20 Jars of This Iconic Drugstore Face Cream Are Sold Every Minute, So I Tried It

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Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

 Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

We purchased Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.

I'll be honest—I haven't used a drugstore moisturizer in years. With all the new innovations in beauty, I've leaned into supporting smaller brands. Lately, though, I've been reflecting on my early relationship with beauty and have started looking back at brands like Noxzema, which I used during my teens, and Olay, which was the first anti-aging brand I tried in my 20s. 

Although Olay offers several much-loved products (its Retinol24 Night Serum has been blowing up, recently), perhaps its most iconic is the Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, a facial moisturizer that sells 20 units per minute worldwide. With good-for-the-skin ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, the brand claims it hydrates the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in just 28 days. But did it actually deliver? To find out, I put this little red jar to the test. Read on for my honest review. 

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

Best for: Combination, normal, and mature skin 

Star Rating: 3.8 / 5

Uses: Moisturizing 

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin E, carob extract 

Byrdie Clean?: No

Price: $26

About the Brand: Olay, which was previously known as Oil of Olay, is an American skincare brand owned by Proctor & Gamble. It has been a drugstore staple since its founding in 1952.

About My Skin: Combination, sensitive, and uneven

My skin is always on the brink of greatness... or of a breakout, whether I'm having a bout of hormonal acne or my skin is reacting to some new product I've tested. With that in mind, I was a little nervous about giving this beloved treatment a try because this cream is made with both fragrance and parabens. (The brand does offer a fragrance-free version, though.)

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream $26
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Ingredients: Hydrating and anti-aging properties

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Niacinamide is one of my all-time favorite ingredients since the water-soluble vitamin can help minimize pores, smooth uneven skin, and soften fine lines and wrinkles. 

Amino-Peptide Complex II: Amino peptides are essential for helping the skin maintain its firmness since the amino acids are full of collagen, elastin, and keratin.

Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is the It ingredient of the moment, and rightfully so. The humectant can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it the ultimate moisturizer.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
 Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

The Feel: Creamy with a medium weight 

The feel of the Regenerist cream was about what I expected—creamy with a medium weight. Since I have combination skin, I decided only to use this cream during my nighttime skincare routine. (I rarely use a true moisturizer that isn't sunscreen during the day.)

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
 Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

Before I popped my red jar open, I did what any beauty lover would do: I looked up reviews. One thing that many reviewers mentioned was pilling. Much of the time, pilling happens when we don't allow previous serums or treatments to soak into the skin entirely, so I kept that in mind. On the first night, I used the cream after my retinol (The Ordinary's Retinol 1% in Squalane) did have some product pilling, even after letting my retinol soak in for 15 minutes. The following day, I let the retinol soak in for 20 minutes. There was still a little pilling, but not enough for me to give up on using this each night. One other thing I noticed was the fragrance. Since most products I use are fragrance-free, the smell stuck out to me, even though it was pleasant. Over the four weeks of testing this out, the fragrance became less noticeable, and so did the minimal pilling. 

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
 Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

The Results: Hydrated skin without any flakes or breakouts

At the start of my review, I mentioned that I was nervous about using this because of the fragrance and parabens. Well, I am happy to report that this didn't break me out. Not to mention, a little goes a long way. One dip of my finger gave me enough product to dot on my forehead, cheeks, and chin—and there was even a little left over to rub on my hands.

Each morning, I woke up with hydrated skin, and no retinol-induced flakey patches. There is one benefit of this cream that I couldn't put to the test, and that's the wrinkle reduction. I don't have any wrinkles yet, but as a preventive moisturizing treatment, this cream does its job well.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
 Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

The Value: It's worth it

For less than $30, this product hydrates and serves as preventive skincare. What's not to love? Plus, as I said above, a little bit of product goes a long way. In my book, the value of this product is pretty excellent.

Similar Products: You've got options

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream ($14): This non-comedogenic, fragrance-free night cream is made with key skincare players like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, making the dermatologist-tested formula ideal for all skin types.

Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Moisturizer ($39): The lightweight award-winning bestseller is light enough to use day or night depending on your skin type. It only moisturizes the skin, but the triple blend of alpha-hydroxy acids gently exfoliates. 

Tatcha The Silk Cream ($120): If you're looking for a clean beauty splurge, then Tatcha offers up a weightless gel-cream anti-aging formula with green tea, rice, and algae. Plus, Akoya pearl extract that helps produce natural collagen to help reveal firm, hydrated skin.

Our Verdict: Quality skincare on a budget

After using the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream for a month, I understand why so many people love it. I loved how soft and hydrated my skin felt each morning, but the fragrance, parabens, and preservatives are difficult for me to put aside—although, as I said, Olay also offers a fragrance-free version, which is a step in the right direction. Overall, this is a relatively budget-friendly moisturizer for those who want to keep their skin looking and feeling its best. 

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