I’m not the ultimate skincare expert, and in so many ways, I’m still learning! So when Olay reached out to test their new Retinol24 collection, I hesitated… big time. However, their pitch about the partnership was phenomenal: “try it for four weeks and share your feedback.” I was sold!
Fast forward, and I started to realize a ton of my friends were also a part of the campaign – Grace, Jess, Christine, Courtney, Danielle, Becky, and Courtney… the list goes on and on. I adore and trust all of these women, and I was so honored to be in such phenomenal company! I LOVE seeing friends collaborate with brands because it’s so interesting to get everyone else’s take on the product.
I take all of my partnerships very seriously, and I won’t hide my true feelings about brands OR products. So, here we go!
My Skincare Journey
To know my current view of skincare, it’s essential to understand my past. Since I was about 12, I’ve had horrible acne. With oily and sensitive skin, I’m always nervous about experimenting with new products. Even though my skin calmed down a lot in my early 20s, the scars are still visible. It’s taken me years to get over the shame I’ve felt about my skin’s texture and hyperpigmentation.
Starting around 2017, my fears over my skincare and beauty routines changed. Since then, I’ve taken active steps to get my skin in a good place. Still no Botox or fillers, but over time, I’ve invested in products that have helped. Here’s where Retinol24 comes in.
OLAY Retinol24 Collection
As part of my four-week test period, I was sent the three Olay Retinol24 products – the Serum, Eye Cream, and the Moisturizer. Moreover, I took the timeframe very seriously. After all, I can’t make accurate statements about my experience if I just “fake” my journey, y’know?
Even when I traveled for work or the blog, I made sure to add the Olay Retinol24 to my suitcase (even if it meant packing it in my checked luggage). Here’s what transpired in the process.
The First 24 Hours
After opening my “Skin-mergency” kit from Olay to retrieve the serum, moisturizer, and eye cream – I went upstairs to start my nightly skincare route. Here is the order in which I typically do things: a makeup remover wipe, an acne-fighting cleanser, then toner, topical acne medication, eye cream, serum, moisturizer. However, this time I switched things up and added in the OLAY Retinol24 moistuizer.
During the process, I accidentally applied too much of the Retinol moisturizer on my face and neck. It was a pretty generous amount… whoops. “Well,” I thought, “If this collection is going to irritate my skin, at least it’ll be tonight, and I report back my experience!”
That night, I slept HORRIBLY. Not because of the product, but due to a bad nightmare. It was one of those can’t-breathe-still-remember-in-the-morning type of dreams. After getting out of bed, I walked to the bathroom and thought to myself, “I must look AWFUL. No amount of product can help with last night’s sleep.”
After turning on the light to my master bathroom, I walked up to the mirror and immediately gasped. Not because of sights and scars of an Amityville Horror-like night of sleep. My. Skin. Looked. Different. It was brighter—more taught. Even the texture had slightly changed. Yes, I am being completely serious!
In fact, I stood staring at my skin trying to find something wrong with it. There wasn’t any irritation, and I could see the products were doing something. In fact, I decided not to wash my face in the morning and just started applying makeup. Why ruin what Retinol24 was doing underneath my skin? My foundation went on smoother than ever. And my bronzer swept over my cheeks swiftly and easily. If the first 24 hours were an indicator of what was to come, I was VERY excited.
The First Week
The first week went swimmingly, except that I forgot to use Retinol24 one night. Yikes! I was so tired and actually SLEPT WITH MY MAKEUP ON. What was wrong with me?! Even now, I feel bad about forgetting to use the products one night. Granted, I never made the mistake again!
After seven days, my neck started to get a bit irritated. My first instinct was – “this has to be the retinol.” Granted, I had zero irritation on my face with the product. Why would my neck be any different? Well, I kept using it, and the irritation got progressively worse. After a week a half, I stopped using the Retinol24 on my neck altogether (and went on Instagram Stories to document this revelation).
During week two, I had an “aha” moment. Prior to starting Olay Retinol24, I had received a PR package from a different skincare brand (I won’t name it here). They had provided their new toning pads. Keep in mind, I started using them one week before OLAY.
At first, I had thought the Olay Retinol24 was the culprit for my neck irritation. I was wrong. It was the toner pads. Seriously. The acids in the pads were the reason I was having issues on my neck, and I immediately threw them out. After a day or so, I added the Retinol24 back into my nightly route and voila, no more irritation.
To this day, I’m still not happy about the toner pad situation (and feel awful I had wrongfully assumed it was Olay). Writing this weeks later, I have used the Olay Retinol24 moisturizer every night since (turtlenecks and all) with no irritation, issues, or complaints!
My favorite part of this process? Week three. Two Fridays ago, I met Bob out for dinner (sans makeup) at one of our fave Mexican restaurants in Chicago. I had spent that morning working from home, so I had no need for any foundation or concealer. Plus, I live for the opportunity to let my skin breathe for a bit.
We ate at the restaurant, came home, went upstairs and started our nightly routine. As any committed couple will share, you get accustomed to the same steps before settling in for the evening. Ours goes something like this: getting glasses of water from the kitchen, adjusting the bed with blankets, turning on TV, plugging in our phones, and then I go to take off my makeup and take care of my nighttime skincare regiment.
But here’s the catch – that Friday night, I had already DONE my nighttime routine before we went out to dinner. I had no makeup on, and had just met him with my skin cleansed, toned, moisturized, etc. We got home, started our routine, and towards the end, Bob said, “aren’t you going to take off your makeup?”
I had already been settled into a book and responded, “Sorry, what do you mean?”
“You need to go get ready for bed,” he explained, staring at me blankly.
“I AM ready for bed.”
He analyzed my expression and said, “Is this a joke? I know you like to wash up before bed?”
HE thought I STILL HAD MAKEUP ON.
Later I learned he had thought I was wearing makeup at dinner. My skin had looked healthy, and he just assumed I was wearing a light foundation. Crazy!
The last week of the experiment, I remained diligent about applying the moisturizer to my face, eyes, and neck daily. Additionally, I would make use of the serum and eye cream on occasion. No irritation, no issues. I’ve started to tell my friends, colleagues, and anyone who listen about it.
Although the Olay Retinol24 four-week test has come to a conclusion, they will undoubtedly be a part of my routine for years to come. In fact, I’ve already purchased more for my upcoming trip to Finland (my serum is running low, and I want to make sure to have more for the trip).
The Verdict on Olay Retinol24
If this is your first time trying a retinol or looking to give it a try again, I highly suggest giving the Olay Retinol24 products a try!
My two favorite items are the serum and moisturizer. The eye cream is great, but I have seen the most noticeable results from the other two products. in general, I still adore the eye cream and plan to keep it as a part of my regimine over time.
Which leads me to my last point…
In my humble opinion, I strongly believe Olay tapped SO many of my friends and women to be a part of the Retinol24 collection campaign because:
1) They knew there were onto something special
2) Olay understands retinol is complicated ingredient, and many people stop using it due to irritation. These items do not
3) The price is nearly impossible to beat!
Olay tapped influencers because Retinol 24 is special, and they knew it! After four weeks, I wholeheartedly agree. If you can’t invest in all three, start with the serum and moisturizer. If you do, be sure to keep me posted on your progress!
To learn more about the Olay Retinol24 collection, click HERE.
The post was created in collaboration with Olay. All opinions are my own. Partnerships like these make Style Charade possible.