The “Everything” Serum: Olay Super Serum

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How to cite: Wong M. The “Everything” Serum: Olay Super Serum. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. January 7, 2024. Accessed May 22, 2024.

I’ve been reviewing beauty products for more than 10 years, so not a lot of things excite me – but some things did in 2023. The Olay Super Serum was one of them!

The video version of this review is here, keep scrolling for the text version….

favourite innovative products 2023

Olay Super Serum is the best new skincare product I’ve tried in a really long time. I did a sponsored Instagram post on this, but this blog post and the video aren’t sponsored – I’m purely talking about it because it was such a standout product.

olay super serum

Here’s my general process for reviewing products (both sponsored and unsponsored posts).

I’ll start by looking at the claims and ingredients. If that all makes sense, I’ll try the product on my skin for usually 2 weeks, maybe more (depending on what the product is).

This is really important because even if you know everything about cosmetics, you can’t tell how well most products work just from the ingredients list, because it has such limited information. The overall formula is crucial, so you really need to test it on actual skin.

For a serum that has actives like this one, I’ll start with my skin at its best. I’ll use my standard skincare routine for a few weeks, then introduce the new serum as the only active product. I’ll still be using products like cleansers, moisturisers and sunscreens that I’m really familiar with, so I know what they’re going to do to my skin and I’ll be able to notice any difference.

Usually over the next few days, there’ll be little skin issues popping up. The most common things for me at this stage are closed comedones around my jaw area – these are little flesh-coloured bumps that form when pores get clogged and gunk starts building up inside, much like baby pimples.

If these don’t go away after a few days, I’ll know that the serum doesn’t work for closed comedones. I’ll then blitz them with my go-to products (alpha hydroxy acids and a peeling gel), then keep using just the serum, and see if that happens again.

I’ll go through this process for a bunch of other skin issues. Then by the end of the trial period, I’ll have a really good idea of what the product is and isn’t good for, and which products and ingredients it’s good at replacing in my routine.

Related: Free Exfoliation Guide!

Sometimes my skin will just hate a product, or it might not do much. If it’s a sponsored post, I’ll tell the brand that I’m sorry but I can’t endorse their product.

Most of the time, even with products that I really like and recommend, there’ll be little issues popping up. And that’s fine, because most serums aren’t really designed to do everything.

But with the Olay Super Serum… this was one of the very few products where I went from my skin in peak condition, dropped all my usual hard-hitting actives, and my skin just… stayed the same. Essentially, this serum just replaced all the actives in my normal, super-optimised maintenance routine, without making any sort of noticeable difference!

I used this continuously for about 5 weeks because I just was so surprised – I kept waiting for something to happen, and nothing did. My skin just stayed nice!

olay super serum used up

Then I had to add a retinoid back in because this doesn’t have a retinoid, and I want those long-term effects that I talked about in my retinoid post. And that threw my skin out of whack, so I had to add a whole bunch of other products back in to deal with that. But if my skin wasn’t such a baby when it came to retinoids, I feel like I could have used this as the only other product.

Related Post: 7 Common Retinoid Skincare Myths, Busted

Olay Super Serum has a whole bunch of actives. I was pretty skeptical at first – with products that contain lots of actives, there’ll usually be one active that the product will really focus on getting to work, and the rest will be largely sprinkled in for marketing purposes. But this serum does seem to get multiple ingredients working at the same time!

The main innovation here is with niacinamide. This serum uses a patented method that Olay invented to get niacinamide to stay active at a low pH, which that normally doesn’t work very well. Olay and P&G did a lot of that original research on niacinamide for skin, so it’s not surprising that they have cutting edge niacinamide research!

Related Post: Behind the Scenes at Procter & Gamble’s Singapore Innovation Centre

This technology helps niacinamide absorb into the skin a lot more easily, and according to their testing data, this serum works a lot faster than Olay’s other best niacinamide products. Since niacinamide does a little bit of everything in skincare, I think it’s why this serum works so well.

Lactic acid (an exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid) is the next highest active on the ingredients list. I think this is likely working well too, since lactic acid is an ingredient that works really well for reducing my closed comedones.

There’s also:

  • palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (also called Pal-KTTKS or Matrixyl), one of the better-researched peptides
  • 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid, one of my favorite vitamin C derivatives
  • hyaluronic acid – hydrating
  • panthenol – soothing

I didn’t need to use moisturiser most nights when I was using this, even though it was winter in Australia at the time.

The main downside of this serum is the a moderate level of fragrance. To me it smells quite nice, but I can imagine that some people might be really bothered by it. There is also a Night Repair version that’s fragrance-free. The other big downside (for me, at least) is that it hasn’t launched in Australia yet (confusingly, there are a whole bunch of “super serums” here, but as far as I know, this formula only comes in this pretty shiny round bottle).

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Lactic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Trehalose, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Sodium Lactate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance

This product was sent to me as part of a sponsored post, but as always these are my honest opinions. This post also contains affiliate links – if you decide to click through and support Lab Muffin financially (at no extra cost to you), thank you! For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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3 thoughts on “The “Everything” Serum: Olay Super Serum”

  1. It looks like this product might be pregnancy/nursing safe, or at least not contain any known unsafe ingredients – could you confirm, to the best of your knowledge? Thanks!

  2. Oooo, interesting product, thanks for the review! Have you had a look at or tested any of the ESK Care ( products? I stumbled across their website a few days ago and am intrigued but a bit sceptical.


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