Review: Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief (GBR) + Does Tamanu Oil Work?

Where to purchase: Available on Stylevana HERE and Soko Glam HERE

Price: ~£37

Volume: 30ml

Made in: South Korea

What is it?: A Creamy, Emollient Serum (I’d say it’s a Moisturiser but that’s because I have Oily-Combo Skin), that works to even out the skin’s complexion and support the Skin’s barrier.

What does it do?: Using Niacinamide, Tamanu Oil + Lactic Acid – this product works to even out the skin’s tone and help reinforce the skin and make it look healthy. This is a creamy serum that aims to fight irritation, condition the skin, lift discolouration + help with breakouts as well as a damaged-skin barrier (but I wouldn’t recommend if you have sensitised (not sensitive) skin to try this out, because it may sting)

Supposedly Good for: All Skin Types

What I think: I definitely think this is more suited to Dry Skins > Oily Skins, especially in hot and humid weather. I also think that this would not suit sensitised skins, but would suit sensitive skins just fine. I have Oily-Combo Skin, so I am able to use this in the PM as a Moisturiser.


Vegan?: Yes

Cruelty Free?: Yes

Packaging: (Recycled) Plastic bottle with a Pump mechanism. I’m surprised because I thought this bottle was glass at first.

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Directions: Apply 1-2 Pumps or an extra if you have dry skin. Then apply a Moisturiser and SPF in the morning. A good tip from the Krave website: If you’re sensitive, don’t rub this into the skin, apply using a q-tip onto the skin to avoid friction.

How I use it: I apply this as a Moisturiser (Oily-Combo Skin) in the PM during cooler evenings. I personally find this far too emollient to use in the AM.

Key Ingredients: 2% Niacinamide (Brightening + Anti-Acne + Skin-barrier reinforcing), 10% Tamanu Oil (Antioxidant, Emollient, Antimicrobial/Antibacterial), Safflower Seed Oil (Antioxidant + Emollient), Oat Kernel Flour (Soothing + Antioxidant), Avena Sativa Kernel Flour Goodie (Soothing, Antioxidant, Emollient, Absorbent/Mattifier). Lactic Acid (Exfoliant) – a Mild AHA that’s good for dry skins.

Skin-barrier reinforcing + Hydrating / Moisturising Ingredients: Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalane, Ceramide NP, Urea + Serine, Glycine (Moisturising Amino Acids).

Overall: This is a very emollient product (Fatty) as this includes quite a few oils – of course the Tamanu Oil is the star of the show but this also included Oleic Acid, Triglycerides, Soybean Sterols, Olive Oil, and Rosehip Oil.


What is Tamanu Oil + What Does it do?: This is an oil used by Polynesians to help skin rashes, dry lips, burns and wounds. The Tamanu Oil gives this serum the green-yellowish look it has. It is a plant oil and contains a lot of moisturising fatty acids (that aren’t acne-encouraging but actually skin-barrier reinforcing): 30-55% Oleic Acid, 15-45% Linoleic Acid, 5-20% Palmitic acid and 5-25% Stearic Acid.

What sets Tamanu Oil apart is that it contains a specific fatty acid ”Calophyllic Acid” that specifically helps the skin repair.

Applying over 6-9 weeks daily, Tamanu Oil was found to noticeably improve the look of fresh and old (as old as 1 year old scars) Study HERE. Additionally, the high Vitamin E level in Tamanu Oil means that it has quite high antioxidant capabilities + can help boost the effectiveness of SPF (Study HERE).

What I find most intriguing is Tamanu Oil’s capabilities at helping scars. It definitely is a productive oil BUT it does have a very strong (and for me, off-putting) smell that needs one to enjoy or not mind in order to consistently use for 6-9 weeks daily.

Full Ingredients: Water, Propanediol, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil 10.0%, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide 2.0%, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Polysorbate 60, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Glyceryl Oleate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sorbitan Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Serine, Acetyl Glutamine, Glycine, Ceramide NP, Oleic Acid, Sodium PCA, Glycosyl Trehalose, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Saccharide Isomerate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Coco-Caprylate/​Caprate, Lactic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Urea, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/​Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Magnesium Chloride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Glyceryl Caprylate, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Does this sting when the skin is irritated?: Yes. I think it’s due to the Niacinamide/Hyaluronic Acid/ Lactic acid, but it definitely makes this sting when my skin is sensitised (i.e. if you shave or wax your face or over-use retinol – the skin can sting using products that normally don’t sting).


  • A Very Creamy and Emollient Serum! Really Reminds me of the Hemp Oil Moisturiser from the Inkey List (Review HERE). This definitely could feel oily/greasy for oily skins or those in hot and humid weather.
  • This is layerable
  • Not Sticky or Tacky
  • It’s an oily/creamy, lightweight moisturiser-like product for me. I would not need to use this underneath a moisturiser as I find this is emollient and moisturising enough to retain moisture in the skin.
  • I would recommend this to Dry skins and even as a makeup primer for Dry Skins. But I wouldn’t recommend it as a makeup primer for oilier skins as it may become and feel too greasy.
  • Definitely Moisturising!
  • The finish is dewy (due to the inclusion of oils)

It has that ”softened butter” feel to it. Not thick or heavy and the skin can breathe. It just depends if you like that emollient feeling (almost like an oil).


Do you see this has a slight tint to it? It’s definitely buttery, creamy and lightweight but definitely still emollient and feels like soft butter melting on the skin.


Layerability: This layers fine as it’s creamy (no silicones).

Stings the Eyes?: No!

Summer or Winter?: Winter for Oily/Combo Skins (unless this is your PM Moisturiser in the Summer). Dry skins could use this as a PM Moisturiser and throughout the year and in the Serum stage.


Swatch Video:

Fragrance?: No added fragrance and/or essential oils BUT this STINKS of Tamanu oil – you either get used to it or like Tamanu from the get-go.

Good Under Makeup?: I would recommend this more for dry skins as a primer (No mattifying effect or oil retention for oilier skins).

How long have I been using this?: For about 3 months daily (in the PM).

The Effect?: Moisturised skin with the overall look of the skin improved and reduced redness. In terms of scar reduction, due to the addition of both Lactic Acid and Niacinamide, this product is definitely helping with fading scars – but I wouldn’t recommend just using this product to help with scars, and to make sure that both Retinol is included (if you can) and Vitamin C (not a derivative) product to help with scar brightening.

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What I like:

  • Love how many skin-beneficial ingredients are in here like a skincare cocktail (takes the thinking out for a lot of users).
  • Moisturising
  • Does help with skin pigmentation (have to be diligent and apply daily and continuously – but I wouldn’t depend on this product solely for scar pigmentation reduction)
  • I like the addition of Lactic Acid and Niacinamide + Urea + Hyaluronic Acid (Really works to build up the skin barrier + brighten the skin.
  • No added Fragrance + EO
  • Vegan + Cruelty Free
  • Recyclable Packaging
  • Not sticky or tacky
  • Layerable

What I don’t like:

  • Tamanu Oil Smell is so off-putting to me
  • Can feel slightly oily/greasy, especially in hot and humid weather
  • Stings if the skin is sensitised (not sensitive but sensitised)

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4/5 – I took a point away due to the scent and how this doesn’t entirely suit my skin type (aimed more towards dry skins in my opinion). Out of all the Krave Beauty products I’ve tried so far, this is my second favourite – my first is the Ultimate; Oat-so Simple Water Cream (Review HERE) as that suits my skin type better (and doesn’t smell).

Would I repurchase?: I really like this product in terms of the skin-beneficial aspect, how this helps improve the look of scars, heals the skin and nourishes the skin as well as brightens the skin BUT the smell is really strong and off-putting to me and it never goes away. I’m actually undecided as I really like how promising Tamanu Oil is (who doesn’t want scars to fade away?), but it’s just about being able to get over the smell and I’m struggling to determine if I can deal with that.

Dupe?: I would basically say that this is an alternative version of Stratia Skin’s Liquid Gold. Liquid Gold is a lightweight, fatty, emollient and slightly greasier than this product (My Review is HERE). And both products have very similar ingredients list i.e. Niacinamide, Urea, Rosehip oil, Squalane + Ceramides. Of course the GBR contains Tamanu Oil which is different, as well as lactic acid + Liquid Gold contains Bukchotrn Oil (gives it eh orange look) and Cholesterol. However there are pros and cons to both products: Liquid Gold gives the skin (and my pillows) a tinge of orange but GBR smells far worse.

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief (GBR) + Does Tamanu Oil Work?

  1. I decided to try GBR because my skin has been feeling very irritated and sensitive lately (because of differin gel). But every time I use GBR, my skin stings a little, my face looks more red, my skin texture is worse than before I started using it. I think my skin is sensitized. What should I do? Should I stop using GBR? How can I repair my skin barrier?


    1. Sorry to hear that, I had the same issue! I believe it’s due to the Niacinamide. Simply use products that don’t contain Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Fragrance or essential oils – such as the Svr sensifine range (please check out my reviews) and/ or the La roche Posay Dermallergo Serum (please check out my review).


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