If there’s one skincare ingredient I stan – it has to be retinol. It’s the gold standard for reducing signs of ageing, it brightens up the skin and also helps with congestion and hyperpigmentation. I had gotten the Olay Retinol 24 Night Serum and Night Moisturizer in November 2020 but didn’t get the chance to use it since I was on tretinoin – a strong prescription retinoid that I used throughout that year. You can read about my retinoid skin care routine and the right ways to use it here.
However, during winters, my skin barrier couldn’t handle the extreme dryness and my tolerance to tretinoin tanked. The barrier damage resulted in major pigmentation around the mouth and made my skin dull. *cries*
I put a stop to tretinoin and focused on just moisturizing my skin all day. But I missed the effects of retinol! So I shopped my stash and found these two retinol products by Olay catching dust in the corner. I had never used Olay before, it’s something I used to see in my mom’s stash but boy was I surprised! The serum, especially, turned out to be really good and since then, I haven’t stopped recommending it to every person who’s afraid of retinol.
Read to know my experience with both the products and which one do I recommend!
Disclaimer: Contains affiliate link. Products were sent by Nykaa last year with no obligation to post on the blog.
Packaging of Olay Retinol24 Serum & Moisturizer
The night serum comes in an opaque bottle with a push dropper. And the retinol moisturizer comes in a small jar with no spoon/applicator to scoop the product, quite similar to all the creams/moisturizers the brand sells. Both the products come inside a cardboard box that lists the information related to the product.
Price: Serum – 38.99 USD for 40ml/ INR 1999 for 30ml
Moisturizer – 38.99 USD for 50g/ INR 1999 for 50g
(They are both often on big discounts everywhere, don’t buy at full price)
You can see that the moisturizer is more price-effective for the quantity you get.
The serum has a beautiful milky texture and it sinks into my oily skin really well. It might feel a tiny bit silicone-y but not enough to bother anyone, and it definitely does not pill!
However, the texture of the cream, when you apply, was a bummer. It’s very silicone-y for my liking and I feel like I’m applying primer on my skin when I use it. The texture was the reason I ended up not using it for an extended period. This is a completely personal preference.
Key Ingredients & What do they do?
Both the products have the same key ingredients, let’s take a look at their benefits:
RETINOL – Prevents early signs of ageing and also counter various skin issues like hyperpigmentation, dull skin, etc. The brand has not mentioned the strength of retinol in the serum and kept it as a “proprietary formula”. But from my experience, it’s definitely on the lower side and perfect for beginners.
NIACINAMIDE – Helps with skin barrier, reduces the appearance of pores, and uneven skin tone. Again, the strength isn’t mentioned.
AMINO PEPTIDES- These are the building blocks of skin cells and they help skin look smoother and firmer.
Does Olay Retinol 24 Really Work?
As I mentioned, I didn’t use the cream for long enough to see visible results so it’s difficult to predict whether it really works. However, for the 2 weeks (4 days/week) I used it, I didn’t notice even a minor difference to the skin.
But then I moved to the serum and I was impressed! Within the first week, I started noticing small differences. My skin felt softer and less congested. Now the results will vary from person to person and also at the current stage of your skin. Mine was in shambles since I was working on recovering my skin barrier and not even exfoliating.
The texture, as I said, is beautiful and that made me look forward to using this serum regularly. And by the end of 2.5 months, the pigmentation around my mouth caused by the barrier damage disappeared, my skin looked brighter and more even-toned, and it also had very less congestion. I did not see much difference in my pores.
While I was using the retinol serum, the rest of my skincare was very basic and I hardly even exfoliated, so I know this retinol deserves the majority of the credit for the changes in my skin.
Does the Olay Retinol24 cause purging?
Retinol increases the cell turnover rate which can cause purging but that does not mean it will happen to everyone. I did not experience purging with either of the products.
How to use Olay Retinol 24 serum & Moisturizer?
I started with 3 times per week at night and my skin tolerated it very well. I faced no stinging or dryness and therefore moved to 5 times per week after a while. I don’t suggest this to everyone and I think 3 times per week combined with weekly or bi-weekly gentle exfoliation is enough for most people.
Make sure you DO NOT SKIP SUNSCREEN every morning!
SKINCARE ROUTINE I FOLLOWED:
- Double cleanse
- Hydrating toner or serum on damp skin
(Wait for toner to dry down)
- Retinol serum
- Lightweight moisturizer
Be careful while applying around the eyes
By now, we’ve established that the serum is superior to the cream and if you are planning on buying this range, you ought to get the serum. But for those who need it, here’s the routine I followed while using the moisturizer:
- Double cleanse
- Hydrating toner on damp skin
- Retinol cream
The cream was not moisturizing and I would sometimes need to follow up with another moisturizer despite being oily-skinned.
Can you use both the Olay Retinol Serum & moisturizer together?
No. It’s not needed since both the products contain retinol and overdose of the same will increase your chances of irritation. Pick one and also save your money!
Final Verdict on Olay Retinol 24 Serum & moisturizer
Both the products offer the same key ingredient but in terms of experience and results, I prefer the Olay Retinol 24 Serum. The texture is nice, and it’s perfect for those with sensitive skin or dry skin (since retinol generally causes a lot of dryness) as it is a very gentle formulation. I noticed good results throughout the time I used this serum and I highly recommend it to beginners who are too scared of retinols. If you’re someone with naturally higher tolerance or experienced with retinoid/retinol, you should explore stronger formulas and skip this one.
PROS OF RETINOL 24 SERUM
- Gentle formulation
- Lightweight texture
- Helped with hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone
- Reduced congestion and whiteheads
- Made skin soft
CONS OF RETINOL 24 SERUM
- Not strong enough for stubborn skin issues like PIH from acne