Beauty Q&A: Ole Henriksen on nourishing dry skin

We met with LA-based skincare guru Ole Henriksen to talk about avoiding winter dryness, what you should eat to moisturise from the inside out, and were let in on an insider skincare trick that requires ice cubes only. 

Last week we talked about the ideal regime for sensitive skin , peels, and the bare minimum really busy gals need to do to have perfect skin, but this week we got to talking about an affliction that spares no one – dryness. Ole also shared his more holistic approach to healthy, sexy skin – which are really life principles we can often overlook. Ole also walked me through how to do an easy at-home facial compress for an instant glow.

Ole, what causes the skin to dry – and what products do you recommend?
Good question as we’re stepping into the the winter season. Dry indoor heating causes the skin to dry superficially, but also being out in the cold if you’re not properly protected. Also as there are different skin types, you may be more inherent to having dry skin, where your oil and sebaceous glands are not producing enough fat to trap the water phase in your skin. Firstly, drinking a ton of water cleanses the body and supplies some plumpness from the inside out. And then you also want to use a moisturizer that will cushion, calm and comfort, and trap hydration in the skin. So for that person, I would do the Truth Serum in the morning followed by the Truth Revealed Super Crème SPF 15. So this cream has omega essential fatty acids, soya, grape seed, sunflower seed, olive, carrot seen, linseed, and they optimise oxygenation in the skin while also sealing in the water phase. Your brain is made of fat, the cell walls are all fat, fat matters across the body. With this cream, you also have an SPF15, algae, natural alpha hydroxy acids, and a gorgeous aroma. So you apply this, and what you arrive at, is this soft supple mantle [skin’s protective layer]. With that supple finish, your skin is not going to dry out. Eat your healthy fatty foods, drink lots of water and you are set to go for the colder weather. Also as a part of that process, enjoy treating your skin, take your time massaging in the product.

jessica alba skincare

Flawless: Ole Henriksen client Jessica Alba

Can you tell us if diet is really that important for the skin?
As far as nutrition, one thing we have to be careful of is a high intake of sugar of any kind, whether it is fructose or refined sugar. A little bit is not going to kill us, but a lot of will make the oil and sebaceous glands overactive and cause conditions like rosacea, rashes and sensitivity.  And then of course, you know of course eating healthy fats – whether it’s from seeds or nuts, or in the liquid form – the way you can cook with olive oil, or use it as dressing is very important. A balanced diet altogether – clean, wholesome foods.

What I find interesting is that the Ole Henriksen products are actually loaded with things that you would and should eat. Is that just continuing a process?
You are, because I mean, I operate in tune with mother nature. I use a lot natural extracts – and the scientific aspect it’s that you treat the extracts – like algae for example – better delivery but the tweaking is just done in the lab. For instance I use a lot of oat extract in my formulation. People say “really, oat?”  Well yeah, aside from being very calming and soothing, when tweaked, oat has a lot of firming and lifting properties.

healthy fats

It’s all about fats – which will give you clearer, softer skin.

What are your best kept skincare tips & tricks?
I think of course what is very very important as far as tips for when a woman wants to look and feel her best, is that she should adopt an exercise routine that she follows, that she loves, that speaks to her, that speeds up her circulation, thatworks on her circulation, that works on her posture, that makes her feel sexy and beautiful. It may be taking Zumba classes, it may be going to ballroom dancing classes, doing yoga, pilates, or it may be playing tennis.

Also – making sure that you incorporate fun and humour into your daily life, whether it is going to a fun play, watching a good movie, playing with kids, being wild and crazy and keeping the child alive in you because a happy face, is, and will always be, a beautiful face.

Audrey Hepburn Funny Face

Audrey Hepburn keeping the child alive in Funny Face, 1957

For tricks, I love grated cucumbers wrapped in gauze put on the eyes because when you put on your facial mask, let’s say my Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask, it’s nice then to treat the eyes with the grated cucumber – not slices. When you grate them you activate all the enzymes. You can’t put cucumber slices on the eyes, it won’t do anything because they’re not in contact with the skin – but grated and wrapped in gauze, it’s wonderful and not messy.

Ole Henriksen mask

If you’re feeling really ‘out of it’, take a tray of ice cubes, and dump it in water in the sink. Splash your face a few times, and you’re ready to take on the world. It creates a beautiful glow. It’s a trick I like to use for myself as well. Then I apply my products afterward.

Another variation – the idea of facial compresses – is to fill your sink one third with warm water, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, mixed in, drench your face cloth, hold it in place for 30 seconds, repeat 5 times back to back – that, the aroma, the relaxation, the soothing benefits of the lavender, and know you’ve ramped up circulation, you’ve done something comforting when you’ve leaned over the sink, and just take a deep breath, and then, apply your product.

lavender

We love Ole’s tip for a spa-like experience at home.

Those are just some of many, but it really is just about being out there, enjoying and embracing life, smiling and laughing a lot and doing your great skin care.

I’ve taken Ole’s well-rounded skin advice as a green light to spend more time having fun and not holding back with the cashews. I’ve also tried the Blue / Black Berry Enzyme Mask and love the feeling and the results. Next Friday, we’ll talk to Ole about effective anti-aging, dark circles and a very tricky area for yours truly – the undereyes. Stay tuned…

(Fats compilation image: heartmdinstitute.com)

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