Anti-acne,  Anti-Aging,  Beauty,  Skincare

Review: Maxipeel Zero vs RDL vs Maxipeel vs The Ordinary – Retinol Wars


Good day! Before I start giving each retinol-based treatment a review, let me give you a quick overview on skincare acids, and retinoids. If your major skin issue is acne, dullness and aging, this post if perfect for you so let’s begin shall we? This will be quite lengthy so feel free to skip to the exact info you need if you’d like.

What is Retinoic Acid?

The acid to beat all acids when it comes to anti-aging. Available by prescription as the ingredient Tretinoin, retinoic acid actually thickens the dermis to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, while exfoliating the epidermis to fight dullness and acne.


Review: Maxipeel Zero vs RDL vs Maxipeel vs The Ordinary – Retinol Wars

You know how obsessed I am on having flawless skin forever. So like the usual guinea pig. I tried each and every product for more at least 3 months to give an in-depth feedback and review. Which one is the best? Winner will be revealed at the end of this post! The most popular retinoic acid-based treatments in the Philippines are:

  • RDL Babyface #1 with Melawhite
  • RDL Babyface #2
  • Maxipeel Zero (quite new in the market)
  • Maxipeel
  • The Ordinary

Disclaimer: All products are bought from my own pocket. I was not paid to write in favor or against of any product in this list.

RDL Babyface with Melawhite


Where to buy: Leading supermarkets and drugstores

Ingredients: Water, denatured alcohol, Leukocyte Extract, Salicylic Acid, Panthenol, Allantoin, Menthol, Castor Oil, Fragrance.


What I Like: So far they’re the only skincare product I know of that still has Leukocyte Extract as a major ingredient. Leukocyte is known for its anti-inflammatory and skin lightening effects. Which could be good for those who has acne scarring troubles. It has salicylic acid a beta hydroxy acid for exfoliation. Panthenol and allantoin for moisturization and healing. Castor oil to help bring up deep-seated dirt.

What I Don’t:  You can notice it once you open the bottle because the strong alochol smell. I used this for 3 months and my skin never looked more dryer. My skin also felt sticky while using it.  While it helped dry my acne, it dried my entire face. I got too scared it might make me look like a prune. Too drying for me.

RDL Babyface #2


Where to buy: Leading supermarkets and drugstores

Ingredients: 20mg Hydroquinoine  125 mcg Tretinoin


What I Like: The price. It’s one of the cheapest tretinoin-based solution available in the market. I got this for less than 60 pesos as I recall. Hydroquinone is used to lighten pigments and dark spots. Tretinoin to exfoliate and regenerate skin. Both are effective enough to do their jobs.

What I Don’t:  It is set in an alcohol-based that’s too strong. They didn’t even indicate the rest of the ingredients only the percentage. I don’t know what is up with RDL but their formulations are sticky.

Maxipeel Zero


Where to buy: Leading supermarkets and drugstores

Ingredients: denatured alcohol, water, niacinamide, glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium ascorbate, tocopherol acetate, retinol, castor oil, fragrance, too confusing to spell just look at the photo LOL, bisabol, menthol.


What I Like: Wowza, it’s like a cocktail of all the best acids you can use on your face (See: Skincare Acids 101) and it’s dirt cheap. BHA, AHA, and Retinol. The retinol is at the bottom part of the list meaning it has lesser of it. That’s why they can claim Zero Redness Zero Peeling. It does just that, mild exfoliation and can be used everyday. I used this for 3 months and still using it up to now because I like the fact that it has all the acids I want in one bottle.

Not only that, it has a stable vitamin C component and vitamin E for added boost. My skin never looked and felt better. So this has got to be one of my favorites.

What I Don’t:  Denatured alcohol is first on the list so be wary of that. Especially if you have dry/dehydrated skin.

Maxipeel Exfoliant Solution


Where to buy: Leading supermarkets and drugstores

Ingredients: 20mg Hydroquinoine  10mcg Tretinoin


What I Like: I made an extra in-depth review of maxi-peel here (Maxipeel Review) if you want to be extra. But so far what I like about using maxipeel is that it works. It doesn’t feel sticky as RDL and they provide detailed instructions on the cardboard box (open the box there’s a loooooong instruction inside)

What I Don’t:  Like RDL, they didn’t disclose the full ingredients list so I’ll assume it’s water, alcohol, and the actives.

The Ordinary Advance Retinoid 2%


*guys sorry for my nails I haven’t had a manicure while taking photos of the products

Where to buy: Shoppee, Instagram, Online, Makeupstore



What I Like: Finally! A glycerin-based retinol treatment! This is the reason I saved the best for last. Since using this product, my skin had smaller looking pores, minimized its fine lines in 3 months, smoother, finer and radiant! Besides having 2% retinol, it’s partnered with other skin-loving ingredients such as bisabol (moisture) and fruit based extracts.

You only need to use a little amount, like 3-4 drops for the whole face. I use it only at night 2-3x a week. It’s not sticky, has a weird gummy smell but I don’t mind.

It’s stable and effective. Again, one of my favorites and I will buy again.

What I Don’t:  Bought this for 675php online. A bit hard to find too. Compared to the others I reviewed on this list, this has got to be the most expensive. But besides the price point, I love this product to bits.

WINNER/S: The Ordinary Advance Retinoid 2% & Maxi-peel Zero

I put The Ordinary on the top spot because of it’s stable yet safe glycerin based retinol. If you don’t have the budget for it Maxi-peel is a cocktail of acids your skin will love!




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