One sells every minute in the US and we were one of the first to try it before it's UK launch. Is this new super serum the only thing you need to put on your skin?

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As a beauty journalist for more than 15 years, even I find the already brimming beauty shelves and all the chatter around skincare ingredients overwhelming. So when something comes along that aims to be everything you need in a jar, I’m all ears. Step in Olay Super Serum, launching at £19.99 in Boots. It's a multi-tasker hyped by beauty influencer Nadine Baggott, who is known for championing high-street products that deliver, as "the cult beauty product of 2024",

I've been trying it out for the last two weeks and would I agree with the hype? 

But before that, let us start with some facts. Olay Super Serum had massive success in the US, where it launched in  August; one bottle now sells every minute. The fact that it's affordable for a serum - less than £20 - may also be part of the runaway success. But be warned, the full RRP is £39.99. So while we may see runaway sales initially, once it's not discounted, it may be harder to compete with the likes of Boots No7 Future Renew Serum, £42.95 which is similarly multi-tasking and has strong clinicals behind it.

What does it do that other serums don’t? It contains five ‘super’ skincare ingredients to tackle most skin issues people want to target, such as dehydration, dullness, fine lines, pigmentation and loss of volume. No need to layer single-ingredient serums, which takes both know-how and money, this is, theoretically, everything you need.

Skin experts often say that if there’s one product to spend your money on (after sun cream)  it’s a serum. A serum has a higher concentration of actives than a simple moisturiser and this can make a difference to the appearance and quality of your complexion. Therefore they tend to come with a premium price. Not here – for now.

What’s in Olay’s Super Serum?

The 5 key ingredients all have a specific purpose. 

  • Calming niacinamide: an ingredient that more people are becoming aware of. It is a true multitasker that is well tolerated and needed by all skin types. It works on reducing pigmentation, minimises enlarged pores, reduces moisture loss and can help smooth out fine lines.
  • Vitamin C: the skincare ingredient that encourages glow thanks to its ability to protect the skin from damage. It also reduces redness and inflammation in the skin.
  • Collagen peptides: signal to the skin to make more collagen which means the skin looks smoother and feels firmer.
  • Vitamin E: an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from aggressors and is also good at hydrating.
  • Lactic acid: an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that gently exfoliates the skin so it feels smoother but appears brighter.
    Olay won’t reveal the concentrations or percentages of each, but they told me that the formulation ensures effective absorption and that they've done clinical trials to prove that all the ingredients work together to change the skin.  

Olay Super Serum: My verdict

The packaging is simple and feels quite retro - it reminds me the original and iconic Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid. It's the chicest or most modern thing in my bathroom, but the glass bottle has a bit of weight to it.  

The first thing I notice is a strong floral scent, which I like, but sensitive skin may find too much. It has a slight pearlescent silver-purple tone that gives an instant glowy radiance, nodding to the longer-term brightening effects for the niacinamide and vitamin C.  My tired skin needs as much glow as possible so this was a big tick for me.

It feels super silky and sinks in quickly. I have oily-combination skin so I don’t need to use moisturiser. Drier skins will want to layer this under a day cream. And of course, you need an SPF on top. I’ve been using it daily for a few weeks now and it has kept my skin feeling hydrated, plump and soft. I can't say I've noticed a huge difference in my pigmentation, but maybe time, and continual use, will tell. 

Should we all rush out and buy it to keep those sales stats up? At its current price of just under £20,  you'd be hard-pressed to find a better and more hard-working serum. 

If you are overwhelmed by what to use, or not yet using a serum and want to know where to start, then this simplifies everything. If you are time-poor and need to take the faff out of getting ready, this is a great option. 

If you are a bit more skincare savvy and want a good multi-tasking serum that you can then team up with other targeted skincare products, it works for that too. I pair it with my favourite high-strength vitamin C serum so I know I’m getting a full blast of pigmentation blitzing while still reaping the benefits of the other skin-caring ingredients that Super Serum has. If you’re looking for an affordable but hard-working skincare routine then this and an SPF is a very good place to be. However, if when you're shopping the price has doubled to its RRP then I think there are other equally good options in that price bracket. We've rounded up some of the best serums for you.

Olay Super Serum, £19.99 is available at Boots from 15 April.