Are They Dupes?: Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream VS Studio 35 Micro Shaping Cream

by Gio

a dupe for l'oreal regenerist micro sculpting cream

Olay is my favourite drugstore skincare brand. True, some of their moisturizers give me pimples (damn you, palmitates!), but most products are well-formulated, and fairly cheap.

So, when I’ve heard that Walmart store brand Studio 35 is selling a dupe for Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream, my curiosity was instantly piqued. Could Sudio 35 Micro Shaping Cream be even better?

At first glance, the creams look identical. The name is pretty much the same: Micro Sculpting Cream vs Micro Shaping Cream (not much fantasy there!). Ditto for the ingredients. But when I inspected them more closely, I notice a key difference that makes one better than the other.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Ingredient Analysis

glycerin molecular structure

Glycerin & Sodium Hyaluronate

Both Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream and Studio 35 Micro Shaping Cream are very hydrating. That’s thanks to the water-binding properties of glycerin and sodium hyaluronate. They attract water from the environment into the skin, and make sure it stays there, keping it soft and hydrated for hours.

Sodium Hyaluronate is, by far, the most powerful of the two. It can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water and works well both in high and low humidity conditions. Whether you live in the arctic or in the desert, it’ll take good care of your skin.

palmitoyl oligopeptide

Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 VS Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, & Palmitoyl Oligopeptide

Ah peptides. Everyone’s talking about them. Everyone’s using them. No one knows how the heck they work. In theory, they shouldn’t. They’re too big to penetrate skin. In practice, studies (most of which were done by manufacturers) have shown they do something.

It has been suggested they work by signaling to receptors present on the surface of the skin how cells should behave. They can do that by staying on the surface too. We don’t know how valid this theory is, but in the meantime, brands have started adding peptides to their creams.

Studio 35 is using three. Dipeptide-2 is said to improve lymphatic circulation, which may help reduce dark circles; Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 to reduce inflammation; and Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, to stimulate collegen production, which keeps skin elastic and firm.

Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream only contains one: Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4. That’s another name for Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (it’s also known as Matrixyl!). So, in theory, both creams are able to make skin firmer.

niacinamide molecular structure


With only one peptide, Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream looks less impressive than its cheaper dupe. But I actually prefer it. Why? Because the Olay cream contains something more powerful: Niacinamide.

While no one knows exactly how peptides work, or how effective they are in a moisturizer, niacinamide has been proven to benefit skin in lots of different ways.

Niacinamide can hydrate skin (it is even more effective at that than petrolatum, which is considered the gold standard by dermatologists!), can boost collagen production, reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, treats acne, and even soothe rosacea!

Until science tells us more about peptides, I’ll treat them as nice-to-have. Niacinamide, instead, is a must-have.



Both creams contain a bunch of antioxidants, such as vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) and green tea (camellia sinensis leaf extract). Both can help keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay.

Or better, they could, if they were properly packaged. Antioxidants are very fragile. They degrade, and lose a bit of their effectiveness, every time they come in contact with light and air. That’s every time you open the jar.

So, even though both Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream and Studio 35 Micro Shaping Cream have anti-ageing properties when they’re brand new, by the time you reach the bottom of the jars, the antioxidants have become useless.

That’s why I recommend them only to those looking for a cheap way to add some peptides or niacinamide to their skincare routine. And, even then, only together with an antioxidant-rich serum. That way you’ll get the best of both worlds.

What About The Rest Of The Formulas?

That’s pretty basic. A few emollients to make skin soft and smooth, thickeners to adjust the consistency, and dimethicone to fill in fine lines and wrinkles.

Both creams use the same ingredients. Their composition is almost identical. The main difference is that Olay uses niacinamide, while Studio 35 has opted for more peptides. As you know if you’re read till here, I much prefer Olay’s approach.

Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Niacinamide, Isopropyl Isostearate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Nylon-12, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide- 4,Carnosine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Soluble Collagen, Elastin, Allantoin, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyethylene, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polyacrylamide, Dimethiconol, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, C12-13 Pareth-3, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Mica.

Studio 35 Micro Shaping Cream Ingredients

WAter , glycerin , Isohexadecane , Isopropyl Isostearate , Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate , dimethicone , Nylon-12 , Tocopheryl Acetate , panthenol , Sodium hyaluronate , Dipeptide-2 , Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 , Palmitoyl Oligopeptide , Carnosine , Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea) , Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice , Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Extract , Soluble Collagen , Hydrolyzed Elastin , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil , LEcithin , Yeast Extract , Allantoin , stearyl alcohol , Butylene Glycol , Polyethylene , Cetyl Alcohol , carbomer , Sodium Acrylates Copolymer , Behenyl Alcohol , benzyl alcohol , Capric Triglyceride , Caprylic , Polyacrylamide , dimethiconol , Peg-100 Stearate , stearic acid , Disodium EDTA , Cetearyl Glucoside , Cetearyl alcohol , Citric Acid , C12-13 PARETH-3 , Laureth-7 , C13-14 Isoparaffin , Sodium Hydroxide , Ammonium Polyacrylate , Steareth-20 , polysorbate 20 , Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone , N-Hydroxysuccinimide , Chrysin , PHenoxyethanol , Sorbic Acid , butylparaben , Ethylparaben , Isobutylparaben , MEthylparaben , propylparaben , Sodium benzoate , Alumina , silica , MICA , Titanium dioxide , Carmine , Iron Oxides

So, Is Studio 35 Micro Shaping Cream A Dupe For Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream?

Almost. Studio 35 Micro Shaping Cream is very similar to Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream, but lacks the latter’s star ingredient: niacinamide. That’s why, for once, I’d stick with the original.

Have you tried Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream and Studio 35 Micro Shaping Cream? Which one do you prefer?

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Cheryl August 28, 2015 - 4:14 pm

Love your DUPE posts! I am impressed the Niacinamide is fairly HIGH on the Olay list! Both sound like they will do somthing good or great 😉 (for the case of Olay).

Gio August 28, 2015 - 8:37 pm

Cheryl, glad you do. I think Olay was one of the first brands to use niacinamide, and they always used it gently. It’s one of the reasons why I love this brand. I think it’s one of the best you can find at the drugstore. If this cream came in a tube, I’d like it even more, but it has enough niacinamide to do skin a lot of good anyway.

Ana October 17, 2015 - 12:49 pm

Would you recommend Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting cream for acne-prone skin? And what about using it along with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tretinoin and Vitamin C?

Gio October 17, 2015 - 4:00 pm

Ana, yes, I would. You can use it with all those other ingredients too. Just keep in mind that niacinamide, which is in the Olay cream, and vitamin c work best when applied several minutes after each other. Hope this helps.

Ana October 17, 2015 - 4:47 pm

Thank you so much for your quick and helpful response! 🙂

Gio October 17, 2015 - 6:55 pm

My pleasure!

Amy January 17, 2016 - 2:16 pm

Isn’t Studio 35 Walgreens store brand?

Just found your site and I’m loving it!!

Gio January 17, 2016 - 2:57 pm

Amy, yes, it is.

Thank you! I hope to see around here often 🙂


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