12.19.2014
29
6456
Regenerist Regenerating Serum Fragrance-Free
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $22.99
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum Fragrance Free is a silky, water-based serum that contains a fairly broad complement of beneficial ingredients for all skin types. It contains approximately 2% to 3% niacinamide, and, in this amount, it can increase the skin's ceramide and fatty acid content as well as have anti-inflammatory action and work to reduce hyperpigmentation (Sources: The New Ideal in Skin Health: Separating Fact From Fiction, Thornfeldt Carl MD, Allured Books, 2010, pages 160-161; and Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, April 2004, pages 88–93).

Olay claims the peptide this contains can regenerate skin cells. Peptides are cell-communicating ingredients that can help improve skin's appearance and enhance its healthy functioning, but they are not miracle-workers for skin, nor are they all that smoothing on their own. They're good ingredients to see in anti-aging products, but they're not going to work quite the same way many skincare brands seem to want consumers to believe.

The various types of silicones that really give this product its elegant texture and make skin feel unbelievably silky, and the lightweight finish is best for normal to oily skin. This serum runs circles around most products sold as foundation primers, so be sure to consider this if you're of the mindset that a primer is essential to seamless makeup application. You can use a serum like this instead and save yourself an extra step!

Claims

This ultra lightweight formula with advanced amino Peptide complex regenerates surface skin cells so fast that skin starts looking smoother and has a softer texture after the first day of use.

Ingredients

Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Panthenol, Polyethylene, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dimethiconol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-100 Stearate, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Aminomethyl Propanol, Laureth-4, Laureth-7, Disodium EDTA.

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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08.24.2015
Impressed

I bought this serum after trying to find a less pricey replacement for my Clinque Turnaround and I think I have found it! This leaves face very smooth, it looks more clear and has me taking much better care of my skin routine because I am seeing results. :) I have oily skin and this has truly made a difference.

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Reviewed by
Heather J
08.13.2015
Does the serum clog pores?

I am 41 and have been using the serum for about 15 years as a moisturizer. In the most recent years, I have used the Rite Aid generic - it's not only less expensive but also blends much better with my make up. I've always felt good & safe with the product, never associated my break-outs with it. Due to Acne, my doctor recommended the sole use of acne specific moisturizer now! Has the serum (brand or generic) contributed to clogged pores, thus exacerbated acne over all these years?

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Reviewed by
Val
08.14.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Thanks for your feedback.  It is possible that you may have experienced a breakout related to one of these products as, really, most ingredients have the potential to clog pores - it just depends on the person!  I would also double-check the ingredients on your Rite Aid product... often generics do not have the exact same ingredients.  I would also double-check to make sure that the Rite Aid version is a "dupe" for this fragrance-free version and not the original, which DOES contain fragrance.  Good luck!

—Admin
07.03.2015
New Formula TRAIN WRECK

I agree with other reviewers who experienced a reaction to the latest formula of this serum. It is total garbage. I, too, experienced unsightly irritation and burning wherever I applied this serum to my face (even hands!) and I do not have sensitive skin. In fact, I have used the original serum formula for years without any issues and believe the positive reviews here are referring to the previous original formula. The new formula? It wrecked my skin. Never again.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
06.27.2015
Favorite skin care product

This has been my all- time favorite skin care product. It have not been completely faithful, since I like to try new things, but I kept coming back to it and finally decided it is my one and only. I hope they never discontinue it.

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Reviewed by
Darlene B
05.16.2015
for mom

Hey i want to help my mom chose her new skin treatment. My mom is 52,have wrinkle and sensitive dry skin. Is this product will suits my mom? Thanks.

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Reviewed by
nisa
05.18.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  This product does have a low level of fragrance in it, which could be irritating to her sensitive skin, so make sure she spot tests it!  Otherwise, it is a great option for anti-aging, but is recommended for those with normal to oily skin.

—Admin
05.05.2015
To moisturise or not

For combination skin is a moisturiser necessary with this serum, If so should it be worn under or over this product? Thanks

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Reviewed by
V
05.18.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  This serum can be used both with and withour a moisturizer.  If you're wearing it during the day, we recommend a moisturizer with broad spectrum sun protection :)  If you do go this route, Olay suggests using the serum first and then the moisturizer on top of that.

—Admin
04.28.2015
Can I use Olay

Could you help me understand if this product is restricted to any age group?

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Reviewed by
SK
04.28.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello there!  Anyone can use Olay - there are no age restrictions on their products.
 

—Admin
03.03.2015
This or the Micro-Sculpting Serum?

Hi! I've been reading reviews in search of a good serum, I'm in my mid 20's and trying to introduce myself to anti aging products. Would you recommend this over the Micro-Sculpting Serum? I have oily skin.

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Reviewed by
Maria J
03.09.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Either product would be a great choice as they are very similar products but we would probably recommend the Regenerating Serum over the Micro-Sculpting based on the fact that it's slightly more inexpensive, but it's up to you!  Just remember to spot test first & save your receipt so if the one you choose does not work, you can exchange it for the other :)

-Beautypedia Team

—Admin
02.25.2015
Love this!!

I started using this after reading the reviews and all I can say is "Wow, what a difference!" I had noticed dryness under my eyes and after 1 application of this the dryness was gone. My skin feels so smooth and silky after applying and my moisturizer applies nicely over top. I have noticed my skin tone is more even, my greasy t-zone is more under control and my pores so much smaller. I have been using this for over a year and will continue to purchase and use every day.

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Reviewed by
Jenn
02.18.2015
Iching and tearing

I am allergic to soy and wheat. It can be a major challenge to locate products that actually work and or totally free of these ingredients. I have read that Glycerine is a byproduct of soap manufacturing, and can be either synthetic, or derived from plants(usually soybeans) or animals(tallow).It can also be a blend of both oils. I have experienced reactions to Veg.Glycerine. I have written to the Co. and asked if the glycerine or any other ingredients in this are derived from Soy. No response.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
02.17.2015
QUESTION

I have sensitive, moderately acne-prone skin. I've been looking into this serum because of it's antioxidant content and because it can help to reduce hyper-pigmentation. Is this likely to cause any severe irritation or acne?

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Reviewed by
Joey, B
02.20.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  The newest formula of this product does indeed contain fragrance but since it is the very last ingredient on the list, it is probably present in a non-significant quantity and shouldn't cause any additional irritation to your skin.  I'd recommend spot-testing it first as well as saving your receipt as most retailers allow returns if it does not work for you.

—Admin
02.10.2015
Question!

I only use it during night time and I get really oily when morning comes. Should I still put on moisturizer after or is the serum good enough by itself?

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Reviewed by
Loren A.
02.11.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello, and thanks for the question! Depending on your skin type (if it is oily or combination), then the serum might be the only moisturizer you need at night. We hope this helps!

—Paula's Choice Research Team
01.31.2015
Question please help

I always go on beautypedia before I buy anything. I love this serum so much!! Thanks PC team!! Please correct me if I'm wrong. If I can use as primer, does that mean I wear it after my PC Resist Superlight moisturizer w/SPF 30 vs before? Or Do it before & after? Thanks in advance!!

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Reviewed by
Maria P.
02.02.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello, and thanks for your question! We recommend applying your SPF last in your skincare routine.

—Paula's Choice Research Team
01.23.2015
not going to work for me

I bought this product a few weeks ago after seeing in recommended on this site. It took me a few weeks of daily use to put two and two together that it was causing my eyes to feel really tired all day - it didn't seem to matter whether I applied it in the morning or at night. This week I purposefully used it only one night and sure enough, the next day, tired eyes all day so I'll have to toss it :( Too bad because so many reviewers here love it and the price point is great.

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Reviewed by
Vera G
01.18.2015
Enjoy using this product

A very pleasant serum to use. Goes on soft and matte, not greasy like some others I have tried.

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Reviewed by
st
12.01.2014
Add it to my new list...

I've been changing my skin & body care products based on Beautypedia and have been thrilled to have these unbiased ratings...thank you Paula!! My first serum; I get a small chest break-out if I use too much which clears up quickly with a touch of cortisone cream. I'm glad it soaks in so well...layering product is less of an issue then. My eyes get warm/sting sometimes by midday so I try to use less and further away from eyes the next day...still learning. I think it's made a big difference!!

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Reviewed by
Julie
11.18.2014
Ingredient question

This isn't a review as much as it is a question: what was the paraben ingredient that was removed, and what is the formaldehyde-based ingredient that replaced it? I've only used this a couple times so far, and I experienced a slight burning (my eyes and around my eye area), but I had applied an older sunscreen when I ended up at the beach, so I'm not sure if the burning was from that sunscreen or this ingredient. I also experienced that pilling some people mentioned. Hoping results are good.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
11.18.2014
Beautypedia Team Response

The ingredient change in question was going from a paraben to the formaldehyde-releasing preservative DMDM hydantoin. Although this preservative can be a problem for some, it's risk to skin is about the same as for many other preservatives.

—Admin
08.09.2014
Great serum at a great price

I bought this after reading the review and no longer wanting to spend the $$$ for Clinique's serum. This is awesome! It feels great on and my skin looks better after just a week. Not to mention how easy it is on my wallet. I will note I purchased the old formula with the paraben system and not the formaldehyde. I'm not sure if I will still be able to use it then. I'm wondering if Paula's recommendation will change when she tries the new formula?

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Reviewed by
Lauren
08.02.2014
Watery Eyes

I agree. The new ingredient made my eyes water! Very disappointed.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
07.10.2014
Soothing

I've got this serum after Beautypedia's review. I've got dry skin around eyes and cheeks and oily t zone. I needed something for the dry area as my spf30 bb cream wasn't hydrating enough by itself. It's very silky, gives hydrated feel but it's not shiny. It stays smooth all day. I've noticed it works great with occasional breakouts, helps soothe skin, helps it heal faster. It's missing the vitamins and antioxidants, but for that we have great choices within Paula's skincare products ;-)

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Reviewed by
Erna H
04.29.2014
Amazing!

I feel like results with this serum are instant! Overnight, my skin calmed down, breakouts reduced and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation decreased. Feels soo goood when applying too! Also, very moisturizing for a serum. I still use a moisturizer because my skin is dry/sensitive though.

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Reviewed by
MAngulo
04.05.2014
Not BEST anymore

I have used this product for years and absolutely loved it. I went to buy more yesterday and discovered Olay had changed the formula. By removing the paraben and adding the formaldehyde-based ingredient, I can no longer even use this product. As soon as I put it on my face I could tell the difference. It created a slight burning feeling right away. Into the garbage it goes.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
12.04.2013
Feels great on skin

This glides over your skin and the finish is lovely - neither greasy or overly moist. My skin feels smooth and it pairs well with all my other skin care products and makeup. Two pumps takes care of my face and neck and any residual goes on my hands. Most other serums out there are too costly to apply this liberally let alone use on my hands! I like this so much that I've dropped one of my expensive dept store serums from my routine and have substituted this in its place.

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Reviewed by
Tamie C.
10.17.2013
I will buy it again

I've normal and sensitive skin, and I've been using Olay's "Regenerist Regenerating Serum Fragrance-Free" twice a day for 2 weeks now. It is easy to apply and leaves a perfect finish! Perfect = weightless, matte but not too matte, shiny but not too shiny. I have seen great improvements in my skin after I started using this serum and I will definitely buy it again, and again, and again. Thank you, Lil, for letting me know that I could find a 3.4 oz bottle at Costo for a more reasonable price!

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Reviewed by
Tilde C.
09.16.2013
An Absolute Must-Have!

My dermatologist recommended this several years ago, & I've been using the fragrance-free version daily under SPF 30 moisturizer ever since. The texture is elegant, & leaves my skin silky-smooth. I also use it under my eyes & on my neck. My skin looks great, & I think the Olay Regenerating Serum is one reason why. One caveat ~ don't use too much, or it "pills."

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Reviewed by
Kelly
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