Finally… Affordable Retinol That Works

My mom is turning 70 next year and has the skin of a woman 20+ years younger. These are her three “secrets” to glowing skin: She drinks an inordinate amount of water daily, she never ever puts her face in the sun, and she has used retinol every other night for 30 years.

I would kill for her skin but can only commit to two out of those three. I can’t help it…. I like the beach too much! That said, I do drink a ton of water and use retinol every other night just the way she taught me.

I’ve been using retinol for almost two years (I started when I stopped nursing Amalia) and have seen pretty dramatic results in my skin since then. My face looks smoother and brighter. Whenever I take a break or forget it for some time, I can see the difference immediately.

Retinol is the #1 most searched skincare ingredient on Google and it’s the #1 most dermatologist-recommended skincare ingredient at no surprise to anyone. Remember when I reviewed my entire morning and evening skincare routine with my dermatologist and she recommended retinol for almost all women in their 30s? She also said:

Retinol is so important to maintain youthful, healthy skin and helps to combat acne! Many people are afraid to include retinol in their skincare routine because they are concerned their skin will become red and irritated. For that reason, I often suggest that patients introduce it slowly.

After that post, I got a lot of follow up questions about where to find an affordable retinol product. I didn’t have a good answer at the time, so when Olay asked me to test out their new Retinol24 collection I jumped right on top of that… Rose. (If you know, you know)

I tried the night serum, night eye cream and night face moisturizer into my nightly routine. My main concern was that they would break me out or irritate my skin but the Olay team assured me that they wouldn’t. They were right.

The Retinol24 products are formulated with a proprietary blend of Vitamin B3 + Retinoid Complex. And formulated without fragrances, dyes, or any fillers which I obviously love.

But what is retinol, exactly? Retinol is a form of Vitamin A. It can brighten and smooth skin while fading signs of damage. It works by encouraging your skin cells to turn over faster than they would normally, making way for new skin. Basically, it’s like spring cleaning for your skin: out with the old and in with the new.

My official review is that the Retinol24 collection was on par with the very expensive retinol serum I used to use. Going forward I will continue with the eye cream and the serum because they work well, don’t break me out, and come at a great price-point! Plus they feel like literal silk when I rub them into my skin.

I think the eye cream is making a difference with my under eye wrinkles and helping to brighten them up so I’m especially excited to see how that plays out as I continue to use it. I hadn’t been using a retinol product there before so that is where I saw a difference during this test.

Do you use retinol? If so, have you seen positive results?


Thank you to Olay for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Photos by Julia Dags.

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  1. Elizabeth Hajost said:

    May I ask why you are not going to continue with the night moisturizer? You tried three products but only said you’re going to co to us with two of them. Thanks!

    11.8.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I dont like thick moisturizers at night. I LOVE the serum and the eye cream but the moisturizer just wasn’t for me. If you have dry skin, it would be great though! I’m naturally very oily.

      11.12.19 · Reply
  2. Julie Fisher said:

    Are you still using it every other night or do you use it nightly?

    11.8.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I use the serum every other night and the eye cream nightly but going to ask my derm about that because I’m not sure if I should be using it nightly or not!

      11.12.19 · Reply
  3. Sasha said:

    Hi! I noticed you mentioned concerns about them breaking you out, which is also always my concern with any anti-aging products, as my skin is oily and can be acne prone. Not sure what your skin type is, but would you say this serum is OK for oily/combination skin? Thanks so much!

    11.8.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      My skin is also very oily and extremely acne-prone. The serum and the eye cream are what I would recommend for you. That’s what I’m continuing with. No issues with breakouts at all! The moisturizer was a little too thick for my oily skin though.

      11.12.19 · Reply
  4. Allie said:

    I love Olay products! I’ll have to give this a try. The only thing I’m a little disappointed with is how Olay has been sending this same product to a lot of the top influencers-I see this particular Olay product all over my instagram feed lately (to the point where I’m not sure if they really love it or not). Do you think this is a product you would have normally tried? I’ve been over hauling my skin care routine lately and want to get all the best products! Is there a reason you’re not going to continue with the night moisturizer? (Do you perhaps have a different recommendation on that?) Thanks!

    11.8.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I know what you mean. It’s been everywhere. The only reason I agreed to it is because they let me test it early and I saw how effective it was. I had no idea how many other people would be doing the same campaign!

      Sometimes as an influencer I learn about products through brands sending them to me. And that’s how I learned about this one.

      I have super oily skin and the moisturizer was a little too thick for me. It would be good if you have dry skin though. I hope that helps!

      11.12.19 · Reply
      • Allie said:

        Thanks for the reply! Good to know about the moisturizer-I have oily skin as well. I’m definitely checking out the eye cream. 🙂

        11.12.19 · Reply
  5. Kimberly said:

    Jammie deets, please!! ‍♀️

    11.8.19 · Reply
  6. Courtney said:

    The best part of the Olay brand is that they’re now cruelty free!

    11.11.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      What? That is amazing! I had no idea. Go Olay!

      11.12.19 · Reply
  7. Julia said:

    I know what you mean. It’s been everywhere. The only reason I agreed to it is because they let me test it early and I saw how effective it was. I had no idea how many other people would be doing the same campaign!

    Sometimes as an influencer I learn about products through brands sending them to me. And that’s how I learned about this one.

    I have super oily skin and the moisturizer was a little too thick for me. It would be good if you have dry skin though. I hope that helps!

    11.12.19 · Reply