16 Oct 2017

Since 1851: 24 Kiehl's Product Review Part 1

Kiehl's has the reputation of being one of the longest-establishing cosmetic brands to-date. A lot of Taiwan personality and Western celebrities swear by their products, which include beauty guru Nu Er and actress Barbie Hsu. I have always wanted to try one of Kiehl's products but is always hesitated due to its higher price tag. I guess Malaysian consumers have relatively weaker purchasing power if compared to other countries so imported goods especially those from developed countries like US or UK can be quite pricey.

My first Kiehl's encounter actually comes quite unexpected. I just happened to pass by Midvalley outlet one day and thought of stepping inside to experience some of Kiehl's products. I met a really nice consultant Kiki who gave me very useful skincare tips and also loads of Kiehl's samples. I think this good service is uniquely Midvalley. I also went to other outlets but some staffs at other Kiehl's outlet was kinda rude to me so I will always go back to Midvalley whenever I need any skincare advise or samples.

If you follow my Instagram, you'll notice that I share a lot of my Kiehl's encounters. I talked about how I sent some of Kiehl's samples to my aunt via mailing service. I also brought my mom and my bf into the brand. My mom was a loyal user of Belif products, but she did purchase some Kiehl's products out of curiosity. My bf is more committed, having purchased a full set of skincare from the brand after trying out the samples and finding them really effective. As for me, my target has always been the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, which I have reviewed about previously. Of course I also tried out other Kiehl's products since I am a skincare junkee, which I will review soon.

Read on to find out more about 24 Kiehl's products we have tried!
  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser
  • Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash
  • Kiehl's Clearly Corrective™ Skin Brightening Exfoliator
  • Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner
  • Kiehl's Clearly Corrective™ Clarity-Activating Toner
  • Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye
  • Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate
  • Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
  • Kiehl's Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream
  • Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye Opening Serum
  • Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence
  • Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate
  • Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser 150ml/RM 94

This is a gel-type foam cleanser that will turn into soft bubbles when lathered with water. You use this before your toner and after an oil cleanser.

Inspired by its best-selling cream the Ultra Facial Cream, this product is really gentle and non-stripping, designed specifically for drier skin. Kiehl's claims that it can remove makeup but I honestly do not see any makeup removing property for this cleanser. It can remove sunscreen but definitely not foundation or pigmented makeup.

I did not buy the full size product, only received a 30ml miniature from my massive Kiehl's haul. And I don't think I will purchase the full product when I finish this. This is definitely a gentle moisturizing foam cleanser that doesn't contain any fragrance and is quite mild on the skin but it is too gentle that I don't find it doing a good job cleansing my skin. I am a fan of squeaky clean cleansing experience but I still prefer something that can cleanse my face a little deeper.

Ideal for sensitive and normal-to-dry skin types. Don't think this can remove makeup.

Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash 230ml/RM 120

This is a gel-type foam cleanser that is designed specifically for sensitive and oily skin. Similar to the Ultra Facial Cleanser, you use this after a makeup remover and before a toner. This alone is insufficient to dissolve makeup especially heavier and waterproof ones.

I bought this for my bf who has dehydrated, oily, and acne-prone skin and he lovesss it. He told me that this is the best cleanser he has ever used as it deep-cleanses without being too stripping. Other cleansers he uses are either too drying or not deep-cleansing enough. This is like having the best of both worlds in a bottle. Besides, given that he is only 50% done with this cleanser a year from buying it, he finds this really affordable and "worth-it" compared to other more stripping, less hydrating cleansers he has tried. A definite repurchase for him!

Ideal for sensitive, dehydrated, troubled and oilier skin types. Drier skin might not like it.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective™ Skin Brightening Exfoliator 125ml/RM 133

This is a foam cleanser with the exfoliating property of scrub. You are not supposed to use this everyday, only once at night. It is more suitable for those with oily, dull and rough skin texture. Drier skin might find this a little bit too harsh.

Kiehl's calls this a "high-performance exfoliating cleanser" that can cleanse and exfoliate pores at the same time. As you can see, it comes in a creamy paste with little particles floating inside to slough off dead skin cells and unevenness on the skin. Your skin will be left softer, smoother and visibly brighter.

The official instruction requires that you use this at night every day after the Purifying Foaming Cleanser but I personally find that this alone is sufficient to serve as a foaming cleanser without the need to "triple cleanse" (I always use a cleansing oil or oil-based cleanser before a foam cleanser).

I have finished the miniature I received as a birthday gift from Kiehl's. I find this is to be more of a scrub than a cleanser. It has very refine exfoliating particles that will slough off your dead skin cells effectively and evenly. The skin definitely looks much clearer and brighter after using without feeling irritated from the scrubbing process. I think this is probably something that I will repurchase in the future as I really like its lavender scent and its gentleness as a physical scrub compared to many other products I have tried.

Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner 250ml/RM 160

This is a pores-cleansing, soothing and sebum-regulating toner instilled with calendula flower petals. It is more suitable for sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin. Normal and dry skin might not need this and will find this "meh". Also the best-selling product of Kiehl's.

Again, this is for my bf. He uses this to tame his blemish and to hydrate his skin but doesn't use it consistent enough to see any difference. He normally asks my help to use this as a lotion mask on his skin, especially after using a clay mask to soothe his skin. I would just soak the toner in my Muji peelable cotton pads and put it all over his face like how you apply facial mask and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before removing it. I do notice that his skin becomes plumper, pores smaller and redness disappeared after using. A friend of mine who has extremely sensitive skin also swears by this toner to keep her skin healthy and calmed. Another friend who uses this under my recommendation told me that this has made bumps on her skin going down and breakouts less likely to occur. So I think this definitely works to soothe the skin and it is especially effective for sensitive, oily and acne-prone skin.

Ideal for sensitive, acne-prone, and oily skin. Dry skin should opt for their cucumber toner.

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Clarity-Activating Toner 250ml/RM 140

This is a brightening and hydrating toner made of lavender extract and vitamin C extract. It is suitable for all skin types, especially those with dull skin.

It is very watery with a little bit of viscosity inside. It feels quite gentle on the skin without drying it out. It smells like lavender essential oil, which is a big bonus for lavender lover. Kiehl's calls this a "high-performance clear toner” that will gently "retexturize" the skin. 

I used this along with the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution and is delighted to find that this has helped to boost the efficacy of the Dark Spot Solution. The Dark Spot Solution gets absorbed better and the result is much more obvious with the addition of this Clearly Corrective Clarity-Activating Toner. I often use this as lotion mask with 2-3 drops of the Dark Spot Solution added inside. It is a common skincare tactic in Taiwan where girls just soak their cotton pads with toner or lotion and apply them onto the face like normal sheet mask for 3-5 minutes. My skin becomes clearer and somewhat brighter after using this method.

I enjoy the clearer and more radiant complexion this toner brought for me, but I still prefer something more hydrating. I think this toner dries out my skin or doesn't supply enough moisture after prolonged usage hence is not suitable for daily uses. I think the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution alone is more than enough for my journey against the little spots on my cheek and nose so I will not repurchase once I have finished using the toner.

Ideal for dull and pigmented skin. A little bit drying for drier skin types.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye 15ml/RM 166

This is a repairing and anti-aging eye cream designed to compliment the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It is infused with essential oils and botanical extracts to improve the skin texture around the eyes.

I have not bought this, only tried a sample it. The eye cream has a creamy consistency that is quite nourishing. It claims to reduce puffiness and dark circles as well as fine lines under the eyes, but since I only use a sample of it, I have not noticed much of a difference after using. And I don't really fancy its creamy texture that is slightly on the oily side. Don't think I will purchase the full size product.

Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate 15ml/RM 177

This is a eye serum formulated with 10.5% of pure vitamin C extract to target fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes area. It also has a patented ingredient haloxyl to strengthen, soothe and brighten the eyes area to help eliminating dark circles.

I got this as a GwP from my other Kiehl's purchases. As you can see, the product has started to deteriorate where the oil component is separated from the water component even before the expiry date. I am not sure does that mean that this product will become less effective but I did not notice much of a difference for my under eyes area after using. And one thing that I really dislike about this eye serum is its scent. It has a strong, sickening vitamin C scent that will linger for hours. The eye serum also feels kinda hot and tingling on my eyes area.

Not sure does it worth the price but not something that I enjoy using.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado 14g/RM 135

This is an eye cream made of avocado oil and shea butter to moisturize and nourish the eye area.

The eye cream has a unique consistency. You'll need to warm it between your fingers before dabbing it on your eyes. If you directly apply the cream on your eye, it will turn into some thick paste that is hard to blend out. Once it is blended out, the cream will turn into a rich protective wrap on your skin.

This is the holy grail eye cream for many people, even Michelle Phan is using this. However, its cold cream type texture is really not my favourite so don't think I will purchase the full size product. Ideal for normal to dry eye area.

Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream 14g/RM 166

This is an anti-wrinkles eye cream with copper PCA and calcium PCA to repair signs of aging and to improve the elasticity around your eyes. The eye cream is made of a combination of micronutrients, squalane, beeswax, caffein and hyaluronic acid to nourish and revitalize your eye area.

As you can see, the cream comes in a soft gel consistency that feels smooth and moisturizing on the eye area. I bought this for my mom who has saggy eye lids and deep crow feet. She doesn't quite enjoy it and finds it ineffective compared to the Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream. As such, she doesn't repurchase after she finished it.

Ideal for all skin types, even oily skin with wrinkles and elasticity concerns.

Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Eye Opening Serum 15ml/RM 188

This is an eye serum that you use before an eye cream in your skincare routine. You can also follow it up with a gentle moisturizing cream if you prefer.

The eye serum is formulated with botanically-derived rhamnose and hyaluronic acid to firm, restore and hydrate youthfulness of the eyes area. It contains shiny mica particles (they call this "skin illuminating minerals") to give an illusion of brighter-looking eyes, just like Belif Anti-Dark Circle Eye Serum and Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream.

I have used up 2 bottles of this eye serum (3ml x 2 = 6ml) and is regretted to say that I did not notice any lifting or brightening effects. Of course, my dark circles problem is very much lifestyle related so I cannot have too much faith on an eye serum to reduce those but I still expect to see some results. Well, to be fair, it does a good job hydrating and softening my under eyes area. It is also very lightweight and will not cause any milia but given the results, I don't think this eye serum will worth its price (RM 188) hence I don't think I will purchase the full size product in the future.

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence 200ml/RM 188

This is a treatment essence made of iris flower extract to brighten, moisturize and revitalize the skin. It is actually an anti-aging essence as it claims to rejuvenate the skin and enhance cellular turnout to make your skin appears younger and softer.

As you can see, the essence has a watery but slightly viscous consistency. It has a pleasant but subtle floral scent to it. To be honest, I have seen good results from using this essence. My skin is softer, plumper and also more radiant after using this for several weeks. This brings visible improvements to my skin.

Ideal for all skin types especially normal to dry skin who wants some anti-aging, brightening and moisturizing three-in-one remedy for the skin.

Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate 30ml/RM 243

This is a facial oil that is meant to be used in the morning to revitalize and strengthen the skin's defense against uv damage and daily aggressors. It is sort of like a treatment-type moisturizer in the form of facial oil.

Again, both my mom and I are not fans of facial oil so we cannot bring ourselves to appreciate this product. It does smell great with sunflower oil, ginger root extract and tamunu, but it is still too heavy for our skin types, especially for my mom who has combination skin. My mom tried to mix this in her foundation as taught by Kiehl's Consultant but she found out that doing so breaks her skin out. I am not sure why, maybe she didn't remove it thoroughly enough when mixing it with a facial oil, or that the oil is too heavy for her combination skin.

I think someone with drier skin who wants a strong antioxidant will benefit the most from this facial oil. It is undoubtedly a well-made product with loads of quality botanical oils and antioxidants. It will protect one from uv damage and pollutants. It is also very convenient as a treatment-and-moisturizer-in-one that you can simply mix in your foundation to kick start your busy morning. It just so happens that it is not meant for us and our skin types.

Ideal for drier skin or those who enjoy using facial oil in their skincare routine. This is the product that keep you awake in the morning!

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate 30ml/RM 243

This is a facial oil that you use at night to aid sleeping and for skin regeneration and repairing purposes. It has a blend of multiple fragranced botanical extracts which smells really relaxing and soothing.

To be fair, I am not a fan of facial oil. I find them unpleasant and heavy on my skin so I always prefer water-based products. So when I came across this facial oil, the only thing I did is to use it for aromatherapy purpose, where I smell it before going to bed at night. I understand that this will be a great moisturizer for certain people with dry skin. Its smell is a bonus too! But for me and my mom, this is still too heavy for our liking so we only use it as a sleep aid.

Ideal for those with aging and dry skin.

[Disclaimer] Product is purchased with my own money. All copyright of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.

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