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I’m not well-disposed to what are often called skincare “systems.” I fear that “kits” (the other label that crops up) is a euphemism for “buy three products even though you really only want one.” The counter argument, of course, is that they have been designed to work synergistically for optimal results. Maybe. But when I took home the Olivia Mae Beauty Anti-Aging Kit ($164.95 and which I received as a free sample) with a cleanser, moisturizer and serum, I immediately broke out the cleanser.
Olivia Mae Cleanse is also sold separately for $39.95 (3.3 fl oz) and, I have to admit, I was drawn to its simple formula. But the more I looked at this rosy pink and gently foaming cleanser, the more I had a strong sense of déjà vu. Olivia Mae Cleanse looks a lot like Veris Rosehip Cleanser, which in turn is identical to CSI Rose Hips Facial Cleanser. A product twin! Or triplet.
Now, the thing is, Olivia Mae is more than twice the price of CSI. So the question is whether the small differences its formulation can justify this. Olivia Mae lists sodium olivate and Veris and CSI have olive oil castile. They are essentially the same thing – saponified olive oil that provides the foaming, soapy action.
You will find one ingredient in Olivia Mae that is not in the other two, lactic acid. This is a useful ingredient in that it makes this cleanser into a gentle exfoliator. The kumquat has been switched out for loquat, which is not botanically related. Or it may simply be that Olivia Mae has kumquat too, but listed the botanical name for loquat… we may never know.
Of course, by this stage, I was eager to discover if the rest of Olivia Mae’s Anti-aging Kit had a product twin. Snap! The All-In-One Moisturizer ($64.95 for 1oz) has an identical twin with exact same ingredients called Macroderm (“created,” or so it says, by Dermagevity). And then if I didn’t find another one, Voila Cosmeceuticals Anti-Aging Face Cream for $59. Should you be tempted by this at all, I would go for the Macroderm at a bargain $29.99 for 8oz.
The best, of course, is yet to come: Olivia Mae’s Age Defy serum. Now, you could fork out a $109.95 for 0.5oz. Or, you could scoot over to Vitacost where you can get the identical CSI version for $21.82 for 1oz.
Identifying product twins is a bit of hobby of mine, for more click here.
Ingredients in Olivia Mae cleanser: Purified water, sodium olivate, glycerin, lactic acid, rose hip seed oil, eriobotrya japonica, chondus crispus (seaweed) extract
Ingredients in Veris and CSS: Purified water, olive oil castile, vegetable glycerin, rose hip seed oil, oil of kumquat and seaweed extracts.
Ingredients in moisturizer: Purified water, emulsifying wax, DMAE, alpha lipoic acid, cu complex, coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, vitamin E, retinol, grape seed oil, orange flower, neroli, chamomile, sage, bergamot tea, avocado oil, soy bean oil, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, silicones, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin
Ingredients in serum: Chondus crispus seaweed extract, purified water, hyaluronic acid, acetyl hexapeptide-8, pentapeptide-18, dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate. acetyl glutamyl heptapeptide-1, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, acai,phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin