Regenerist Regenerating Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15
2.5 fl. oz. for $22.99
Last Updated:09.03.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 15 has been going through some changes. We have two ingredient lists for this product; the first one is what we keep seeing on this product’s package in stores; the second is what Olay’s Customer Service team confirms is the most current ingredient list. For now, we’re keeping both on the site because the likelihood of many consumers buying the “older” formula is high.

Both versions provide reliable broad-spectrum sun protection and include stabilized avobenzone for sufficient UVA screening. Both versions also have a lightweight base that is suitable for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin, and are loaded with beneficial anti-aging ingredients, including antioxidants, and cell-communicating ingredients. For the money, either formula is a drugstore best buy and both wear well under makeup. Both formulas contain fragrance, and the combination of that with the sunscreen actives poses a risk of a sensitized reaction, so this product isn’t for everyone (but then again, no product is going to be perfect for everyone).

Note: This product was recently downgraded from three stars to two, which is considered average. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater. This revised recommendation is due to the fact that most people are not applying sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous. See the More Info section for details.

More Info:

Sunscreen Downgraded Due to Low SPF (SPF 15-20): This product was recently downgraded from its previous rating to two stars, which is still considered average. The reason for the change is due to the prevailing recommendation that your daytime sun protection product be rated SPF 30 or greater, with SPF ratings between 25 and 30 falling into the acceptable range.

This revised recommendation is because most do not apply sunscreen liberally enough to earn the stated level of protection on the label; therefore, a higher SPF rating will be more advantageous.

While this sunscreen will provide the SPF number on the label and has UVA-protecting ingredients, no sunscreen with an SPF lower than 20 will rate higher than two stars in Beautypedia. For more information on our criteria for rating sunscreens, please visit the Best Sunscreens or Best Moisturizers with Sunscreen section of the site.

Applying an SPF 15-rated sunscreen under a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream that offers broad-spectrum SPF 25+ will take far better care of your skin. This layering approach ensures your skin gets sufficient sun protection even if you're not applying liberally.


Help prevent future signs of aging with UV protection & light hydration. Regenerist Regenerating Lotion with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 visibly regenerates skin’s surface to reveal younger-looking skin that’s worth shielding.


OLD : Active: Avobenzone (3.0%), Homosalate (5.0%), Octisalate (5.0%), Octocrylene (2.6%) Other: Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Pentylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Carnosine, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dimethiconol, PEG-100 Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Stearic Acid, PEG-4, PEG-4 Laurate, PEG-4 Dilaurate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide

NEW: Active: Avobenzone 3.0%, Homosalate 4.0%, Octisalate 4.5%, Octocrylene 2.6% Inactive: Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Polymethylsilsequoxane, Dimethicone, Isopropyol Isostearate, Panthenol, Palmtioyl Pentapeptide-4, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E),Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Ascorbic Acid, Allantonin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloylddimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PTFT, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Isohecadecane, Dimethiconol, Polysorbate 60, BHT, Benzyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, PEG-100 Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide.

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
Summary of Member Comments
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Seems to have ruined my skin somehow

At first my skin was slightly itchy, but it was tolerable. Later it was slightly red and hot. I thought my skin can get used to this cream, so I gave it a couple of more days. I ended up with my face horribly swollen. It looked red and inflamed, as if layers of skin had been removed. It hurt so badly I couldn't sleep. My head hurt, too. Of course, I stopped using the cream. My skin got better, but it's been two months, and I still can't use ANYTHING else that contains sunscreen ingredients.

Reviewed by
Love this lotion!

I have combination skin but the winter before (2013) I had a terrible time with dry, flaking, red skin. I decided to try this lotion and am so glad I did. My skin was smoother, the red, flaky patches were almost gone after 1 week of use. After 2 weeks I had soft, smooth, hydrated skin. 7 months later I was just finishing off the bottle and it continued to work with my skin even when it went from dry back to combo skin. My Mom started using it and loves it too.

Reviewed by
Careful around the eyes!

I don't agree with the "best" rating on this product, simply because of the added fragrance. It's not a light fragrance, either, it is rather potent. When applied around my eyes, I had a severe reaction to the fragrance in the moisturizer, causing my eyes to burn, water, and swell. I looked like I'd been crying for a week! It feels nice on the rest of my face, though I noticed some burning in the dryer areas of my face. I wouldn't recommend this product to anyone with sensitive skin.

Reviewed by
Marcie S.
Made me breakout

This made my face feel greasy which was surprising as this is a somewhat lightweight sunscreen. It would have been tolerable as I use a matte foundation, however, it caused me acne- like breakouts within 2 days of use ( which is unacceptable). I will be returning this product.

Reviewed by
I wish I could buy it again

I've normal and sensitive skin, and I'm at the moment using AHA, tretinoin and hydroquinone. I've been using Olay's "Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 15" twice a day for 2 weeks now. First, it's easy to apply. Second, it leaves a lovely finish. Third, it wears well under makeup. Unfortunately it stings my skin a little bit so I have to find a moisturizer with UV ingredients that is more suitable for my skin type. I do recommend it.

Reviewed by
Really liking this moisturizer

I tried MANY moisturizers with an SPF before I settled on this one (thanks to the Cosmetic Cop reviews and Wal-Mart's return policy). This one is perfect! Great packaging with perfect pump amount-one pump for face and one pump for neck. The fragrance is nice and light as is the moisturizer. Didn't think I'd find one that didn't feel like a sunscreen, but still had a decent SPF, but Olay knocked it out of the park with this one!

Reviewed by
Anna Mary W.
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