Olay Total Effects - The Dermatology Review

Olay Total Effects



What is Olay Total Effects?

By now, we’re pretty sure everyone has heard of Olay, the multi-billion dollar beauty brand that produces hundreds of different beauty products and is the best selling anti-aging skin care range in five continents. But perhaps you’re not familiar with Olay Total Effects, the brand’s preventative anti-aging skin care collection. In this review, we’ll discuss the best selling products in this collection, key ingredients, Olay Total Effects reviews from real customers, and more

Related: Olay Regenerist Review

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2021?

What are the best selling Olay Total Effects products?

There are currently 14 products in the Olay Total Effects collection, including several types of facial moisturizers, cleansers, treatments, an eye cream, and a CC cream. Below we’ll discuss three of the best selling Olay Total Effects products. 

The best selling product in this collection is the Olay Total Effects Whip Face Moisturizer SPF 40. The term “whip” is in the name due to the inclusion of “Whip Technology”. According to Olay, Whip Technology offers you a light formula that transforms from cream to liquid on contact for fast absorption and a breathable feel. The result is a smooth, matte finish that leaves your skin feeling moisturized. This moisturizer is also said to hydrate, replenish, brighten, and even the look of your skin, while also minimizing the look of your pores and visibly firming and smoothing your complexion. 

Olay Total Effects 7 in One Face Moisturizer is said to provide many of the same benefits as the Whip Face Moisturizer. In fact, the formulations are pretty similar, except that this face moisturizer does not contain any sunscreen ingredients and does not feature “Whip Technology”. 

Olay Total Effects Eye Cream is said to nourish and hydrate the delicate skin around your eyes while also smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, reducing the appearance of dark circles, reducing puffiness, and more. 

As you can see, Olay makes a lot of hefty claims about their Total Effects products. In order to determine if these products hold up to these claims, we’re going to evaluate the key ingredients in the following section. 

What are the key ingredients in Olay Total Effects products?

One key ingredient that is used in almost every product in the Olay Total Effects collection is niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that provides numerous benefits to the skin. For instance, niacinamide is well known as a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. In addition, studies have shown that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling.

Olay also uses vitamin C in the stable form of sodium ascorbyl phosphate in several products in this collection, including all of the best selling Olay Total Effects products mentioned above. Once absorbed into the skin, sodium ascorbyl phosphate is converted to ascorbic acid, the active form of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help protect the skin against free radicals, stimulate collagen production, fade dark spots, and improve uneven skin tone. 

Olay combines vitamin C with vitamin E in the Total Effects products because these two vitamins work together as network antioxidants, meaning they enhance the power of one another. Plus, vitamin E offers additional benefits to the skin, such as helping the skin retain moisture by strengthening the skin’s barrier function. When vitamin E is delivered to your skin through the sebaceous (oil) glands, it hydrates the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of skin) and improves water-binding capacity. 

It’s clear that Olay likes to use vitamins in their formulas because another key ingredient that can be found in several Olay Total Effects products is panthenol (provitamin B5). Panthenol is a highly effective humectant, which means it has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract and retain the moisture in the air nearby via absorption, drawing the water vapor into or beneath the surface of the skin. In addition to improving skin hydration, humectants like panthenol can help give the skin a more plump appearance.

A final key ingredient that can be found in several products in this collection, such as the Olay Total Effects 7 in One Face Moisturizer and Olay Total Effects Eye Cream, is retinyl propionate.  Retinyl propionate is an ester of retinol (vitaminA) and propionic acid. After being absorbed into the skin, retinyl propionate goes through a series of reactions until it becomes retinoic acid (the active form). Retinoic acid has the capability of minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improving uneven skin tone, restoring skin firmness, and shrinking the appearance of enlarged pores.

Where are Olay Total Effects products sold?

Olay Total Effects products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party ecommerce websites such as Amazon, eBay, Ulta, and more. You can also purchase Olay Total Effects products from drug stores like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, and more. 

What is the Olay return policy?

The Olay return policy states, “You will be responsible for the shipping charges to return the item(s). To obtain your refund, the item must be returned to us, unopened and in its original packaging, with all accessories, within 30 days of the date upon which we provided the item to the carrier for shipment to you.” 

Is Olay cruelty free?

Olay is not cruelty free. Olay is owned by Procter & Gamble, a company that tests on animals.

Olay Total Effects reviews

Olay Total Effects reviews on the brand’s website are mostly positive, but there are a handful of negative reviews we should point out. First, there are many positive Olay Total Effects reviews that confirm how lightweight and airy these products are. There are also many reviews from customers who saw results very quickly with these products. For example, one Olay Total Effects Eye Cream review says, “I was very surprised when I saw an instant change in the dark circles! I always have them, but I cover them very well. But they are almost gone! Even my eyelids seem filled out, much less droopy!! Today makes day 5 using this product!”

Then again, we noticed there are several Olay Total Effects reviews from customers who did not see the results they were expecting. These reviews mention that they like how the Olay Total Effects products feel on their face, but that they did not notice any reduction in signs of aging. For example, one Olay Total Effects review for the 7 in One Face Moisturizer says, “I was waiting for a long time to try this product which was recommended by a friend who tried it. I cannot feel any good change. The pores look wider, skin tone is much more uneven, no renewal or exfoliation. Feels sticky, smelly and shiny.”

What are some alternatives to Olay Total Effects?

Overall, the Olay Total Effects collection does include many beneficial ingredients, such as niacinamide, vitamins C and E, and retinyl propionate. While these ingredients do have proven skin care benefits, they are pretty standard and can be found in many other skin care products. If you’re looking for a brand that formulates innovative anti-aging products with unique ingredients, we’d like to recommend Formulyst

One example is Formulyst’s Ultimate Youth Concentrate, which includes key ingredients such as Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) and five unique peptides. EGF is a protein naturally found in cells called fibroblasts, which are responsible for producing collagen. It is thought that EGF signals to fibroblasts to produce more collagen, which leads to cell growth, proliferation, and wound healing. As we age, our ability to produce EGF decreases, resulting in the key signs that contribute to aging skin. Applying products that increase EGF production, such as the Ultimate Youth Concentrate, may increase skin strength and integrity and therefore reduce signs of aging.

There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that is effective and safe. Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.



Carrot & Stick

Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare. What does this mean? It perfectly balances the power of plants with innovative science, offering the best of both worlds.Read More


The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.Read More

Olay Total Effects

What is Olay Total Effects? By now, we’re pretty sure everyone has heard of Olay, the multi-billion dollar beauty brand that produces hundreds of different beauty products and is the best selling anti-aging skin care range in five continents. But perhaps you’re not familiar with Olay Total Effects, the brand’s...
  • Linda Original review: May 19, 2021. Reply

    I have been using Olay Total effects for years now, I find it easy to apply, just need one small drop and it covers my face and neck. I’ve tried other products but always end up back at Olay Total effects, I always get compliments on how good my skin looks, no wrinkles and fresh. Would not use anything else.

  • Rafida Jaro Original review: Apr 19, 2021. Reply

    I wanted to try good prodect fir dry skin .i bought olay 7in one at costco and since i apply it inthe evenig coudnot sleep all night and had my face swollow and my eyes turn red i had eching skin and face for 3 days .and the whole week mild echying .i niver had this reiaction before with any cheep prodect i payed so much maney and get sick also .very disapointed .niver buy any olay prodect again .it is life thretnig alerrgy reaction.

  • Lorna Foster Original review: Dec 16, 2019. Reply

    I was given Oil of Olay scrub cleanser and total effects 7 in one anti-aging night cream I used it and my face broke out along the hairline along my nose and in the centre of my forehead I don’t know what’s in your products so I just must have extremely sensitive skin

  • Sulema Torres Original review: Apr 12, 2017. Reply

    Im 55 years old and im extremely happy with oil of olay products I’ve been using them for long time and i highly recommend it to everyone. It really works

  • Donna Perry Original review: Apr 03, 2016. Reply

    I have used Total Effects moisturizer (Fragrance Free) for years and love it, but I purchased Total Effects (FF) with SPF 30 for the first time this morning and experienced a horrible reaction!!!! Eyes swelling and pouring water for an hour, followed by severe headache!!! I am 66 years old, and nothing like this has ever happened to me! (Suntan products do not do this to me.) I will be returning the product and buying the original product without SPF.

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