Product Review: Olay Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15

by Gio

olay total effects day cream spf 15 01

Name: Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15
Brand: Olay
Size: 50ml
Price: €13,00

From Olay’s website:
Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Age-Defying Day Moisturiser with SPF gives you 7-in-1 age-defying effects for visibly younger-looking skin.
Minimises lines: helps to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Nourishing moisturisation: for a radiant glow
Tone enhancement: balances colour and helps to visibly reduce the appearance of age spots
Gentle exfoliation: smooths and evens skin texture
Pore refinement: minimises the appearance of pores
With antioxidants: helps prevent free radical damage to the skin’s surface layers
Subtle firming: hydrates for a firmer skin feel.

What I liked:
– texture is neither too light nor too thick and absorbs quickly
– makes skin soft and smooth
– temporarily reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps prevent the formation of new ones
– doesn’t cause breakouts
– has SPF
– well-packaged

What I didn’t like:
– although it contains broad spectrum sun protection, it’s unlikely you’ll apply enough to reach the SPF stated on the label
– packaging looks a bit boring

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed my favourite face moisturizer yet. It’s Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15 from Olay (or Olaz, as the brand is called in Italy), a brand that I had ignored until my mid ’20s because of its boring image. Then, I gave their moisturizers a try and discovered they’re not only cheap, but also well-packaged and full of goodies beneficial for the skin. I particularly love their Total Effects line and, even though sometimes I stray, I always keep coming back to it.

Now, before I review this moisturizer, please keep in mind that the same product can have different ingredients in different countries. Usually, most of the active ingredients are the same everywhere, but still, if you’re interested in trying it, you may want to check out how similar the formulas are. Now, here are my thoughts about this cream.

Packaging: boring, but functional
Let’s start with the packaging. Although the white opaque tube with a pump dispenser may look boring, it actually ensures that the antioxidants and sunscreen agents in the formula don’t oxide (which happens whenever they are exposed to light and air) and thus lose their effectiveness overtime. Too many brands just ignore this, and prefer to keep using jars because they are more pleasing to the eye, so well done Olay for not only coming up with an excellent formula, but also for packaging it so that it will be properly preserved. In addition, the pump dispenses just the right amount of product you need so that none gets wasted.

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Chock full of skin goodies
One of the main reasons why I love Olay moisturizers is Niacinamide. One of my favourite ingredients (and one anyone should try and include in their skincare routine), Niacinamide is a multi-purpose active that can improve skin’s elasticty, and minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and age spots. In addition, Niacinamide can also reduce water loss and increase the skin’s moisture levels. The formula also contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (a stable form of Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate and Tocopherol (two forms of Vitamin E) and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), all of which are powerful antioxidants that can help protect the skin from UV rays and prevent signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Offers broad spectrum protection (but you shouldn’t rely on it too much anyway)
A lot of moisturizers on the market only offer partial or no protection from UVA rays. Not Olay Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15. This cream features Ethylhexyl Salicylate (aka Octisalate), Octocrylene and Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid (aka Ensulizone), which protect against UVB rays and Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (aka Avobenzone), which protects against UVA rays. Despite this, it’s unlike that anyone will be able to apply enough cream as is necessary to provide the SPF stated on the bottle (I know I don’t), which is why you shouldn’t rely solely on it, but use a separate sunscreen anyway.

Personal experience
Olay Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15 is white in colour and has a subtle fresh scent that fades very quickly. The texture is just right: not too lightweight, but not thick either and it sinks into the skin very quickly. It makes my skin feel silky soft to the touch, look smooth and, thanks to Dimethicone, a silicone which has the ability to fill in fine lines and wrinkles, the fine lines around my eyes look temporarily smaller. The antioxidants in the formula, instead, will help slow down the formation of new ones. What about breakouts? In my experience, only the few Olay moisturizers which contain Isopropyl Palmitate, a very comedogenic ingredient, cause breakouts. This one doesn’t, so use it without trepidation.

Aqua, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Niacinamide, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Polyacrylamide, Octocrylene, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-4 Laurate, Laureth-7, Titanium Dioxide, Dimethiconol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Zinc Oxide, Carbomer, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Disodium EDTA, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, PTFE, BHT, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Parfum, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, CI 16035, CI 19140

Olay Total Effects Day Cream SPF 15 is chock full of moisturizing ingredients, antioxidants and sunscreen agents that make skin soft and smooth, temporarily reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and prevent the formation of new ones. The beneficial formula is also well-packaged so that it won’t spoil. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on it for sun protection as it’s unlikely you’ll ever apply enough to reach the SPF level stated on the bottle.

Rating: 4.5/5

Disclaimer: the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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Trisha June 19, 2013 - 4:43 pm

I had no idea that it could have different ingredients in different countries. Good to know!

beautifulwithbrains June 19, 2013 - 8:34 pm

Trisha, I find it quite annoying when they do that. It’d be easier if they sold the same formula anywhere. But that’s not always possible as sometimes this change is due to the different restrictions different countries apply to certain ingredients. In any case, it’s always better to double check. 🙂

Icaria June 20, 2013 - 11:55 am

Good review! I’m never attracted by Olay since in Canada they’re in the same price range as Avène. I tend to go toward the latter. I may try this one since they’re often reduced for my skin reacts very well to niacinamide. 🙂

beautifulwithbrains June 20, 2013 - 4:49 pm

Icaria, Olay products are so underrated imo. I’m not sure if it’s because they have a boring image, but it’s a shame as most of their products are full of goodies, and they are one of the few brands to use a high amount of niacinamide in their creams and serums, which I really love.

Janessa July 12, 2013 - 8:35 pm

I am always bummed when an antioxidant-rich product people race about is poorly packaged.. Like in jars! I am guilty of buying jar packaging sometimes, but not intentionally. I’d purchase a value set and there will be one or two products in jars. I usually avoid them, but I just expect to use the antioxidant-rich moisturizer as a basic moisturizer.

You’ve got me interested in Olay! Their packaging is boring but I love that it is opaque and a lot of their products come with pump dispensers.

beautifulwithbrains July 13, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Janessa, that happens to me too. But I figure, as long as the other products in the set are good enough to justify the price, I can put up with a poorly packaged moisturizer. It may lose its antioxidant properties soon, but at least you didn’t pay full price just for it.

I’m glad to hear that. Olay is so underrated and it’s a shame cos they use a lot of goodies, such as niacinamide and vitamins C and E, in their products, package them well and keep their prices reasonably low.


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