This overpriced, three-step peel system is claimed to use “nature’s most powerful extracts” to renew skin. Step 1 is Almond Polish, which is nothing more than a scrub that contains natural ingredients that are more abrasive than skin should have to tolerate. It also contains an unidentified essential oil blend, which is against FDA regulations that state that all ingredients must be listed on a product’s label (except for synthetic fragrance). After the scrub you’re supposed to use the Lemon Strip to peel the skin. This contains the AHAs glycolic and lactic acid in amounts great enough to exfoliate skin; alas, if only the pH were within range for that to occur.
After this step, you’re supposed to use the Chamomile Comfort, a clay-based mask that also contains moisturizing ingredients, so your skin is bound to be confused. This ends up being a misguided way to exfoliate skin, and more trouble than it’s worth. Why not use a single, well-formulated AHA or BHA product?
Oh, we forgot to mention the jar packaging, which won’t keep the myriad plant extracts it contains stable.
This three step treatment is designed to enhance and renew the skin with nature’s most powerful extracts. Almond Polish emulates the benefits of a microdermabrasion with oat kernel flour, bamboo stem powder, honey, orange peel and almond to refine skin to smooth perfection. Lemon Strip emulates the benefits of an acid peel with lactic and glycolic acid, orange and lemon extracts and aspartic acid to reveal a refreshed and refined complexion. Chamomile Comfort soothes the skin after the more active treatment steps with bisabolol, borage seed and evening primrose oils. Applied once a week, the kit provides approximately eight to 10 treatments.
Almond Polish: Purified Water, Honey, Calcium Carbonate (Coral Calcium), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Flour, Titanium Dioxide, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Powder, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit (Loofah), Glycerin, Chenopodium Quinoa Extract, Citrus Arantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel, Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) Methylisothiazolinone, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Essential Oil Blend
Lemon Strip: Water, Algae Extract, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Methionine, Hydroxyproline, Aspartic Acid, Arginine Aspartate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vaccinium Myrtillus Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer Sacharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
Chamomile Comfort: Water, Kaolin, Glycerin, Prunus Amigdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Ceteareth-20, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Titanium Dioxide, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Algae Extract, Azulene, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
"Facialist to the stars," L.A.'s "number one face man," and "one of Hollywood's hottest facialists" are but a few of the accolades Denmark-born Ole Henriksen has garnered since he first made a name for himself in Los Angeles back in 1974. Henriksen's skin-care philosophy was, and still is, a mix of holistic teachings, common sense, and, as seen in countless other cosmetic lines (though Henriksen was somewhat of a trailblazer when he started), an affinity for Mother Nature and all she has to offer the skin.
We agree with Henriksen's philosophy that feeling good from the inside can manifest itself on the outside, and we applaud the fact that he admonishes his clients for being too hard on themselves when it comes to their complexions. That bromide loses some of its believability, however, when you realize that Henriksen's products are all about fixing the outside of you, especially the parts with wrinkles, puffy eyes, skin discolorations, and on and on.
For example, all the self-confidence in the world won't change the need for sunscreen or change your genetic propensity for certain skin conditions. Clearly, Henriksen believes that, too, because his skin-care products are meant to help his devotees put their best faces forward. He maintains that his products are different because they are "pure," "natural," and "high performance" products—now really, how often have we heard that? Way too many times, and as is often the case, the products aren't pure or all natural in the least. It turns out that Henriksen's products aren't anywhere close to being all natural. Every product is rife with plenty of unnatural ingredients, most of which are used industry-wide. (That doesn't make them bad, but marketing hype and distortion should not be the basis for making decisions about what skin-care products you use.) In essence, the only unique aspect of this line is Henriksen's ability to charm his clients into thinking that his products are in some way unique and worth the money, when they absolutely are not. A quick review of the ingredient label reveals far more problems than is acceptable for anyone's skin.
Stepping away from the marketing aspect, this product line has way too many missteps to make it interesting or beneficial. While it does contain helpful plant extracts and oils, it is certainly not the only line that includes those ingredients. Sadly, the potency, and yes, even the purity, of many of the good plant extracts are compromised due to his tendency to use jar packaging rather than more stable, airtight options (all plant extracts deteriorate when exposed to air or light). And the amount of irritating plant extracts makes some of his products just hurtful for skin.
Perhaps the saddest part is that a so-called skin-care expert can't even get sun protection right. You place all that trust in someone's expertise and they don't even have the basics down! Henriksen's Herbal Day Creme SPF 15 lacks titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl, or Tinosorb. All the ballyhooed "calming extracts" and "pure botanicals" in the world cannot stave off one wrinkle if your sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection. A few of the sunscreens that do provide adequate UVA protection contain skin cell–damaging lavender oil. Sigh. It's not fun when you consistently run into examples in line after line that prove that natural ingredients are not inherently better for skin! Given how many consumers want to use such products, we'd love to offer them some slam-dunk options.
This aesthetician-created line has a few reasonably decent options to consider, but overall the line is not on par with many others. The overwhelming emphasis on "natural skincare" (which, we repeat, this line definitely is not) might sound like it will be good for you, but that is not what you will find here. A company's apparent blindness to the published evidence that many of the natural extracts as well as many of the synthetic ingredients they include are potent skin irritants means you don't want to shop this line through rose-colored glasses.
For more information about Ole Henriksen, call (800) 327-0331 or visit www.olehenriksen.com.