Lately I’ve felt conflicted about new beauty brands. They simultaneously attract and repulse me. Attract because who doesn’t love a new shiny? But repulse because there are just so many duds out there that I mostly want to hide in a cave lined with Sulwhasoo and Naruko and COSRX and forget the world. But that wouldn’t be a smart thing for a blogger to do, so here we are, with a new product from a new brand, representing a new risk.
The product featured in this post was provided by a Fifty Shades of Snail sponsor. Affiliate link marked with an asterisk(*).
I’d been seeing Olivarrier products pop up in posts around the Asian beauty Instagram sphere for a while, mostly due to the company’s campaigns on influencer marketing hub 0.8L. Olivarrier’s focus on simple ingredients and barrier-friendly pH 5.5 skincare appeal to me, so when a brand rep introduced himself with an offer of product for review, I went for it. I asked to try something that hadn’t gotten as much exposure as their 0.8L-promoted toner and mask. That’s how I ended up with an Olivarrier bar cleanser, cream, and the essence we’ll be talking about today.
Purpose: Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence claims to rapidly hydrate even dry or sensitive skin without irritation.
Best suited for: Dry, dehydrated, and/or sensitive skin.
Do not use if: Your skin reacts to olive oil or other olive derivatives, you are sensitive to anything else in the ingredients list, and/or you have concerns about using products that contain only natural preservatives.
When and how to use: After cleansing and any actives and toner steps, dispense 2-3 pumps of product and spread evenly over face. Pat in or allow to dry down slightly before applying any other products.
Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence ingredients: Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, squalane, panthenol, madecassoside, portulaca oleracea extract, arginine, allantoin, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, ceramide NP, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, brassica oleracea italica (broccoli) extract, carbomer, octyl dodecanol, isohexadecane, dodecane, isoeicosane, octadecane, tetradecane, potassium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, zanthoxylum piperitum fruit extract, usnea barbata (lichen) extract, pulsatilla koreana extract, tocopheryl acetate, avena sativa (oat) meal extract, caprylic/capric triglyceride, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, hydrogenated lecithin, camellia japonica seed oil, linoleic acid
pH: 5.5 according to my nice pH strips*, though to be honest, I don’t think it makes a big difference anyway since this isn’t a cleanser or a pH-dependent active. But it’s good to know that the product pH is what the brand claims it to be.
Notable ingredients: You want the good news or the bad news first? Here, Fiddy pick for you. Good news first. Happies should come before sads.
The good news is that Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence’s ingredients are well suited for the dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin that the brand targets. Humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid help add water to skin, while emollient moisturizers like olive-derived squalane and olive oil shore up weak spots in a compromised lipid barrier. The brand’s name appears to be a portmanteau of the words “olive” and “barrier,” which now makes so much sense.
The botanically derived emollients (and assorted calming and anti-inflammatory extracts) may also deliver antioxidants to help prevent free radical damage, which can prematurely age skin. Panthenol is a nice humectant and skin conditioner. I’m also drawn to madecassoside, a compound derived from centella asiatica; madecassoside has potent antioxidant benefits and may also accelerate healing. And oat extract is one of the ingredients I seek out when I or the young master are having eczema flare-ups.
Okay, now the bad news.
Like many other brands both Western and Asian these days, Olivarrier has chosen not to use “chemical preservatives” in their products. I personally have no problem with parabens, for reasons clearly articulated by my other self Chel in this Holy Snails blog post. I prefer parabens in my skincare. I like parabens. Give me all the parabens. The way I see it, the risk of contamination and microbial growth in a weakly (“naturally”) preserved product is more significant than the unsubstantiated “risk” of health issues arising from the minute amounts of parabens present in properly preserved cosmetics. (If you prefer to avoid parabens, however, you’re in luck here!)
The Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence’s pump bottle helps minimize the risk by preventing product exposure to air, but ehh. I would prefer a more robust preservative system. I am still using it, but I think it’s wise to be aware that there is a greater risk of spoilage in a paraben-free product. Use the product up reasonably quickly (no hoarding for months after you open it!) and be especially cautious if you live in a warm, humid climate.
Finally, some “eh, not really good news, not really bad news”: Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence contains Ceramide NP (aka Ceramide 3). Ceramides are skin-identical lipids that can be fantastic assets in strengthening a damaged lipid barrier. They need to be combined with cholesterol and fatty acids in a specific ratio for optimal effects, though. The ceramide is here and linoleic acid works for the fatty acid, but I’m not super sure this product contains cholesterol. The ingredients list doesn’t show any.
But anyway. I am still using the product, as I mentioned, so apparently the lack of preservatives and suboptimal use of ceramides haven’t put me off that much.
Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence is a milky, fairly viscous liquid with absolutely no scent whatsoever.
It glides smoothly onto skin and sinks in quickly, leaving no noticeable residue behind, just softer and more comfortable-feeling skin.
I’ve been going through some serious dryness problems lately due to a lot of factors, including but probably not limited to dry winter weather, accidental overexfoliation, and a bizarre sudden decline in water quality where I live. Thanks to these problems, I need more moisture, earlier in my routine, than usual.
Happily, I’ve found the Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence does what it claims to do, which is quickly impart moisture to thirsty skin at an early stage of the skincare routine. On days when I’ve forgotten or purposely skipped this product, I’ve definitely felt the difference. Without this essence, my skin dries out faster, particularly when exposed to the currently insanely arid and windy outdoors, and feels rougher and tighter overall. I haven’t experienced any irritation from the Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence, either. I found it exactly as soothing, smoothing, and moisturizing as I hoped.
I also noticed another nice benefit to the product. Before I talk about that, though, I need to point out that what I’m about to say is in no way medical advice. Just anecdote.
Here it is. I’ve been having some problems with eczema on my palms. They had gotten pretty bad around the same time I received my Olivarrier package in the mail, with redness, itching, and peeling galore. I had days when I barely Snapchatted any product because my hands are gnarly enough (chronic nail biter and cuticle gnawer here) without that crap going on as well.
I started using the Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence on my palms before I even started testing it on my face. It noticeably calmed the nastiness where most of my other products did nothing or sometimes irritated my skin. Again, this is absolutely not medical advice. Just a cool thing I noticed in my own experience.
Conclusion: Recently, my skincare tastes have tended towards fancy products with decadent packaging and complicated ingredients lists. I’ve developed an unfortunate taste for luxury is what I’m saying. Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence doesn’t fit that category at all, but for me it’s become nearly essential.
Think of this simple product in the plain gray bottle as a comfortable, comforting basic, like your softest white T shirt or coziest laundry day underwear. You may not spend a lot of time oohing and ahhing over the aesthetics, but when your sweaters are itchy or you’re out of pants, you know you can rely on your basics to get you through. There’s definitely a place for that in my life. I’m going to take a half point off for the preservatives issue, but overall, I do really like this product and plan to use it up in a timely fashion.
1 –This should be taken off the market, or this failed at its one primary job.
2 – Caused me some problems or doesn’t work very well; would not buy again.
3 – Meh. Neither great nor bad.
4 – Pretty good. Worth rebuying.
5 – I’ll never be in the market for a replacement unless this one is discontinued.
Where can I buy Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence?
And if you’re having barrier issues, check out the other posts in my Barrier Repair tag!