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Reviewed and recommended: Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
August 26, 2008 Reviewed by admin 2 Comments

When I began looking into the various ins and outs of anti-aging beauty products, one of the first things I bought was Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum ($48, 1 oz.). It stands out amongst others because of its high-impact hue, host of notable ingredients, and its simple mission statement: a potent vitamin C complex to brighten, smooth and help prevent aging.

Putting it on in the morning, as cheesy as this may sound, always seems to me like taking sunshine out of the bottle. Its smell, color and feel.. all are bright and welcoming.  But that's just not what's so recommendation-worthy about it. Its formula includes potent concentrations of proven collagen boosters, plus loads of preventative and corrective antioxidants along with one of the world's most hydrating ingredients.

And that being the inclusion of sodium hyaluronate, which I just finished writing about in this post here. Sodium hyaluronate is a super-moisturizer. Its small molecular size is able to reach deep down into the dermis layer of your skin to maintain and attract moisture.  In fact, it is able to hold 1000 times its weight in water, as well as aiding the absorption of other key nutrients found in the formula. A hydrated face is essential in maintaining the extra-cellular matrix of the skin, which includes collagen and elastin fibers, and is what's primarily responsible for the tone and plumpness of young skin.  As we age, our skin loses more moisture. Sodium hyaluronate puts that moisture back into the face, if not permanently then at least for the time being.

Aloe vera is another favorite that works with sodium hyaluronate to give ultimate hydration without a heavy, unnatural feel. One of the more pleasant aspects about this serum is its feel--its unbelievably weightless, cool to the touch and with a consistency not unlike Astroglide. Astroglide! Really, I know this is an odd comparison, and not the first thing you pleasantly think about when considering how something feels on your face--but that's how it is! And its not bad.

Grapefruit and orange extract work with the color and smell of the serum, which is like orange creamsicle. Both extracts contain purifying, brightening and astringent qualities. Licorice extract is used to control hyperpigmentation, for which it has been used in many parts of the world for some time now. Glabridin is the main compound here, which works to inhibit melanin production. However, there's not much out there as to what its optimal concentrations may be. Still, I believe it's thrown in here to good effect.

Rosehip extract is high in vitamins A and C, and has a strengthening effect on capillaries and connective tissues. Also an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent, it works with the antioxidant Vitamin E to sooth and restore the skin. According to other reviewers on this site, rosehip seed oil has been
rumored to be even better than argan oil (which you can read about here
What is it: Argan Oil).
It is extremely high in essential fatty acids (such as linoleic acid or
omega-3, and linolenic acid or omega-6) and has been shown to be an
effective treatment for dry, weathered or dehydrated skin.

The other notable antioxidant in here is green tea extract, which is full of polyphenols. Green tea polyphenols have been found to be
particularly effective for a number of things: for its proven antioxidant properties, for its ability to repair UV
photo-damage and phototoxicity, for its treatment and/or
care of dry skin conditions, and for its anti-inflammatory and
anti-carcinogenic potential.

The headlining ingredient of this serum is vitamin C, of which it contains two kinds: magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. Together, this complex is at the 10% range (making it higher than most, but not the highest). Vitamin C has grown almost legendary in status due to its wide range of desirable, proven effects (collagen production, hyperpigmentation control, antioxidant), but unfortunately skin care companies have been grabbing onto a bit more of myth when it comes to the "C," so it's important to know what kind you're getting.

As you can read in Marta's post here, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is not the most potent (although superior to absorbic acid), but it is water soluble and
stable, and so is taken into the cells more easily than the ascorbic. It can last up to
200 days before there is loss of activity, and is a great option
for sensitive types because it is a non-acidic exfoliant.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate--there's not much out there on this one, but research does show that it is a potent, effective and stable form of the vitamin.

Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum is effective. It contains the best ingredients out there to bring about its claimed results--results that you'll notice from day one. The only thing I can't clap about is the few parabens, but what can you do?

Active ingredients:

Vitamin C, Rosehip Extract, Green Tea, Sodium Hyaluronate, Orange Extract, Licorice Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Aloe Vera, and Vitamin E.

Complete ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C),
Oleth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Magnesium Ascorbate (Vitamin
C), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Sodium Hyaluronate, Aloe Barbadensis
Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) fruit Extract,
Rosa Canina (Rose Hips) Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright)
Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Citrus Grandis
(Grapefruit) Seed Leaf Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid,
Hydroxyethylcellulose, Benzophenone-4, Dimethicone Copolyol,
Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum).


Related articles...


Reviewed and recommended: Ole Henriksen's African Red Tea Face Mist


A run down of different Vit Cs for strength and stablity

Potent vitamin C serums worth checking out

What is it? Rosehip gives argan oil a run for its money

  • December 30, 2014

    by Andrea

    I am assuming this ingredient list is old as on the Sephora website it specifically states that it contains no Parabans. They are no longer listed in the current ingredients, so you may need to revise the review. I am happy to see that this includes MAP and I assume this is the reason they do not use opaque packaging? If the Vit C form is stable enough for 200 days? That was my biggest concern in ordering the product, that and the yellow coloring. I have read though that the amount of coloring in it is approved by the FDA and does not pose a problem and has not been proven to be carcinogenic. I use so little anyway from the sample I got, just a couple drops and it works!

  • September 2, 2008

    by Jen Hill

    <p>I have also had a good experience while using Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum. This serum absorbs beautifully, feels slightly moisturizing but not sticky and over time really made my skin glow. A wonderful product and I concur with your recommendation!</p>

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