As longtime readers of the FutureDerm blog know, I’m a huge fan of one of the major ingredients in Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous: niacinamide, or vitamin B3. This is a superb ingredient that has been shown to alleviate everything from age spots to dry skin to skin sallowness to mild discoloration (Cutis, 2005) when used in concentrations ranging from 2-4%. So, as long as niacinamide is listed as one of the first five ingredients, this is a “must-have” in your skin repertoire.
Unlike other skin lighteners like hydroquinone, niacinamide doesn’t stop hyperpigmentation by inhibiting enzymes, so you’re also not at risk of major side effects, even if you have one of the darkest skin tones.
So you can imagine how excited I was to recently try Olay Regenerist Luminous!
What is the Difference Between Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous?
The biggest difference between Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous is actually the user experience, as in, the scent and the texture. Olay Regenerist Luminous feels like a silky cream, with a scent that is reminiscent of the original Olay moisturizer from the 1930′s. (Not that I was around to use that one, but…) On the other hand, the original Olay Regenerist has a texture more like a cushiony balm, with far less of a scent.
On a bright note, the chemists over at Olay wised up and eliminated several ingredients that don’t do much of anything except sound fancy and change the texture a little, like soluble collagen, elastin, and allantoin.
The other difference is the addition of glucosamine to Olay Regenerist Luminous and the removal of green tea and carnosine (boo). This makes Olay Regenerist Luminous designed to treat hyperpigmentation, whereas Olay Regenerist was more for facial hydrating and fine lines/wrinkles/firming.
Glucosamine is where Olay Regenerist Luminous claims to remove more dark spots in just 8 weeks. The combination of N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) and niacinamide has been shown to significantly reduce facial hyperpigmentation in both Japanese and Caucasian subjects in two well-conducted clinical studies (Cosmetic Dermatology, 2008). Interestingly enough, this combination was also used in a moisturizer called Olay Definity about a decade ago, though that formulation lacked the silky texture and luxurious scent of Olay Regenerist Luminous (not to mention the marketing dollars).
What are the Ingredients in Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous?
Ingredients in Olay Regenerist Luminous
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyethylene, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, DMDM Hydantoin, Laureth-10, Laureth-7, Dimethiconol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, PEG-100 Stearate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5, Red 40.
Ingredients in the Original Olay Regenerist
Water; Glycerin; Isohexadecane; Niacinamide; Isopropyl Isostearate; Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate; Nylon-12; Dimethicone; Panthenol; Tocopheryl Acetate; Sodium Hyaluronate; Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4; Carnosine (Amino-Peptide); Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract); Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice; Soluble Collagen; Elastin; Allantoin; Stearyl Alcohol; Polyethylene; Cetyl Alcohol; Sodium Acrylates Copolymer; Behenyl Alcohol
Is Olay Regenerist Luminous Really Great for Sun Spots and Discoloration?
Based upon the number and quality of research studies out there, here is my analysis of the best ingredients for sun spots and discoloration at this time:
Olay Regenerist Luminous: What Can It Be Expected To Do?
I would expect an impact on hydration, because that’s just what niacinamide does. To a lesser extent, your skin’s sunspots will fade somewhat after 8 weeks of continuous twice-daily use, but I would caution that other treatments, like 4% hydroquinone in prescription products or 2% in Ambi Fade Cream work better.
I would also expect a mild decrease in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin sallowness. Expect your skin to look a bit brighter!
Do Not Use Either Cream without a Resveratrol Supplement or Topical!
I personally don’t go near niacinamide-based products without using resveratrol.
Niacinamide has been shown to work against sirtuins, which are essentially energy-saving machinery within your cells believed to help you age more slowly. So if you introduce niacinamide to the mix, your cells could keep working too hard (i.e., unnecessary gene expression). In this 2005 study conducted at Johns Hopkins University, it was found that niacinamide inhibits sirtuin activity in a very specific reaction that is well-known to be a part of cellular energy generation. Boo.
In plain English, this means that your natural sirtuins’ attempts to prolong the life of your cells by turning off unnecessary gene expression will most likely be negated somewhat by niacinamide.
So what’s a skin care-crazed person to do? I personally will use a resveratrol supplement or cream each and every time I use a niacinamide-based cream. Resveratrol has been shown to promote sirtuins, or save cellular energy. So if you have niacinamide fighting sirtuins and resveratrol enhancing them, together, there should be no net deleterious effect for your cells. In fact, it is probably beneficial!
However, because both contain a high concentration of niacinamide, a known sirtuin inhibitor, I wouldn’t go near either without taking a resveratrol supplement or using a resveratrol-based cream.
Which is right for you depends on what your concerns are. The original Olay Regenerist is better for those with fine lines, wrinkles, skin sagging, or young men and women who are looking to stay younger-looking for longer. The Olay Regenerist Luminous is best for those with mild to moderate sun spots and skin discoloration. However, if skin hyperpigmentation is severe, I would skip Olay Regenerist Luminous altogether and go for something with hydroquinone, like Ambi Fade Cream.
What are your thoughts on this product? Let us know in Comments below!
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