I’m always trying to figure out what my 36-year-old skin needs. We have recommended splurge-worthy products in the past, but many readers have asked for a more affordable regimen that still works really well. So when Olay asked if I wanted to come to their lab to get my skin analyzed, I gave them an enthusiastic (but nervous) yes. One morning, I got up at 4 a.m. and took a flight to the Olay lab in my native Midwest. What I found out surprised me…


At the lab, I met a team of scientists, and Shannon (above) showed me around. (She was really fun and made me think of the site This is What a Scientist Looks Like.) She took close-up pictures of my face with a special imaging machine, which compared my complexion to other women of the same age.


It was a trip! And the results were fascinating. Even though I stress about my wrinkles, the lines I have are actually normal for my age. (This was shocking to me!) Instead, the area of my skin I realized I need to pay more attention to is the overall tone and texture. I have sun spots and sun damage lurking underneath the surface.

Thankfully, Shannon explained that my issues can be helped — and even reversed — with the right approach. She also emphasized the importance of treating skin overnight. Before this, I didn’t always wash my face before bed (too tired!) but now I force myself to use a cleanser and moisturizer. Apparently it’s a crucial time to replenish and repair your skin.


Ever since the trip, here’s the regimen I’ve been using:


Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser removes traces of dirt and makeup, while brightening up skin and smoothing out texture.

Luminous Tone Perfecting Treatment
I put this on twice a day to help fade the discoloration on my skin and smooth fine lines around my eyes.

Luminous Brightening and Protecting Lotion With SPF hydrates skin, offers sun protection and is designed to remove darkness, making my skin tone look brighter. (It also smells great.)


The cleanser and treatment again, and then…

Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream is a soft, rich anti-aging cream. The three big ingredients — Hyaluronic Acid, Amino-Peptides and Vitamin B3 — help repair skin overnight.

These products have been great, and a huge bonus is that it’s easy to find them at the drugstore. Thank you so much for the experience, Olay! I’m thrilled to have this skin regimen, and would totally recommend the brand.

(Top photo by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Olay. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)