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The Interview: Ole Henriksen on reformulating products

Sophie Smith
01 August 2022

OLEHENRIKSEN has launched its new and upgraded Banana Bright+ eye crème, using new advances in vitamin C technology to create an improved formula for brighter under eyes.

Founded by Ole Henriksen in 1983, the brand's skincare uses powerful natural ingredients and is built on a product philosophy of exfoliate, treat and soothe.

In this interview with, Ole speaks about the Banana Bright+ eye crème upgrade, how each ingredient aims to benefit skin and the importance of reformulation.

Why did you decide to upgrade the formulation?

Born out of the original banana bright eye formula, banana bright+ contains new forms of vitamin C, more skin nutrients, more antioxidant powerhouses, as well as an improved, buttery-soft texture that absorbs better into skin. As an experiential, yet transformative skincare brand, we wanted to make an already amazing product, even better. We also wanted to make the formulation fragrance-free and vegan for more universal use.

How is the new formula different?

Banana bright+ eye crème is the same eye cream our customers know and love, now with even better results. The new and upgraded formulation has a triple vitamin C complex with a gold and a delivery system for enhanced brightening and elasticity.

How does the new formula aim to better benefit the skin?

The product brightens the under eye instantly and overtime. It also adds instant hydration all day, reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles, improves elasticity and improves concealer wear. During our eight-week clinical study on 38 people with various skin tones and concerns, we found that the upgraded formula has wonderful benefits such as brighter under eyes or the reduction in crows feet.

What core ingredients are used?

The new formula still contains banana-powder inspired pigments for colour correction along with a new trio of brightening powerhouse ingredients.

1. Gold-complexed vitamin C is ascorbic acid and super-antioxidant glutathione combined with real gold to create a highly stable, water-soluble complex that improves delivery of vitamin C to the surface layer of your skin to enhance brightness.

2. Bioflavonoids are citrus, plant-based antioxidant compounds - extracted from grapefruit and mandarin - that neutralise free radicals and other environmental aggressors.

3. Hardy orange extract is antioxidant-rich and pairs well with vitamin C, which helps brighten skin and reduce the look of dark spots

Can you tell me about the new advances in vitamin C technology and how this is translated into the product?

Ascorbic acid is a pure form of vitamin C, which can be difficult to work into skincare formulas because of its instability. We harnessed new vitamin C technology that didn’t exist when the original banana bright eye crème first launched. As a result, we’re one of the first brands to start using gold-complexed vitamin C, which better delivers vitamin C for immediate and lasting brightening results. Gold is an antioxidant and creates a more efficient and deeper pathway for vitamin C to enter your skin.

How often do you review your product formulas?

After I conceive ideas with the product development team and sign off on a product concept, they work on several formula iterations to bring that concept to life. Once my colleagues feel that the formula aligns with our concept, I diligently test, review and analyse all aspects of the formula including the transformative and nourishing ingredients, textures, application, experience, sensorial attributes.

We do this until we are all happy with the end result that we have created together.

I enjoy working with the team because developing innovations is truly a collaborative effort – and it’s how we come up with such efficacious skincare products. Developing formulas like banana bright+ eye crème with gold-complexed vitamin C or a gradual vitamin C self-tanner like banana bright sunkissed primer have been such a highlight for me.

I am always proud when we’ve gone through this tedious cycle and reach a consensus that we have developed a formula that meets our very high standards for transformative skincare but is also a formula that our customers will fall in love with.

How did you review this particular product formula and upgrade it? 

I believe in the power of vitamin C and always want to be on the forefront of new technologies for this powerful skincare active. We dissected the original banana bright eye creme formula and came up with a plan that would hold true to the performance of the original while upgrading the actives with the latest technology in vitamin C and antioxidants for optimal performance.

Once we had our plan in place, we put it into action and tested round after round after round until we achieved this final formula – which we feel is the perfect homage to the og, while subtly improved to deliver even better results.

Why do you think it’s important to upgrade formulas?

Some may say “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”, but I truly believe there is always room to make a stellar product even better.

In 1983, I started OLEHENRIKSEN skincare with a brightening vitamin C serum that, at the time, was revolutionary. If I would have stopped there, OLEHENRIKSEN would not be the amazing, transformative skincare brand that we know and love today.

With help from my colleagues and product development team, we want to continue to deliver the innovative formulas like gold-complex vitamin C that provide our customers the ever-evolving OLEHENRIKSEN glow.

What has your customer response been like to the product upgrade?

Re-launching a best-selling product can be a bit intimidating but our customers seem to be just as thrilled as we are about banana bright+ eye crème. It has been such a joy to see such positive responses from our customers, retailers and the many influencers who’ve helped spread the love of the banana bright franchise. I am truly grateful for all of the love and support.

Are there any plans to upgrade any other product formulations in the future?

Well, I can’t give away too many surprises – just know, we are always listening to our customers and our ultimate goal is to continue providing joy and  results in every single bottle. I’m so excited for everyone to see what we have up our sleeves.

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