Many women probably have memories of this familiar label in their Mother’s medicine chest or on her vanity table.
For decades, “Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid” has been a staple for women of any age to keep that nasty Father Time at bay and to keep his telltale handiwork from trudging across their faces for the entire world to see.
In recent years, the brand has made some cosmetic changes of its own… shortening the name, implementing new packaging, and branching into virtually all aspects of skin care, with one of the most popular products being Olay Regenerist Serum.
With sales of Olay products expected to rake in close to $4 billion annually over the next several years, business for the brand is clearly booming.
But does that necessary mean that Olay Regenerist Serum actually works? We take a closer look …
Olay brand overview
In 1949, Chemist Graham Wulff first created the Olay brand in South Africa. In the early days, the line was known as “Oil of Olay,” and consisted of one product…a lovely pink moisturizing fluid packaged in a substantial glass bottle.
Prior to the development of Oil of Olay, most moisturizers were thick, goopy, ineffectual creams. But after years of experimenting, not to mention testing on his wife, family, and friends, Wulff knew what they had developed was quite different and exciting.
As the years progressed, the name was shortened to simply “Olay” in order to “modernize” the whole feel of the brand, and to better reflect its ever-broadening range of products. However, the overall focus of Olay remained consistent: to improve the look and feel of skin while protecting it from future damage.
For the past 64 years, Olay has focused its concentration on a skin care line that has actually stayed true to skin care: nourishing, hydrating, protecting, improving. Each new product has, at least slightly, improved on the previous generation, promising a future full of skin care advancements… and faces with fewer wrinkles.
Product and claims
Since the Olay Regenerist line launched in 2003, it has grown to encompass approximately 27 products, with the Olay Regenerist Serum being the hands-down favorite of the bunch.
According to the Olay site:
Regenerist Regenerating Serum Fragrance-Free uses a highly concentrated form of our amino-peptide + B3 complex combined with Olay moisture. It visibly regenerates skin’s appearance and leaves skin feeling velvety-smooth.
This gentle, dermatologist-tested formula is 100% fragrance and color-free.
Suitable for everyday use for normal, dry and combination skin.
The results? Hydrates for firmer, visibly lifted, younger-looking skin without drastic measures. Instantly the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is softened and skin’s texture is improved. Over time your skin will be visibly firmer and more elastic.
So what does this mean for you? Simple.
If you use this product, while Olay does not promise it is the Fountain of Youth, you should at least hope to see encouraging results. Hydrated skin is plumper and fuller, essentially “filling out” so fewer wrinkles are visible.
As the formula moisturizes skin from the outside in, other ingredients work to increase cell turnover from the inside out, brining newer, healthier skin cells to the surface while sloughing off old, dull skin cells.
Key ingredients, according to the Olay website:
Allantoin, Amino-Peptide, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin B3, Vitamin E
Other ingredients, according to the Olay website:
CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, WATER, POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE, DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PALMITOYL PENTAPEPTIDE-4,§ CARNOSINE,§ TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, ALLANTOIN, CETYL RICINOLEATE, BIS-PEG/PPG-14/14 DIMETHICONE, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, PEG-100 STEARATE, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, DISODIUM EDTA, ETHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, METHYLPARABEN, BENZYL ALCOHOL, CITRIC ACID, FRAGRANCE.
The good news here is that Vitamin B5, Niacinamide, and Vitamin E are all well-known and widely-accepted to be helpful to all skin types, in connection to anti-aging.
The bad news, however, comes with the inclusion of ETHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, METHYLPARABEN. Scientists have found clinically proven links between cancer and Parabens. You should keep in mind though, that, according to the FDA website, the amount of Parabens found in cosmetics is negligible and has very low cancer-causing risks.
Application and regimen recommendations
The Olay website recommends the following regime when using Olay Regenerist Serum:
- Cleanse: Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser
- Moisturize: Regenerist Regenerating Serum
- Treat: Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum Duo
- After cleansing, smooth Regenerist Regenerating Serum evenly onto face and neck, once or twice a day. Can be used alone, or under moisturizer or make-up.
Are the other products necessary in order to have Olay Regenerist Serum work? No. Would they be helpful? Probably. Since they all contain some variation of anti-aging ingredients, their use would be beneficial to your skin.
However, if you are already using other products with anti-aging ingredients in their place, keep doing so. The key here is consistency. If you are going to take your skin care seriously, and you want to see results, you will have to use the proper products consistently, or else you’re just wasting money and time… and none of us can afford to lose either!
And, while you’re at it, you may as well start incorporating other look good/feel good steps into your beauty regime:
- Drink plenty of water each day (at least 8 8oz. glasses). Water helps to plump up those skin cells, and it also helps to purge out impurities.
- Get plenty of rest (at least 7 hours of sleep per night).
- Always, always, always use SPF! Not only can UVA and UVB radiation speed up the effects of aging, but they can cause cancer as well.
- Monitor your caffeine and alcohol intake. Yes, we know, sometimes you really need that extra cup of coffee or glass of wine, but too much caffeine and alcohol will actually sap your cells of hydration, causing the increased appearance of wrinkles and lines.
The reviews of Olay Regenerist Serum, no matter where you look, are generally very positive, with most reviews garnering the highest ratings possible (4 or 5 stars). On the Olay site, you can find over 120 reviews, and 99% of them give it 5 stars.
The few low reviews seem to focus on problems with the dispenser, or judging that the product didn’t illicit any noticeable changes in skin tone or texture.
Sure, you say… it’s easy to expect high ratings on the brand’s own website.
But, honestly, it seems that no matter where you look, other cosmetics and skin care sites rate the product highly as well. Many people appreciate the quick absorption and weightless feel, making it ideal to use as a makeup primer worn under foundation.
No oily feeling, suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types. And, truly, you can find many consumers in their 40s, 50s, and 60s+ sharing stories of how other people not only noticed their improved skin tone and texture, but stopped to remark on it.
As with most things in life, there are pros and cons that go along with Olay Regenerist Serum…
- Hugely effective when used as a foundation primer
- Hydration and elasticity found to increase with ingredients such as Vitamin B5, Niacinamide, and Vitamin E
- Readily available in most grocery and drug stores
- Consumer-friendly pricing, as compared to products at high-end makeup counters
- Across-the-board high marks and reviews from consumers… not just on the Olay site, but many other sites as well
- Consistent use may slow the visible effects of aging on face and neck
- Contains Parabens
- Olay, as a brand in general, has been known to use animal testing
So, will Olay Regenerist Serum allow you to wake up and immediately see the refection of a much younger woman in the mirror? No… but there seems to be enough evidence to say you will see and improvement of some sort, even if only in the application and finish of your foundation.
Will Olay Regenerist Serum stop Father Time in his tracks? No… but there is definitely enough evidence to say that consistent use of products such as this may just slow him down a bit. And that’s reason to smile!