Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Left to right: Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence, Emollient Extra Comfort Cream, liquid oil
The up-and-coming Korean skin care brand Olivarrier (a portmanteau of "olive" and "barrier") has quickly established itself as an expert for gentle, minimalist, vegan formulas that create a clean, safe shine for stressed skin. I was initially drawn to the brand's claims to use only natural biomaterials, including squalane from the humble olive plant, but I was sold when I learned about the cruelty-free practices and ethical sourcing of organic farms! Their compact product range seems to be a stroke of luck for stressed city residents like me. My sensitive, lackluster skin did not do well under the load of chemically based formulas, and I longed for natural, yet powerful skin care.
In anticipation, I decided to test three of the brand's flagship products: Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence, Emollient Extra Comfort Cream and Fluid Oil. I mainly used them together in a one-week, twice-daily skin care regimen, but I also used the cream alone for an extra boost of moisture. Let's see if they can give my skin a subtle transformation!
What it should do: This slightly acidic essence is filled with micro-hyaluronic acid, olive squalane, organic Centella Asiatica extract and pure vitamin E to strengthen the skin barriers, increase the moisture content and soothe flare-ups. The 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 cure for signs of aging. The result? Fresh, springy, youthful looking skin – hopefully!
What I love about it: It's fragrance-free and extremely gentle, just the way I want it to be. In a milky, light gel-cream formula, it feels soft, smooth, and not too fluid when I type it into my dehydrated combination skin. I love how it both calms and hydrates and gives me a quick, bulging boost while soothing redness. I cannot vouch for its anti-aging properties due to my short usage time, although I noticed a renewed feeling of the suppleness of my skin.
What I don't like about it: Nothing.
What it should do: Light, fragrance-free, over-moisturizing cream designed for people who want all their hydration without being greasy. The ingredient list contains heavyweights for skin care such as 5% D-panthenol, madecassoside, natural ceramide, shea butter and all-natural squalane. Together they form an anti-inflammatory protective shield around the skin, which includes moisture and all the goodness of the last steps of skin care.
What I love about it: Fittingly, this feels as comfortable on my skin as I haven't seen in a cream or lotion in a long time. For a cream, it soaks into the skin fairly quickly and doesn't feel greasy or sticky at all. In fact, it just feels nutritious and soothing, as if my skin has regained its inner peace.
What I don't like about it: Despite this initial surge of nutrients, this ultimately doesn't provide the intense hydration my skin craves during a dry spell. When used alone (without this dash of essence or a little oil-based help) and especially on dry days, the moisturizing effect does not last and shows a few dry spots on my skin again and again. For people with a slightly oily complexion, this product is probably very suitable, especially in spring or summer as a day cream.
What it should do: This light facial oil is made from 100% squalane and is designed to smooth the skin, prevent moisture loss and cause heavy lifting when it comes to reversing signs of aging. Squalane occurs naturally in the skin and is therefore not irritating enough for pregnant women to use it.
What I love about it: I have never really believed in facial oils (out of ignorance rather than active aversion), but this has shown me that the best don't have to feel like a film on your skin while doing their magic. Encouraged by the glow it brought to my face after adding it as a final enhancer to my skin care routine, I started using it with greater dedication – added a few droplets to strengthen my serum and mixed it with mine Primer for some extra moisture. and rub it into my cuticles to strengthen my brittle nails. While none of these methods worked wonders, all of them led to subtle improvements without causing irritation.
What I don't like about it: This is a minor point of contention, but my pores appeared to be slightly enlarged after I introduced the oil into my regime. Although the product is advertised as light, I wonder if constipation may have occurred.
Overall, I appreciate the simplicity of all three products (essence, cream, facial oil) from the clean packaging to the carefully compiled list of ingredients. I also love how these herbal products allow me to take full advantage of squalane without making my origin uncomfortable! Although I'm a little ambivalent about whether they are as intensely moisturizing as they are hyped, I would still go for the green, safe, and subtly nourishing option, rather than the chemically-based heavy hitter that damages my skin in the long run. Here's how to achieve this elusive shine – with a little help from Mother Nature.