It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Marie Veronique and her line of organic skincare. I’ve raved about her tinted sunscreen and of course her collaboration with in-demand Bay-area facialist, Kristina Holey, on their set of three serums – Barrier Restore, Soothing B and Intensive Repair – that helped heal my perioral dermatitis. So when it was announced the two were launching a range of products to work in tandem with their widely acclaimed serums, I was ecstatic!
If you spend even the briefest amount of time in Marie Veronique and Kristina Holey’s orbit, you’ll catch on quickly that these two women are serious about skincare. (Which is one of the reasons why their products pack such a powerful punch!) Biology and chemistry jargon like ‘pathogenic bacteria,’ ‘advanced glycation end products,’ and ‘impaired barrier function’ are at the core of every conversation I’ve had with these two. For science is the foundation of their organic skincare endeavors; there’s no guesswork here. Meticulous study has gone into what they produce and it’s no wonder each product to arise with the Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique label delivers results sans endocrine disruptors, essential oils, and fragrances.
I’ve had the pleasure of testing out their new products the past few months (cleanser, toner, face oil, and mask), and while their Micronutrient + Hydro Mask has emerged as my favorite, you will find here a range of thoughtfully crafted products easy to fall in love with and capable of supporting and healing severely compromised, sensitive skin.
Product: Pure + E.O. Free Oil Cleanser
Best for: Skin prone to piling and clogged pores
Skin type: Dry/dehydrated skin
Review: Firstly, we need to discuss that this oil cleanser has a surfactant in it?! I really haven’t seen this before. The natural sugar derived surfactant in this cleanser works in tandem with the oil; oil breaks down dirt, debris and sebum in the pore, while the surfactant sweeps it away. This makes for a very effective duo capable of unclogging pores and removing buildup.
While massaging in the product, I noticed immediately that this cleanser unclogged little blackheads and helped alleviate piling.
The one downside to this cleanser is it’s inability to remove makeup and cleanse the skin well at the same time. But this can be said for many cleansers. (Ideally, double cleansing should be done by everyone to ensure a proper cleanse.) You could wash with this oil twice – once to remove your makeup and then a second time to cleanse the skin. But since this oil is a little pricey, I would recommend using a basic micellar water to first remove makeup and then follow with this cleansing oil.
Texture: Thick, dense oil with little cloudy soft particles
Scent: Vegetable oil scent. Mild, slightly salty. Reminds me of sunflower seeds. The scent was non offensive to me, but if you’re someone who is sensitive to smells, you may not like this one.
Tip: Shake before dispensing; the surfactant particles settle to the bottle of the bottle.
Product: Balancing Hypo Tonic
Best for: Acne prone skin types with sensitive skin
Skin type: Normal/Combination, Oily
Review: While this toner has amazing anti-inflammatory (licorice root) and hydrating (sodium hyaluronate) ingredients, I personally found it to be a little drying for my normal/dry skin type when used with the line in entirety. Apple cider vinegar contains alpha hydroxy acids and in combination with the salicylic acid in the Intensive Repair Serum and the lactic acid in the Barrier Restore Serum, my skin started to become slightly irritated and dry.
But when I used this toner alone without the other acid containing serums, I found it was a nice gentle exfoliating toner I could use 2-3x per week to brighten and soften skin.
I would recommend this as a great toner for combination or oily skin types for daily use, but dry types may find it a little drying when used every day.
Scent: Strong apple cider vinegar scent
Tip: Makes a great gentle exfoliator for uber sensitive skin
Product: Micronutrient + Hydro Mask
Best for: Dehydrated, inflamed, over-exfoliated or irritated skin
Skin type: All skin types
Review: This is my favorite product from the new KH + MV launches. Once you try it, you will know exactly why. It will revive dehydrated skin, soothe inflamed acneic skin, and rebuild over exfoliated skin almost overnight! This mask works fast delivering super nutrients to the skin to restore, rebalance and as the brand says provide a “total skin reset.”
Be careful, it’s easy to get addicted to this mask. Instructions say to use it 2x per week, but during the height of an awful PD outbreak, I ended up using this mask almost nightly and found it to be my saving grace.
Texture: Smooth golden liquid
Scent: Subtle sour scent
Tip: Use as a spot treatment on irritated areas as often as needed.
Product: Barrier Lipid Complex
Best for: Night time use only
Skin type: All skin types
Ingredients: Cholesterol, lacto-Ceramides, phytosphingosine, elderberry phytocide (Sambucus Nigra) Fruit Extract, Cranberry Seed (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) oil, Black Raspberry seed (Rubus Occidentalis) oil, Chia seed (Salvia Hispanica) oil, prickly pear seed (Opuntia Ficus Indica) oil, evening primrose (Oenothera Biennis) oil, squalene, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) from non-GMO sources, blackberry seed (Rubus Fruticosus) oil, non-GMO lecithin, phosphatidyl serine, sodium hyaluronate, Omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (from microalgae)
Review: I really love this oil. It’s a beautiful balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids that are crucial for proper barrier function. It also contains cermaides that help cells form a protective layer and cholesterol, basically everything your skin needs to maintain proper moisture.
With that being said, there are a few drawbacks. Firstly, the smell is strong and unpleasant, and secondly the texture is a little heavy. I tend to prefer fast absorbing “dry oils” like moringa or camellia oil for daytime use since they leave a dry finish perfect for makeup application. I found this oil works best at night.
Texture: Thick, heavy. Slight oily residue left after application.
Scent: Strong vegetable oil scent
Tip: Shake well as the ingredients separate and some tend to settle at the bottom.
In regards to the original KH + MV serum trio, I’m not going to go into too much detail about them here since I’ve already reviewed them in my “How I Healed My Perioral Dermatitis In Two Weeks” blog article. But they are three of my favorite serums. I found as my PD healed, I didn’t need to use them all and opted to only continue using the Soothing B Serum and the Barrier Restore Serum sporadically.
*If you’re struggling with dermatitis, acne, dehydration or impaired barrier function, this interview with Kristina Holey and Marie Veronique is a must. In it they break down the pitfalls of over-exfoliation, how to come back from it and the rise of dermatitis.
Written & Photographed by Amy Chang