Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Serum Changed My Mind About Vitamin C

It gave me instant results, something an impatient skincare lover can appreciate.

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Photo:

Sephora

Now that the temperatures have dipped below 40℉ in New York, I’m preparing for the worst—that is dry, parched skin that’s so often a result of winter in the North. Sure, I can apply generous smears of my thickest moisturizer until the cows come home, but I’ve all but given up on a glowy, smooth complexion. 

Although vitamin C serums are (rightfully) popular for their ability to do many great things to your skin over time, i.e. reduce the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles and protect against free radicals (like pollution and UV rays), I wanted some instant gratification to make my complexion brighter and better. After hearing a lot of buzz about OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright 15% Vitamin C Serum, I decided to try a sample on a whim. As someone who perpetually furrows their brow at their computer all day long and lives in a major metropolitan city, I was hoping this product would solve—checks notes—all of my problems. 

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

The serum is made with four key ingredients—a whopping 15% vitamin C (that’s a lot!), which helps to brighten the skin and combat dark spots and discoloration; PHAs (polyhydroxy acids), which gently exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells; hyaluronic acid to boost the skin’s moisture barrier; and banana powder-inspired pigments to color correct. “You’re getting instant brightening and color-correcting through the banana powder-inspired pigments, and it’s the 15% vitamin C and the 5% PHAs that really transform your skin over time,” says Riva Barak, VP of product development for OLEHENRIKSEN. 

FYI: The pigments aren’t actually made with any ingredients derived from bananas, but rather, a combination of micas and iron oxide that work together to immediately improve the appearance of the skin. Meanwhile, the other ingredients are working hard beneath the surface to even out your skin’s texture, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and boost the moisture barrier over the course of several weeks. 

As someone who needs instant gratification from my skincare products, I was pleasantly surprised that these pigments immediately made my skin glow. What’s more, the serum’s orange hue helps create the illusion of a smoother, golden complexion (almost like makeup). 

"Stick with it and you’ll see amplified results,” says Barak. Through a series of clinical studies and measured assessments, the brand was able to demonstrate the efficacy of the product; in just one week, subjects saw a 30% reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.

And while I’m not someone who generally has sensitive skin, I’m wowed by just how gentle this product is. It glides onto the skin like a pro figure skater on an Olympic ice rink and immediately absorbs into my skin, sans stickiness. And even though it’s packed with acids, there’s no burning or stinging sensation that’s so often associated with acid-driven serums because of the non-irritating nature of PHAs.

Plus, it’s safe to use in conjunction with most other products. Lian Mack, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, recommends using this product during the day to “shield your skin from environmental stressors.” Layer a hydrating moisturizer on top to lock in the benefits. “[Serums] don’t sit on top of the skin—they’re really getting to the epidermal layers that are deeper down to drive collagen production and protect us against environmental stressors,” says Dr. Mack. Top it off with SPF to provide your skin with maximum protection. 

If you’re also impatient like me and looking for a serum that will help you look well-rested and radiant instantly, you can shop it now on Sephora. And at $68, it’s as effective as serums that are twice the price (so you might as well stock up and get a little more bang for your buck).

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