Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Innisfree Olive Real Serum

As the warmer summer months start to roll in, I can start to hear this soft noise. What is it? Oh, you know, nothing major - just my already dehydrated skin beginning to audibly crackle under the hellish Australian sun. The yearly pilgrimage to find a daytime moisturiser that ticks my extensive checklist begins - I'll start with this little bottle of Innisfree Olive Real Serum.

I'm pretty lucky that I can be somewhat lax with daytime skincare in the winter months here - it does get cold, but the main drying culprit is heaters. I prefer to stay warm with blankets, so I avoid most of the drying effects, nothing a bit of hyaluronic acid and sunscreen during the day can't handle. Summertime is a WHOLE other ball game. The 35C+ days! The sun! The sweat! The air conditioning! It's almost enough to make me want to move to Tasmania and revel in the 20C summer days. Almost.

I have a pretty extensive checklist that needs to be ticked before any lotion or potion comes near my face - my skin hates dimethicone, mineral oil, high contents of alcohol and paraffin, so finding something that hydrates without occlusiveness can be a bit tricky. So when I found Innisfree's Olive line stocked at the newly opened Balabala Laser Clinic/Miss Q Fashions, I was pretty stoked!

Gratuitous box shot - how very cheeky ;P

A serum full of squalane, oils and seed butters with low concentrations of my trigger ingredients sounded pretty much like exactly what I needed. I've been working a couple of drops of Camellia Japonica oil into my nighttime moisturising with wonderful results for my dry skin, so having some in my day time skin care was pretty appealing too.

Ingredients: Water, butylene glycol, pentaerythrityl, tetraethylhexanoate, glycerin, squalane (Olive), diisostearyl malate, Olea Europaea (Olive) fruit oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) seed butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) butter, Citrus Unshiu peel extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera fruit extract, Orchid extract, Camellia Japonica leaf extract, Camellia Sinensis leaf extract, glyceryl stearate, dextrin, dimethiconol, lauric acid, myristic acid, behenyl alcohol, cyclopentasiloxane, C12-20 alkyl glucoside, C14-22 alcohols, stearic acid, arachidyl glucoside, arachidyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, xanthan gum, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) extract, palmitic acid, polysorbate 20, poly acrylate-13, polyisobutene, PEG-100 stearate, disodium edta, phenoxyethanol, fragrance. 

Okay I should first address the obvious; I really don't think this is a TRUE serum - I find it texturally seems more like a concentrated cream, but I suppose if it's concentrated, it's considered a serum. It pumps out in thick pearls and spreads smoothly as a cream should. It pats in beautifully, and the effects of the softening and moisturising are almost instant. There is no white cast or any artificial brighteners in the serum, but the hydration does make my skin glow!

Please excuse my subpar hand modelling!

It's got a pleasant, mild fruity scent which can probably be attributed to the citrus, orchid and mango seed extracts. I don't like highly perfumed facial products, I can be quite easily overstimulated and get headaches but I found this quite pleasant and invigorating (I'm a bit of a sucker for citrus smells!)
That being said, it is important to note that citrus oils can be photo-sensitisers (for those not familiar with the term, it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun) so if you're planning on wearing this during the day and going out in the sun, wear that SPF! And you know I'm not talking a thin layer of SPF15+, you have to slap on 30+ or higher, dang it!
I've been wearing it during the day for a while now, as the weather is sort of going through that period of not being able to make up its melon as to whether it's hot or cold, and it's kept my skin soft, plump, glowing and hydrated, come rain or shine or that weird half way muggy humidity. I have some perma-dry spots on my cheeks that just never really wanted to hydrate, but they've been kept in check which has me (slightly obsessively) touching my face.
I really like that I can't feel it swimming in my pores (you know that awful feeling of sweating under facial oils on a super hot day?) as that sensation has been an absolute deal breaker with so many daytime moisturisers in the past.

My only real complaint isn't really a complaint, I am just unsure as to where this would fit in with my nighttime routine. I follow the rule of thumb of weight of the product, starting from watery-est, and finishing with the heaviest cream/moisturiser. I don't know if the high oil content of this serum would prevent the watery layers of my skincare from penetrating, and I don't think I could justify using a serum as a sealing cream as the amounts used are drastically different. For now, I've found a good standard night routine, so this serum will be the star of my summer daytime. 

I'll give Innisfree props - I'm not a huge fan of their general range as I find the extracts are too low in the sheet masks to be of any consequence, and one of their cleansers absolutely wreaked havoc on my acid mantle, and consequently, my skin, but they've done a really good job with this. It's by no means a fancy brand, but I think there's an endearing quality to a no frills product that simply does its job.

+ Hydrates, plumps and feels lovely on
+ A fairly modest price point (I picked it up for AUD$30)
+ A pretty well known and easily found brand, generally in stock in most Asian beauty store
+ A formula free from mineral oil, paraffin and high concentrations of dimethicone/alcohol

- Citrus oils are a potential photosensitiser
- The texture is confusing and hard to pin point where it would fit in a multi-layered skincare routine

So far, the pros outweigh the cons, so I think I'll be sticking with this for my daytime needs.

Gratuitous selfie, with skin plumped and glowing - with the help of Innisfree Olive Real Serum and Jefree Star's Ice Cold highlighter ;)

I hope this was helpful for anyone on the search for a daily moisturiser - if you have a holy grail day time cream, let me know in the comments, I'm always checking out new brands :)

P.S If you have instagram, you can keep up with my adventures in sheet masking with my little mini reviews at Elf.meets.snail <3



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