Oak Essentials Review: A Skincare Line from Jenni Kayne

Updated April 2022 with all the new products!

Jenni Kayne has become one of my favorite fashion brands so when I saw that they were coming out with a skincare line I was definitely intrigued. I was a Jenni Kayne affiliate over the summer so I was lucky enough to receive a package of the complete Oak Essentials skincare line last July – right before the brand launched in August. I’ve been using the products for months now so I figured I’d do an Oak Essentials Review!

Oak Essentials Review: A skincare line from Jenni Kayne

Oak Essentials Review

About Oak Essentials

Oak Essentials is a clean, minimal skincare line made in California for any age and skin type. The products are cruelty-free and free of synthetic fragrances, silicones, colorants, sulfates, phthalates, parabens, PEGs, petrolatum, mineral oil, and nanoparticles. The line uses plant-based, organic ingredients whenever possible. The brand also uses minimal waste packaging with soy based inks and 100% recyclable materials. And for every unit sold, a tree is planted.

Rewards Program

I want to mention that Oak Essentials has a FREE Rewards Program! It’s easy to sign up and you can earn points for purchases and more that add up to $$ off your future purchases. It’s an easy way to save money on Oak Essentials!

P.S. You can sign up for the Jenni Kayne Rewards Program instead and order Oak Essentials through the Jenni Kayne website if you want to get points for future clothing purchases as well! That’s what I do!

The 5 Step Routine

Cleansing Balm

I’ve used a lot of cleansing balms over the years and I’m a big fan. I usually use them as part of a double cleansing routine – first I’ll massage the cleansing balm onto dry skin and then rinse off with water. Then I’ll follow up with a simple gel cleanser to make sure I get off all the dirt and reside that might be left behind. So I was expecting the Oak Essentials Cleansing Balm to work the same way. However, after rubbing the balm into my skin I found that it did not rinse off with water. The instructions do say that you should wipe off the balm with a damp, warm wash cloth – so technically I wasn’t following the instructions BUT most of the cleansing balms I’ve used give you the option to wipe off with a cloth or use water.

ANYWAY, I used the damp washcloth and it worked much better. However, I still felt like there was residue leftover. I went back to the instructions and it does mention that a layer of anti-oxidant rich moisture might remain. Note to self: read the instructions first next time.

So why is this cleansing balm different? I’m assuming because the Oak Essentials line uses minimal emulsifiers. Emulsifiers help keep unlike ingredients (like oil and water) from separating in a formula. I believe they are also what help oil based balms dissolve in water. If you look at the ingredients in the Cleansing Balm they are pretty much ALL oils.

Oak Essentials Cleansing Balm

So does it work?? Well, sort of. I usually wear ILIA’s Super Serum Skin Tint, which is basically a tinted moisturizer, so it’s very light coverage. I was able to get most of it off with the cleansing balm and I could see the makeup rub off on my towel. However, when I used a micellar cleansing water and a cotton pad over my skin I could still see makeup on the pad – meaning the cleansing balm didn’t get off everything.

Verdict: This cleansing balm is very nourishing and doesn’t strip your skin at all. However, if I’m wearing any makeup I feel a double cleanse is necessary. So I’ll be using this cleansing balm on days when I’m not wearing makeup for a gentle cleanse. Would I buy again? Probably not – I prefer cleansing balms I can rinse off with water. But I might change my mind this winter when my skin gets really dry – maybe I’ll prefer the extra layer of moisture? We’ll see!

Balancing Mist

The Balancing Mist is an antioxidant-rich mist with Aloe Leaf Juice, Rose Water, and Glycerin to lock in moisture and help with product absorption. You can use this mist throughout the day or to prep your skin after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Oak Essentials Balancing Mist Toner

Verdict: I don’t have much to say about this mist other than it’s really nice! It has a nice scent and the spray is WIDE (it will hit the top of your forehead all the way down to your neck) so it really covers the whole face. I don’t think it’s anything super unique or special but it does make my skin feel hydrated. I always use a mist during my skincare routine to prep my skin for product absorption so I will definitely keep using this. Would I buy again? I’ve changed my mind about this face mist. My initial thought was that I wouldn’t purchase again because I have other face mists I use that are cheaper. HOWEVER, I really enjoy the spray on this face mist. It covers my entire face with a nice, light mist that I really like. So I would buy this again!

Ritual Oil

This facial oil contains Jojoba Oil and Marula Oil for hydration and Blue Tansy Oil to help fight inflammation. To apply – warm 2-3 drops in your hands and press into skin morning or night. Usually, I apply oils as the last step in my skincare routine (after my moisturizer) to lock in all the hydration. So I’m not sure why this oil is applied before the moisturizer. Perhaps it’s because the moisturizer is also oil based (not water based) so it doesn’t matter if it’s applied first.

Ritual Oil Facial Serum

Verdict: Blue Tansy is really the star of this oil and actually makes the oil blue! I’ve heard good things about Blue Tansy in skincare but don’t actually have any products in my lineup with this ingredient. So for that reason I’m excited to keep using it! Would I buy again? Yes – if I’m going to spend money on skincare it’s on serums/oil because they are more concentrated and more effective. And like I said – I don’t have any skincare products with Blue Tansy so I feel like this is a unique oil.

Moisture Rich Balm

The Moisture Rich Balm contains Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil and Cocoa Seed Oil to support collagen production and fight free radicals. It also contains coconut oil to soothe skin. To apply, rub a pea size amount in your hands and press into skin. It can be used morning and night.

Moisture Rich Balm Facial Moisturizer

Verdict: This moisturizer is definitely unlike moisturizers I usually use. It truly is a balm – it’s thick, oil rich, and melts into your skin. Honestly, it seems very similar to the cleansing balm consistency wise and it’s kind of easy to get the two confused if you aren’t looking at the label. A little goes a long way with this balm since it seems very concentrated. This balm is a very hydrating moisturizer and I feel like it’s more appropriate for night time use so I use a different moisturizer during the day. Would I buy again? Yes! I can see myself using this a lot this winter when my skin gets really dry. And since a little goes a long way this balm will last a long time so you are getting your money’s worth.

Restorative Mask

This hydrating honey mask also contains Avocado Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil to protect against free radicals and promote collagen production. This mask is to be used after the cleansing balm whenever needed. To use, apply a layer to clean, damp skin and remove with warm water and a damp wash cloth after 15 minutes.

Restorative Honey Mask

Verdict: This mask has a lovely scent – like honey tea! It’s a nice consistency and feels great on my skin. It feels like a true honey mask. The only other honey mask I’ve tried has been the the FARMACY Honey Potion Mask. However, the FARMACY mask’s honey texture turns into a warming white cream when you rub it in. So in the end it didn’t really feel like a honey mask to me. The Oak Essentials Honey Mask is truly honey based (it’s the first ingredient) so I feel like this is a legitimate honey mask experience. Would I buy again? Yes! I LOVE the scent and the ingredients are simple and nourishing. I actually prefer this mask over the FARMACY one.

Shop Oak Essentials

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More Oak Essentials Skincare Products

Conditioning Lip Balm (no longer available)

The Conditioning Lip Balm is a lip balm containing Shea Butter, Safflower Seed Oil, and Argan Oil to nourish and smooth lips.

Oak Essentials Dew Body Oil and Conditioning Lip Balm Review

Verdict: I’m kind of ambivalent about this one. On the one hand it gets the job done. It’s a simple balm that can be used on lips or other parts of the body – cuticles, rough spots, even your face! I used it on my hands the other day when I was out because I had left my hand lotion at home. However, I don’t feel like it’s anything special. And at $34 it’s kind of expensive for a small lip balm. Would I buy again? Probably not. There are other lip balms I like better that are cheaper!

Dew Body Oil

The Dew Body Oil is another one of their latest launches. It contains Safflower Seed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, and Sesame Seed Oil to instantly absorb and hydrate dry skin.

Oak Essentials Dew Body Oil

Verdict: I LOVE this product. I’ve tried a lot of body oils and the problem I have with most of them is the application. They either squirt out from the pump too fast or drip all over the place. But the Dew Body Oil has a pump that pumps out the perfect amount of product without the mess. But I also love this product because it absorbs SO QUICKLY. My skin just drinks it up and doesn’t feel greasy after. I apply this body oil right after the shower to lock in moisture. It also has a light scent that’s not overwhelming (honestly, I have trouble smelling it because I don’t have a great sense of smell…lol).

Would I buy again? 100%! The only downside is it’s expensive. $78 for 3.4oz (my other body oils are half that amount for the same amount of product or more!). And if you use this oil everyday on your whole body it goes quick. So this might have to be a treat every now and then.

New Serums + Cleanser

I haven’t had a chance to try the newest additions to the line – the Daily Vitamin C Serum and the Nightly Retinol Serum. They are pricier but if you are going to spend money on skincare products it should be serums because they are more concentrated with potent ingredients and often work overnight to improve skin. I would definitely love to try these serums out in the future!

They also just released the Pure Gel Cleanser, which I’m really interested in. I think this is definitely a product you’ll need if you use their Cleansing Balm. I’d use the Pure Gel Cleanser for a double cleanse following the Cleansing Balm. I haven’t tried this product yet but it’s at the top of my list to try out!

Shop Sets

Oak Essentials also offers curated sets where you can save money!

Oak Essentials Review: Final Thoughts

I’ve loved using this skincare line in the fall and winter because it is SUPER hydrating. These products being a savior for dry skin. However, I don’t feel like I necessarily need to use these products everyday because they are very thick and luxurious. I also don’t use these products (with the exception of the face mist) during the day because they are very thick. When I use all of these products together it definitely feels like a facial I would get at a spa. If I were to purchase product again I would probably buy everything except the cleansing balm and lip balm.

Oak Essentials Packaging: A skincare line from Jenni Kayne

I also like this line because the products don’t feel like they take anything from your skin – if that makes sense. There aren’t any harsh, stripping ingredients – only nourishing oils. That being said, if you are someone who is sensitive to essential oils then this might not be the line for you.

I wanted to mention that the lids on the jars of product in the package didn’t seem to be screwed on all the way. The mask leaked in the package a little bit. Other lids were loose too but it didn’t seem like any of the other products leaked.

I hope you enjoyed this Oak Essentials Review! If you have any questions just let me know in the comments! Overall, I really enjoy using these products!

P.S. If you are interested in Jenni Kayne’s clothing line, make sure to check out my Jenni Kayne Review post!

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  1. I’ve been a medical aesthetician and in sales my entire career. Unfortunately this was the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced and the products are very poor quality for the price. Nothing close to a luxury line as they represent. Passive aggressive customer service and unwilling to be accountable or processional. Very disappointing.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! I’ve never had an issue with my products so I can’t speak about how customer service is. But that stinks that you didn’t have a good experience! Can you elaborate on what disappointed you about the products? I’m genuinely curious to hear. My experience with the products has been good and I’m still using them today. Although I do know the prices are inflated because you are paying for the “Jenni Kayne” brand.

  2. This is odd because I’ve only had great experiences the with customer service and products! Great post btw, my favorite is the face oil!!! They also have a new body line. The body balm and scrub are sooo good.