The second highest selling personal care product in the UK at the moment is Olay Regenerist Daily 3 Point Treatment Cream. (The top seller is Bio-Oil, but I have already done that one.) Users are giving it pretty good reviews, and if Olay are stuffing the reviews with fake positive ones they are doing it very cleverly because the reviews seem to be pretty genuine. So lets have a look at the ingredients.
Nearly all skin creams are emulsions, and the majority are oil in water emulsions where tiny drops of oil are suspended in water using emulsifying agents. There are an infinite number of ways of producing these, these are the ingredients the team behind this product have chosen. This is basically the base on which the product is created.
Aqua – water. This is going to be anywhere between 50 and 75% of the formulation.
Isohexadecane,Isopropyl Isotearate,Dimethicone, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Dimethiconol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, C12-13 Pareth-3, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Laureth-7, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol,Cetyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate
That last one is a bit unusual – I think it may be there simply to help during the manufacture and may not play any role in the end use. The rest are emulsifiers, oils and waxes that comprise the cream. These do actually play a big role in how good the cream is, but don’t get a lot of attention in the promotional material. I am struck by the way they have used a lot of branched esters, which tend to give a silky feel. Whether or not you like this is a matter of taste. Personally it doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but no doubt this has been through enough panel testing to be sure plenty of people do like it.
Glycerin is a good humectant and is probably doing a lot of the work of moisturising.
Panthenol is a good moisturiser as well. Using both glycerin and panthenol together gives a longer lasting
Niacinamide is one of the vitamin B family and at high levels can have a skin lightening effect. This appears quite high up the ingredient list, so I’d be prepared to believe that this cream might even out skin tone.
Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 is better known as Matrixyl. This seems to have some kind of anti-wrinkle effect, though I think you’d need good eyesight to actually see it.
Carnosine in laboratory studies can be shown to inhibit glycation which is one of the biochemical ageing processes in the body in general. Whether this means it has any protection against ageing when applied to the skin is not at all obvious. I think I need another blog to investigate what the evidence for it is.
Soluble Collagen and Elastin are unlikely to do anything to boost your collagen and elastin levels in your skin, but like most polymers they probably give a tightening effect on the surface of the skin.
Sodium Hyaluronate is a good moisturiser acting as a humectant.
Allantoin has wound healing properties and promotes cell turnover. The effects are real but on the mild side.
Nylon-12, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Polyacrylamide, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Polyethylene
These give the cream its texture and make it manageable.
I don’t know what happens in every company, but I do know that when you see names like Aloe Barbadensis Gel and Camelia Sinensis Extract on an ingredient list they are often there just to make the ingredient list sound nice. I have given the low down on tip-ins in another blog post. Both of these ingredients might have some kind of beneficial effect when used on the skin but I doubt that this product is delivering enough to make any difference.
Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben,Tocopheryl Acetate,Tocopherol,Benzyl Alcohol
This product does seem to contain an awful lot of preservatives. I think this is probably a bit misleading. I am guessing that some of them are actually preservatives in the ingredients, and so are present at really really low levels.
Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Tin Oxide
The perfume and its ingredients
Parfum, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool
People reviewing this product comment on its mild smell. I’d say that this is an expensive fragrance with a lot of natural ingredients judging by the large number of allergens. (See more about fragrances on ingredient lists here.) I think I’d be a bit disappointed by the designation mild. But there is a fragrance free version available, so maybe people are getting mixed up.
Sodium Hydroxide,Citric Acid
There will only be tiny traces of these and they are there to adjust the pH of the formulation.
What do I think of Olay Regenerist Daily 3 Point Treatment Cream?
I can’t really accuse Olay of holding back on the raw materials here. There are a lot of goodies on the list and looking at their position on the ingredient list it looks like they are in at reasonable levels.
The three point in the name seems to come from the suggestion by the supplier that you should apply it to the eyes, jaw and neck. I am not sure what they have done to make it particularly suitable for those areas. I’d have thought it would be just fine anywhere on the face area.
I have a semi-gripe with the price. At £30 for 50ml it is on the expensive side for what it is. But I think it probably does have more of the stuff that works in than a lot of the brands that will be on the shelf next to it. If you are in the habit of spending that kind of money on skincare it is certainly one that is worth a try. If you usually spend less than that but are thinking of seeing whether pricier brands deliver more, this is a good option to try.
Buy my Kindle mini-book on cosmetic ingredients