Interview With A Beauty Scientist: Dr. Rolanda Johnson

The folks at Olay were kind enough to send along some samples of the newest products from Regenerist and Pro-X. 10 years ago, I could not have imagined products like these. They feature breakthroughs in ingredients but also in packaging. What better way to explain how these skin savers are game changers than to talk to Dr. Rolanda Johnson, Skin Scientist at Procter and Gamble Beauty?

How does one come to specialize in a beauty science?
Beauty science starts with a strong technical background in basic science such as biology and chemistry [Johnson holds a phD in organic chemistry]. This foundation is the start and then the process evolves into a truly novel beauty expertise when one is able to take the basic science intertwine it in an innovative way to help improve the lives and meet the needs of women. This in turn leads to novel developments in order to improve skin care for the face and the body.

What is the big breakthrough in the Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Eye Roller (pictured above)?
The delivery system for the eyes is the big technical advance for Regenerist Anti-Aging Eye Roller. We have demonstrated that three balls are better than one to effectively deliver the signature anti-aging actives for the eyes in this product.

What is the big breakthrough in the Micro-Exfoliating Cleansing Cloths?
The convenience of gentle exfoliating using a cleansing cloth with skin regenerating ingredients is the big technical advance for this product.The Olay Regenerist Micro-Exfoliating Wet Cleansing Cloths allow regeneration at the skins surface by gentle exfoliation via a cleansing cloth.

With innovation in product (and with these new products being designed for convenience), how will it change the way we approach our skin care routine?
Many women are looking to products to address skin concerns as well as a convenient means to take care of their skin to fit into their busy lifestyle. These innovative products allow women to fit the right treatments into their busy routine in a convenient way where their skin care needs are being met.

The Pro-X line has been very successful, but some of our readers are confused about the difference between Pro-X and, say, Regenerist. What are the technological differences between the two?
The Olay Pro-X lineup is not about a signature complex of ingredients used across the entire line-up (as is the Regenerist line of products). The Pro-X products and ingredients are specific to skin concern and directly impact and have benefits for the particular concern (i.e wrinkles). The new Olay Professional Pro-X products contain existing ingredients, but in the highest concentration. And the are designed by professionals who are top in their field to offers consumers an alternative to topical prescription treatments.

For example, after eight weeks of use, the Olay Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Reduction Regimen (consisting of Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream and Pro-X Deep Wrinkle Treatment), was found to significantly reduce the appearance of facial fine lines and wrinkles relative to the number one prescription product.

Moisturizing the skin is definitely foremost in our minds during the winter. Pro-X is said to “resignal the skin to replenish the moisture barrier and boost the surface-cell turnover rate.” How can a surface product reset the skin?
When the skin loses natural moisturizing factors found in skin, the health of the skin barrier is compromised. As a result, a chain reaction starts and the cellular turnover is impaired, slowing it down resulting in dry or aged skin. A surface product can improve the skin barrier by depositing actives on the surface of the skin which can penetrate the top layer of the skin barrier (the stratum corneum) in order to bring the skin back to a healthier looking state. Once the skin is in a healthier state and moisture is added by using a surface product, the barrier can be restored and allowed to continue to produce the internal natural moisturizing factors which the skin produces on its own to maintain a healthy state.

Cutting edge research shows that as we age — and particularly if we are exposed to sun — our natural moisture barrier becomes more fragile and difficult to repair. At the same time, skin’s natural renewal cycle starts to slow down. Olay Pro-X moisturizers have been demonstrated to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier, holding in natural moisture and to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

At what age should women start thinking about switching to products like Pro-X?
Our consumer target is women 35 plus. For women who are starting to think about really serious targeted anti-aging treatments, Pro-X is the product for them.

What kind of exfoliants does Pro-X use that is so gentle yet effective? (I remember we used to use ground up apricot pits in the 90s!)
Olay has micro–exfoliating beads in the cleansers which provide gentle exfoliation. Ingredients such as Niacinamide help to boost cellular turnover.

As a beauty scientist, can you offer any sneak peeks of upcoming beauty breakthroughs?
As some women are open to getting fillers [injectable substances such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, that smooth out wrinkles) beauty science recognizes that this is not the option for all women. So we continue to develop new and innovative products which offer women an alternative to these types of processes while still observing skin benefits. Products like over-the-counter anti-aging products with smaller molecular weight ingredients that have the ability to provide skin benefits not only on the surface of the skin but also within deeper layers of the skin for noticeable benefits, like smaller molecular weight cosmetic grade hyaluronic acid.

We’ve talked about the future, but what’s your favourite skin care classic?
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream.