12.12.2014
8
2104
Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum Fragrance Free
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $28
Category:Skin Care > Serums
Last Updated:12.12.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This water- and silicone-based serum doesn't have any sculpting ability so you can ignore that portion of the name. Hydrating and plumping skin that is sagging isn't going to make it look lifted—it's not as though this serum is a mini face-lift in a bottle.

Skin sags for various reasons, mostly due to sun damage that destroys the skin's elasticity and support structure, the cumulative effects of gravity, fat pads shifting beneath the skin, and bone loss. Simply plumping the skin cells with moisture isn't going to change any of that.

The reason this is rated so highly is because it has a lot in common with the other serums from Olay Regenerist. That means with each use your skin is treated to a helpful amount of the cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide, skin-identical glycerin, and a cadre of other anti-aging ingredients, including peptides, antioxidants, and more cell-communicating ingredients. This serum also contains mineral pigments that leave a shiny finish, which is how this manages to make your skin look brighter and more radiant. The shine factor is the most significant difference between this and the other (less expensive) Olay Regenerist serums, so spending more on this version doesn't get you a better formulation.

This formula is fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin. Texture-wise, it works well for oily to combination skin and it's an option for dry skin if paired with a moisturizer.

Pros:
  • Silky texture contains a good mix of anti-aging ingredients.
  • Works well under makeup or paired with moisturizer.
  • Fragrance-free; suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Leaves a soft, radiant finish.
Cons:
  • Cannot sculpt skin or lift sagging skin (see More Info).
More Info:

Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

Claims

Instantly skin is hydrated and after just 5 days, skin is firmer. Skin looks brighter, more radiant.

Ingredients

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyethylene, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carnosine, Allantoin, Dimethiconol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-4, Laureth-7, Citric Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, DMDM Hydantoin, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Tin Oxide, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Titanium Dioxide, Mica

Brand Overview

Olay At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive (mostly); several outstanding water-soluble cleansers and scrubs; boon for any consumer in love with cleansing cloths; good AHA exfoliant; all sunscreens include UVA-protecting ingredients; bountiful selection of state-of-the-art serums and some excellent moisturizers; some of the best products offer fragrance-free versions.

Weaknesses: Bar cleansers; no topical disinfectant for blemishes; random products contain menthol; more than a handful of dated moisturizers; jar packaging; several moisturizers with sunscreen don't offer skin much beyond basic sun protection; repetitive formulas within and between the sub-brands make this line confusing and tricky to shop.

Olay offers a fairly large selection of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Although Olay's products are not as diversified as Neutrogena's or as attractive as L'Oreal's, Olay has come a long way from its star product being a soft pink lotion designed to make skin younger (yet it was and is just a badly formulated product that was out of date almost from the moment it was launched). Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but, as explained in the various reviews below, niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits. It isn't the best ingredient out there (no single ingredient has that title yet, and it's unlikely that just one ever will be) and as such doesn't deserve the prominence Olay gives it (a bit of variety would have been far better, such as a mix of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients).

Olay's sales are expected to reach $4 billion annually in the next few years, and given their global presence in stores and constant advertising in magazines and on television, that's not surprising. Much of this advertising is focused on their best products, which is attention well deserved. Just to give you an idea of the expenditure involved for these ubiquitous ads, Olay spent over $50 million to promote Regenerist in 2003. The good news is that each new range of Olay products generally improves on what came before it, offering results that, while not as impressive as the claims, are noticeable in the mirror.

For its ongoing commitment to understanding consumers and formulating products that, while not perfect, definitely offer more proof than puffery, Olay deserves consideration by any savvy skin-care shopper. And it also deserves mention that Olay is one of the few lines in this book whose entire collection of products with sunscreens provides sufficient UVA protection! (Sources for the financial figures above: The Rose Sheet, July 10, 2006, page 5; September 11, 2006, page 4; and January 1, 2007, page 5).

Olay began 2009 with the launch of Pro-X, their most expensive products to date. Not only are these products considerably more expensive than any others from Olay, the packaging, color scheme, advertising campaign, and claims have all been turned up to "max" on the cosmetics marketing dial. The amount of hype and budget thrown at these products easily explains why our Beautypedia product request e-mail inbox has been inundated with requests for me to review these products!

Whenever something this sleek-looking and pricey debuts in the mass market, lots of consumers wonder whether the extra expense is worth it. They also want to know if Olay's "Professional" designation makes these products a cut above the numerous other products they sell, including those with similar claims.

It turns out we had the same question after surveying the ingredient lists for all of the Pro-X products: How are they different from those available in Olay's Total Effects and Regenerist? Supposedly, all of those other sub-brands also have the answer to improving the telltale signs of aging, from dryness and wrinkles to loss of luminosity and unwanted discolorations. In fact, the claims on the label of these three lines are virtually identical.

It is clear from the get go that there are far more similarities than differences among Definity, Regenerist and Pro-X. All of them contain niacinamide, the B vitamin that has almost single-handedly re-energized Olay as a formidable skin-care brand. One of the Pro-X products contains acetyl glucosamine, just like several from Definity, and many Pro-X products contain peptides, just as Regenerist products do. Why should someone consider Pro-X over those other lines?

Interestingly, the folks we spoke with at Procter & Gamble didn't have a clear answer either, which isn't surprising, at least not from a formula superiority standpoint. Rather, their explanation was all about a marketing decision. This "cosmeceutical" –oriented line is supposed to give women who think that a line that looks medical must be better even if it's available at the drugstore. Pro-X was also designed to appeal to women who typically seek professional skin-care products, meaning those that are sold or recommended by a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon.

Of course there is no standardized definition for "professional skin care" and "cosmeceutical" is a bogus term. The dermatologists who consulted Olay about these new products are well-respected, but the formulas still come up short in terms of a cocktail of antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients that can repair damaged skin. As it turns out, despite the Alliance for Skin Care Innovation that Olay speaks of in their promotional materials for Pro-X, its creation had more to do with marketing than with bringing anything new to the cosmetics table.

Don't get me wrong: the Pro-X products have some commendable attributes and certainly offer multiple benefits for aging skin, but the truth is they're not different enough from Olay Regenerist or Definity products to warrant the higher price.

Pro-X's packaging is indeed sexier, the claims are more enticing, and the prices speak to a high-end consumer, but, to borrow a popular catchphrase from the 1980s, we were left wondering "Where's the beef?" The beef, as it were, is merely Olay creating products whose differences are much stronger from a marketing standpoint than from a formulary standpoint. That's not breakthrough news for your skin, and it's a fact that anyone considering Pro-X should know that other Olay products offer comparable benefits for less money. The only significant difference between Pro-X and Olay's other sub-brands is that Pro-X is fragrance-free; that's great, but you would think that leaving out an ingredient as opposed to adding one would lead to a price decrease rather than an increase. It's up to you if that point is enough to make the higher prices worthwhile.

For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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07.20.2015
Better than expected

This serum is amazing! I wasn't expecting much from an Olay product but it really agrees with my skin....and my skin is picky. I use more for antioxidant protection but it is wonderful and I love that I can use coupons on this.

Value
Results
Recommend
Reviewed by
courtney j.
07.08.2015
Product rolls on skin

I used to use the Olay Night Resurfacing Elixir, which has been discontinued, and I accidentally bought this serum. I also bought Olay Prox Anti-Aging Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel. I read Paula's review of this product which sounds like it has loads of benefits; however, I can't use it over the exfoliant (peel) because it rolls very badly. Kind of annoying, but I'll use it up on my chest and arms liberally. I think if you were to use this on its own, it would be fine.

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Reviewed by
Lauren
07.09.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hey there!  We're so sorry you're experiencing the pilling =(  At least you were able to make use of it on the rest of your body, though!  Also, The Paula’s Choice Research Team no longer reviews products for Beautypedia, and while The Beautypedia Team is still a part of Paula’s Choice Skincare, what’s new—and you may not yet have known—is that now we have two teams working independently to bring you the best quality reviews, products, and  research-supported expert advice you know and love. One team is dedicated to Beautypedia and product reviews from other brands; the other is dedicated to Paula’s Choice skincare and its unique combination of expertly formulated products and advice on a wide range of beauty-related topics.

—Admin
06.14.2015
Average, plus rolls up on my skin

After reading about this product (ingredients) I expected good results but nothing. Could you please explain what might cause this serum to roll up on my skin, I think I'm waisting it. Thank you!

Value
Recommend
Results
Reviewed by
MB
06.15.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Nothing in the ingredient list by itself would cause "pilling".  It's likely a combination between something in this formula with a different product in your routine.

—Admin
05.23.2015
Where are Olay products made?

The label on Regenerist does not identify where the products are made, only distributed. Are they made in the U.S. or somewhere else?

Value
Results
Recommend
Reviewed by
Carol
05.14.2015
Can this be used for all ages?

Hello, this isn't a review but a question actually. I am 20 years old and I wanted to buy a serum that was good for my skin (combination & I have a bit of redness on my cheeks) but also not expensive. This product seemed like the best option for me after I read all the reviews on serums, but this product is for anti-aging, and I don't have any wrinkles or anything like that. Is this product still good for me? Or is there another product I should be trying?

Recommend
Value
Results
Reviewed by
Julia
05.14.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  This is absolutely a great option for any age!  :)

—Admin
03.03.2015
Professional vs Over-the-counter

I thought over-the-counter products use larger molecules and have a much slower penetration than professional products. I'm confused as to how Oil of Olay got 4 stars.

Results
Recommend
Value
Reviewed by
Skin Matters
03.09.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Drugstore (AKA over-the-counter) products do not use larger molecules.  Any benefit here should be present regardless of molecule size :)

-Beautypedia Team

—Admin
02.25.2015
Nice Product

I have no complaints on this serum at all. That said I do prefer the Regenerating serum a bit more as I saw a bit more of a result from it. This serum is lightweight, no scent, no skin irritations and make up applies nicely over top.

Recommend
Results
Value
Reviewed by
Jenn
04.03.2014
Irritated my sensitve skin

I switched to this serum recently because Olay's Regenerating Regenerist Serum has been reformulated this year and it really irritates my skin. I was hoping this Microsculpting serum would no irritate my skin but it has. :(

Results
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Recommend
Reviewed by
sue
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