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From left to right: Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence, Emollient Extra Comfort Cream, Fluid Oil
Up-and-coming Korean skin care brand Olivarrier (a portmanteau of “olive” and “barrier”) has fast established itself as an expert in gentle, minimalist, vegan formulas that produce a clean, safe glow for stressed skin. I was initially attracted to the brand’s claims of using only natural biomaterials, including squalane derived from the humble olive plant, but I was sold when I learned about its cruelty-free practices and ethical sourcing from organic farms! Their compact product range seems to be a godsend for stressed-out city-dwellers like me. My sensitive, lackluster skin has not fared well under the burden of chemically-based formulas, and I’ve been yearning for an all-natural yet still powerful skin care routine.
Full of anticipation, I decided to test out three of the brand’s flagship products: Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence, Emollient Extra Comfort Cream and Fluid Oil. I primarily used them together in a week-long, twice-daily skin care regimen, but I’ve also used the cream by itself for an extra moisturizing boost. Let’s see if they can give my skin a subtle transformation!
What it’s supposed to do: This mildly acidic essence is packed with micro-hyaluronic acid, olive squalane, organic centella asiatica extract and pure Vitamin E to strengthen skin barriers, amp up moisture levels and calm flare-ups. Star ingredient squalane helps lock in moisture without clogging pores or leaving a greasy finish, while pure Vitamin E (tocopherol), one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, is a surefire remedy for signs of aging. The result? Fresh, bouncy, youthful-looking skin – hopefully!
What I love about it: This is fragrance-free and extremely gentle, which is exactly how I want it. Coming in a milky, lightweight gel-cream formula, it feels soft, smooth and not too runny as I tap it into my dehydrated combination skin. I love how it both soothes and hydrates, giving me a quick, plumped-up boost while calming down patches of redness. I can’t vouch for its anti-aging properties given my short period of use, although I did notice a renewed sense of suppleness to my skin.
What I don’t love about it: Nothing.
What it’s supposed to do: Lightweight, fragrance-free, uber-moisturizing cream that’s designed for people who want all the hydration without any of the greasiness. Its ingredient list includes skin care heavyweights like 5% D-panthenol, madecassoside, natural ceramide, shea butter and, quite naturally, squalane. They combine to form an anti-inflammatory shield around skin, sealing in moisture and all that goodness from your last few skin care steps.
What I love about it: Aptly named, this feels extremely comfortable on my skin in a way that I haven’t experienced with any cream or lotion for a long time. For a cream, it absorbs quite quickly into skin and doesn’t feel oily or sticky at all. In fact, it just feels nourishing and calming, like my skin has regained its inner peace.
What I don’t love about it: Despite that initial boost of nourishment, ultimately, this doesn’t provide the intensive moisturization my skin craves during a dry spell. When used on its own (without that hit of essence or a little oil-based help) and particularly on dry days, the moisturizing effect fails to last, revealing a few perpetual dry patches on my skin. For people with slightly oilier complexions, this product will probably do very well, especially in spring or summer as a day cream.
What it’s supposed to do: Made from 100% squalane, this lightweight face oil is engineered to smooth skin, prevent moisture loss and do some heavy lifting when it comes to reversing signs of aging. Squalane is naturally found in the skin, making this non-irritating enough for even pregnant women to use.
What I love about it: I’ve never been a huge believer in face oils (more out of ignorance than active dislike), but this one showed me that the best ones need not feel like a film on your skin while working its magic. Emboldened by the glow it brought to my face after adding it as a final amplifier to my skin care routine, I started to use it with increased abandon – adding a few droplets to boost my serum, mixing it with my foundation for some extra moisture, and rubbing it into my cuticles to strengthen my brittle nails. While none of these methods worked wonders, all of them resulted in subtle improvements without causing any irritation.
What I don’t love about it: This is a minor quibble, but my pores did seem slightly enlarged after introducing the oil into my regimen. Although the product is touted as lightweight, I wonder if any clogging might have occurred.
Overall, I appreciate the simplicity of all three products (essence, cream, face oil) from the clean packaging down to the carefully curated ingredient list. I also love how these plant-derived products allow me to get the full benefits of squalane without feeling queasy over how it’s sourced! While I’m a little ambivalent about whether they’re as intensely moisturizing as hyped, I’d still go for the green, safe and subtly nourishing option rather than the chemically based heavy-hitter that harms my skin in the long run. Here’s to achieving that elusive glow – with a little help from Mother Nature.