Launched this week, the drugstore brand’s “most superior serum yet” is touted as a 5-in-1 that benefits skin texture, tone, firmness, wrinkling, and hydration. It’s jam-packed with a slew of derm-favorite actives, which work overtime to keep skin healthy without causing irritation.
What’s inside Olay Super Serum
You’ve probably seen dermatologists singing the praises of niacinamide, and it’s for good reason. “Niacinamide can help to reduce redness, inflammation, and acne,” says Michelle Henry, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan. “It also helps to improve the skin’s barrier function, which can lead to increased hydration and reduced water loss, making it suitable for various skin types, including dry and sensitive skin.”
2. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a popular skincare ingredient as it is essential for locking in moisture and keeping skin hydrated. “It can hold 1000 times its weight in water and helps to keep skin hydrated and plump,” says Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology. “It’s a powerful humectant and it’s great combined with emollients and occlusives to prevent loss of moisture.”
3. Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is both an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and a humectant, so it helps to exfoliate as well as to hydrate. “AHAs help to gently exfoliate and shed dead skin cells to reveal brighter skin underneath,” says King. “They have been proven to reduce the appearance of sun damage, increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen production, and improve tone/texture.”
Peptides‘ claim to fame is that they can stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen, making them a must-have for firming up fine lines and wrinkles. “Peptides can stimulate collagen because the skin has receptors for them, which are these things that sit on the outside of the skin cell that peptides connect to,” says Dennis Gross, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. “Our receptors are like a lock, and peptides are the key. The peptide goes into the lock, turns, and once the receptor opens up it allows the [peptide] to enter the cell [and boost collagen].”
5. Vitamin C
Any dermatologist will tell you that antioxidants should be a mainstay in any solid a.m. routine, and vitamin C is one of the best that money can buy. In addition to fighting against the free-radical damage that causes visible signs of skin aging (think: discoloration and wrinkles), this powerhouse ingredient comes with top-notch brightening abilities. “It’s a superstar skin-care ingredient and antioxidant,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut. “I love to tell my patients to use it because it scavenges free radicals, resulting in brighter, better-functioning skin.”
6. Vitamin E
Another potent antioxidant, vitamin E comes with the added bonus of having anti-inflammatory properties. What’s more, dermatologists say it’s “extremely hydrating,” and improves dry skin by repairing the lipid barrier that holds water into your complexion.
Though glycerin may seem like a *basic* ingredient, it deserves its time to shine. It’s a humectant, which means that (like hyaluronic acid) it attracts water to improve skin hydration. “And glycerin is not only so great at drawing water into the skin, but it’s also super gentle, which is why you’ll see it in a ton of products,” says Dr. Gohara. “I personally think that glycerin is the one ingredient that’s good for everyone. It’s no bells and whistles, we know it works, and everybody should have it.”
Dimethicone is a silicone-based polymer often used in skincare and cosmetic products for its skin-smoothing and moisturizing properties. “It forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface to help to lock in moisture and create a soft, velvety texture on the skin,” says Henry. “It is particularly beneficial for people with dry or sensitive skin, as it helps to alleviate dryness and irritation.”
What happened when I tried Olay Super Serum
After using Olay’s Super Serum for a week, there was a noticeable improvement in my complexion… but that’s not even the most exciting thing about it.
The highlight, for me, was the fact that the formula has color-changing abilities, meaning that it turns from iridescent purple to clear once it’s fully absorbed into the skin. There’s a slight tingle upon application, but after three minutes, the formula (and the feeling that comes along with it) totally disappears. Considering how difficult it can be to decipher when a product is fully activated, this magic is a welcome touch.
Now, onto the skin benefits that came along with using the serum. Four or five days into testing, my skin started to feel smoother and look more plump. It didn’t have the dry, dull feeling that it normally does, and my complexion was firmer than it had been before I introduced the product into my routine.
One thing worth noting is that I noticed that my skin was slightly more sun sensitive after using the serum (which is typically the case when you’re using any active skin care), so be sure to be extra diligent with SPF and limit your UV exposure.
All’s to say, or $35, this is a drugstore diamond of a serum that’s worth adding to your routine. After all, it might just be the only one you need.
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