OleHenriksen Cured My Acne…And I Have No Idea How

You and me both, kid! Photo by Lisa May @LDMay on Twitter

When I was in high school, there was a commercial – for Olay, I think – in which the actress complained about having acne and wrinkles at the same time. I remember watching it with one of my Sisters of the Traveling Chocolate and laughing, because like that would ever happen.

Not so funny when you’re 40 and it’s true!

I don’t mind the wrinkles so much. I figure I’ve earned those, especially the one on my forehead that’s from decades of raising my eyebrows at people. But oil and breakouts are things we’re told we’ll grow out of, and it’s pretty annoying when that’s not true. I have tried a LOT of skin care brands over the years without success – they’ve either dried my sensitive skin to the point of peeling, or done absolutely nothing to contain the oil slick on my T zone.

Enter OleHenriksen. Sephora sent me a sample of their Counter Balance Hydrator when I ordered something else (that didn’t work) and it really did seem to mattify my skin, so I ordered the matching cleanser and toner. Within a week, I had a brand-new face – clear, soft, and shine-free.

*cue choirs of heavenly angels*

Being me, I got pretty curious about why these products worked when nothing else did, so I started looking up the science behind some of the ingredients – green tea, eucalyptus, algae, moss, neem seed oil, AHAs. After several hours of googling, here’s what I discovered:

  • The internet is a TERRIBLE source of information on herbal medicine. Oh, there’s information out there, but the vast majority of websites I perused were extremely sketchy. I found misunderstandings of basic chemistry and biology, rampant plagiarism without reference to studies or source material, and a whole lot of “experts” with dubious credentials but a whole lot of products to sell.
  • Reliable sources of information, like the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health, didn’t seem to have entries on the ingredients I was looking for.


As a result of my research, I am a good deal more concerned that people are making health decisions based on really questionable information… and absolutely no wiser when it comes to my skin care miracle. So instead of data, I offer you anecdotal evidence, the weakest kind there is:

This worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

What about you? Have you also struggled to balance unruly skin? Or struggled to find trustworthy information on herbal medicines? I’d love to hear your stories.


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