Re-Start Anti-Aging Serum (Discontinued)
1 fl. oz. for $42
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:04.17.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is one of the better serums in the Ole Henriksen line, though it still contains some questionable ingredients, chief among them DMAE, also known as dimethyl MEA. This ingredient is chemically similar to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and claims for it run the gamut for anyone concerned with aging skin. It appears that this substance has some amount of immediate benefit when applied to skin, but shortly after application it actually causes problems. There is no convincing research that DMAE is a must-have anti-aging ingredient for skin, and in all likelihood your skin is better off without it. Despite the lack of evidence supporting any claim that DMAE has any effect on skin, there are hundreds of Web sites claiming that it does. It is possible that DMAE can help protect the cell membrane, and keeping cells intact can have benefit, but so far that appears to be only conjecture, not fact (Sources: Aesthetic-Plastic Surgery, November-December 2007, pages 711–718; Mechanisms of Aging and Development, February 1988, pages 129–138; Neuropharmacology, June 1989, pages, 557–561; and European Neurology, 1991, pages 423–425). If you opt to ignore the controversy over DMAE, this serum is best for normal to dry skin not prone to blemishes. It contains some impressive antioxidants along with skin-identical ingredients.


Firming serum promotes visibly younger skin with DMAE. Skin's renewing power is brought to a new level of perfection with this potent serum bringing the best of cosmetic science and nature together.


Water, Coconut Oil, Glycerin, PEG-6 Stearate, PEG-32 Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Apricot Kernel Oil, Black Currant Seed Oil, Phospholipids, Panthenol, Dimethyl Mea, Thioctic Acid, Lauroyl Lysine, Lecithin, Saccharide Isomerate, Dimethicone, Tapioca Starch, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Gardenia Tahitensis Flower, Sodium PCA, Linalool, Betaine, Glycine, Citronellol, Sorbitol, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Tocopherol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Beta-Carotene

Brand Overview

Ole Henriksen At-A-Glance

Strengths: The Protect the Truth SPF 50+ Sunscreen is good.

Weaknesses: Expensive; not all-natural as claimed; jar packaging for antioxidant-rich products is pervasive; terribly irritating toners; several average serums and moisturizers, including eye creams; lip balm that contains irritating ingredients.

"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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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