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In this article, we will be comparing two skincare brands that offer some of the best anti-aging products on the market; Neutrogena and Olay.

Feel free to skip ahead to the category you're most interested in, but we recommend sticking around and reading the "Overview" section first to find out if these skincare products are right for you.

Skip to "Moisturizers" section

Skip to "Eye Creams" section

Skip to "Serums" section

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What you need to know

Wrinkles and signs of sun damage can typically be treated. However, prevention is always better than cure. The best thing you can do to protect your skin and maintain a youthful glow is to wear sunscreen and avoid tanning. The harmful UV rays can bring on early signs of aging and irreversible sun damage to the delicate skin on our face, neck, and decolletage. The medical term for this process is known as 'photoaging,' also referred to in the skincare industry as premature aging.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association explains that anti-aging skincare routines require time and note that while a moisturizer can immediately plump up fine lines, most products take at least six weeks to work. Sometimes it can take three months.

When it comes to skincare and treating wrinkles, dermatologists may recommend a range of active ingredients, including ceramides, collagen, glycolic acid, jojoba oil, and one of the more powerful choices; Retinol. Retinol, also known as Vitamin A, increases the rate of skin cell turnover, helping to reduce and slow the signs of aging.

What is retinol?

Retinol comes from two sources; animal sources called retinoids and carotenoids from plants. A range of prescription medications used to treat various skin conditions, including acne, contain retinoids (synthetic Vitamin A) such as Isotretinoin (Accutane). Vitamin A supplements are also available over the counter.

“From pigmentation and acne scarring to signs of premature aging, retinol's super-active powers have been proven to help refine, retexturise and strengthen the skin by boosting collagen production.” - Elle Magazine

Retinol is typically found in a range of acne/blemish-prone or anti-aging products in skincare. Retinol works to treat both of these conditions by increasing cell renewal and exfoliating the skin. Retinol is, in fact, an antioxidant that encourages the skin to produce collagen. As a cosmetic ingredient, Retinol (Vitamin A) will be found in the ingredient list as retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, or retinaldehyde.

While both Neutrogena and Olay state its Retinol products can be used daily, Retinol may irritate sensitive skin. Retinol increases the skin's sensitivity to the sun and is not recommended by all dermatologists for use in a morning skincare routine. If used during the day, Retinol should always be followed with a high SPF coverage, and you should aim to avoid sun exposure and harmful UV rays.

Building up your skin's tolerance to Retinol takes time; remember to moisturize your skin not to damage your skin barrier. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for skincare brands to claim results can be seen in just 24 hours. However, research shows that skin regeneration and improvement take time. Therefore, introducing new skincare ingredients to your routine may require 4 - 6 weeks (up to 6 months) before you notice significant results.

Neutrogena

Owned by Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena is a science-driven skincare line known for its effective yet affordable products. Founded in 1930 by Emanuel Stolaroff, the brand was previously called Natone and was later named Neutrogena.

Neutrogena's anti-aging line features four key ingredients; Retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin c, and SPF, and recommends a 4 step routine cleanser, treatment, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

Two of the brands best selling anti-aging products are the Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream + Hyaluronic Acid (award-winning) and the Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream (best selling), as featured in our product comparison.

Olay

Olay has been on the scene for over 65 years and boasts a team of over 500 scientists working to develop formulas for its range of skincare products. Olay is owned by the parent company Procter & Gamble (P&G), an American multinational company that owns Gillette, Native, Old Spice, SK-II, Oral B, Snowberry, Secret, Ivory, etc.

Unsurprisingly, Olay is one of P&G's biggest success stories, with sales of more than $2 billion in 2008 and over $3.3 billion in 2013. Olay is constantly competing with skincare rivals Neutrogena and Dove, and Nivea. Overall, Olay is now in more than 80 countries and is one of the world's known skincare brands.

The most popular Olay product line in the USA is the Olay Regenerist range featured in our product comparison below. Furthermore, Olay Complete Care and Olay Regenerist were the UK's top favorites.

Neutrogena vs Olay Moisturizer

Our first matchup is the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair vs Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 face creams.

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream by Neutrogena, visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream by Neutrogena

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

What makes it special? Clinical trials show that customers can expect to see smoother-looking skin in just one day! The patented accelerated formula of the regenerating face cream combines dermatologist-proven Retinol to reduce fine lines and wrinkles visibly. Neutrogena is one of the largest skincare brands dedicated to researching the benefits of Retinol. It is recommended that you apply this face cream two times a day, once in the morning and once at night, to see a significant improvement within four weeks.

Which skin types? For ageing skin types.

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Regenerist Retinol 24 Cream by Olay, night cream for visibly smoother and glowing skin.

Regenerist Retinol 24 Cream by Olay

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Night cream for visibly smoother and glowing skin.

What makes it special? Like the Neutrogena Face Cream, Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Cream says results can be seen in just 24 hours. Wake up to smooth and glowing skin with visible improvement to fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and rough patches. Olay uses Retinol complex paired with Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), which has been formulated for use in your nighttime skincare routine.

Which skin types? For ageing skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Neutrogena vs Olay Eye Cream

Next up in our side-by-side comparisons are the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair vs Olay Retinol 24 eye creams. Retinol can be used around the eye area to minimize the look of fine lines and crows feet, as well as brighten dark circles.

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream by Neutrogena, a lightweight eye cream that moisturizes and renews the look of skin throughout the day.

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream by Neutrogena

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A lightweight eye cream that moisturizes and renews the look of skin throughout the day.

What makes it special? Neutrogena has introduced Retinol SA, a Glucose Complex, and Hyaluronic Acid to its Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream, which claims to work within seven days. Use this night cream to smooth fine lines, improve skin texture, and fade dark spots. Neutrogena has added Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract to this eye cream, an ingredient known for reducing inflammation and calming the skin.

Which skin types? For ageing skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Regenerist Retinol 24 Eye Cream by Olay, wake up to younger-looking, radiant eyes.

Regenerist Retinol 24 Eye Cream by Olay

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Wake up to younger-looking, radiant eyes.

What makes it special? Like Olay's Retinol 24 Cream mentioned above, the Retinol 24 Eye Cream contains Retinol and Vitamin B3 to visibly smooth fine lines around the eyes and brighten the entire eye area. Niacinamide, Vitamin B3, is a powerful antioxidant that has made its way into a range of skincare products. In particular, it is less irritating than other vital ingredients and is better suited to the eye area's delicate skin.

Which skin types? For ageing skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Neutrogena vs Olay Serum

And finally, we have the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair vs Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 serums. A skin serum is not a moisturizer or cream, but a highly concentrated formula designed to sink into your skin and absorb quickly. A serum will usually be applied to the skin after cleansing but before moisturizing as an additional step in your skincare routine to treat a specific skin condition.

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum by Neutrogena, smoother skin and visible results in just one week.

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum by Neutrogena

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Smoother skin and visible results in just one week.

What makes it special? Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum can be applied to a cleansed face and neck two times a day, paying close attention to the areas of the face with fine lines or wrinkles. This serum can also be worn under makeup throughout the day. It contains Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and Hinokitiol. Hinokitiol is an oil extracted from the Red Cedar Tree and has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Which skin types? For ageing skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Regenerist Retinol 24 Serum by Olay, a night serum for visibly smoother and glowing skin.

Regenerist Retinol 24 Serum by Olay

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A night serum for visibly smoother and glowing skin.

What makes it special? The Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Serum is a fragrance-free formula designed to hydrate and brighten the skin over 28 days. The serum works by absorbing quickly deep into the layers of the skin. Adding this serum to your night routine helps the Retinol complex and the Niacinamide work effectively while your skin is most receptive. In particular, Niacinamide is helpful in the treatment of uneven skin tone and the appearance of wrinkles.

Which skin types? For ageing skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Neutrogena vs Olay Conclusion

Neutrogena and Olay offer a range of products using Retinol to promote healthy glowing skin. Each product reviewed in this article contains Retinol to reduce fine lines, increase skin cell turnover and reveal smooth, hydrated skin. When it comes to ingredients, price point, popularity, and research, both brands are similar.

However, if you can invest in a higher quality anti-aging skincare line, it may be worth your time and money. Here's why: Retinol has faced becoming a trending word in marketing skincare brands. Celebrities and dermatologists claim its incredible skin benefits and promote drugstore brands' effectiveness for glowing, younger skin.

Unfortunately, marketing campaigns that claim Retinol products can show results in 24 hours do not match the science. Sure, Retinol works to exfoliate the skin, meaning you can wake up with smoother feeling skin the very next day. Yet dermatologists say that brands can be misleading regarding fine lines and wrinkles, which are not a quick fix. Nevertheless, the long-term results of adding a Retinol cream to your skincare lineup are worth the investment.

This post was written by guest author, Cherie Julie, and edited by Calum Torrington.

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