I Hung Out With Ole Henriksen and All I Got Was Brighter Skin and a New-Found Positive Attitude
I’d like to propose an experiment. First, find a beauty editor (IRL, via Twitter, Instagram, whatever). Then ask them who the happiest and most positive person they’ve ever met is. I’m willing to bet that they’ll answer, without any hesitation: Ole Henriksen. The 67-year-old brand founder, former celeb skin guru, gymnast and motivational speaker’s top skin tip is to smile in the mirror as you apply your skincare products. (Yes, really.) Coming in at a close second is meditation, which, by the way, Henriksen says is the reason he never gets angry. (I know, I know. Never? Don’t worry, I asked for clarification. He really means never.)
So when I got the opportunity to go to New York to spend a couple of days with Ole Henriksen for the launch of his new C-Rush Brightening Gel Crème, I knew I had to go. Not only are his products a regular part of my skincare routine (the Hygge Hydraclay Detox Mask is amazing for cleaning out pores, and there’s nothing like the Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser for controlling shine) but more importantly, after a long and seemingly never-ending Canadian winter, I was in some serious need of positive vibes.
The night before the C-Rush launch event, I headed to the Armani Restaurant on Fifth Avenue for a pasta dinner with Henriksen, who’s a regular. (So regular, in fact, that the waiter was surprised to see him back so soon—he’d had dinner there the night before.) Henriksen doesn’t eat meat or refined sugar, doesn’t drink alcohol, and asks for a side of sauteed spinach with his spaghetti. He considers ordering a freshly squeezed juice with his meal, but opts out because the fruit to vegetable ratio is off (fair enough—don’t they say you should eat your fruits and drink your veggies, anyway?).
Henriksen, who rose to fame after moving to Los Angeles from Denmark in 1975 to open a spa and skincare clinic, very quickly attracted A-list celeb clientele, including Michael Jackson, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Ellen DeGeneres, Katy Perry, and David Bowie, to name a few. Over dinner, he tells me that Bowie was his favourite-ever client (“One of the kindest people I’ve ever met”), and that he once talked Naomi Campbell out of getting a nose job (!!!). “I’ve known her since she was barely 18. Christy Turlington brought her in to see me,” he explains. “She was extraordinarily elegant and sophisticated. Naomi never, ever looked anything but pulled together. And she was so sweet and kind to everyone in the reception area. Very chit-chatty and fun.” Henriksen tells me that Naomi always studied herself closely in the mirror of his treatment room, and after returning to L.A after shooting the video shoot for Michael Jackson’s “In The Closet,” she considered getting her nose done. “She was fascinated by some of the transformations in his appearance and brought up that maybe she’d have her nose done,” says Henriksen. “Because she felt that maybe she would be more attractive. I, of course, said, ‘Naomi, you’re one of the most famous models in the world. You need to view your face in its completeness and recognize the strength of it.’” After decades of working with celebs, Henriksen became used to his clients coming in for a skin treatment post-cosmetic surgery and isn’t against it, but suggests getting “intimately acquainted with your face” before committing to surgery. As for other celeb anecdotes, Henriksen swore me to secrecy, so let’s move on to vitamin C, shall we?
“Vitamin C is the most researched antioxidant in the world,” says Henriksen. “It’s an amazing detoxifier and healer. When I set out to develop this formulation, I knew I wanted a light, translucent gel that was almost like a sorbet. Something you wanted to dive your face into, that would wrap itself around your skin.” (Poetic, non?)
Ole Henriksen’s C-Rush Brightening Gel Crème features three sources of stable vitamin C, which absorb into both the epidermis and dermis layer, strengthening the capillary walls and rebuilding collagen, as well as orange, rosehip seed extract, lemon extract and goji berries. “Used topically, vitamin C is proven to become a barrier that neutralizes free radicals. Combined with a healthy diet and sun protection, you can sort of do it all, including even out skin tone.” He should know—Ole Henriksen was one of the first skincare brands to pioneer vitamin C as an ingredient.
C-Rush is part of Henriksen’s Truth line, which revolves around the Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster, the hero product and consistently one of Sephora’s top 5 best-selling serums. “I read reviews like they’re the bible,” says Henriksen. “I want to hear. I want to learn.”
Inspired by Henriksen’s attitude, I decide to read some reviews of his new C-Rush Brightening Gel Crème, which has only been out for a couple of weeks. I find nothing but testimonies like this: “Okay this WORKS. I have super dry skin and this has such a lightweight feel but REALLY moisturizes your skin! It is perfect for the daytime and under makeup because your skin really drinks it up. You NEED this. I know Ole Henriksen is pricey but this stuff is GOLD.”
You can’t argue with the power of positive