Categories Skincare

Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™

Last week, I gave myself a lemony refresher so I could properly review this Ole Henriksen scrub. Facial exfoliation is usually a task I relegate to cheaper products that just do the trick, so I admit I had not used the Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™ in a while. The beckoning question which follows can be only one: is it worth the moolah?

Ole Henriksen is one of those cult brands that elicits buzz among beauty connoiseurs and lovers alike. As such, it is no wonder that I first became acquainted with it through the videos of my favourite YouTubers before the brand had even dawned on my Sephora. I was going through a *scrub* phase when it did and figured I ought to give the Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™ a try, in lieu of the more popular Banana Bright™ Eye Crème. Such is the folly of youth, my friends — what kind of person exchanges sweet bananas for sour lemons?

The exfoliator comes in a soft scrub that is yellow-coloured and lemon-scented. It is not the most pleasant of citric notes, as it smells more like the peels left on your kitchen counter than it resembles the sparkling jar of lemonade you just made, but it’s not entirely off-putting either. I applied it as I always do: in the shower, when my skin is wet and my pores open and it’s easy to thoroughly wash it off. As far as the experience itself goes, I’ve nothing to report — apply, wait, rinse, you’re done.

Let’s talk ingredients, then. The Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™ contains glycolic and lactic acids, the always-amazing glycerin and soothing chamomile flower extract. Seeing as this scrub is “inspired by a refreshing glass of lemonade on a hot summer day”, in Henriksen’s words, I find it peculiar that it does not include citric acid anywhere, just the fruit extract. In fact, pretty much all lemon-branded substances, such as lemon and bergamot peel oils and limonene, seem to exist purely for fragrance. More on that in the following paragraph. As a last, happy note, I want to mention the licorice root extract that is included in the formula.

Here is where things go wrong for me. AHAs (the glycolic and lactic acid), which are the cornerstone of this product, the exfoliators per se, are to be employed with wisdom. It is senseless to expect a peeling to be the most nourishing action anyone can perform on their face as part of their care routine, since this product category is meant to remove dead skin cells and general roughness. Indeed, a couple of weekly exfoliations are recommended depending on your skin type, a form of self-care that should extend to the body and feet. (I exfoliate my skin twice a week, which I believe to be the recommendation for mixed skin.) With this in mind, you should know AHAs increase your skin’s photosensitivity, which is why an extra deal of care under the sun is recommended upon using such products.

Why ally phototoxic, allergenic and sensitizer substances with the AHAs? It is not like these two classes must walk hand in hand. For example, while the Wishful Yo Glow AHA & BHA Facial Enzyme Scrub feels rougher on the skin and includes alcohol (no small amount of it, methinks, if it makes my flesh crawl right upon taking a whiff), it contains more and more varied fruit and flower extracts, such as blueberry, camellia, sweet almond, among many more. Quite honestly a superior recipe. Of course it’s not only about quantity, it’s about quality too. Antioxidant, antibacterial and even anti-comedogenic qualities, to be more precise. (Funny enough, you know what acid the Wishful does contain which the Lemonade Scrub doesn’t? Citric.) I would rather repurchase the Yo Glow — just embrace the alcohol. Cheers!

So when all of this mumbo-jumbo is said and done, what do I make of the Ole Henriksen Lemonade Smoothing Scrub™? It is honestly no more beneficial to me, in my humble, amateurish opinion, than the cheaper gel scrubs I am used to. Those perform their cleaning duties, which is all I can ask for in something from the supermarket. I have so much more to learn about cosmetics and ingredients. But had I known the littlest at the time, I would never have bought this product. It’s a mass of glorified lemon peels left overnight in a bucket and shoved inside an overpriced tube at those first rays of sun in the morning. I cannot recommend it even if you are not on a budget, and I am sincerely more appalled now that I’m done writing this post than I was in the beginning. Just why did I do this to myself? Shoulda chosen the bananas instead.

Have you tried this scrub by Ole Henriksen? If so, do you agree or disagree? Do share your thoughts in the commments section.


  • plesant and refreshing
  • it works
  • you deserve to be loved, honey.

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