Review: Red Pearl Barley Brightening Treatment Oil

I have combination acne prone skin and I always struggle with hormonal break outs that leave my skin with blemishes. They take months to fade out but then new break outs and new blemishes come out and it's basically a vicious cycle. 


While I like to keep my routine fairly simple, I'm always on the look out for brightening or whitening oil and serums to help my skin regain its texture and appearance and help fade my blemishes. 


Last year, I discovered the benefits of Rosehip oil. It's a great oil to treat acne prone skin as it's full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids that help with dark spots, scars, fine lines but it's also super hydrating and nourishing if you have dry itchy skin.


My skin healed but sometimes some break outs look a bit worse so I was super excited to find that one of my Taiwanese brands, 23.5n have launched a new product.


The Red Pearl Barley Brightening Treatment Oil complete the Brightening series with a more nourishing role. 





the red pearl barley brightening serie

In the 23.5n Red Pearl Barley series, you can find the ultra feather mask, the gel mask, the toner, the serum and lotion. All of these products are available in our online shop. Click here.


Each product has a unique botanic formula infused with Red Pearl Barley known to even out skin tone, refining skin texture and boosting skin elasticity, perfect for those looking to brighten and nourish.


I really like the Red Pearl Barley Brightening series for leaving my skin smooth and tight although I haven't come across a real brightening effect. My favorite product was the gel mask. I am not into gel like texture products as I feel that it always leaves a tacky feeling on my skin but I was really impressed by all the gel masks. Read about them here.




the brightening treatment oil


I was so happy when I received the Treatment Oil to try out. I love the philosophy behind the brand "to believe the simpler, the better". The ingredients are sourced from local farms and no artificial dyes or fragrance are used.


The oil comes in a clear bottle with a dropper and there is a drawing of the Red Barley at the front. That's how you recognize each series from the brand. (There are 4. Find out here). Also known as coix seed or hato mugi, pearl barley is a very popular ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medecine where it is considered to be a cooling food that will help soothe any inflammation and redness like acne or eczema. More and more skincare brands have started to use it as their star ingredient. 


The brightening treatment oil is a bi phase oil combining 3 natural oils with 3 essence extract. I love that you can really distinguish both texture. On the top, a mixture of Jojoba oil, walnut oil and sweet almond oil. At the bottom, the power of 3 Red extracts: Red Pearl Barley, Red Pomegranate and Red quinoa. 


The oil is odorless and feels very light on the skin but yet very nourishing. You have to shake the bottle well to mix both texture and apply on the skin. It sinks onto skin almost instantly and although I use it at night before my moisturizer it's not heavy at all and could be applied before primer or make up in the morning.






skin benefits

Not only a brightening oil is great for anyone looking to help their skin cell turnover and fade blemishes, it's also a great boost of radiance for dull, tired and stressed skin.


The combination of the 3 natural oils with the 3 essence extract work well together to repair and strengthen skin barrier. Walnut and almond oils have many benefits for the skin that can prevent acne break outs and helps with skin irritation. Overtime our skin barrier becomes more fragile and sensitive due to seasonal change, hormonal levels, lifestyle, nutrition, aging and sun damage. Gentle exfoliation helps the skin regenerate and get rid of dead skin cells. 


"Don't use oil because you have oily skin" is a complete myth. Facial oils have the ability to repair damaged skin and revitalize dull skin. The sebaceous glands in oily skin over produce sebum and mixed with dead skin cells result in pimples and break outs. Using oil tricks your skin into thinking there is enough oil to protect skin barrier and in result can help balance oil production. 


I have noticed great change in my skin since using this oil at nighttime. My acne scarring have faded and my skin does look much more radiant and brighter. 




a look into the ingredients

I have checked the ingredients using the EWG website and I'm pleased that the top ingredients have been rated low hazard, which means that they have less potential to cause skin irritations. Benzyl alcohol is also present which may cause concern, however it's present at the bottom of the ingredient list so only a tiny amount was used and it shouldn't irritate. 

Caprylic/ capric triglyceride
LOW An oily liquid derived from coconut oil. Works as an emollient.
Isononyl isononaoate LOW 

Occurs naturally in cocoa oil and lavender oil.

Has emollient skin softening agent property.

Aqua LOW

Water is mainly used as solvent to help ingredients dissolve and

also act as emulsion to help

bind water components and oil.

Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil LOW

An emollient and occlusive, Jojoba oil has great anti acne

(helps regulate sebum production) and anti aging benefits,

it’s rich in antioxidants to help skin regeneration.

Carbomer LOW Used as a thickening agent.
Sodium hyaluronate LOW

Derived from Hyaluronic acid with the same properties

but more easily absorbed (smaller molecules)

Great humectant

with great abilities to hold onto moisture.

Coix lacryma-jobi ma-yuen seed extract LOW Red Pearl Barley extract.
Juglans regia seed oil LOW Walnut oil is high in omega fatty acids, helps in skin cells turnover
Prunus amygdalus dulcis oil

Sweet almond oil is a great source of Vitamin E helping to

strengthen skin barrier and

helps with skin irritation.

Pentylene glycol

Acts as humectant for its ability to help skin attract and

retain moisture.

LOW An emollient but also a great humectant.
Dioscorea opposita (wild yam) root extract
LOW Has anti aging properties helping skin regain bouncier texture.
Punica granatum fruit extract

Pomegranate extract is high in antioxidants and

Vitamin C helping skin fight against

free radicals, sun damage and skin aging.

Chenopodium formosanum grain extract

Red Quinoa seed extrac helps treat acne and

regulates sebum production as well as firming and toning skin.


Also called Vitamin E, a fat soluble compound

with antioxidants properties.

Benzyl alcohol


Restriction use

Can cause allergies

The EU only allow this ingredient at a very low concentration <1%

as a preservative.

LOW with restriction use
Used as preservative.