Affordable & Effective Retinol

I often have people comment on my coloring– my fair skin and super dark hair. But I can’t say that I get too many skin comments. About three weeks into using Olay’s Retinol24 Moisturizer though, the craziest thing happened. It’s going to sound like I made this up because it’s a sponsored post but I swear on my life this happened. I’m standing in line at the airport and this woman comes up to me, leans in closely, and goes: “Your skin is BEAUTIFUL. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”

Usually, when I use a skincare product, I notice differences and that’s been the case with Olay’s Retinol24 Moisturizer with the added bonus that other people have noticed too. And it feels great.

Olay Retinol24

Retinol is one of the most effective products to use on your skin, but some can cause irritation. Olay formulated their products to be non-greasy (!!!!!!!) and intensely moisturizing, which makes their retinol line effective with virtually no irritation. I have sensitive skin and was pleased that I had no reaction. Instead, I woke up every morning with dewy and even skin.

OLAY Retinol24 Moisturizer

Olay formulated three Retinol24 products. A moisturizer to replace your evening moisturizer, an eye cream to use after moisturizing, and a serum to use after cleansing or before moisturizing. You may have caught my Instagram story where I broke into a 100% edible “skin-mergency” kit containing the products a few weeks ago. All three will give you brighter, smoother skin in 24 hours and provides 24 hours of hydration. They really took some of the biggest issues women face (e.g. too expensive, causes irritation) with retinol into consideration.

Olay Retinol

Of the three, I found myself gravitating towards the moisturizer. I have been on the hunt for a new moisturizer and now the hunt is officially over. I didn’t stop at my face though– I brought the moisturizer all the way down to my neck. I am trying in earnest to avoid getting “text neck” just as much as I’d like to prevent fine lines on my face.

I took a picture of my face without makeup at the beginning of this four-week challenge and I have to say that I thought my skin looked great because I’ve been taking pretty great care of it. I worried though that there wouldn’t be any room for improvement because I thought that was as good as my skin could look. But…. UM! Look how much more even, bright, and smooth my face looks after just four weeks of using the Olay Retinol24 Moisturizer?! I am impressed.

Olay Retinol24 Before and After

Not only do I love how my skin is looking bare-faced, but I also have found that my foundation applies more evenly and I need less of it because my skin is so hydrated with a smoother surface.

And did I mention how affordable it is?!

Thank you Olay for sponsoring this post.

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I’ve been waiting for this post – will be running out to get it ASAP. Your skin looks amazing!


Hi Carly,

Excited to try this product! I’ve heard that jar packaging is not great for skin care products, because they can destabilize when exposed to light and air. Did Olay comment on this at all? Did you think it was an issue?


Hi Emily- I haven’t noticed an issue. But if that’s a concern for you, the serum is a pump and more sealed from light/air!

Lori McGough

Thanks for sharing this Carly. I’m pushing 50 and have been on the fence about adding retinol to my skin care regimen. My skin is ultra sensitive, plus rosacea issues. I’m going to give this a try and hopefully I’ll not have any issues. Thanks again!


Honestly this is so refreshing because I follow a few bloggers who were asked to review the same product. Most of them took staged pictures holding the product, but gave very little in the form of an actual review. I really appreciate the authenticity of this post and the before/after photos. THIS is the reason I’ll buy the product – not because of some glammed up picture that seems feigned.


And….going out to try this! I turn 35 in a few weeks (😱😱😱) so I definitely need to adjust my skincare!

Mary Kate

Wow I really see a difference! I love Olay. Drugstore brands can offer just as good quality as luxury – especially with retinol.


Thank you so much sharing! Your skin does look great! I have sensitive skin too, so I’m so glad this worked for you. I need to try it now! 🙂


Thanks for the before + after pictures in the same lighting!! Another great retinol is Differin – it’s now OTC and I used to get it at the dermatologist in high school. I’m so glad it’s available at any drugstore now not prescription only!! There definitely is an adjustment period (called retinization I think – they have info on their website about it). First it feels like your face is going to burn off lol but it’s just your skin getting used to it. Then by about week 8 it’s baby soft!!


Just an FYI that Target is running a special through Saturday where you get a $5 gift card for spending $25 on skin care with these products included 😉 I picked up the night cream and am excited to try it!


Thanks for the follow through and for the bare skin look. It seems simple enough. Gonna try on your recommendation.

Margaret McCurry

Hi Carly!

Thanks for the review! I’ve been using Olay luminous whip moisturizer for a few months, and I absolutely love it! Here’s a question for you: At what age did you start using products with retinol? I’m 23, and wondering if I should start now or wait a little longer.



Hi Carly, how is your skin normally? More toward dry it sounds like? Any thoughts on how this might be for oily skin? My skin is oily and sensitive of all things, lol. Thank you



Your skin looks amazing! You mentioned in your post that you’ve been looking for a new moisturizer, and I know you’ve been using the Origins Night-a-Mins for years. What made you want to change/look for something new?

Thanks in advance!


I have brown pigmentation on my face, on both for over 5years.what do you tecommend