Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair vs Olay Regenerist (Differences)

As you know, applying retinoids (which are your regular over-the-counter retinol) are great for keeping your pores clean and free from blockage.

They can help with lightening up dark spots as they increase skin cell turnover while stimulating your dermis and fibroblasts to produce more collagen.

Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in the body that many manufacturers of skincare products claim will reduce visible wrinkles and direct more blood flow to the skin so it’s supple and looking young. This article will talk about two of the great retinol out there.

They are available at your drugstore and you can find them on Amazon, Walmart, Target, and pretty much any of the top online shops.

These are two heavy hitters that have been reviewed so often. And that’s because they are good. If you’re looking for a non-fragrance, gentle, beginner retinol that’s moisturizing, you can now get one.

When you look at reviews online, you’ll see that they’re rated favorably and since they are similar, there is a need for a comparison.

In fact, dozens of people are looking all over the internet for an interesting comparison of these two and I’ve decided to do just do.

I’ll be putting these two together, head to head, so which of the two do you think is going to win? The Olay Regenerist Retinol or the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair? Find out…

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair vs Olay Regenerist

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

So, let’s start with this. This one comes in a jar. It has a thick consistency and does look like cupcake frosting. The thick, viscous cream is moisturizing, thanks to moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, dimethicone, hyaluronic acid.

All of these serve the skin nice hydration. They act as a humectant which gives the body a nice silky feel. Dimethicone, for instance, is an occlusive ingredient. Thus, serving as an emollient. 

The Retinol SA (as Neutrogena likes to call it) contains a glucose complex that the brand says will help boost the retinol and make it more potent than regular retinol palmitate, which is supposedly the most gentle but least potent over-the-counter retinoid.

That little boost makes the Retinol SA stronger and likely more effective in helping you see results. The SA in the name actually translates to “Sustained Action”.

This, according to Neutrogena, means that the effect on the skin will continue throughout the day so you’re going to get the benefit for 24hours.

So, if you use it in the morning, you don’t need to repeat that until the next day or at night before sleep if you notice the action has receded.

There is no vitamin B3 or niacinamide in the Retinol SA but you can find them both in the Olay Retinol. There are a couple of things you need to note when using this product.


Since it comes in a jar, you may be tempted to grab some with your hand. This is considered to be unhygienic by many critics. Using a spoon or something of similar nature is actually a better way of gobbling some and applying it to your skin.


Only a little is required to go round. Another claim is that every time you open up the jar, it loses some of its efficacy. So, to ensure it’s in tiptop condition, get the spoon and pour some on your hand, and rub it on your skin.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t result if you decide to use your hands. There will always be a proper and wrong way to apply your cream. Just mentioning it here in case you didn’t know. 

Olay Regenerist Retinol 24

The next one on the list is the Retinol 24 from Olay. The product comes in a nice little package that looks luxurious with a lighter texture than the Retinol SA.

Unlike the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol SA, the Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 has two retinoids. One is the regular retinol, which is found in the Retinol SA, and an additional retinol propionate.

This doesn’t mean it’ll be more potent than the Neutrogena. They work similarly. But since the cream is lighter, you may need a little more in your application.

The percentage of retinol in both products isn’t disclosed, so there isn’t a way to say how one feels in relation to the other. You’ll need to apply it and see how your skin is reacting to it. Now, it’s time to talk about the ingredients.

The Olay Retinol 24 has dimethicone, just like the Retinol SA. This ingredient is supposed to give the skin a nice silky feeling. It also has glycerin, which is another occlusive material that hydrates the skin.

The hyaluronic acid is missing in the Olay Retinol, while it is present in the Neutrogena Retinol. But that doesn’t put it down in any way.

The Olay Regenerist Retinol comes with palmitoyl pentapeptide four complex, which is also absent in the Neutrogena Retinol SA.

This complex includes 5 amino acids that boost more production of collagen, which tells you this is closer to how the retinoids work. The other advantage is that it can help your skin make more glycosaminoglycans fibronectin, which will boost the dermal structure.

Conclusion: Retinol SA vs Retinol 24

From many user reviews, it seems that many people prefer the Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 to the Neutrogena Retinol SA. Many cite tighter skin and a drastic reduction in wrinkles. However, some will pick Neutrogena Retinol because it’s oil-free.

So, if you’re trying to get down your hormonal acne or already have oily skin, that’s something to think about. Finally, you shouldn’t just take all these recommendations without thinking about them.

Look at your own skin, which one is most suitable? Which of the two is readily available to you? And if you’re inclined, which one fits most into your budget? All of these things should help you choose the right one for your skin.

So, what’s the answer to the burning question: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair vs Olay Regenerist: Which is Better? The answer: it depends, choose according to your preferences.

Further Reading: LumiSpa vs Clarisonic: Which of the Two Brands Is Better?

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