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Fake Olay? Reader Query

This is an email from a reader:

"I've been using Olay Total Effects since a while now, have finished about 3 bottles. And recently bought the fourth one. When I opened it i felt something odd. Let me list down all those things :

1. The bottle seems a little heavy. Obviously because its full. But even then , none of my previous Olay bottles felt this heavy when they were full.
2. The writing on the packaging seems a little odd. Since all the other 3 bottles came with a free face wash, there packaging was the extended one to include the face wash, and this one had simply the Olay bottle. BUT even then, the packaging on the bottle is different. The older one's had the ingredient list and this one has Directions and manufactured. etc
3. The size is different. The previous ones were slightly longer and less rounder. That is say a minute difference of 0.5 cm or maybe 1 cm difference.
4. OMG the smell. the smell of this one totally put me off. Its so weird. Nothing like the pleasant smell of the other ones. I just couldn't take it.
5. Its too thick. I only pump the bottle once and use that amount. I did exactly that this time, but when I applied it on my face it felt heavy, thick and made my nose oily. Then I started sweating on my upper lips. Something which has never happened with me when I used to use Olay before. It felt as if I had just put the ponds white cream on my face.
6. The color looks pinkish/ peachish in a very weird way. I know Olay was never white, but this just seems so weird. I thought I was dizzy or something because it looked a different color.
7. Tingly feeling on the cheeks. Now I'm really not sure if it because of this stupid ( fake ? ) Olay or something else . Or maybe I'm imaging things. But I've been itching on my cheeks, I've already scratched it a couple of time, anymore and i'll develop red marks.
8. Bad English ! The bottle and the cover both say " Keep out of reach FOR children" Why would P&G let that get printed on their product. Its wrong English. Bad grammar. OMG. I don't expect P&G to have mad that mistake.

Some pointers ,
This was manufactured on 18th November 2010. So no its not expired. It keeps for 3 years .
I know there is one for sensitive skin and one for normal. I have used both. And know how both feel. This one feels nothing like the previous ones.
I bought it from a decent shop. I've bought other stuff from that shop too.

Now I'm very confused. I paid 699 for this thing and think its a rip off . Olay Total , Totally fake ? What do you think ? What should I do ? Should I write to P&G ? Should I take it back to the shopkeeper ? I'm very confused :( "

The Olay I have is definitely not a fake and looks like this...

  • As you can see, it does have that grammatical error too "Keep out of reach for children" (LOL..I never noticed that before)
  • I bought it in 2009 and it is old and I don't use it anymore, but it still smells good.
  • The price of mine is Rs.650. Did they increase the price??! Wow.
  • *Edit: Manufacturing date is written at the bottom. 081216 (YY/MM/DD)
    I think in manufacturing, it's almost impossible to make the product exactly the same. I once bought The Body Shop Passion Fruit Body Butter and it was SO bitter! Omg it was the worst thing ever. It made my hands obnoxiously bitter, and the bitterness was hard to wash off as well, yuck! Another time at a TBS store I told my s-i-l not to get it & to taste it first lol, but it wasn't bitter at all.

    The same goes for the packaging, and maybe it's a different maker.

    But the smell is what worries me with yours. They are stupid to change it if they did. I liked it a lot.

    I don't think it's a fake, but if you're still worried then you can write to them and give them the product number of any other number on the bottle.

    Please feel free to offer your suggestions everyone.

    ♥ Cynthia Z ^.^


    1. It's most likely that they have reformulated the product inside, this would be why it feels heavier (the product) and the smell is off. A lot of brands do this without telling the consumer so if you've bought it from a legit source, that's the most likely outcome as I can't see stores buying something that is not official as the bad publicity would kill the store.

    2. I guess you should write to P&G with the batch no & other details because only they will be able to verify if it an original or not.. In any case, even if it is a fake, I believe P&G wld be very interested in the prdt to deal with such counterfeit material.. I agree with CZ though, sometimes, some batches can be a little off. Happens to me with eyeliners coz I generally run out of them much faster to buy seconds :)

    3. Hey Cynth, actully its writtn in my mommy's olay too, bt its d orignal 1 nt fake neithr is urs cuz d fake 1 costs in Rs.500 range. My bro hd got it fr mommy & shopkeeper said wich u wnt d orignal 1 or d fake 1...??? orignal 1 is pricd sumthin' arund Rs.700 & d fake 1 is rangd Rs.500.
      So dn't wrry. & dt mistk is common in evry bottle.


    4. Agree with Tanveer, firstly speak to the shop owner you bought the product from.Then write to P & G with the batch no. details & all, if its genuine you'll get to know if not its better to let the company handle the counterfeit product.

      Either way if the formulation isn't suiting you don't use it.Whether the product is part of a bad batch or counterfeit either ways your skin's more precious than the price of the cream.

    5. There are a lot of shop owners all across mumbai/pune/delhi who sell fake makeup maybe they've started selling fake skin care too.... Id advise to speak to the owner first and then P & G

    6. Thankyou Cynthia for posting my query ! :)
      And thankyou guys for helping out as well, I'll contact P&G and the shop owner as well :)

    7. Yes, speak to the shopkeeper. But in either case you should write to P&G..

    8. this is totally of topic but I love your hear. sooo pink! :D

      you should take it back to the shopkeeper.

      thanks for sharing!
      Oh BTW, new follower here. :)

    9. I think even if its real olay, sometimes the maniufacturing date is incorrect..,maybe its actually ane xpire product and its being passed off as a recent product...thatys why the smell

    10. Thanks all for your suggestions

      Kritika- Yes u do that :)


    11. I don't know if anyone has seen this but on the news a few days back they showed how the police caught a HUGE shipment of Fake Skincare products in India. And most of them were...yes, OLAY! According to the newspeople, Fake products are very common esp if you buy them in smaller cities. And they showed a lot of fake Olay Total Effects bottles. The one in question might or might not be a fake, but its certainly possible!

    12. speak to shopkeeper but I am not sure if they can really help there even in case they are selling fake products...writing to P&G with the batch number and whole of your experience will help even if it is a fake or even if it is not suiting you...better to give a feedback regd the product in case they might have changed the formulation...and yes some batches are happens with every product....

    13. Hi...I bought the same bottle as the one in your photographs...mine cost Rs. 500. Once I opened it I pumped it several times but in vain. No product came out. I opened up the bottle (after a lot of effort) and the product inside was orange and completely dry! I immediately went and bought another bottle and there was A MARKED difference between the writing on the back of the second and the first. The writing on the back the dry/bad one looked exactly like the one in the photo. The second/good/original one was a much smaller font (like my previous bottle which had finished) and most importantly included THE INGREDIENTS. If you have the bottle shown in the photograph PLEASE STOP USING IT. Its 99% a fake and u dont want it on your face. I was lucky coz the product in mine was totally dry. having worked in the FMCG industry I can tell you that companies cannot make random changes in the text in the back without serious consequences - and they especially cannot miss out the ingredients list.

      1. yes u r right its a fake one!!! i got the same bottle(as in the picture)for rs.699,but didn't use it as i doubted its originality.i talked to the shopkeeper about it but he denied!!still i am having the bottle with me i dont know where to claim for the money i spent on this fake product n how to teach these shopekeepers who sell duplicate products..

      2. hey,
        why cant you report to
        It will take action on your complaint.

    14. In addition, if you look at the bottom of the fake Olay bottle (like the one in the picture) there is no date of manufacturing or expiry date. Another major thing which a company like P&G CANNOT miss out. Again, please be careful with this product! My vehemence here comes from the fact that the original Olay Total Effects has really helped my skin and I would hate to see cases of once bitten twice shy for others with one of my all time favourite products...hope this was helpful.

    15. OMG ! Thanks for the info Arunima. I felt weird when I used this one, though i used it only once it was enough to make realise that either the product is fake or they changed the ingredients or the composition. Yep, mine looks like the one in the post and I have a pretty darn good feeling that its fake. So i have written to P&G and posted the same to Olay as well. Lets hope I get a reply or else I'll go talk to the shop owner.

    16. Arunima- I bought mine in 2009, that's why it's cheaper. How can it be fake when I was just launched in India and not even popular yet for people to dupe?! Manufacturing date and ingredients are written on the box.


    17. I still have my olay 7effects cream in my bathroom mirror cabinet and I don't use that any more cause it felt too thick for me. But over all its fine. I always check the packaging cause i'v too noticed so many other stuff which comes in fake packaging.I remember when I was in Chandigarh for few days trip I really needed a conditioner so bad and I saw the sun silk conditioner in yellow color but the packaging looked a little too big and puffy lol. I was like OMG thats fake and my bf that time was like NOO IT CANT BE and I was like YES IT IS FAKE!! and he was like NO I DONT THINK SO and i rolled my eyes.. boys.. they have no idea about beauty stuff except for male models and male beauty professions xD

    18. The only point I can make is that, fake or not, real Olay is not "too thick" for anybody. Okay it might be too thick for people who re oil factories, but Olay just gets absorbed so quickly and makes your face feel as if you haven't put anything on it. I have a friend who has extremely extremely oily skin but she loves Olay as well.
      So , we still dont know if this fake or not. For all we know, it might be a bad batch or a different manufacturer like Cynthia said.

    19. Cynthia - the real Olay bottle has the manufacturing date on the box as well as the bottom of the bottle...writing it on the box only is not law (as far as i know) it has to be on the container from which the product is least it is on every other Olay bottle that I have... In fact, the bad/fake bottle that i have (which i bought a few weeks back!!) has the same label number (95716043) as the one in your photograph!!! this ideally should not happen coz every label must have a different code number...i cant really explain why the one u bought in 2009 is identical to the one i bought in 2011!!! and carries the same label number!! the batch number on the fake one that i have (that matches the one in the photos) is B 110208-5 , 1039481190...while all the other bottles I have bought and seen in the market have a different the font on the real bottles is much smaller and includes the ingredient list on the bottle...whatever their manufacturing date...btw i love ur blog...its really helped me but some really good products!! i dont mean to diss the products anyone else has...just thought anyone who has experienced a hoax like me must know about it and ABSOLUTELY NOT use this on their face...:-)

    20. anyway...since the bottle that u bought in 2009 looks identical to the one I bought in 2011 it is quite possible that fakes were repackaged with bad product in old bottles that Olay produced in 2009...ppl please beware!!

    21. arunima- Oh I didn't think u were dissing it or anything like that. I just don't think mine is fake. It does have manufacturing date at the bottom- 08/12/16 (YY/MM?DD)
      Thanks...I appreciate yr helpful suggestions :)

      Kritika- glad that u wrote to them. Hope u get a response soon.

      cpl- ya boys are so oblivious :)


    22. I have no idea why they fake Olay?Olay price here is arround 11USD,and in south east asia P&G factory is in thailand.There are factories of:Unilever Indonesia,Mandom Indonesia,Kao Indonesia,Sara Lee Indonesia,etc but not with P&G. Is your Olay made in thailand too?There are some counterfeit products,usually"pricier"brands like MAC,Bobbi Brown,The Skin Food,and Etude.But not with olay(since it's more affordable).I think maybe they change the formula or something..

    23. Hey C ! Thought I'll just update you.
      So I called P&G and they tracked my complaint and looked up the batch number and manufacturing date. And guess what ?! It doesn't show up on their system. Showed an error and a gap of two months between both which cant be possible if its an original. The lady also mentioned that they havent changed the packaging and it HAS to have the ingredients list. She advised me to return the product to the shopkeeper. And I did. And the guy did not argue about it and gave me the money. I went to another shop , and bought another one and that is a huge shop. Quite reputable and he informed me as to how there are fake Olay products going around the market. I came home used this one, and I can bet my life on it that's its real. So happy now !

      Moral of the story, if you have a doubt about your product, call the company and they can look up and match the batch number and the manufacturing date.

      Ps. P&G have started manufacturing Olay in India now.Its now being made in Solan, Himachal Pradesh.

      1. My Olay doesn't hav this warning of keeping out of reach of children.. I want to know how u contacted P&G and in how many days did they get back to u.

      2. My Olay doesn't hav this warning of keeping out of reach of children.. I want to know how u contacted P&G and in how many days did they get back to u.

    24. And also, this one says Keep out of reach OF children.
      Lol. No bad grammar here. That one was definitely a counterfeit !

    25. Kritika- Oh that's great. LOL glad there's no bad grammar on the new one. So cool that the shopkeeper gave back yr money!



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