Company checkup: Ole Henriksen
When you first look at Ole Henriksen‘s skin care products, natural is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. The labelling is minimalistic and graphic, in very bright colors from the whole rainbow spectrum. The products are typically found in the more expensive department stores and in tax free shops in airports. On their website, they don’t boast about how natural their products are, there’s a lot more info about Ole Henriksen as a person and his experience with working with celebrities in Hollywood.
Nonetheless, even though they skipped the whole unbleached paper with brown and green colors and pictures of earth and flowers-look, Ole Henriksen does market themselves as a natural skin care brand. When I contacted the company with some questions, I was surprised to see that my reply actually came from Ole Henriksen himself. See what he wrote below.
THEIR OWN WORDS
What does natural skin care mean to your company?
As a natural skin care company, we look to nature to find the best and most active ingredients to produce transformative results for our clients. While, we don’t claim to be 100% natural, ingredients from nature play a big part in the basis of my formulations. Creating a product that delivers on the results that I promise, is always the #1 most important priority and sometimes that means that I need to infuse natural ingredients with a touch of science to garner those results.
What makes your products natural?
We look to nature to select the most potent ingredients available to solve skincare needs of our clients such as aging, hyperpigmentation, brightening and more with ingredients like African red tea, rosehips extract, vitamin C, essential fats amongst others. We are not 100% natural, which means that we often need to use science to amplify the benefits of natural ingredients in order to get most out of them.[/expand]
Why do you believe it is important to use beauty products that are made with natural and organic ingredients?
Through my experience in working with ingredients, I’ve found the most potent ingredients always come from nature. Mother Nature is incredibly powerful and has always provided us with everything we need – leaves change, flowers bloom – and ingredients in nature make a real difference in the health of our bodies, so, why not take those benefits and infuse them into skincare products![/expand]
To what extent do you take the environmental impact into account e.g. in the production?
Our environmental footprint has always been important. We like to use basic packaging to make the recycling process easy and we manufacture products locally. The jars we use can be reused or recycled as can the bottles.
We believe in being celebratory of life and maintaining a continued commitment to health and wellness – this includes the health and wellness of our planet, so we do everything we can to be responsible in our business practices!
- Labels printed by the ONLY FSC Certified + Carbon Neutral label printer in the US
- Water based adhesive used for all labels
- Carbon Neutral labels
- Biodegradable UV Coating for unit cartons
- No VOC UV inks used
- Unit cartons are printed on FSC certified paper board
Price: $45 (o.5 oz / 15 g)
Inactive ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycery Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Ceteareth-20, Phenoxyethanol, Algae Extract, Pullulan, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Allantoin, Volubilis (Mountain Peanut) 2, Seed Oil, Schinus Terebinthifolius Seed Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol, Lecithin.
Comments: First of all, I’m a bit surprised that glycerin is the first ingredient after water here. Glycerin is a really nice moisturizer, but it’s not recommended to use more than 5% in a product, as it can be skin irritating in too large doses. So either this product contains a lot of water, or way too much glycerin. Apart from this, there are a few other suspicious ingredients (click to read about them in Skin deep): CETEARETH-20, PEG-100 STEARATE, PHENOXYETHANOL and TRIETHANOLAMINE.
Price: 3.5 oz / 100 g | $38.00
Comment: Again with the glycerin as a main ingredient. Apart from this, PHENOXYETHANOL is an ingredient that many people avoid in their skin care regime. Apart from this, I can’t find any other ingredients that are super bad, and I think it’s nice that it seems to include so many natural extracts and oils.
12 oz tonic | $30.00
Comment: This one also contains PHENOXYETHANOL, and unfortunately perfume as well.
Price: 0.4 oz / 11 g | $15.00
Comment: This one looks good, jojoba oil is the main ingredient and I’m happy not to find any mineral oils even though it’s a lip balm (they are surprisingly hard to come by).
I have to admit, I really wanted this product range to be cool. Partly because they look so darn nice, and partly because they do the natural thing without screaming out that they’re doing the natural thing, you know? That way there’s a good chance they can get to people who are sceptical towards natural skin care.
I also feel like the email I received was quite honest – I like how Ole Henriksen admitted that they don’t claim to be 100% natural, which I don’t think any of the others said (and very few of them can claim that they are). Like you can see, they do have several products that I wouldn’t recommend, mostly because they use phenoxyethanol. But the last product was fine in my opinion. So all in all, if you want to buy any of their products you’d better look at the ingredients before you buy them, there might be a few more that are good.