Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Serum Gave Me Younger-Looking Skin in a Week

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4.8

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright 15% Vitamin C Serum

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

What We Like
  • Brightens and improves radiance

  • Hydrates

  • Tightens fine lines

  • Tropical scent

What We Don’t Like
  • No immediate change to dark spots

Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum gave me noticeable results in one week and has easily become a pleasurable part of my daily skincare routine.

4.8

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright 15% Vitamin C Serum

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

We put OLEHENRIKSEN's Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review. 

Let me start by saying, I have no shame in aging. My gray hairs and deepening wrinkles communicate to my peers that I’m a tired parent. Maybe it’s just me, but my signs of aging have become much more prominent since becoming a mother. I have more sunspots than freckles with every summer that passes by and I’m constantly chasing my zzz’s whose shadows lay dormant beneath my water line. I guess my complexion hasn’t felt particularly vibrant for quite some time. Though I must admit, I don’t take a lot of initiative in fighting against signs of aging because most of what I try on my skin doesn’t make a very noticeable or felt difference.

Despite my lack of skincare commitments, I’m always open to trying new products that may help tackle some of that under-the-surface work. So I was very excited to test out the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum. I didn’t have a serum worked into my minimal skincare routine yet, but I knew that most serums target areas of concern like elasticity, discoloration, and moisture, aka signs of the inevitable aging.

Rachel Maiman is a Board Certified Cosmetic and General Dermatologist of Marmur Medica.

Keep reading for my honest insights while testing the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum.

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Best for: Normal, dry, combination, and oily

Uses: Dullness, uneven texture, loss of firmness, and elasticity

Potential allergens: Added fragrance

Active ingredients: Vitamin C, PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids), Hyaluronic Acid

Byrdie Clean?: Yes 

Cruelty-Free?: Yes 

Price: $56 - $68

About the brand: Ole Henriksen began in the mid-70s in Beverly Hills, CA with a philosophy of exfoliating, treating, and soothing. The skincare product line uses powerful actives, natural botanicals, and essential fatty acids to address a wide array of skincare concerns. 

About My Skin: Dry and sensitive

I have extremely dry and sensitive skin. My body is covered in eczema that I can’t seem to cure or eliminate no matter how many specialists I see or diets I try. Thankfully, these unwanted red patches haven’t made their way onto my face, but regardless, I proceed with extra caution when it comes to skincare. I rarely wear any makeup. Putting on mascara, bronzer and lipstick might happen for me once every two weeks, in which case I’ll wash my face with a gentle cleanser. Otherwise, I rinse my face with a quick splash of water morning and night. In the evenings, I use alcohol-free witch hazel as my toner after rinsing and follow up with a heavy moisturizer. The moisturizer I use at night is a small amount of this ultra-rich cream and during the day I’ll use something much lighter with SPF in it. While testing this Ole Henriksen serum, I incorporated it into my morning regimen, using it after rinsing my face with water and before applying my daily SPF moisturizer. 

The Feel: Light and hydrating

The serum pumps out easily, is very thin, and is ultra-light. One pump disperses to cover my entire face and neck. It applies with a similar hydrating and absorbent feeling as my SPF moisturizer, sinking into the skin quickly without any residue on my face or hands. I’ll brush my teeth between applying serum and moisturizer to ensure it has enough time to settle into the skin before I layer anything on top of it. If you wear makeup every day, this serum will easily slip into the routine without making a noticeable or felt difference to your makeup application. 

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

The Scent: Surprisingly pleasant

A lot of serums have a funky smell to them, so I had pretty low expectations in the scent department. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised when I smelled hints of tropical fruit on my first application. It wasn’t any weird banana-like smell, in my opinion, but more of a mango and citrus scent that added to the refreshing experience of its application. 

Ingredients: Clean and effective

This serum’s core ingredient concentrations are 15% Vitamin C, 5% PHAs (or Polyhydroxy Acids), and Hyaluronic Acid, followed closely by banana powder-inspired pigments and Vitamin E. Together, these ingredients deliver the magic of this serum, which isn’t just fighting signs of aging under-the-surface, but giving immediate results seen after a mere 7 days of consistent use. It is vegan and cruelty-free and made to the standards of our clean beauty pledge

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

The Science: Understanding the anti-aging perks

To better understand the perks of this serum’s three core ingredients, I tapped dermatologist Rachel Maiman. But first, I wanted to know why working a serum into my routine was beneficial, to begin with. “Serums contain highly concentrated, strategically chosen ingredients that penetrate the surface layers of the skin to address a plethora of specific skin concerns on a deeper level,” she told me. But were the ingredients of this Ole Henriksen serum beneficial for my dry, sensitive skin type? What skin types should be seeking out Vitamin C, PHAs, and hyaluronic acid

Maiman explains Vitamin C’s many benefits include fighting free radical damage, pollution, and UV radiation. “Its ability to inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme necessary to produce melanin pigment, makes it especially useful in those struggling with hyperpigmentation.” Though apparently, it can also inhibit the production of pigment in response to sunlight, she tells us, which makes Vitamin C universally beneficial to any skin type. “Vitamin C is also a necessary cofactor in the synthesis of collagen,” Maiman says, so if you’re looking to fight against signs of aging, Vitamin C is on your side. 

As for the benefits of PHAs? Well, to be truthful, I had no idea what they even were, let alone why they were a friend to my skin. “Polyhydroxy Acids are a newer generation of hydroxy acids that offer exfoliating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits,” Maiman tells us. They work slower than the potentially irritating alpha-hydroxy acids, which makes them more tolerable to sensitive skin types (hi, that’s me!). Maiman says they have a large molecular weight which prevents them from penetrating as deeply into the skin but are therefore comparably less potent. “Often, they’re best incorporated into products that contain other acids. Alternatively, they can be used as the sole ingredient in a product but as a complement to a regimen that already contains low concentrations of alpha-hydroxy acids such as vitamin C and retinol.” 

My biggest ingredient concern was hyaluronic acid. As a pregnant woman with sensitive skin that is often outdoors exposed to sunlight, I was worried that this ingredient would backfire or have consequences, but Mainman explained I could rest assured that this all-star ingredient need not be avoided in any particular condition. “Hyaluronic acid is a normal component of the dermal extracellular matrix and is an excellent moisturizer because it helps to bind water to collagen and trap it within the skin. The result is skin that appears plumper, dewier, and more hydrated.” This information was music to my ears.

The Results: Instantly Brighter 

Based on what I learned from Dr. Maiman, it was super cool to see exactly what she had promised these ingredients to do: deliver plumper, dewier, more hydrated skin. I’m not saying I got an overnight transformation, but after using this serum before my moisturizer for a week straight, I did notice a tightened appearance in forehead wrinkles and a minimized appearance on fine lines around the eyes. And that’s just in one week! 

My complexion felt clearer, bouncier, and much brighter than it had before my trial period.

Using the serum felt effortless, almost as if I was applying two lightweight moisturizers each morning instead of one. My skin no longer had an uneven texture to it or looked dull throughout the day, but felt like it had a higher level of moisture than it did with moisturizer alone. I didn’t notice any major difference in my sunspots or discoloration after using the serum for a week, but I am planning on using this serum until it runs out, and am left with the hope that those signs will show with more time and consistent use. 

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

The Value: Fair

At first, I thought this serum was on the pricey side at $68 for 1 oz. I’d been treating it like liquid gold. But upon my research of what other vitamin C serums on the market cost, I found that many of them range well above $100. So while most serums come in 1 oz containers or less at roughly $50-$150, I suppose we should consider them all liquid gold for the hard work they’re doing beneath the surface of our skin. 

OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Byrdie / Ashley Rubell

Similar Products: You’ve got options

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Vitamin C Day Serum ($78): Another great serum option for all skin types, dry and sensitive skin included, is this vitamin C-packed formula from Drunk Elephant. You’ll get similar brightening and exfoliating results thanks to vitamin C and ferulic acid, as well as pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes. It costs a bit more at $78 for 1 oz, but the formula continues to work for up to 72 hours after application and cannot be washed or rinsed off, which seems like a pretty fair bargain for the higher price point. 

Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate ($70): This fast-selling serum from Kiehl’s offers the same promising combo of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to deliver even skin texture and extra hydration. At $70 for 1.7 oz, you’re getting a bit more for your buck here, but it’s worth noting that with silicones included in this formula, it doesn’t meet the Byrdie clean beauty standards. 

Final Verdict

I truly can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to try OLEHENRIKSEN's Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum. It’s guaranteed to offer perks to your skin, no matter your skin type or woes. And if you’re a sucker for instant gratification skincare, this serum should've been in your shopping cart yesterday. Signs of aging are inevitable for us all and the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum can help make the transition more graceful and less abrupt, with bright, bouncy skin every step of the way.

Specs

  • Product Name Banana Bright 15% Vitamin C Serum
  • Product Brand OLEHENRIKSEN
  • Price $56.00
  • Weight 1 oz.
  • Ingredients Aqua/Water/Eau, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Gluconolactone, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Triethyl Citrate, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Betaine, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Aminomethyl Propanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Gluconic Acid, Tocopherol, Glycerin, Succinoglycan, Phytic Acid, Mica, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Caramel, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Phytate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Red 4 (Ci 14700)

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