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Believe it or not, cosmetics giant Olay has never made vitamin C skincare before, so the arrival of Olay Regenerist Vitamin C + AHA24, is a cause for excitement for the brand's millions of global devotees.
Alongside retinol , SPF and hyaluronic acid , vitamin C can justifiably lay claim to being one of the staples of an effective skincare routine, especially for daytime thanks to its antioxidant protection powers. Research carried out (for Olay) found that 65 per cent of people said they considered it to be the most important ingredient in their routine. (While we love vitamin C, we'd like to think that sun cream should take the crown.)
The new range has two products: Olay Vitamin C + AHA24 Day Gel Cream and Olay Vitamin C + AHA24 Day Serum , both £34.99 bought separately but available from Boots as a £32.99 launch bundle for the pair. Olay is so confident in what it calls its 'supercharged' formula that it promises 'visibly brighter skin in just one day and even skin tone and texture in 14 days'.
So what is in it? There's a glow-getting triple-threat combination of vitamin C to brighten, niacinamide to even skin tone and lactic acid, an exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA, that also supports moisture retention. Vitamin C and niacinamide both inhibit pigmentation too, keeping skin brighter. Niacinamide meanwhile, helps to reduce redness as well as strengthen the skin barrier, keeping dullness-causing pollution particles, at bay.
It's been dubbed 'supercharged' because of a proprietory low pH formula that claims to boost the working of niacinamide to achieve the speedy results seen in Olay's consumer trials on dozens of skin tones.
In 28 days, 73 per cent of testers saw improvements in pigmentation, which can be caused by factors such as UV damage, stress, hormonal changes, inflammation and pollution. Meanwhile 84 per cent said they had brighter skin after four weeks.
Packaging can be a major factor in keeping vitamin C stable as it can go off when exposed to light and air. How does Olay fare on that front? The brand has used the most stable form of the ingredient - ethyl ascorbic acid - and housed it in opaque packaging. However, as the moisturiser comes in a jar and the serum in a dropper, they are exposed, in varying degrees to light and air so this is something to bear in mind. Once you open the pot, be sure to use it up. As this is a day cream containing an acid, which can make skin more sun-sensitive, it's especially crucial not to forget your daily SPF over the top.
What percentage of vitamin C is in Olay Vitamin C + AHA24?
As with its Max24 retinol range , Olay prefers not to disclose the percentage of ingredients in the products, so it's impossible to gauge whether it's a gentle or high-strength vitamin C . When we’ve asked in the past about concentrations, a spokesperson told us that they didn’t reveal them because consumers could become fixated on the percentages, which wasn’t always helpful. It’s certainly true that many people overdo actives and Olay is by no means the only brand to favour this approach.
However, on the label, in addition to the obligatory INCI list that's indecipherable to most consumers, there is a helpful breakdown of key ingredients and what they do.
Our verdict - can Olay Vitamin C + AHA24 really brighten your skin in one day?
Olay tested the moisturiser on 105 people and 78 per cent of people agreed their skin was instantly brightened. Did we feel the same? I'm not sure I saw the immediate brightening with one use (see my pic below, of before and after one use) but my skin did look more even with reduced redness right away, which I was impressed by.
Both the serum and gel cream moisturiser feel ultra-silky, possibly thanks to the 'skin-conditioner' silicone, AKA dimethicone, which gives many creams that luxe feel and help to reduce stickiness. The moisturiser has an ever-so-subtle citrusy scent which I enjoyed and I like the feel of the gel cream, Olay's first hybrid textured moisturiser, which wasn't too heavy. The serum is lightweight too with the same scent and left my skin with a super-soft matte feel.
Scent and texture-wise, I'm a big fan of the new Olay range and was impressed by how it immediately took the redness out of my skin. I'll definitely stick with it and report back if I see a reduction in pigmentation and a boost in glow after 28 days as reported in the consumer trials.
Buy Olay Vitamin C + AHA24 Collection bundle £32.99 at Boots