Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Collection review

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The latest anti-aging line from a Hollywood favorite.

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Collectionphotos: we heart this

I’ll admit it; I’m fascinated with celebrities and the perks they get. I read all the blogs. I buy all the magazines. I love learning about their pampered lives, especially the high-end beauty products. My little obsession is the reason I already knew about Ole Henriksen before I was chosen to test his celeb-worthy skincare line.

Hollywood types flock in droves to the Ole Henriksen Face/Body spa for his patented botanically based treatments (The facials are incredible and worth every penny! ~Tyna), but luckily we don’t have to be stars (or live in LA) to experience the magic.

Danish-born Ole (that’s pronounced Ooo-lah) Henriksen’s world travels and a bout with cystic acne led him to develop his uniquely soothing skincare system. As long time fans of Ole (the man, the spa and the brand), we were thrilled to test the latest collection, African Red Tea. And here’s where Ole’s herbal know-how kicks in. Did you know that African Red Tea contains 50 times more antioxidants than green tea? Neither did I, but the team at Ole Henriksen did and their award-winning African Red Tea skincare line is packed full of this exotic, powerful ingredient which “calms, soothes and strengthens the skin’s outer layer” and slows the aging process.

Express The Truth face creamI was happy to receive the Express The Truth face cream ($65), a great introduction to the line that contains a combination of ingredients like antioxidants ester C and African red tea, as well as all natural macadamia nut oil, creating a cocktail designed to repair lines and wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming.

I’ve grown a little skeptical of this type of claim, but Express The Truth delivers. The first thing that hit me when I opened the jar was the glorious smell, a fresh orange that is subtle at first, but very obvious when the cream is applied. For those of you who prefer unscented products, I’m usually in your camp, but this scent is so delicious, so mood lifting, I wish I could cover myself in it from head to toe!

And Express The Truth isn’t just a pretty fragrance. The cream is rich, emollient, soothing, and concentrated – I only needed a tiny bit to coat my entire face and neck. Because it does not contain spf, I’ve been using it as a night cream and I don’t want to use anything else. Express The Truth has calmed my dry winter skin without over-moisturizing or breaking me out. In fact, it’s so unique, I am determined to treat myself to another product (or three) from Ole.

• The African Red Tea line is packed full of antioxidants and all natural ingredients, including Ester C 10% vitamin C complex, which stimulates collagen production.
• Does not contain nasty ingredients like parabens, sulfates, or synthetic dyes.
• Express the Truth is a light formula that moisturizes like a heavy cream.
• It did not irritate skin or cause breakouts.
• Smells clean, bright & crisp – like an orange grove.

• If you’re dead set on unscented products, this isn’t the line for you.
• The prices, while not outlandish, could be a liability.

The wht team tested the other items from Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea line, and I can’t wait to see their thoughts! We’ll be looking at more anti-aging, skin freshening products, including:

African Red Tea Foaming CleanserAfrican Red Tea Foaming Cleanser ($30) – Tyna has been washing daily with this, an all-purpose cleanser that works for any skin type to clean without stripping essential oils from the skin. She claims it smells like orange infused ice tea, holds up to vigorous Clarisonic washes and and leaves her skin soft, super clean and practically glowing.

African Red Tea See The Difference Serum ($48) – Lightweight and packed with anti-aging ingredients, this serum promises to provide a visible difference in the texture and tone of your skin. Did it visibly improve our tester’s skin? Check the comments and see.

African Red Tea Face Mist ($28) – An anti-aging tonic designed to calm and clarify the skin, resulting in tighter pores and a healthy glow. Use it in the mornings to add extra moisture and a soft glow to skin – or use as a mid-day pick me up. This mist doesn’t disturb makeup!

Feel the Difference Perfecting Mask ($35) – Moisturizes and firms with anti-aging botanicals that “kicks the skins renewal cycle into high gear” delivering big results in only 10 minutes. During that time, natural ingredients work to depuff (caffeine) and firm (algae extract) skin while fighting free-radical damage (pomegranate extract) and providing a lasting, cooling sensation to the skin.

All in all, I can see why Ole has all the celebs saying “oh, la, la!” we heartsters and testers – did the African Red Tea line have you chiming in?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • turboterp

    Melissa loves road trips, bargain shopping, drive-in movies, lip gloss and rock 'n' roll. She lives in Baltimore with her precious pup Bellarina. skin tone: NC20 skin type: dry to normal favorite beauty product: skincare

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  1. Thank you for another great post, @turboterp! I too am obsessed with celebrity swag and this name keeps popping up- I have been wanting to try this brand, but never knew what to buy…The African Red Tea collection sounds lovely and effective- I may have found my 1st Ole Henriksen product!

  2. Thanks for the pronunciation lesson @Turboterp ! I’m always a little nervous about saying the names of brands because I’m not sure how to pronounce it. Up until now I’ve been saying Ole like the Spanish cheer, hah!

    The African Red Tea Face Mist sounds amazing! I need to track this down…

    1. Hee, I’ve been saying Ole (like the Mexican cheer) for years too. Until I actually went to the Spa and heard his name pronounced by the staff. I was so embarrassed when I realized I was butchering the name – but the staff were super sweet about it.

    2. Oh my gosh, I’ve been pronouncing it exactly like @mandaleem and @tyna for years as well! *smacks forehead* thanks so much for helping me to sound far more cultured, @turboterp. And great review, by the way!

  3. Just wanted to mention that Express the Truth gets a solid 5 stars from me. Every time I use it, the scent puts me in a good mood! And still not a single breakout despite its richness.

  4. I drink red tea all the time and I had no idea it has more antioxidants. This line looks amazing, hopefully it will go on sale somewhere as it’s just a little out of my comfort/price range at the moment. Actually scratch that, hopefully my income will go up!

    1. Shaya, What can you compair drinking red tea to? Just wondering if it tastes anything like we know! I’m a tea lover of many teas!

    2. I’d like to know too, I have yet to venture into red tea. (I’m a black and mate’ fiend though…)

  5. @mandaleem, I’ve been boldly saying OLE wrong for years! Thanks for the great review and annunciation lesson! I also have been a big fan of this line and can only trust that this product is just as good as the rest! I’m going to look for red tea to drink now-

  6. I’m a citrus nut, so the scent would be my DREAM. And the higher price tag would normally put this out of my range, but the cleanser looks to be about 7 ounces? (@tyna, is that about right?) I think that’s about the size of a normal bottle of cleanser and that last me a pretty good while.
    I think if I got the cleanser and was conservative with it (and not just gob it in my hand like I do my drugstore brand), I think it’d be worth the price…

    1. That’s exactly right @lyssachelle – the Foaming Cleanser is 7 oz. I’ve been using mine faithfully for a good three weeks and it’s still 2/3 full. The cleanser has a pump top and one full pump is all you need (heh, that sounds dirty). The liquid cleanser turns into a really nice, full and foamy wash that can handle lots of scrubbing or a clarisonic.

  7. I tried this set quite a while back and liked it as well. The scent is really refreshing. I thought the red tea was a marketing gimmick at first, but once I started using the products and looking into the ingredients, I changed my mind. Good stuff.

    1. Hi Mo! Nice to see you again. Yep, Ole is the real deal…

  8. I had the pleasure of testing out Ole’s “Feel the Difference” perfecting mask and I was very pleasantly surprised. I’m new to this line but definitely would like to try more from them. The mask also has a energizing fruity scent and I really liked the texture of this mask. It’s more of a creamy gel like consistency and it doesn’t get crusty and tight like some masks. It has a wonderful cooling effect that was very soothing. My face really felt and looked brighter and healthier after a couple weeks of using this. I’m thinking the red tea and pomgeranate had something to do with that…I was very impressed with all the natural ingredients! You also do not have to use a lot, so even though this is a smaller tube, it should last awhile! If your looking for a gentler, mild mask that gets results, I think Ole has it! Four stars for me only because it is a little pricy, but not bad!

  9. I have not tried OLE or Red Tea and I want to try both very soon. I am curious what Red Tea tastes like.

  10. First off – thanks for the clarification on his first name! haha…I am probably one of many that pronounce is O-lay. I am a fan of this brand. More antioxidants than green tea? Dang, i’m in!

  11. I’m late to the party but must share my Ole love! It was Ole that first introduced me to the wonders of a great serum. Their Truth Serum is amazing – it totally brightens skin and helps banish little imperfections on the skin. And every Ole product I’ve tired has been a winner.

    I introduced my Mom to the Truth Serum and she fell in love too. So last fall when she visited me we went to the Ole Spa and OMG – best facial ever! My skin was glowing, my fine lines were faded for a few weeks and I didn’t get a single “after facial blemish”.

    Plus the staff were so nice and friendly. I can’t wait to go again. And I bet they want us back as well – my Mom finished before I did and went crazy in the Ole store. She picked up serums and eye creams and face wipes and washes and then we went back to the hotel and played with it all! Whee.

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  13. I’ve said Olé – FOREVER! I have to applaud the pronunciation lesson too. Even while I was buying his products, I was saying it wrong.

    @tyna and I have been so lucky to get ole treatments at one point during Oscar suites (areas set up to promote Academy award buzz). And afterward, during trips to his spa on our own. To say we love Ole, is putting it mildly – he’s a Hollywood legend and I feel lucky to know his treatments and products.

    That being said, with slight sadness, I felt like this line was a tad bit too heavy for my oily skin. I got to try the See the Difference Serum. It smells FABULOUS, like all Ole lines do. But I think I need a slightly lower percentage of essential oils.
    And honestly, it’s only because I know other products that are targeted for combination skin (as tyna has mentioned, the Truth Serum) that I even recognize that isn’t quite right for me. But if you are normal to dry skin – OMG, will you love this serum!

    As for price point, I think ole is pretty reasonable in the range of high end skin care. And very worth the splurge!

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