Daily Exfoliating Body Wash
Olay heavily touts the exfoliating properties of this body wash on its packaging (Variations on the word "exfoliate" appear no fewer than three times on the bottle!), but when you get right down to it, this is a standard body wash formula that really doesn't offer a lot of benefits.
This body wash has the creamy liquid texture and contains most of the gentle cleansing agents common to many of Olay's body washes. That's nice, but nothing we haven't seen or felt before.
The exfoliation comes from the sea salt included in the formula. While sea salt can be effective as a topical scrub, it can also cause irritation because it abrades the skin. It's definitely not suitable for daily use, despite what the packaging of this product suggests!
In addition to the sea salt issue, there's also the matter of the inclusion of potentially irritating fragrance. In a body wash, fragrance generally is less of an issue than it is in a leave-on product, but in this case, because the coarse salt particles "cut" into skin, it exacerbates the problem of irritation from the fragrance. Olay's competitor Dove offers superior body wash options, in both its regular and Derma Series lines that would be gentler.
If you are interested in body exfoliation, we recommend first washing with a more gentle body wash and a washcloth (the washcloth provides gentle manual exfoliation without being as irritating as the salt) and following it up with an AHA (glycolic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) leave-on exfoliant that will be both more effective and more gentle on your skin. You can find a list of some of the best AHA and BHA exfoliants here.
- Contains gentle cleansing agents.
- Contains sea salt, an abrasive scrubbing agent that isn't recommended for daily use (despite Olay's suggestion that it should be).
- Contains fragrance, which can compound the irritation caused by the sea salt.
Gently exfoliate to reveal beautiful, radiant skin. The deep cleansing lather leaves skin more hydrated than regular soap.
Starting decades ago with the now-classic Oil of Olay, this brand now offers an extensive range of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, Pro X, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits.
In fact, perhaps the biggest complaint about Olay is that there are a number of repetitive formulas within and between the sub-brands make this line confusing and tricky to shop! Still, there is a lot to like about this drugstore stalwart, with its main drawback being a few formulas containing fragrance or other ingredients that have the potential to cause irritation.
For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.