The original Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid was a staple moisturizer for women around the world. That single product launched a beauty and skincare line which has endured for more than 50 years.


The original Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid was invented in the early 1950s by South African chemist Graham Wulff. Working in a home laboratory, Wulff was trying to create a moisturizer that would closely resemble the natural makeup of skin's own oils. He sought to produce a product that would restore moisture, penetrate rapidly and protect the skin.

The product's label and name were designed by Wulff's business partner, Jack Lowe. While neither the name nor the line drawing of a woman have specific meaning or historical significance, both have been retained to ensure brand recognition.

Evolution of the Olay Brand

The Oil of Olay company was purchased by Richardson-Vicks in 1960. In 1985 Procter & Gamble bought Richardson-Vicks and acquired the Oil of Olay brand. Because the brand was known by several different names worldwide, P&G later changed the name to Olay to help consumer brand identification. Olay now offers several lines of skincare including Pro-X, Regenerist and Definity, as well as the original Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid.

Ingredients of Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid

Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid Original contains the following ingredients: water, glycerin, cetyl palmitate, mineral oil, petrolatum, cetyl alcohol, glyceryl hydroxystearate, stearic acid, steareth-100, dimethicone, octyldodecyl myristate, fragrance, potassium hydroxide, DMDM hydantoin, Iodopropynl butylcarbamate, tetrasodium EDTA, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl accrylate crosspolymer, carbomer and red 4.

The Science of Moisturizers

The function of moisturizers is to replace trans-epidermal water loss, aggravated by exposure to the elements, heating and air conditioning, use of certain cleansing products and aging of the skin.

Most moisturizers are water-in-oil emulsions designed to hydrate and protect the skin. In order to produce a cooling effect on the skin and a less-greasy feel, moisturizers are usually formulated with a high proportion of water. These emulsions must then be stabilized to keep the oil and water from separating, even in long-term shelf storage.

Preservatives such as parabens may be added to inhibit the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts.

How to Find These Products

The Olay brand is sold worldwide in pharmacies, groceries and department stores. Those looking for the Original Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid will find it sold as Olay: Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid Original. This is the pale pink lotion with the original fragrance.