When I heard that Olay was coming out with a line of products containing retinol, I walked, no ran, to my computer to learn more. It didn’t take much convincing: I ordered online, and before I knew it, I had in hand Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum, Night Eye Cream, and Night Moisturizer from their new Regenerist Retinol 24 skincare line.
I’ve been using Olay Retinol 24 skincare products for many months and have some thoughts on the collection, both the original and MAX formulas. Before diving in, let’s talk about retinol and why it is so important to any anti-aging skincare routine.
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What is Retinol?
Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A, and derivatives of the vitamin come in different forms, one of which is retinol. While other retinoids such as retinol esters take two steps to be converted into active retinoic acid in the skin, retinol needs only one step to convert to retinoic acid. So while retinol is not the strongest retinoid, it is also not the weakest, making it the perfect over-the-counter retinoid option.
The Benefits of Retinol
Retinol is a key player in any anti-aging skincare routine. By supporting cellular turnover and stimulating collagen production, retinol can improve uneven skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation and firmness. As a result, skin appears clearer, brighter, and more youthful. Yes!
As with any retinoid, retinol makes the skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight. While you should be wearing sun protection every day anyway, it is super important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher while using retinol and for seven days after.
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Skincare
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 is a collection of products designed to be used at night in your evening skincare routine (except the SPF Moisturizer). The collection is named Retinol 24 because each product was formulated so that it continues to work on your skin for a full 24 hours, working deep into the skin’s layers.
Olay’s formula for the collection is a proprietary blend of Vitamin B3 + Retinol Complex.
Olay combines retinol, which is converted in the skin to retinaldehyde, and then to retinoic acid to reach its active form, with retinyl propionate.
Retinyl propionate is a retinol ester that requires three conversions by your skin to be available in its active form. For more details on retinyl propionate, INCI Decoder provides a pretty funny analogy comparing retinoids to the royal family.
Olay’s Retinol 24 products are formulated to treat fine lines & wrinkles while improving smoothness, brightness, firmness, dark spots, and pores. They work to accomplish these anti-aging benefits without the typical irritation that you may experience from retinol.
Too good to be true? Let’s look at the other active ingredients found in this skincare line in addition to their proprietary Retinol Complex.
Related Post: A Guide to Drugstore Retinol
The Benefits of Niacinamide
Olay also includes niacinamide (Vitamin B3) in these products. Niacinamide is an all-star skin savior, in my opinion. It helps support cellular turnover and exfoliation to remove dead skin cells.
Niacinamide also helps the skin retain its moisture barrier to improve hydration. It helps to reduce hyperpigmentation and can even improve acne and rosacea.
Niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is ideal when used with a retinoid, which we all know can be irritating. This study in the New England Journal of Medicine determined that niacinamide can even protect skin against the damage caused by UV radiation.
If that weren’t enough, the Regenerist Retinol 24 collection also contains amino peptides. These peptides are the “building blocks” of skin cells. These molecules support the production of collagen for firmer, more youthful-looking skin.
Olay Retinol 24 moisturizers and serums contain palmitoyl pentapeptide-4. This five amino acid chain sequence can help improve skin texture and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Although it takes longer to see results, it has even been shown to reduce wrinkles like retinol and other retinoids but has better tolerability.
How Much Retinol is in Olay Retinol 24?
Since the formulas for these Olay Retinol 24 skincare products are proprietary, Olay does not disclose the percentage of retinol in their products. Olay does disclose that the Olay Retinol 24 MAX products contain 20% more Retinol 24 Hydrating Complex than the original Retinol 24 products.
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum is a super-light formula containing Olay’s proprietary blend of Vitamin B3 + Retinol Complex that hydrates and works for 24 hours. Plus, this Olay Retinol 24 serum contains amino peptides to improve skin texture and glycerin for added moisture and hydration.
This Olay retinol serum is fragrance-free, absorbs quickly into your skin, and leaves your skin feeling incredibly silky without any stickiness.
Olay Eyes Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream
Olay Eyes Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream is formulated with Olay’s proprietary blend of Vitamin B3 + Retinol Complex. Olay Retinol 24 eye cream also contains antioxidant vitamin E and moisturizing glycerin.
This Olay eye cream addresses many skin concerns around the eyes and works to firm, brighten and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles.
The eye cream is creamy and light. I accidentally applied this Olay retinol eye cream on the sensitive skin too close to my eyes and found it slightly irritating. So I made sure to apply it a bit lower under my eye during the following application and did not experience any further irritation.
Related Post: Olay Regenerist Collagen Peptide 24 Skincare Review
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer also contains Olay’s proprietary blend of Retinol Complex + Vitamin B3. This fragrance-free moisturizer absorbs deeply into the surface layers of skin and goes to work for a full 24 hours.
This Olay retinol cream helps to improve dark spots, brightness, smoothness, and firmness of the skin with no or very little irritation. Similar to the eye cream and serum, this moisturizer is light and creamy.
Those with sensitive skin should be careful since even though the retinol in this formula is gentle, it can be irritating. When I experienced dryness from the Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer, I added a light layer of an additional moisturizer on top of the night moisturizer. I alternate between this rich cream from Beauty Pie and Olay Regenerist Whip, which really seals everything in.
Olay Retinol 24 Reviews: Night Serum, Eye Cream and Moisturizer
So far, I love the collection, and the one thing that stands out to me is the texture of my skin. I believe this must be due to the retinol, niacinamide, and amino peptides in the formulas.
My skin’s texture is actually changing. My pores appear smaller, especially around my nose, and my skin seems so much smoother. All three products felt so light on my face. The moisturizer took it to another level and left my skin feeling like silk.
The Power of Retinol
You tend to see visible results quicker with retinol than most other anti-aging ingredients. The trick is finding a product or collection of products that work well with your skin. This collection from Olay is really working for my skin. I’m not surprised since I get great results from other Olay products.
One other thing I love about this line is that since Olay does not recommend using the night serum and the night moisturizer at the same time, you need to use only one to get the benefits of retinol.
Try using the Retinol 24 serum with a hydrating moisturizer, or use Olay Retinol 24 moisturizer with another face serum or treatment product. You can still get the benefits of retinol with just one of these products, including improved skin texture and a reduction in the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
UPDATE: Olay Retinol 24 Max Skincare Collection
Olay’s new Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Face Serum, MAX Night Eye Cream, and MAX Night Moisturizer are reformulated to include 20% more Retinol 24 Hydrating Complex compared to the original Retinol 24 products.
I reached out to Olay, and they told me that the new MAX products contain 20% more Retinol 24 Hydrating Complex plus Tropaeolum Majus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract. This plant extract has anti-aging benefits and supports the skin barrier.
Like the original Retinol 24 products, the Olay MAX retinol products contain retinol and retinyl propionate (retinol attached to propionic acid) to address wrinkles, fine lines, skin texture and support the formation of collagen. All products in this collection are formulated without fragrance, phthalates, mineral oil, or synthetic dyes.
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max Night Face Serum
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Face Serum is formulated with Olay’s proprietary retinoid formula that works on your skin overnight. You wake to brighter, smoother skin with more clarity. It contains 20% more Retinol 24 Hydrating Complex than the base 24 Night Serum. It targets wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots and improves skin texture.
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Serum is very similar to the original Retinol 24 Serum. I tested the two side by side, and the MAX feels very similar and a little more potent. Since my skin is somewhat sensitive, on nights that I use this serum, I follow it with a rich moisturizer to combat any possible dryness and irritation that the potent retinol in the formula may cause.
I apply this serum at night and see smoother, more radiant skin in the morning. I will use this serum the same night I use the Retinol 24 MAX eye cream but save the Retinol 24 MAX moisturizer for another night.
This is one of my favorite drugstore retinoids. The results speak for themselves: brighter, smoother skin, improved skin texture, and a reduction in the appearance of pores.
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max Night Eye Cream
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Eye Cream is a fragrance-free eye cream that provides a glow helping you to look well-slept even if you aren’t. Like the other two products in the MAX line, this eye cream contains 20% more Retinol 24 Hydrating Complex versus the base Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream.
I absolutely love the original Retinol 24 eye cream, so I couldn’t wait to see how this new MAX eye cream performed. The original is pretty rich and creamy, and the MAX is just as smooth and creamy. But rich should not be equated with heavy. The new MAX eye cream feels lightweight on my skin and leaves my eye area soft and smooth.
Applying a retinoid product around your eyes can be tricky because the last thing you need is to irritate the sensitive skin around your eyes.
This formula makes sure that your eyes are hydrated, smooth, and brightened. I don’t notice a huge difference between the original and this MAX eye cream, but I love them both!
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max Night Moisturizer
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Moisturizer is a fragrance-free moisturizer that hydrates and replenishes skin while reducing the appearance of the signs of aging. Like the other products in the MAX collections, this moisturizer contains 20% more Retinol 24 Hydrating Complex than the original Retinol 24 moisturizer.
NOTE: Since Olay does not recommend using all three products together, they suggested starting with the Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Moisturizer and Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Eye Cream. You can always incorporate Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max Night Serum into your skincare routine on another night.
I really notice that my pores are smaller and the texture of my skin is smoother after using this moisturizer.
It feels a little bit stronger than the original Retinol 24 moisturizer. This night cream is the real deal. You get hydration and anti-aging all in one.
Retinol24 Skin Renewing Retinol Cleanser
Retinol24 Skin Renewing Retinol Cleanser is formulated to prep your skin for Olay’s Retinol 24 products. It is formulated with Olay’s Retinoid Complex to increase cell turnover, reduce wrinkles and give your skin a healthy-looking glow.
Salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, exfoliant, and breakout-fighting ingredient, can help brighten your skin and control acne and blemishes. Salicylic acid travels deep into your pores to clean out dirt and oil that can lead to blackheads and breakouts.
Niacinamide acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce redness and irritation while brightening the skin and helping to reduce hyperpigmentation. It also helps control acne and blemishes, improves collagen production to firm and tighten your skin, and increases ceramide synthesis to improve skin barrier function.
Tiny spheres of hydrated silica (see image below) gently provide an added gentle exfoliation to help brighten your skin.
The cleanser has a thick creamy consistency and is non-foaming. The hydrated silica in the cleanser provides a very mild physical exfoliation in addition to the chemical exfoliation provided by salicylic acid. My face feels soft and smooth after cleansing, and my skin texture is improved.
This works well as a second cleanse for me in my evening skincare routine after removing my makeup with a cleansing balm. It’s gentle and not harsh like a face scrub, and even though the active ingredients are rinsed off, you still get some benefits from niacinamide, salicylic acid, and retinol.
Olay Retinol24 + Peptide SPF Moisturizer
Olay Retinol24 + Peptide SPF Moisturizer is formulated to provide broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection and up to 24 hours of hydration in a formula designed to be worn under makeup. It contains Olay’s Retinoid Complex to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, pores, and roughness, visibly firm your skin and improve skin elasticity.
Niacinamide helps balance oil production in the skin, making it ideal for those with oily acne-prone skin, as well as those with dry skin, as it also moisturizes and reduces transepidermal water loss. Niacinamide’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness due to acne or other skin conditions.
This retinol moisturizer also contains palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, Olay’s Amino Peptide, which helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and increase skin firmness.
The moisturizer has a silky smooth consistency and leaves a natural finish on your skin. Although fragrance-free, it has the telltale scent of chemical sunscreen. The SPF protection comes in the chemical sunscreen form of Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 9%, Octisalate 4.5%, and Octocrylene 6%.
Since retinol increases cell turnover, new skin cells are thinner and more sensitive to sunlight. Also, retinol breaks down in sunlight, so most recommend that retinol products be relegated to your nighttime skincare routine.
BUT since this retinol moisturizer also contains SPF, you are protecting your skin and the retinol in the moisturizer from the sun’s UV rays.
Even so, I like to use retinol and other retinoids in my evening skincare routine and use antioxidants like vitamin C on my face during the day.
The bottom line is while I love Olay’s Retino24 skincare line, this product wasn’t for me. I prefer mineral sunscreens (Olay’s got a good one) instead of chemical sunscreens and like to use retinol in a serum or cream at night.
Final Thoughts on Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Retinol Products
The MAX products feel slightly more potent than the originals and are just as effective.
You can’t go wrong with any Retinol 24 skincare products, but if you want to choose just one product to moisturize and treat your skin with retinol, consider starting with Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Night Moisturizer, as it’s great for dull skin that needs refreshing.
Have you tried Olay Retinol 24 or Retinol 24 MAX skincare products? I’d love to hear your results!
Thanks for reading!