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Oliveda Skincare Review: My Experience as a Skincare Junkie

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I love skincare. And one of the newest brands on my radar is Oliveda. While Oliveda is new to me, it’s actually not new to the beauty industry at all — it’s been in posh spas in Europe for 20+ years. However, it’s only been in the US for about a year.

If you’re a regular blog reader or follow me on Instagram, you already know that I love skincare. My love of skincare started with my personal journey dealing with horrific breakouts and learning that quality skincare matters. When I stopped using drugstore brands and invested in products with quality and safer ingredients, my breakouts cleared up. That was over a decade ago (and my skin looks better at 39 than it did at 25!) and ever since, I’ve been obsessed with trying different brands and different kinds of skincare, always looking for the most effective products for myself AND what to recommend to others.

As a huge fan of clean beauty and skincare, I was really excited to try Oliveda (especially because I was hunting for some alternatives to my favorite Beautycounter products that are no longer available). I’ve been BLOWN away, to say the least. Honestly, I’m really shocked. I try new skincare products almost daily, and it’s very rare that I feel passionately about a product as quickly as I did after trying Oliveda.

In this blog post, I’ll share a background of the brand, what makes their products unique, and which ones I’ve tried, along with my honest review.

Oliveda Skincare Review: My Experience as a Skincare Junkie

What is Oliveda?

Oliveda is a German-based skincare brand that formulates skincare products with extracts from olive trees. They’re known for their waterless skincare philosophy, which means their products are concentrated with active ingredients, avoiding the need for water and preservatives that can dilute potency and potentially irritate the skin (I’ll explain this in detail below). Additionally, all of Oliveda’s formulations are designed to be highly effective, free from harmful additives, and sustainable.

The brand was founded by Thomas Lommel after his own experience with the effects of using olive-based products internally. His first product was the I01 Elixir (a drinkable supplement), which then spurred him to create skincare products because he was convinced that what was best for the inside must also be best for the outside (our skin).

What does oliveda mean?

The name Oliveda comes from the Latin word for olive, olivae.

Why is waterless skincare good?

While water isn’t bad (at all), it does require preservatives and emulsifiers to stabilize the rest of the formula, so removing water as the main base of the product means the active ingredients aren’t diluted. Instead of using water as a filler, Oliveda focuses on using organic olive leaf extract called hydroxytyrosol, which is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. It’s also highly anti-inflammatory. Using hydroxytyrosol as the main base of their products means that every single ingredient is active. You can read more about Oliveda’s waterless formulations here.

Is Oliveda really waterless?

While Oliveda is known for being waterless skincare, you WILL see water on their ingredient list. This is because water is a byproduct of extracting ingredients from the olive leaf, but Oliveda never adds water to their products. And you won’t ever see water as the #1 ingredient on the ingredient list as is often the case with other brands (including ones I use and love).

To be clear, there’s no downside to including water in skincare products. However, Oliveda’s use of the olive leaf cell extract is an alternative that makes the rest of the active ingredients in their products even more potent and effective. 95% of Oliveda’s products are bioactive because the extract that’s used as the base is also active itself. Given that, you only need a very small amount of product when applying Oliveda products. It has actually been a bit of an adjustment to not use as much product as I was using previously with other brands (and it’s not like I used a ton prior). I truly only need a drop of the serums and a black bean size of moisturizer. A little goes a very long way!

Is Oliveda a clean beauty brand?

Yes. Since Oliveda is a German-based company, they are required to follow all EU beauty safety standards. The EU bans over 1700 ingredients while the US bans 11, so simply put, Oliveda is much cleaner than the majority of US beauty brands. No, it’s not Beautycounter with their 2800 banned ingredients, but I feel really good about the information I’ve learned about Oliveda’s ingredients. And considering I’m breastfeeding, safety is extra important to me right now.

One thing to note: As you’re reading through Oliveda’s ingredients, it can be a little confusing as a US consumer because things are labeled differently in Europe than they are in the US. Since Oliveda is an international brand, we just have to look at things with a different lens. I’ll break down some of the key things to know below.

Fragrance

In the US, the term “fragrance” is a loophole that brands can use to include anything they want, including harmful endocrine disruptors and allergens. In the EU, every ingredient in a skincare product has to be tested for safety, but once it’s approved to be used as fragrance, it doesn’t have to be disclosed. Oliveda does use the term fragrance on the back of their products, but everything they use has to be tested by the EU first, so it’s not a loophole to be wary of like it is in the US.

Retinol

In the US, we’re instructed not to use retinol while we are pregnant or breastfeeding, so when you see the term retinol on Oliveda products, it’s a bit jarring. But similarly to fragrance, in the EU, safe alternatives to retinol (i.e. bakuchiol) are screened, deemed safe, and then labeled retinol. For context, bakuchiol is what was used in Beautycounter’s Countertime line (more details here). The Oliveda product called “Green Retinol” has bakuchiol on the ingredient list, not a derivative of Vitamin A.

Oliveda carries 4 products labeled with the term retinol:

And while these do have retinol, they are natural retinols. Of course, this is up to personal preference, and you may still decide to stay away from natural forms of retinol. Beautycounter included Bakuchiol in their products (and Beautycounter had more stringent standards than the EU), so I feel fine about using the F82 Green Retinol Face Elixir especially.

How to know what to buy from Oliveda

Oliveda has almost 90 products in their lineup, so deciding what to get can be a bit overwhelming. And since the company is based in Europe, the names of their products is also a bit confusing. Their anti-aging line is called “corrective” for example. I thought the corrective line was for oily or breakout prone skin when I first heard it – like I said, it takes some getting used to.

To simplify things a bit, I’ve outlined what to get for each skin type. The great thing about Oliveda is that nothing is exclusive to one skin type — think of it as “good, better, best” in terms of your goals. The most basic cleanser will still work for you if you have dry, mature skin, but you’ll benefit more greatly from the cleanser made for anti-aging, if that makes sense.

Okay, let’s break it down by product type so you can decide what to buy:

  1. Choose a Cleanser
  2. Choose a Toner
  3. Choose a Serum
  4. Choose an Elixir
  5. Choose a Moisturizer
  6. Choose an Eye Cream
  7. Incorporate “Add-On” products

Oliveda Products for Dry/Mature/Aging Skin

1. Cleanser

Oliveda really encourages double-cleansing, meaning washing your face with an oil to remove makeup, and then following with a foaming cleanser, so I’m linking both below. If you only get one, get the gel cleanser.

Corrective Cleansing Oil (F72)

An oil based cleanser for dry, aging skin. It’s made with olive fruit oil and lavender oil, which nourish and sooth/calm the skin.

Corrective Cleansing Gel (F71)

This is super gentle and very hydrating. It smells amazing, but the smell is very natural and not super strong (I’m sensitive to scents and love this). I use this morning and night and my very-dry skin isn’t stripped at all.

2. Toner

Corrective Facial Tonic (F67)

This tonic should be used as a toner, right after cleansing. This preps your skin for the serum and elixir you’ll use next. This is what I use daily. My skin feels like it’s maintaining moisture all day, now that I’m using this.

3. Serum

Corrective Serum Face (F59)

This is what people call “botox in a bottle”. It’s made with concentrated hydroxytyrosol (which is a super powerful antioxidant) combined with para cress extract which is an ingredient that lifts and smooths your skin. It also builds collagen. I’m a big fan of real botox, so I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is just like it, HOWEVER, I do think it’s wildly effective for fine lines. I swear the fine lines around my smile have lessened since I started using it. It sells out super quickly each time it comes back in stock.

4. Elixir

Elixirs are similar to serums in terms of benefits, but they’re made to be mixed into your serum. When they are used together, you get the most bang for your buck. This is where you add your retinol or retinol alternative to your routine.

For mature or aging skin, these are your best options:

Corrective Midnight Elixir (F65)

If you’ve already used retinol in the past and love the effects, then you will love this. It’s a natural form of retinol that’s derived from fish. Since it is an animal based form of vitamin A, it does metabolize into a form of retinol. Some may also choose to not use this product during pregnancy. It’s my understanding that excess Vitamin A consumption is the concern and this wouldn’t be of concern. Gig Hadid used It all through her pregnancy – but go with your gut.

It can only be used at night, and it’s Oliveda’s strongest option.

Corrective Kahai Elixir (F78)

This is a natural form of retinol that’s derived kahai oil retinol from the cacay tree. If you typically react to bakuchiol (some do), then try this. If you need a retinol alternative for any reason, then get the Green Retinol Face Elixir (F82) (details below).

5. Moisturizer

Corrective Face Cream (F42)

This day cream is ideal for dry/aging skin because it has extra hydroxytyrosol in it (a super powerful antioxidant). It’s smoothing, super hydrating, improves elasticity and reduces fine lines. It contains a sun protection factor! Apply this like you would any moisturizer, but know a little goes a very long way.

Regeneration Intense Face Cream (F74)

This is more hydrating than the Beautycounter Supreme Cream that I used for years, which is shocking. The texture is weird and it takes some getting used to how it’s applied and massaged in, but now I love it. This is one of the more hydrating moisturizers from Oliveda. It reduces redness and helps balance the skin. Just use a very small amount of this – a little goes a long way.

6. Eye Cream

There are two products I recommend here, and if you can get both, do it!

Oliveda F60 Corrective Eye Cream

This eye cream has a ton of anti-aging ingredients in it that will help boost your collagen and give you a smoothing effect around your eyes. It also helps under-eye shadows and discolorations. Apply a tiny bit around your eye, but avoid the upper lid. 

Oliveda F64 Corrective Eye Elixir

This is in Botox in a Bottle for your eyes. It has a triple hyaluronic acid structure and a ton of antioxidants, so it hydrates and plumps while also giving your eyes a more lifted, radiant look. You apply this underneath your eye cream or use alone. (I prefer to layer an eye cream on top for a little extra moisture.)

Oliveda Products for Normal/Combination Skin

1. Cleanser

Like I mentioned above, I recommend double cleansing, especially since that’s how Oliveda designed their skincare. If you are only going to buy one though, get the gel cleanser.

Arbequina Cleansing Oil (F78)

Nourishes and hydrates while removing impurities. Start with this, and follow with the gel cleanser.

Purifying Cleansing Gel (F38)

This gives you a super deep cleanse while also supplying your skin with highly concentrated antioxidants that help prevent signs of aging.

2. Toner

Activating Facial Toner (F11)

This is non-drying and does not strip your skin, but rather helps restore your skin’s natural balance.

3. Serum

Corrective Serum Face (F59)

This is the same recommendation I have for aging skin – I want everyone to use it. Most people refer to this as “botox in a bottle” (more details on botox in a bottle in this post). It’s made with concentrated hydroxytyrosol, (a powerful antioxidant) combined with para cress extract which lifts and smooths your skin (like botox). It also builds collagen. This will prevent future signs of aging while also helping with any current signs of aging you already have.

If you’re young (in your early twenties) and truly don’t notice signs of aging yet, then the Cell Active Serum is similar but slightly less concentrated and might be a better option.

Cell Active Serum (F06)

This serum helps smooth your skin and reduce pore size, but it mainly reduces dark spots and smoothes wrinkles. What I love most about this is that it has a skin-tightening effect. It’s an all around great serum for all skin types.

4. Elixir

Elixirs are similar to serums, but you actually mix them into your existing serum for the best benefits. These all have natural forms of retinol in them, and they’re great for all skin types, but you only need one. There are two options for normal/combination skin:

Corrective Kahai Elixir (F78)

This is a natural form of retinol that’s derived kahai oil retinol from the cacay tree. If you typically react to bakuchiol (some do), then try this.

Green Retinol Face Elixir (F82)

This is Oliveda’s most gentle retinol option, and I think of it as more of a retinol alternative. It’s a blend of bakuchiol (alternative to retinol) and kahai oil (natural retinol). Technically yes, there is vitamin A in this from a very low concentration of kahai oil, but because of how low the concentration is (and the fact that the Vitamin A in it is natural versus synthetic), I feel fine about using this while breastfeeding. This reduces fine lines and pore size, improves complexion, contracts pigmentation, AND protects against free radicals. This can be used morning and night. This one does have a unique smell. It doesn’t smell good but it doesn’t smell bad, just unique. If you know you react to bakuchiol (some people do), your skin will likely respond better to the Corrective Kahai Elixir (F78).

5. Moisturizer

Anti Oxidant Face Cream (F05)

This is a great basic everyday moisturizer. Get this as your day cream.

Regeneration Intense Face Cream (F74)

This is one of the more hydrating moisturizers from Oliveda but it’s designed for normal to combination skin (and even works well if you struggle with oily skin or breakouts). It reduces redness and helps balance the skin. This is a great option for your night cream.

6. Eye Cream

Anti Wrinkle Eye Cream (F09)

This is a great basic eye cream. I love the texture and it’s completely non-irritating. It tightens and reduces fine lines around your eye area.

Add-on products for all skin types

Corrective Vegan Hyaluronic Acid Serum (F86)

Hyaluronic serums are great for dry and aging skin because they deeply moisturize and hydrate. This serum also repairs oxidative damage and makes your skin look and feel more elastic/tight. You can layer this on top of your serum for extra hydration.

Acne SOS Face Drops (F85)

These drops unclog pores, balance sebum production, and reduces acne-causing bacteria. They contain salicylic acid which is ideal for fighting and preventing acne.

HT + Vitamin C Serum (F83)

This is Oliveda’s Vitamin C serum. It’s made with hydroxytyrosol which is a super powerful antioxidant, and it also contains camu camu. This has 1300% more power than vitamin C alone because of the hydroxytyrosol. It improves fine lines and wrinkles, neutralizes free radicals, and gives you a super radiant complexion. It also has carrot extract in it which makes it red, which is fun.

AHA + HT Serum Face (F81)

This is a chemical exfoliator that you can use 1-2 times per week at night. It’s a true hero product. It reduces scarring, improves elasticity, reduces and fights hyperpigmentation, and boosts collagen. It’s great for breakout prone skin because it gently exfoliates and sloughs off dead skin which can cause build up and breakouts. If you used Beautycounter, this is very similar to the Overnight Resurfacing Peel.

Honey Enzyme Face Mask (F76)

This is a face mask that removes dead skin cells so that the rest of your skincare products can absorb better. This is especially beneficial for dry and/or aging skin since you’re paying more for those types of products and you want to get the most out of them. (The women who give me my facials have been telling me for years that I need to use an enzyme mask regularly to see improvements in my fine lines and deeper wrinkles).

I also love that it has a warming sensation. I usually hate applying masks because it takes a long time and is usually messy, but I actually look forward to using this since I enjoy the sensory experience. And the green color is fun!

Olive Core Face Peeling (F10)

This is a physical face exfoliator. It’s a super fine facial scrub that helps remove dead skin cells and give you a fresh, glowy complexion. I’ve only used this once so far and it doesn’t hold a candle to the Bamboo Face Polish I loved so much from Beautycounter, but it does get the job done. I’m going to keep using it and let you know if my opinion changes.

Olive Tree Therapy Lip Balm (F75)

This is probably the best lip balm I’ve ever used. It’s super hydrating, like any lip balm should be, but it also makes my lips look full––almost like I’ve had lip filler (I’ve never had any filler). I’ve also noticed that the redness around the outside of my lips is lessened when I apply this. I typically put a little bit of foundation around my mouth to reduce redness around my mouth, and I don’t have to do that when I wear this lip balm.

Oliveda Skin Quiz

If you’re still unsure of what to buy or want even more personalized recommendations, the Oliveda Skincare Quiz called OliveBrain might help. It uses AI technology to determine a custom regimen for products that will work for your skin. Another cool thing about Oliveda is that when you take the Oliveda Quiz and buy two of the recommended products, you get a free full-size product as a gift.

However, the Oliveda quiz results can be a bit confusing (some of my friends have run into this problem), so if you fill out my personal Skincare Survey, I will send you my personal recommendations and thoughts for your exact skin type.

My review of Oliveda Skincare Products

Now that we’ve gone down the Oliveda brand background rabbit hole, let’s get to the good part: the products. Like I alluded to in the intro of this post, I’ve been shocked by the results I’ve seen from using Oliveda products for almost a month. I think it has a lot to do with the potency of the formulations (remember, no water added = no dilution of active ingredients).

I’m not the only one who thinks that, either. The before and afters that Oliveda has collected are honestly mind-blowing. The results speak for themselves, and I could see tangible differences after 3 uses versus about 2-3 weeks to notice changes from other brands. Specifically, my skin has looked brighter and plumper skin and my fine lines and wrinkles (particularly my smile lines and lines around my eyes) have improved.

I will work on getting some pictures up to compare my skin before and after. I didn’t intentionally take before photos but I take photos every day as part of my job so I’ll try to find one that shows the true state of my skin and its improvement.

Oliveda FAQs

Is Oliveda Pregnancy Safe?

Yes, ALL of the Oliveda products are pregnancy safe, but it’s fair to be extra cautious and avoid retinol – even natural retinol – when pregnant. Of the four retinol products I listed above, I feel most confident using the F82 Green Retinol Face Elixir since it’s made with bakuchiol (a retinol alternative) and a very low concentration of kahai oil (a natural from of Vitamin A). However, if you’re avoiding vitamin A entirely (even a natural form), then you’ll want to avoid all of Oliveda’s retinol products, which they call Elixirs.

One other note: the AHA + HT Serum does contain salicylic acid, so this may be something you may choose to stay away from, or consult your doctor before you use.

As always, consult your doctor and go with your gut. As an aside, Gigi Hadid switched to Oliveda while pregnant because she was looking for clean skincare.

Does Oliveda have free shipping?

Oliveda has free shipping on all orders $50+. I especially appreciate this since a lot of things are out of stock lately (many products have gone viral and lots of Beautycounter consultants and clients are now using this brand), so when something comes back, I can buy it immediately without having to pay shipping, even if I just ordered two days ago. (That’s exactly what happened this week; I ordered the F86 Corrective Vegan Hyaluronic Serum Face, and B15 Anti Aging Body Cream and then the F83 HT + Vitamin C Serum Face Serum was restocked an hour later so I just placed two orders back to back).

Does Oliveda have free returns?

While you can return an Oliveda product for any reason within 365 days, you do have to pay for return shipping. Read more about their return policy here.

Does Oliveda sell makeup?

They do not. However, Oliveda does have products besides skincare, including body and hair care and internals (i.e. anti-aging products you drink, like collagen). If you’re looking for clean makeup, you’ll like ILIA Beauty. I have a full review on ILIA Beauty linked here.

Is Oliveda an MLM?

Oliveda does have a direct sales business model here in the US, which is similar to an MLM but different because this one can be sold at retail locations. Similarly to Beautycounter, you can join Oliveda as a consultant and receive a commission from any sales you generate – very similar to an affiliate. If you’re interested in learning more about the business side, you can read more here.

Or drop your email in this consultant-interest form and I’ll follow up with you. 

Who owns Oliveda skincare?

The Oliveda founder, Thomas Lommel.

Is Oliveda all natural?

Oliveda uses raw materials from their own organic olive trees and their products are all bio active (bioactive ingredients are nutrient dense and our body recognizes them, so our body knows how to break them down) and organic. They do use some synthetic ingredients in their products, however, so I won’t say they are 100% natural, although they do lean that way.

But, keep in mind, natural doesn’t always mean safe. Lead is natural but it doesn’t mean it’s safe. What’s important is the testing around ingredients, specifically for safety, and Oliveda (and the EU) has done that.

The Bottom line:

I absolutely LOVE these products and some I like even more than the Beautycounter products I was using before. The jury is still out to see if I can find a replacement for my beloved supreme cream, all bright c serum and countertime eye cream. But, I love the smell and feel of these and the efficacy. I also appreciate the smaller packaging (much easier to store), I love the price point and I especially like free shipping with $50+ orders.

I’ll update this blog post when I’ve tried some other Oliveda products. If you have questions, let me know! You can also join my Beauty Broadcast to get more information about how to care for your skin and hear what beauty products I’m trying and loving (or what I think is overrated).

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    3 responses to “Oliveda Skincare Review: My Experience as a Skincare Junkie”

    1. Hello! I took the Oliveda quiz and purchased two products. Nothing free showed up in the cart. Did I need some sort of promo code to make that happen? Thank you for the help.

    2. Thank you for this! This is an amazing well written article!!

      Ps. They just announced they are working on a makeup line to hopefully debut in October!!!

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