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For the past few years, I have been a huge fan of Olay, and particularly Olay Regenerist Night Cream, with its relatively high concentration of niacinamide (for skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and hydration) and palmitoyl pentapeptide-7 (for collagen production/skin firmness). So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the new Olay ProX Professional Anti-Aging Starter Kit ($61.50, Amazon.com), with Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, Eye Restoration Complex, and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. So exciting!
The main active ingredient in all three products in the kit is niacinamide (vitamin B3). According to Bissett et. al., niacinamide does it all: reduces fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing), and increases elasticity. Further, according to a 2005 study by Draelos et. al., niacinamide may help alleviate some of the symptoms of rosacea by increasing hydration and barrier function of the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of the skin), and may have some anti-tumor characteristics as well. Lastly, niacinamide has limited functionality in fighting acne: in a 1995 study by Takozaki et. al., it was reported that a 4% topical niacinamide treatment applied twice daily may help to treat acne by reducing inflammation with similar efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel.
All three products feature niacinamide, palmitoyl dipeptide 7, palmitoyl pentapeptide 4, and tocopheryl acetate, in addition to the UVA/UVB protection provided by chemical sunscreens in the Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion SPF 30 (included in the kit). Palmitoyl dipeptide-7 is a relatively new ingredient in skin care. According to the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, dipeptides are relatively new and increasingly popular in skin care. The addition of fatty acids (i.e., "palmitoyl" = palmitate) to dipeptides allows them to better diffuse across the stratum corneum, without any found undesirable effects. With that said, the palmitoyl dipeptide 7 is a new addition for Olay, as it is not found in their earlier Olay Regenerist or Olay Total Effects lines, amongst others.
According to Dr. Mary Lupo, the second peptide in the formulation, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (pal-KTTKS) has the same specific peptide sequence as type I collagen. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 has been found to stimulate production of certain types of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. Limited studies from Procter and Gamble (the makers of Olay), including this 2003 study by Linter et. al., further demonstrate that 100 ppm palmitoyl pentapeptide (pal-KTTKS) exhibits similar effects to 0.02% all-trans retinoic acid, which are typical concentrations found in drugstore products. (Unfortunately, no published, reviewed study at this time compares the efficacy of 100 ppm palmitoyl pentapeptide to 0.6% or 0.9%, which are concentrations available in products like Green Cream Levels 6 and 9, respectively). With that said, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 is available in a number of skin care products, including Olay Regenerist Night Cream.
New ingredients in the Olay ProX Professional Anti-Aging Starter Kit that are not found in earlier Olay formulations provide some temporary cosmetic filling of fine lines and wrinkles, in particular the line's high concentration of dimethicone.
Overall, I love the Olay ProX Professional line, although I can't say that the addition of palmitoyl dipeptide-7, a silicone-based filler, and more sunscreen makes the 2.5 oz Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion SPF 30 worth $26.04 than 2.5 oz of Olay Regenerist Lotion SPF 15 (and those are the discounted prices on Amazon.com!) That's a little more than $1.00 more an ounce, and in reality, I can't see consumers noticing that much difference between active ingredients in niacinamide and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 in Olay Regenerist SPF 15 and niacinamide, palmitoyl pentapeptide-7, and palmitoyl dipeptide-7 in Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion SPF 30.
With that said, though, if you spring for the Olay ProX Professional Anti-Aging Starter Kit ($61.50, Amazon.com), I honestly believe you're getting one of the best skin care systems out there, and for less than $22 a product. If you're in the market for a day cream, night cream, and undereye treatment, this is a great way to go. Product rating: 9.0/10. (High concentration of well-researched ingredients: 3/3. Novel technology or ingredients: 2.5/3. Value for the money: 2.5/3. Sunscreen: 1/1.
Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30 Active Ingredients: Homosalate (8.0%), Avobenzone (3.0%), Octocrylene (2.25%), Ensulizole (2.0%)
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Nylon 12, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Triethanolamine, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 4, Carnosine, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Pentylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, PEG 100 Stearate, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, PEG 4, Decyl Glucoside, Lactic Acid, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Dimethiconol, Behenyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, BHT
Eye Restoration Complex: Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Isohexadecane, Polyethylene, Caffeine, Isopropyl Isostearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 4, Carnosine, Dimethiconol, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG 100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Titanium Dioxide, Polysorbate 80, Propylparaben, Stearic Acid, PEG 4 Dilaurate, PEG 4 Laurate, Decyl Glucoside, Lactic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, PEG 4, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Disodium EDTA
Wrinkle Smoothing Cream: Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Isostearate, Dimethiconol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Carnosine, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 4, Elastin, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, PEG 100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Laureth 7, Stearic Acid, PEG 4 Dilaurate, PEG 4 Laurate, Decyl Glucoside, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Mica