancy and breastfeeding, finding safe skincare products was a top priority for me. Sephora’s Bakuchiol has been a lifesaver. It allows me to maintain my anti-aging routine without worrying about potential harm to my baby. The gentle formula is kind to my skin, and I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my skin’s texture and elasticity over time.

Final Thoughts

Both of these serums are fantastic in their own right. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane is an excellent choice for those looking for a potent anti-aging solution, provided they are not pregnant or breastfeeding. On the other hand, Sephora’s Targeted Anti-Aging Serum with 1% Bakuchiol is a gentle, effective, and pregnancy-safe alternative that I personally adore for its ability to deliver results without irritation.

Have you tried either of these serums? What are your thoughts? Share your experiences in the comments below!


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