Olay’s New Retinol24 MAX Moisturizer!

Olay Retinol24 MAX Moisturizer Review

Created in partnership with Olay.

There are two things you’ll hear me say a lot here. First, that retinol is the best thing (besides SPF) that you can do for your skin to fight the signs of aging. Second, that if you want skincare that is affordable and high-tech, Olay is where you should look.

You might remember that last year, Olay asked me to review their Retinol24 line. I was really, really impressed with the products and how effective they are, especially at that drugstore price point. You can read my full review but what impressed me most about that line was that the products were so effective, without any irritation! Well this year, they have gone and launched their brand new Retinol24 MAX line, which has 20% more of Olay’s proprietary Retinoid Complex. I don’t want to spoil my review but can say with full confidence that Olay Retinol24 MAX is the best retinol cream on the market at this price point.

Olay Retinol24 MAX Moisturizer Review

The formula is very similar to the original product – it’s just more powerful. At first blush, it would be hard to tell a difference between the two. It’s fragrance-free, cruelty-free, super hydrating, and sinks in immediately. The formula contains Vitamin B3 and Olay’s unique Retinoid Complex which includes two types of retinoids: retinol and retinyl propionate.

I also want to touch on the jar format and product stability, as I got a bunch of questions (for good reason!) last time… I hadn’t ever seen a retinol cream in jar form either so was also curious. Olay did quite a bit of research before launching this product and had the understanding that most of their consumers prefer facial moisturizers (and eye cream) to come in jars, so they invested a lot of research into coming up with a formulation that would keep the retinol stable and potent without special air-tight packaging. They have developed a unique micro-droplet oil-in-water emulsion that keeps the retinol blend stable even in jar packaging.

Olay’s Retinol24 formula now comes in MAX form with 20% more of Olay’s unique Retinoid Complex*. 34% of women currently using a retinol product want their skincare products to be powerful, with maximum potency. Olay packed these fragrance-free formulas with Retinol24’s maximum concentration of hydrators to leave your skin feeling hydrated and replenished. 

Olay Retinol24 MAX Moisturizer Review

My Experience Using Olay Retinol24 MAX:

Testing Experience

First of all, as always, some context. I am 39 years old with dry skin. I am lucky that my skin is pretty well-behaved. But it is definitely starting to show the signs of aging: fine lines, dullness, the occasional rough patch.

I started using this moisturizer on October 9th. I submitted my review to the brand on November 11th, so I had a full month to test it. Then I started out using it every single night but it’s very potent (I definitely felt that it was more intense – in a good way – than the original Retinol24 cream!) Every other night was the sweet spot. I was already an avid retinol user so my skin is used to it but if you are new to retinol I’d definitely recommend starting with 2x a week and working up.

How to use retinol

This is a retinol night cream. I would not recommend using it (or any other retinol product) for daytime. I like to apply it before bedtime. After cleansing and toning, I would apply a generous amount of the cream to my skin. I let it sink in for at least 10 minutes or so. Most nights I didn’t feel like I needed any extra moisturizer (this one is really hydrating) but if my skin was feeling dry I’d pat on face oil over it.

Retinol Benefits – Short Term

In the short term, I felt like my skin was SO soft and hydrated, and immediately brighter and smoother the next day. The cream provides 24 hours of hydration so no waking up with dry, tight skin (this happens to me with some retinols).

The brightness was really really noticeable – I’d wake up glowing! I loved that it wasn’t irritating, too.

Retinol Benefits – Long Term

In the longer term, the formula will visibly smooth wrinkles and fine lines and even out skin tone. Over the month, my skin tone really evened out and fine lines were less noticeable as well.

I have said this before: retinol is not Botox; you won’t see this immediate elimination in fine lines but you will see a softening. Besides the blur in fine lines, my skin was noticeably smoother overall. This is one of the best retinol creams I have tried. I can honestly say that this is the best retinol moisturizer I’ve ever tried at this price point. It’s comparable with most of the more expensive ones I have tried over the years, and I really love the new MAX formula.

Olay Retinol24 MAX Moisturizer Review

Retinol FAQ’s

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative! When it comes to anti-aging ingredients, Retinol is hands down the star ingredient you want to look for.  It works by simultaneously increasing collagen production and accelerating skin renewal.

What does Retinol Do for the Skin?

So what does retinol do??? Using retinol for skin (a moisturizer, or other retinol products like a serum) a few times a week can help accelerate skin renewal, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots; it will refine the skin’s texture, and even out your skin tone.

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photography by Allie Provost.

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Comments

  1. Jessica C says 11.17.20

    I wonder who Olay polled that said they prefer their moisturizer in jars, because it certainly wasn’t me! The fact that it is in a jar is actually a huge deterrent for me. To each their own! Maybe I’ll pick up a little spatula to use because I had been wanting to try it, and your review nearly sealed the deal.

    • grace at the stripe says 11.17.20

      I have to tell you, I completely agree!!!!! I much prefer a pump, but another reader mentioned she likes the jar because of fearing product waste (which I totally get). I do know that Olay researches the hell out of everything they do so I believe them, but I’m with you: if they offered it in a pump I would have chosen that!

    • Wendy says 11.17.20

      I am also surprised people prefer the jar. I can use how for value, people can get every last bit out of a jar, but I still prefer a pump.

  2. KML says 11.17.20

    So happy to have your stamp of approval on this product as a poor law student who needs some good winter skincare! ♥️

  3. Caroline says 11.17.20

    I ordered this after you posted on Instagram about trying it, because you were glowing in those videos! I am super impressed. I’ve been using it almost every night, and my skin has been loving it. This is my first retinol, and was a little afraid since my skin can be a little finicky, but it hasn’t caused any irritation or negative side effects (I use glow screen every day and wear a hat like 99% of the time when I am outside so I don’t know if that might factor into it). It definitely helps fade little lines (I’ve lost 40 pounds this year and could see smile lines coming in before I started using this) and evens texture/tone. Thanks for sharing!!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.17.20

      That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you so much for sharing your experience, I really appreciate it!

  4. Berkley says 11.17.20

    I’ve been so interested in Olay’s retinols, but waiting for your review! I’m usually hesitant to try non-medical grade products like this but I might give this one a try, especially since you found it so moisturizing because the dry winter skin is real. Love that it’s in a jar too – probably all in my head, but I find that you waste so much product with a pump!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.17.20

      The conversation around jars and pumps is so interesting to me, that is a really good point!!!!

  5. Stacey says 11.17.20

    I love the olay retinol eye cream. I think I’ll try this out now. For the price, I find Olay’s retinol products to be really effective. I love your honest reviews!

  6. Dana Mannarino says 11.17.20

    Will definitely give this a try! You influenced me to start using their retinol serum, so I’m sure I’ll love this one too!

    Dana | It’s Casual Blog 

  7. Abby says 11.17.20

    Hey Grace! Thanks for the review! Do you use these creams on nights when you are using other acids?

    • grace at the stripe says 11.17.20

      Hi! I talked more about that in this post. https://thestripe.com/my-fall-early-winter-skincare-routine/

      For the testing process I only used this at night. At first I did every night then I scaled back to every other night! So no acids this month as I wanted to get a really good picture on how effective the cream is.

      For a regular skincare routine I would follow the routine I outlined in that blog post, using this as the retinol product!

  8. Karen says 11.17.20

    Truly, thank you for this review – not just what you thought, but all of the important details: what it is, how it works, how you use it, your own skin and personal info, why they chose a jar & what that meant for product stability, etc. Being so in-depth and honest is the main reason I trust your skin care reviews. And I can’t wait to give this retinol a try!

  9. Becky K. says 11.17.20

    Sold! I will definitely be purchasing this. Thanks, as always, for doing the research!

  10. christina V says 11.17.20

    I discovered your blog after finding your podcast and I loved episode where you were interviewed- I must have missed your age in that epsidoe (if you mentioned it) because I came away thinking you were max 31-32 (after seeing you on your blog this confirmed the number for me- and I just assume everyone is younger than me now, lol). You have outstanding skin- I am 38 and I dont think I look 1/2 as good as you. Thanks for another true product review- I have found many items I now enjoy from reading blog everyday!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.17.20

      That so kind! Thank you! And keep in mind – I post the photos where I look my best (i.e. good light!!!!) So happy you found me 🙂 xo

  11. Rebecca says 11.17.20

    I was waiting for this, Grace. When I finish up my current retinol, I’m gonna take the plunge.

  12. Emilie says 11.17.20

    Hi Grace! Do you recommend the moisturizer over the serum, or could I use both together? I’ve been using the Olay retinol serum but have been wanting to get the moisturizer too!

    • grace at the stripe says 11.17.20

      Hi! I haven’t tried the new serum but when I tested the serum before I loved it!!!! You can def use together.

    • Taylor Breuer says 11.18.20

      I had this same question! Using the retinol moisturizer over the serum or just one of them. Grace has definitely inspired me to take care of my skin more and I’m really trying to wisely invest in my skin as I finish up the backlog of random sample sizes/products that I have laying around!

  13. Clare says 11.17.20

    I’m 31 and wanted to incorporate a retinol into my routine. I discovered Olay’s Retinol24 by you and was thrilled because it was a great price point and since I was new to the world of retinol wanted to try something without breaking the bank! I love this review and can’t wait to try the new Retinol24 Max. Thanks Grace!

  14. Emily says 11.18.20

    I have been wanting to try retinol and you have convinced me! Just ordered it—the whole Olay site is also 25% off today! Always love your reviews — thank you for your honestly and hard work on them!☺️

  15. Kristen says 11.18.20

    I just purchased the Olay retinol serum two weeks ago 100% because of your review of it. I’m so excited to incorporate it into my routine. Thank you for the thought you put into testing and your reviews1

  16. Bronwen says 11.18.20

    Thanks for another thorough review, Grace! Question – I’ve been using the Olay serum 4-5 nights a week (bought it after your first post with them!). It’s time to repurchase, but I’m wondering if I should switch to this instead – what do you recommend?

    • grace at the stripe says 11.18.20

      I would def upgrade to the MAX formula. If you’re loving the serum stick to that, but give the new Max formula a go!