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Name us a more iconic beauty brand than Olay, we’ll wait. If you’re anything like us, you likely have vivid memories of your mom, maybe even your grandma, using their iconic skincare…remember that bottle of pink lotion?
Olay was originally founded in 1952—back then it was Oil of Olay, as you might recall—by South African chemist Graham Wulff who set out to create a skincare product for his wife. (Um, can we just say husband goals?) That’s when that OG pink Oil of Olay lotion was born, marketed as an anti-aging liquid. The brand grew and expanded exponentially in the ensuing decades, quickly becoming the household name that it is today.
Renamed Olay in 1999, the brand’s latest endeavors has focused on a wide array of products made for every skincare want and need. Still, the focus on quality formulas (oh, and super affordable prices) remains the same. So, basically, this is one heritage brand that isn’t going anywhere. While we’re willing to bet you’ve tried at least one Olay product at some point, if you’re looking to take a few more for a test run we suggest opting for one—or all—of these 12 standouts.
Keep scrolling for our picks of the best Olay products of all time.
Compared to the history of the brand, the Regenerist line is fairly new, having launched in 2003. But the popularity of this cult-favorite product is unparalleled. More than one billion (yes, with a ‘b’) jars have been sold, with 20 of the iconic red jars sold every minute worldwide.
What gives? Credit the peptide-based formula that works in just 28 days to leave skin smoother and more hydrated. It’s so good, that it continues to beat out much, much more expensive products from around the world in head-to-head hydration testing.
These guys fly somewhat under-the-radar but definitely deserve a shout-out. They’re kind of like face wipe but even better. They come dry (so, unlike a face wipe, you never have to worry about them drying out), and all you have to do is add a bit of water to reap the makeup removing and skin-cleansing benefits. They can take off even super stubborn makeup, but are still super gentle on skin; they’re soap-free and have added grapeseed extract and glycerin for a hit of hydration.
Anyone who appreciates multi-tasking products (and really, who doesn’t?) will heart this overachiever. True to its name, it does in fact offer seven different benefits, including moisturizing, firming, and minimizing the look of pores, just to name a few. It’s oil-free and won’t clog pores, and has the added—and very important—benefit of including your non-negotiable daily dose of sun protection. And it’s an SPF 30 at that, impressive given that most drugstore moisturizers usually only have an SPF 15.
Here’s the bad news: The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on the body, making it the most susceptible to showing signs of aging. Here’s the good news: You can pick up this cream to knock out all of those signs, including wrinkles, dark circles, and puffiness. It’s all thanks to niacinamide and peptides, as well as subtle brightening pigments that instantly make you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. This is true eye cream multi-tasking at its finest.
With a mousse-like, featherweight texture, this is ideal for anyone who prefers creams that feel truly undetectable. It soaks in fully and completely in mere seconds, seriously—you can time it. This variant brightens skin for a subtle and healthy radiance, but many of the other formulas (like the beloved Regenerist Cream) also now come in a ‘whip’ version.
Vitamin B3, also known as nicotinamide, is an essential water-soluble vitamin, which is not synthesized in the body, meaning we have to eat it to receive its benefits. It helps restore cellular energy, repair damaged DNA, and reduce the immunosuppressive effects of sun-induced UV rays.
One of the latest launches is already poised to become a fan favorite, mark our words. Case in point: It received over 1000 five-star reviews during its first week on the market. The night cream uses retinol, a tried-and-true anti-ager, along with a proprietary vitamin B3 complex that helps improve the look of spots, wrinkles, pores, and more…all without any irritating side effects.
Activated charcoal is created from carbon-rich materials burned at high temperatures, like coal, coconut shells, and wood. In skincare, there are claims that it binds to and removes impurities from the skin, but more research is needed.
Olay’s solid mask sticks make masking easier and more mess-free than ever; all you have to do is swipe them on. Take your pick from four different options, each targeting a different skin issue, but personally, we reach for this one. Charcoal acts like a magnet to pull out gunk and grime lodged deep in pores, leaving your complexion feeling completely fresh and clean. Plus, the solid formula makes it easy to apply just on targeted spots, think your T-Zone to help absorb excess oil.
Shea butter is a plant lipid that comes from African shea tree nuts and is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. It's used to help moisturize, nourish, and soothe the skin.
If you’ve never sudsed up with this guy, do yourself a favor and do so ASAP. It’s packed, and we mean packed, with shea butter for a crazy creamy feel. You feel that hydration not only while you’re washing, but also long afterward; you might be able to get away with skipping lotion after using this in the shower.
Think of this spritz like a tall glass of spa water for your face. It’s infused with cucumber water and white mint (per our point about spa water) to deliver a quick hit of hydration and freshness. Our favorite ways to use it? Stash it in the fridge for a super cooling pick-me-up, a savior on hot summer days or after a workout. Or, use it to dampen your makeup sponge before applying foundation for a more seamless finish.
Fun fact alert: Serums are the fastest growing skincare format among millennials, which is part of what inspired the brand to come out with three serums newbies. They’re all good, but we’re partial to this one, a brightening and tone-evening formula boasting vitamin B3 (aka niacinamide) and vitamin C. We also appreciate that it’s fragrance-free and fast-absorbing.
Remember that epic Regenerist Cream? This is essentially the face wash version. Not only does it do its intended cleansing duties, but it also gently exfoliates. Couple that with a souped-up peptide complex to boost skin’s natural regenerating processes (hence the name) and you’ve got yourself a top-notch cleanser that’s especially ideal for more mature skin.
A large part of the brand’s DNA is addressing the needs of those with sensitive skin; plenty of their formulas are free of common irritants such as fragrance and dyes. But for skin that’s super stressed, this option is tops. The formula is fragrance-, dye-, paraben-, oil-, and silicone-free, and dermatologist-tested, too. Instead, it contains hydrating Hungarian water and soothing ingredients, like aloe and cucumber. It’s an all-around good option for anyone seeking a simple yet effective moisturizer, whether or not sensitivity issues are a factor.