12.12.2014
14
4758
Total Effects 7-In-1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Mature Skin Therapy
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $21.99
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:12.12.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Mature Skin Therapy is Olay’s answer to the needs of women whose skin is suffering from the changes it endures during and after menopause. The seven benefits in one product claim to intensely moisturize skin, reduce wrinkles, enhance skin tone and color, minimize pores, provide free-radical defense, and lift skin. Wow, all this for under $25? Sarcasm aside, this moisturizer for normal to dry skin contains several state-of-the-art ingredients that can improve the appearance and healthy functioning of skin at any age, but without a sunscreen a major necessary benefit is missing!

Antioxidant-wise, this bests all of the other Total Effects products, propelling this to the top of the list. Much of the skin appearance enhancement has to do with visual trickery—the mineral pigments add a subtle soft-focus, brightening effect to dull skin, while niacinamide encourages ceramide production for a smoother surface, which reflects light better. This isn’t one-stop shopping for menopausal skin because most of the claims are at best farfetched, but it definitely has many strong points.

Claims

With menopause, the signs of aging accelerate up to 2x faster. For those experiencing these effects, this daily facial moisturizer provides the benefit of 7 anti-aging therapies in 1 essential product with more intense moisture for menopausal skin.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Coconut Oil, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Soybean Seed Extract, Ginger Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Polyacrylamide, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polymethyl Silsesquioxane, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethiconol, Laureth-7, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Yellow 5 Red 40

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 Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
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03.06.2015
You seemed to have changed the product.

The Total Effects 7 in one Moisturizer Plus mature therapy that I've been using for 5 years or longer and loved has changed. I noticed the change in the scent instantly and really liked the way it smelled before, it had more of a gingery smell. Now that is gone and it smells awful. Also, it doesn't feel the same. What a shame, it used to be the perfect night cream and my skin would look better in the morning. Guess it's time to move on. You've lost a customer by changing a good thing.

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Reviewed by
Penny
02.25.2015
Works pretty good

I have been finding it difficult to find a decent night cream and since this has no spf I decided to try it. I have to say it works pretty good. My skin doesn't look all greasy in the morning, it doesn't clog pores, and my skin looks so healthy, radiant and not blotchy at all in the morning. Also my fine lines are greatly reduced.

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Reviewed by
Jenn
02.14.2015
not so good

I just starting using the olay,mature therapy and it seems that it's drying my skin out more than it moisturizers. The next day my skin is peeling off.. I really don't understand why it's doing this..Well I guess on to the next

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Reviewed by
amanda v
01.30.2015
Perfection

I have tried Chanel, Clinique, Dior, Rose Day Cream and Bobbi Brown! Nothing compares to Olay Mature Therapy! I have used this for a year now and my wrinkles are less noticeable, my coloring is brighter and skin tone more even. My makeup goes on beautifully when I apply before hand and it truly gives a youthful glow. I wish they would get rid of the saying that this is for menopausal women because it certainly scares some people off . I have dry skin but certainly no where near menopause.

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Reviewed by
Be S
01.25.2015
Too smelly

In general I like Olay products. I bought this Olay 7-in-1 anti-aging moisturizer for mature therapy because of the high rating given on this website. I have used it only a few times and don't know if I can get past the smell to try it for any length of time to see what the results would be. I probably will have to take it back to the store and purchase something else. Ugh!

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Reviewed by
Nancy G
01.18.2015
Has been a staple product in my routine for years now.

Have been using this as a night time anti-aging product for years now and I really like it. Despite the fragrance, my skin doesn't react to it at all, and I have quite sensitive skin. I guess it must be a lucky coincidence.

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Reviewed by
st
11.29.2014
I've had results!

I have noticed in the 6 weeks plus I've been using this moisturizer, reduced pore size, sun spot fading, blackheads disappearing and more overall even skin tone.

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Reviewed by
Lynn w
10.17.2014
Can't use this anymore.

I initially gave this a very good rating because this was an emollient moisturizer, however the fragrance (the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) have much to do with this is too overwhelming. I was using this as a night cream and I can't stand the smell of it any longer

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Reviewed by
KT L.
09.15.2014
Which one are you talking about?

I am just wondering which product you are referring to. I found two different product online, one is called Olay Total Effects 7-In-1 Anti-Aging Daily Moisturizer 1.7 Fl. Oz. Another one is called Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Moisturizer + Mature Therapy - 1.7 fl oz. Please clarify! Thank you!

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Reviewed by
Emma
09.15.2014
Paula's Choice Research Team Response

It's the Mature Therapy one.

—Admin
04.05.2014
Not impressed!

Don't like alcohol at all. But twice? This is not hydrating enough for any age group. Not worth the break outs. I'm more impressed we the original total effects atleast that evened out my skin tone. But that has alcohol too. This product makes me worry for my skin.

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Reviewed by
Annette D.
03.25.2014
sunscreen

This product actually contains two sun blocking agents; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Thank you Olay for omitting the damaging chemical sun screens!

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
02.16.2014
great for night time

My skin has definitely changed this winter as I have aged. This is the first winter my normal to oily skin has become dry! I use this at night over top a retinol product. It moisturises and softens my skin. I like the pump bottle and the $, and that it is easy to find, often on sale or with a bonus. I would like Olay to remove the scent, though it dissipates quickly. I think more people would buy it if they removed the 'Mature' label. It's for every age group!

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Reviewed by
Lorraine
05.10.2013
Great option!

Great array of ingredients for a 20 dollar moisturizer. On par with some of Paula's best and a wonderful option for those who are looking for something in the drugstore.

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Reviewed by
Nathan R
02.24.2013
Not Just for Mature Skin.

My very dry skin loves this moisturizer. Very soothing and hydrating and I like the sunblock free formula to use at night. It does have fragrance and that's the only negative, but It is still a favorite.

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Reviewed by
KT
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