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Skincare guru Ole Henriksen could definitely use his extreme charisma and exceptionally soothing voice to start a cult. But he’s one of the nicest humans on the planet and thankfully chooses to use his powers for good instead.
His eponymous skincare line is a bestseller at Sephora, and while I’ve tried his products often over the years, his Power Bright 3-Step Professional Brightening System is one that is staying in my rotation. It’s become a Friday night post-work routine for me, along with kicking back with an enormous glass of wine and flipping without shame through the latest copy of Us Weekly.
Like his older Power Peel microdermabrasion kit, this one comes in a box with six cards that contain three pods each. Each pod contains a different product that makes up the three-step system. While it’s admittedly a bit of wasteful packaging, it makes sense because vitamin C is notoriously unstable when exposed to oxygen, so packaging it like this ensures that the ingredients stay effective, rather than a jar that you keep opening and sticking your fingers into.
The star ingredient here is a super high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it chews up free radicals that can cause symptoms of aging. It’s also crucial for collagen synthesis and can help fade dark spots. It’s one of the few skincare ingredients that has years of research behind it.
I like any skincare that involves instructions and rituals, and this does not disappoint. You start out with the first pod, which includes a gritty exfoliating gel that looks and smells like orange marmalade. After you leave that on for a few minutes, you gently scrub it away. Then you add the vitamin C gel, which looks like frosting from a can and smells like a Creamsicle. After five minutes, you apply the final clear orange gel on top of the frosting and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. This is where the magic happens.
While I fully realize that a product doesn’t have to do anything after I apply it to know it’s working, it’s still fun to get a sensation from a product. This one has a pretty exciting tingle that I’d rate as a six on a scale of one to ten, with one being water and ten being Goop’s Exfoliating Instant Facial, one of the more thrillingly burn-y products I’ve ever used.
But the real thrill is when you wipe it all off, and even more so the next day. My skin is smoother and glowy for several days afterwards. You can use it a few times a week, but I stick to Fridays, because I haven’t yet found a better way to wipe the stress of the week off my face than this.