It sold out in minutes, but does Olay’s new miracle face cream really work?
Gail Walker finds out if the Olay Professional range really keeps its promise of results in just 28 days.
Let’s just say that my cynicism about “miracle” beauty creams is matched only — no, make that exceeded — by my hope that one of them may just possibly work. Even a little bit.
Give me a woman over 25 who says she never reads those articles about new products that promise to make your skin look younger, fresher, brighter — and I will give you a woman who tells porkies. Well, you’ve read this far, haven’t you?
No one forgets the first time. Maybe it was one of those weird pillow creases, glimpsed through bleary eyes one morning in the bathroom.
Or you caught yourself staring at someone in a mirror in a shop one lunchtime, thinking, ‘She looks vaguely familiar. Crikey, it’s me ... but an older me! How did that happen?’
And no matter how much you blame harsh overhead lighting, too many late nights and the air conditioning in your office, in your heart of hearts you just know.
Suddenly the very word ‘serum’ fills you with hope and wonder and gratitude.
As does the legend ‘aminopeptide’. Whatever that is. ‘Reverse’ is another word you can’t get enough of, as in ‘reverse the |signs of ageing’.
Hardly surprising, then, that advance publicity for the new Olay Professional range — with its proud guarantee of a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles in 28 days or your money back — prompted a storm of interest. Oh, and a swift phone call from me to the Olay press office to see whether I could blag a kit — for it is indeed not just one unguent but a ‘system” (another wonderful word) — to try out on behalf of you all before it actually hits shops here this week.
Such is the excitement — hype? — surrounding this range that when it first went on sale in the US, it sold out within 17 minutes.
And apparently science buffs were so impressed with the results during testing that the range has already appeared in two renowned science journals.
Forty-eight hours after my phone call, a box containing three products lands on my desk.
First, there is the Age Defying Day Moisturiser with an SPF 30. This promises to hydrate skin as well as fighting the appearance of fine lines.
Next up is the Wrinkle Smoothing Cream, again pledging to, well, do exactly what it says on the jar.
And, finally, there is the aptly name Deep Wrinkle Complex, a tube of cream that will target those problem areas.
You get all three for £44.99, which means it’s fairly competively priced. Still, it’s only money well spent if it works ...
The accompanying blurb tells me I am about to embark on a three-step regime, applying the relevant creams, morning and evening, as well as using the treatment cream on specific areas of concern — for me that’s the little creases on my forehead, doubtless brought on from frowning at the labels on a myriad of potions.
The first day gets off to a good start. I have sensitive skin but it doesn’t flare up after my first application. The moisturiser is a good base for make-up and the night cream is rich without being gooey.
A week in, however, and, despite regular scrutiny I can’t really spot any difference.
But then a fortnight later (plus a long weekend off from work, which always helps) and I can |almost convince myself a subtle improvement is underway.
Week three and I meet a well-known boulevardier for lunch. Later that afternoon he phones to thank me, ending the call with: “We should do that more often ... your skin is like porcelain.”
Encouraged, I move into the fourth week of the regime, and this time solicit the opinion of my mum, since mothers always call it like it is. Pleasingly, she too thinks my skin looks well.
Then again, talking to my mother about such matters always makes me think.
I won’t tell you her age (she’d kill me) but it’s a pensionable one, and yet she has truly fabulous skin. It is peachy smooth, with very few wrinkles, and is often remarked upon by others.
The secret? Well, there isn’t really one. She has revealed that when she was a young woman she often washed her face in well water, but reckons that didn’t make much of a difference.
For many years, as a busy working mum, she didn’t even take the time to moisturise. If pushed, she’d probably reckon that the less creams you apply all round, the better.
Yet we live in such an ageist society now. Young women feel they are past it when they are barely into their 20s. Perversely, 40 is apparently the new 30.
And quite a few of my friends have tried Botox or fillers, the sort of comestic wizardry that was once the preserve of the stars.
I’m a coward, though, and don’t want to go there ... yet. But I will be going to a shop to buy another Olay Professional kit.
A born sceptic I may be, but I’m convinced it has made a noticeable difference, as well as making me feel a little better about myself.
Of course, I’ll also be going out to lunch again very soon with a certain boulevardier ...