Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

Ole Henriksen Truth SerumOle Henriksen Truth Serum, $20-128

If you write, do you ever have so much to say that you find it overwhelming to decide where to start? In spite of using Ole Henriksen Truth Serum for ages and promising reviews, that’s where I was on this. I’ve finally found some clarity and pared down my thoughts to a concise (enough) format, so here we go.

It Begins

For the longest time, my skincare routine consisted primarily of:

  • Cleanse
  • Exfoliate
  • Moisturize

Most of my anti-aging efforts lie in the second and third steps – exfoliating with this wonder treatment, then keeping my skin moisturized. Maybe, just maybe, my crows feet aren’t as abundantly obvious as I feel they are.

Not ready to reach for retinol, I incorporated a vitamin C serum the mornings to revitalize the radiance I’m starting to feel the painful ebb of. Initially, it was Drunk Elephant C-Firma. I love C-Firma, but the price tag and extremely limited shelf life caused me to seek alternatives.

Several resources I trust advocated for Ole Henriksen Truth Serum as a solid, middle-of-the-road vitamin C serum, so when it was time to restock on vit c goo, I selected it instead…and have been repurchasing ever since.


Ole Henriksen Truth Serum comes in three sizes outside of their value offerings:

Around the holidays, they do a 3.4oz/100mL for $128; I snagged one during the VIB sale last month and will be swimming in this stuff for all of 2019.

Packaging & Nerd Stuff

Each bottle is glass with a frosted, bright orange label.

Okay, who cares about the color and if it’s glass?

A-ha, you should, dear reader.

Fine. Why?

There are several forms of vitamin C that make their way into skincare goo. The variety that makes C-Firma so effective (L-ascorbic acid) is extremely photosensitive and, as a result, is volatile; this is why it requires an opaque vacuum pump and is short-lived. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum employs significantly more stable forms (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ascorbate).

The packaging isn’t as intriguing or fun as some other prestige vitamin C products out there, but that isn’t a bad thing. Because Ole Henriksen Truth Serum is a more stable formula, the packaging investment Ole Henriksen needs to make isn’t as hefty – and it means less of that overhead is passed onto you.

For safety’s sake, I don’t leave my Truth Serum out, though. When I’m not using it, it is safely tucked in a drawer or cabinet away from light sources – just in case.

My only critique of the packaging is that the amount dispensed with the pump, like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, is far more than I need. A half-pump is more than sufficient for my face. When I’m on auto-pilot, don’t think, and depress the pump all the way, I just bring it down onto my decollete.


In the mornings, I give my face a once-over with some micellar water. Then, I dispense (usually, see above) a half-pump of Truth Serum onto my fingertips and apply to my face in circular-ish, upward motions.

The orange, translucent serum goes on clear and whiffs of oranges. In spite of my visceral dislike of fragrance in skincare, this is pleasant. I’d go so far as to say it is even a bit uplifting. Fortunately, it does not irritate my skin and dissipates as it dries down. Though this has a moisturizing quality to it, it is not enough in winter; after about a minute, I’ll layer on some moisturizer. Sometimes, if I’m feeling crazy, I’ll cocktail it with my moisturizer and apply at-once. I don’t have a favorite method.

Usage and Results

Ole Henriksen says Truth Serum helps with:

  • Brightening
  • Firming
  • Fights Visible Signs of Aging
  • Hydration

I didn’t need to go into this with my usual level of aggressive skepticism; if the product indeed contains vitamin C or vitamin C derivatives, it will certainly achieve at least the first claim. And it does; immediately, and all day, my skin is brighter, more radiant than it would have been without. I find that I’m not seeing the same robust reservoir effect that I did with C-Firma, but regular use does lend to ongoing results.

I feel that the fine lines I have are less obvious while I’m consistently using this product. It can’t, “fix,” them, but the collagen it contains and promotes plumps the skin a bit and helps obscure those things.

Argan oil is already a great moisturizer for my needs, but I find I enjoy it more when I’m using it after or with any vitamin C product. So while I don’t feel it directly hydrates my skin, I do think it helps enhance the efficacy of other moisturizers.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, I have and will continue to recommend and repurchase Ole Henriksen Truth Serum. The gigantic bottle I just bought is the third bottle I have purchased since I started using it. It is not as strong and effective as what I used previously, but the price and longevity compromises are worth it to me at this particular moment.

If price and shelf life are not concerns for you, I would point you here, instead.