At one point in my life, the word “toner” would have made me shudder and my skin crawl: Western toners are often filled with alcohol and other drying ingredients that damaged my skin. Now, after trying Asian toners (sometimes called lotions), I have a problem with hoarding…I mean collecting… them. I love using light, hydrating layers, especially when my skin has to fight air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter.
So, I was thrilled when Jolse, one of my favorite online retailers, offered the chance to try and review the Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion. I had seen the brand around Instagram and was intrigued by the sleek, clean, minimalist packaging and claims of intense hydration. I was lucky enough to be chosen to test it, so after using this toner for a month, I’m ready to give you a full review of the Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion. I can promise you that although I received this product for free, I will give you my absolute honest opinion about it.
To give some context for the review, here is what I look for in a hydrating toner:
- light, watery texture
- doesn’t dry tacky
- absorbs quickly
- layers nicely with other products
Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion
The bottle is a nice sturdy plastic and holds 180 ml. It has a shaker top, but you really only have to tip the bottle over, and the toner comes out easily.
“A pH 5.5 acidulous toner for the healthy skin that protects the skin from germs. The toning lotion eliminates skin wastes and dead skin cells while adjusting the oil-moisture balance for healthy skin conditions. The odorless, colorless, and hypo-allergenic ingredients care the skin fully. The dual moist moisturizing understands the skin by preventing moisture loss by smearing lightly into the skin with squalane and hyaluronic acid.” (Jolse.com)
This toner is made for sensitive skin, and/or people who prefer unscented skincare. It’s an acidic toner, so its ph is close to your skin’s ph. This is good, but not really an unusual or unique thing for Asian toners.
Water, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Madecassoside, Allantoin, Arginine, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ceramide NP, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Avena Sativa (Oat) Meal Extract, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Octyldodecanol, Dodecane, Isohexadecane, Isoeicosane, Octadecane, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Tetradecane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Linoleic Acid
- Squalane: an emollient that is an incredibly moisturizing source of fatty acids and antioxidants
- Sodium Hyaluronate: the version of hyaluronic acid that has smaller molecules that allows it to absorb into the skin more easily; hyaluronic acid is a humectant that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
- Madecassoside: a wonderful antioxidant from the Centella plant. Soothes and is perfect for sensitive skin.
- Arginine: an amino acid that can help repair skin
- Ceramide NP: Ceramides are the substances found in the membranes of skin cells, and they help to strengthen cells and prevent TEWL (transepidermal water loss).
The (Personal) Evidence
The Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion is a scentless toner that feels very slippery to the touch; it’s not as watery as other hydrating toners. Apparently, this is a purposeful feature of the toner, because according to the information on the Jolse website, “the smooth viscosity forms a very thin moisture barrier with the squalane and glycerin.” So, apparently this is supposed to form a barrier in your skin?
I put the toner through a number of tests and the conclusion is that it is definitely hydrating. For example, I used it as my only toner in a very short routine after my AHA, and my skin wasn’t dry the next day. Normally, my AHA can be a bit drying if I skimp on the hydrating layers after. Of course this is the summer and my skin is less dry overall, but still, the toner performed well.
I was going to try doing the 3 or 7 skin method with it, but after one layer, my skin felt “full”–which I now realize is probably because of that barrier described in the ad copy. In fact, while I tend to use a lot of toner since I love hydrating layers early in my routine (I go full-on Neutrogena commercial with them), I found that using just a little of the Olivarrier toner worked better.
You see, my biggest issue with the Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion is that, unfortunately, it takes awhile to absorb. In contrast to my other toners, I have to tap tap tap much longer before I feel it’s absorbed enough to move on to the next step.
I moved it to a number of places in my routine to see if that would help, including putting it right after the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum, then after the Naruko Miracle Essence, then both before and after the Klairs Supple Preparation toner. Each time, it did not absorb as quickly as other toners I use.
Given that I like to fit in as many light layers as I can in my routine, and I don’t have time to wait in the mornings, I found myself wanting to reach for my Klairs toner in my am routines to speed things up. This may not be an issue for those of you who keep your routines short. Still, when I do use the toner, my skin does stay hydrated. And while it took awhile to absorb, the toner does layer nicely with other products because it doesn’t dry tacky and it doesn’t cause pilling.
Overall, for my purposes, the Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion is an adequate toner that fits two of my four criteria, but is nothing that I’m too excited about.
However, as I was jotting down my notes on the toner these past few weeks, I couldn’t help but wonder if my opinion is being influenced by my “normal” summer skin. In order to really test if this toner works to hydrate my skin better than other toners enough for me to overlook the longer absorption time, I think I’m going to set it aside for now and come back to it this winter, when my skin tends to be drier.
So, despite my lack of enthusiasm for the toner, I want to emphasize that the Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion does as it advertises in that it hydrates and doesn’t irritate the skin. Barring any individual issues your skin may have with the ingredients, I would recommend this toner to those of you with sensitive and/or dry skin who are looking for a hydrating, scentless toner.
So, will I buy this product again?
- Did you not read the review? Yes, of course. I will spend all of my money on this product!
- Yes. I enjoy this product enough to purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.
- Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I’d use it if someone gave it to me.
- No. I won’t use this again and will probably bad-mouth it to others.
- Hahahahaha. Nope. Noooooooope. Not even if you paid me.
The Verdict: Meh. Maybe. I mean, I bet there are other, better things out there. I might purchase again in the future, especially if it’s on sale.
Ok, my verdict is kind of in between levels on the scale because I don’t like to write off products that may just be better suited for a different time of the year. I’ll know for sure if it’s a standout toner for me after I put it through some cold weather tests.
If you’re interested, you can purchase it at Jolse.com for $24.