Ole Henriksen and I may have been thousands of miles apart – he was in Los Angeles, I was in Singapore – but his megawatt smile transcended the distance, infecting all of us in the Zoom call with his signature positivity.
Ole is an icon. The journey to the creation of his eponymous skincare brand is as multifaceted as the person he is today. Ole grew up in the Danish countryside dreaming of becoming a trapeze artist and joining a circus that would travel the world. Later, he became a show dancer who found himself in Indonesia. It was there that he developed cystic acne and met a local aesthetician named Lagita who would change his life. She introduced him to the world of holistic skincare and botanical treatments.
Later, he graduated from the Christine Shaw College of Beauty in London and opened his own skincare center and spa in Beverly Hills. In 1983, he debuted his first skincare collection and became known for his celebrity clientele. The Ole Glow, which refers to pure radiance from the inside out, became his signature.
Earlier this year, Ole Henriksen became available at Sephora Singapore and the brand has just launched its most potent treatment yet: The Dewtopia 20% Acid Treatment. We speak to Ole about his infectious positive attitude, and the new product’s groundbreaking formulation.
You have this radiant and positive energy. How do you channel that into your brand?
Oh gosh, I love that. I do put a tonne of love into every product. In the world of spas, aromas or essential oils are uplifting, especially those from the citrus family. [We include those] to make you feel good and energise you. Then, you have the textures. The luxurious feel of a product that gives you joy when you pamper your skin. Take a moment, close your eyes, massage your skin and relax. Make it a joyous experience. It’s like when you cook a great meal in your kitchen where you blend the ingredients, you add the herbs and enjoy yourself. Be in the moment with everything you do. It’s the way you put energy into your routines that helps you glow. You have that glow, Nafeesa.
I have the Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum to thank for that.
What is it you love about it?
It makes my skin look instantly more awake. When I look in the mirror, my skin just radiates.
The beauty is in the mineral pigments that are light reflective. It is the instant gratification. That light hydration. That brightening and illumination. Clinically, vitamin C is also proven to strengthen collagen and optimising elasticity. The polyhydroxy acids will resurface, smooth and refine your skin’s texture. It’s instant and long term.
You’ve been in this industry for a really long time now. How do you stay at the forefront?
It is the passion that I have with my colleagues for what we do together, travelling the world and getting to experience so many different parts of our world so many beautiful cultures. But the DNA of the brand is always the anchor. When you have the DNA, passion and creativity, you just can’t help but create new and exciting things.
For example, the Lemonade Smoothing Scrub was launched earlier this year. I already had a walnut scrub I created years ago which was very popular. But I also felt it was a little tired, and out of touch with where we are at now. So I thought that since I love exfoliation, whether it’s chemical or physical, why don’t I blend the two elements together? The scrub is also inspired by my love affair with Capri, the Italian island that’s bursting with lemon trees all over. It became an instant bestseller. That’s an example of an established product from years ago that inspired me to update and break new ground.
I thought the Dewtopia 20% Acid Night treatment is very daring because it’s the most potent transformative product ever developed. It has that yin and yang as it offers a hard workout for the skin with 10 per cent of alpha hydroxy acids and poly hydroxy acids to resurface and help melt away dead full skin cells. It also has aloe juice, birch sap and cotton water to soothe and heal. When you apply it, it has that custard-like rich feel to push calm and comfort onto the skin as the more potent extracts go to work with the renewing process. How do you find it so far?
I haven’t tried it yet but I should be receiving it soon.
Then you have something to look forward to. That lemon sugar aroma is heavenly and the texture is rich – the way it blends on the skin and cocoons it. If you feel the most delightful tingle, that is the tingle of skin happiness as the product goes to work. This is a tingle that subsides fast and is not a burn. There’s just that sensation, like a good workout where you feel a little burn in the muscles. The results are instant and long-term. There is an enormous improvement, clinically proven to boost skin brightness and texture. It fades visibly dark spots, reduces the appearance of pores, visibly improves fine lines and wrinkles and skin elasticity. Across the board, it is a multitasker.
I’m really excited to try the texture because I’ve been using chemical exfoliants for a few years now. My issue is some of them are really stinging on my skin and not very pleasant to use.
You may just feel a slight tingle and then it subsides. Let’s talk about how to incorporate it into your skincare. What we have found is that women in Southeast Asia are incredibly informed as far as what skincare to use. For someone new to chemical exfoliation, I would recommend they start with using the Dewtopia every third night and then build up to it. It is like when you start doing pilates or yoga and you have not really done that kind of elongation exercises. Start slow. After a yoga class, you can’t have another one the next day because your body needs to get used to it. But a good yoga teacher will indoctrinate you gradually and after X amount of weeks, you’re like a rubber band and you become very limber.
It’s the same with Dewtopia. Someone seasoned with acids can go ahead and use it nightly on its own or follow with other products. The beauty of it is that it is so hydrating that it will do the magic and you don’t need anything else. When you wake up in the morning, you see that dewiness and you see that refinement.
What is your number one skincare tip?
It is to stay properly hydrated. Hydration is for this skin. It’s pure, it’s delicious and the skin craves it. Hydrate and look at yourself and smile in the mirror every morning to calm yourself and start a new day. Then go out and spread the love to everyone.