Beauty Q&A: Interview with skincare guru Ole Henriksen

When Ole Henriksen talks about rosehip seed oil, his (very well-hydrated) face lights up and his eyes sparkle. And for good reason. The celebrated Danish, LA-based skincare cosmetician’s unique approach to aesthetics and wellness, which includes personally formulating his products with the world’s best botanicals, has brought him continued global success with everyone from the most discerning A-list celebrities to top beauty editors, who are all loyal visitors to Ole’s Hollywood spa. So just what makes his brand so unique?

Ole’s (that’s ooh-le, not oh-le)’s charismatic exuberance greatly defies his 63 years. After discovering his love of nature’s skin-healing properties in Indonesia and receiving formal education and training in London, he established himself in LA by opening his own skincare clinic. That was in 1975. Today, it’s as popular as ever with clients including everyone from Madonna and Katy Perry to Mark Wahlberg and Shakira.

 Anabel Maldonado Ole Henriksen

Ole and his team were kind enough to invite me to their offices at London’s stunning LVMH HQ where we talked skincare. Throughout the visit, it was more than evident that Ole is someone who really really cares about the state of your skin, well-being and helping each person achieve their true beauty potential. Here’s what Ole had to say about sensitivity and the perfect regime for a busy lifestyle…

What do you recommend for people with sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin – a concern that many people have – is signified by being very refined-looking, with slightly more visible capillaries. The key with it is to do things from a point of view of “less is more” and do things consistently.

The perfect cleanser for sensitive skin is my Pure Truth Melting Cleanser (coming soon). What makes the cleanser so extraordinary is that it’s based on pure rosehip seed oil, virgin cherry oil, linseed, olive oil, loaded with vitamin A and C. So with these essential fatty acids, what you get is a cleanser that will go from a gel into an oil, then into a milk. You warm it up in between your palms, work it on the face into upward circular motions, and it will dissolve dirt, grime, and makeup, including waterproof mascara, and it does it without in any way tampering with the lipid mantle – because with dry skin you want to maintain that suppleness, softness and it calms the skin as you cleanse. Then, you can take a gentle complexion sponge and wipe off the residue because often what causes the sensitivity too is the lack of proper fat retention – that is the oil and sebaceous glands don’t produce enough of those fats that seal in hydration and that causes sensitivity and to some degree, dryness.

Then when you are done with that, for daytime I recommend the Truth Serum Collagen Booster and what’s great about is that it is loaded with 5 different kinds of vitamin C that work in synergy to brighten, tighten, calm and soothe the skin. I suspend it into sodium hyaluronate which is very soothing, but also very hydrating –  and vitamin C is very reparative when it’s infused in a formula in a pure, staple form. So you do a thin layer of that – apply across your face and bring it all the way up to eyes, and let it soak in. This is one ofthe number one-selling anti-aging products globally for four years in a row. Then what I would do for day on top, is the Sheer Transformation Cream (coming soon) – and what makes it so unique is, there is no fragrance, that could be part of a person’s concern with sensitivity even though that seldom is the case, but I made it fragrance-free on purpose, but I made it light textured, oil-free, it has sandalwood, chamomile for calming and soothing – and a pea extract to brighten the skin tone – which is just an added benefit. It also contains natural acids for cell renewing – but in a very gentle manner. So this product is the perfect moisturiser, it goes on top of the serum, and that way the active ingredients can play in synergy. Just give the truth serum a minute to absorb first.


Then for night, you want to apply the Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil (coming soon). What makes it so extraordinary is that it’s pure rosehip seed oil. This is actually extracted from the rosehip in the mountains of Chile. So when the actual rose loses its leaves, then the bulb beneath is ripe and in in there is the rosehip seed oil – full of pure vitamin C, vitamin A, full of omegas 3, 6, and 9 fats. So in it, you have the pillars of anti-aging: the C to tighten to brighten, to strengthen the collagen, the omegas to calm, soothe and optimize elasticity. Rosehip seed oil is used on burn victims, scar tissue, as well as in hospitals in South America. I cut my forehead open to the dermis layer several years ago – a big flap of skin was hanging – the doctor wanted to do sutures. I convinced him to just disinfect it and a week later I began just using this. At the time I was 60, I am 63 years old now. A 100% natural – and a very expressive face, no fillers. It healed –  and the doctor was blown away.


Then as a final step, the Ultimate Lift Eye Gel (coming soon), just to take care of the eye region because it’s loaded with pure cucumber extract, calendula, hyaluronic acid and micro-algae – which is very calming and soothing. An eye product which will actually de-puff, firm, lift and tighten as well as hydrate – great for a sensitive eye region.

So this little collection is perfect – you have your cleanser, serum and moisturiser. All this will hydrate adequately and I guarantee you that you will see the calming, soothing, and repair.

Do people who experience breakouts need to worry about applying oil-based products?
No, oil does not break skin out. The lipid mantle of the skin helps the proper oxygenation of the skin, and helps prevent breakouts. My expertise was really in cystic acne and eruption problems, I had cystic acne myself – so the oil you should embrace. Warmed up between your palms and massaged on at night – awesome.

In today’s very busy lifestyle can you recommend a skincare routine that is simple yet effective – the bare minimum?
For the very busy woman, I would say that it’s best to use cleansing cloths. I decided to up the ante of regular cleansing cloths and brought out the Nurture Me Cleansing Cloths. What you have is a cloth of great quality – it’s soft, supple, it’s thick, it’s big. And based on this beautiful structure, it allows me to infuse it with a lot of extracts. You have the beautiful fresh aroma, and it’s loaded with nourishing seed oils, pineapple and papaya extract as well as essential fatty acids. So you can thoroughly cleanse, 1-2-3, dirt, grime, make-up, then you can take the clean side, and massage onto the face as now you’re clean and can give back, loading in all these extracts. (Editor’s note: these feel and smell amazing!)


And then, to make it fast and simple, you apply your moisturiser in the morning and then I prefer the Truth Reveal Super Crème because it does everything you need, and then at night, you go the route of the oil in one step, just apply it on its own. It’s got all the pillars of anti-aging.


Is there anything else we can do at home to ensure our skin looks its best?
You also want to do a personal treatment for yourself once a week. Even if you are super busy as you described, so far in the routine you’ve only used a cloth and applied moisturiser, that you do in just a few minutes, but the Lemon Strip Flash Peel allows you to give yourself a professional Grade-A level peel as we do in the clinic, for the Charlize Therons of the world, and for the Shakiras of the world, for the Mark Wahlbergs of the world [Ole’s clients].  All you do is stick your little brush – there are 15-16 applications, and you stroke it across your entire face and right up to under the eyes – to reduce the look of fatigue and to tighten – then you feel it go to work, 20% alpha hydroxy acids, you have your tartaric and lactic acids, it tingles, it removes the dead skin cells, it reduces your pores, it reduces lines and wrinkles, it evens out your skin tone. People with sensitive skin can use it too because the beauty of it is that it has all the algae, smells very sour, on purpose, because of the fermentation of the acids.

So it’s like kombucha for your face?
Exactly – you said it! And the peel will never irritate or burn your skin, but it will create all these amazing improvements and as I said, you rinse it off, and you do your night routine, and that combo – you’re doing a lot of anti-agingcare. Peeling is my area of expertise and what put me on the map as a ‘peeling guru’, so you’ll find in all my products there are a lot of exfoliants to varying degrees.

So that’s for the woman that wants to make it quick, fast and effectual. But still, enjoy it. You can still take in the beautiful aromas, the lovely textures, so I think you always have to stop in your crazy busy schedule, take a deep breath and enjoy the process!

Needless to say, I left the interview ever-determined to prioritise – and take pleasure in – my skincare regime. I also read about rosehips a great deal. Next Friday, we’ll talk to Ole about the importance of your diet for good skin, dryness, and very simple tips you can do home that he swears by. Stay tuned…

 (Photo of Charlize Theron courtesy of:

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