16 Oct 2017

Since 1851: 26 Kiehl's Product Review Part 2


I talked about my first encounter with Kiehl's in my part 1 review.

In this part 2 review, I'm gonna share my overall impression on the brand as a whole, and my final thoughts using 26 of their products (some are samples) after 1.5 years now.

If you are new to Kiehl's, it is basically a pharmacy-turned-cosmetic brand. They started off selling fragrance, inventing skincare for men, and slowly evolved to producing pharmaceutical skincare the "Dermatologist Solutions". You can find out more about the history of Kiehl's here. The brand pledges to use only naturally-derived ingredients to maintain skin health. It only provides a money back guarantee 30 days from purchasing if you are not satisfied with their products. In addition, they also do their corporate social responsibility by engaging in a lot of charity works and recycling campaigns. It seems that they are more into building their own heritage than just commercialization.

I started using Kiehl's products back in January 2016, where I purchased the Clearly Corrective Clarity Activation Toner and claimed several samples of its Dark Spot Solution. I did notice an encouraging reduction in my freckles. I ventured into the masque, cream, and subsequently essence several months later. Kiehl's gave me a lot of samples since I spent over RM 3K on the store. Not just for myself, but for my family and friends. That's how I managed to try out so many of their products.

Out of all those things I tried, only a few made an impression on me. Its clearly corrective line is awesome. Then its men's oil eliminator line as well as the blue-bottle Oil-Free Gel Cream are all great too. I also love the Iris Essence although that one wasn't as impressive as other first essences I've tried. I also love their calendula and mightnight recovery line too.

I think most Kiehl's products are not considered cheap. Among which, its eye creams are definitely overpriced. A small 15ml costs around RM 150-250, which is really pricey given the volume of product you get. Its serum is expensive too I would say. So far I think the only thing I would repurchase would be the Dark Spot Solution, Iris Essence and Calendula Toner.

Now lets' talk about the remaining Kiehl's products I've experienced:
  • Kiehl's Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution
  • Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
  • Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate
  • Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate
  • Kiehl's Centella Recovery Skin Salve
  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream
  • Kiehl's Men's Oil Eliminator 24 Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer
  • Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream
  • Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
  • Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Purifying Masque
  • Kiehl's Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque
  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque
  • Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA++++


Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque 75ml/RM 138


This is an exfoliating and revitalizing wash-off mask made of turmeric extract and cranberry seeds. You apply it on your skin and let dry for 15-20 minutes. Before rinsing it off, you need to emulsify it with water and gently massage your skin with the cranberry seeds inside. Do not use it more than three times a week to avoid overexfoliating your skin.

The mask has a creamy and thick consistency that looks like home-made turmeric paste. I normally just use this once a week or 2-3 times a month as it is quite drying and harsh if use frequently. My skin is visibly brighter and clearer after using everytime, like all other exfoliating mask so I won't say that there is anything too special about this turmeric mask. I don't think you need to get this if you already have exfoliating mask. But if you are looking for a mask with natural ingredients and can brighten up your complexion, then you can definitely give this a try. See my full review and ingredients analysis here for more info.

Ideal for normal and dull skin, sensitive skin should patch test before using.


Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution 30ml/RM 230



This is one of Kiehl's top selling products, a lightweight brightening serum that can diminish dark spots and even out the skin complexion. The lavender extract inside is claimed to have aromatherapy effects on tired and stressed skin.

I have been using this for a couple of months and noticed some improvements in my freckles. Not a significant or major ones but there is definitely some improvements. Of course, that is mostly attributed to my poor sleeping habits hence slower cellular turnover of my skin. However, the result is definitely there. Another thing that I love about this serum is its scent. It really has an enticing lavender scent that feels heavenly on the skin. I am not sure the clinical benefits or practicability of having fragrance in skincare but if that is meant for my nose and my brain, it has definitely succeeded in luring me into better sleep and rest.

Ideal for all skin types, especially those who have hyperpigmentation. You can check this out for my full review and ingredients analysis!

Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate 50ml/RM 265



Actually I don't like the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing line of Kiehl's. Most samples I have tried on this line have really strong vitamin C scent that feels irritating and hot on the skin. I know this means that the ascorbic acid content inside the products are really potent but I just happen to dislike its texture.

This Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate claims that it is made of 10.5% pure vitamin  C to improve skin texture, tone and radiance while reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. I believe it can achieve all these benefits if used consistently everyday. However, I really cannot convince myself to apply this unpleasant-smelling serum on my skin. Besides, the samples that I use tend to deteriorate pretty fast (where the water is separated from the oil) so I am not confident that the product can last more than a month in my room temperature.

You can try this if you are looking for a serum that will reduce wrinkles, impart radiance and improve your skin texture. It's kinda thick so I don't think this will be suitable for those with oily skin.



Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate 50ml/RM 220



Formulated with a unique liquid-to-serum technology, this moisturizing serum can deeply hydrate the skin and correct signs of age-related dehydration.

As you can see, the product has a gel consistency that turns into water once you spread it out. The unique blend of moisture and oil here enables the moisture to reach far down into the skin whereas the oil forms a protective layer to prevent the moisture from escaping the skin. It will make the skin plumper and fine lines appeared smoother. Kiehl's gave a miniature of this product to my mom when she purchased other Kiehl's product. My mom with dehydrated combination skin actually quite enjoys it but she doesn't like it enough to purchase the full size product. She thinks that this is a decent moisturizing serum but not as hydrating as she expects hence she will still stick to Belif Hungarian Essence Moisture Binder.

Ideal for aging, dehydrated and rougher skin.

Kiehl’s Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate 50ml/RM 276



This is an anti-aging, lifting and pores-tightening serum that is made of yeast extract, soybean protein, rosemary leaf oil and a bunch of other moisturizers.

One thing that I really like about this serum is its scent. It smells like Belif products which is quite refreshing, minty and herbal. It also has a light gel texture that feels soft and smooth on the skin. I am not sure will this be effective or not since I have only used its samples but this definitely feels good on the skin and I will consider purchasing a full size product in the future to see if it has any pores tightening effect.



Kiehl’s Centella Recovery Skin Salve 75ml/RM 204



This is a treatment-type lotion that is designed specifically for dehydrated and sensitive skin. I got this for my aunt who suffers from serious eczema and she is absolutely adoring this!

Actually I am not using this myself because I don't really have sensitive skin. It just so happens that I accidentally found a few samples of this product in my skincare stash. Coincidentally, I also scratched my cheek so whatever product I am putting my face will irritate that part of my skin... but not this. It really surprises me because my skin seriously doesn't feel anything when I put this on the affected area. It just soothes, protects and moisturizes the area really well without causing any irritation or pain. The next day, I notice that the wound is already healing and there is no scars left whatsoever a few days later. It is amazing!

This will be an amazing spot treatment or moisturizer for irritated, dehydrated, and wounded skin. For all skin types.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream 50ml/RM 120



This is a skin soothing and moisturizing gel cream that is meant for normal to oily skin. It has been one of Kiehl's top sellers since its launch.

I adore this cream. I even like it better than my Primera Oil-Free Alpine Berry Watery Cream. It is super hydrating, soothing, refreshing and moisturizing. My skin is plump, soft and cooled everytime after using. Something in it also balances my skin really well preventing it from producing oil. I can't say how much I love this product, I am just gonna grab the 120ml jumbo size one when it becomes available!

Ideal for normal to oily skin, may not be moisturizing enough for dry skin. Great for the Malaysian weather.

Kiehl's Men's Oil Eliminator 24 Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer 75ml/RM 105


This is a moisturizer for men with oily skin. It has a gel cream consistency with oil-absorbing property and will leave a matte finish. This is my bf's holy grail and is the only product that he uses consistently thoroughly the year of 2016.

I think the major contribution of this moisturizer is its ability to absorb oil, regulate sebum production and protect the skin from aggressors. However, it doesn't repair, hydrate or rejuvenate. Despite claiming that this has comforted his skin in a great way, my bf doesn't report any improvements in his skin texture or overall health. His skin is still producing oil whenever he is not using this, and his pores remain large. His hormonal acne never goes down. However, as an oil-controlling moisturizer, this has definitely done a great job protecting and controlling the sebum on men's skin.

Ideal for men with oily skin.

Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream 50ml/RM 254



This is an anti-aging, firming and wrinkles repairing cream for those with aging and dry skin concerns. The cream has a creamy texture that feels nourishing on the skin.

Honestly speaking, this will work well as a moisturizing and skin repairing cream. My skin immediately becomes smoother, softer and more resilient after using this cream. I am not sure about its long-term benefits since I only used two miniatures (7ml x 2) of it but I believe that consistent use will yield long-term benefits. However, one thing that I really dislike about this cream is its scent. It has a weird, died-insect kinda funky scent that makes me want to hold my breath every time I am using this. I like the cream, but I will definitely not buying the full size product because of the scent.

Ideal for dry, saggy and mature skin.

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque 142g/RM 122



This is a clay mask with a creamy, thick but highly blendable texture. It is made of white clay from the Brazilian Amazon river to purify and detoxify the pores.

The most popular clay mask I have ever come across is Innisfree Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. At least 70% of my friends who use skincare are heard about this in some way. But I personally find that the clay mask from Kiehl's has done a much better job purifying the skin compared to Innisfree. It is also more moisturizing and will not dry out as fast as Innisfree after opening.

I bought this for my bf, but is also using it once in a while. Despite its effectiveness, this clay mask feels really hot on the skin when I put it on which I don't like so I am not using it that often. But my bf is a fan of this mask. It works well on his acne-prone, dehydrated and oily skin. His pores are smaller, acne lesser, and his skin stays "cleaner" for longer than the last use. He has since repurchased a second bottle.

Ideal for all skin types, especially those with clogged pores and oily skin. Check this out for full review and ingredients analysis!

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque 125ml/RM 144



This is a sleeping mask made of ophiopogon japonicus extract (also known as fountain plant) to moisturize and soothe the skin. Ideal for dehydrated and dry skin. Oilier, acne-prone and sensitive skin are advised to either wash or tissue it off after leaving on for about 10-20 minutes.

As you can see, the sleeping mask has a clear gel consistency that looks pretty refreshing and hydrating. However, if you blend it out, it will form a layer of moisture wrap on your skin that is a bit tacky and even sticky if you don't like that feeling. And the feeling won't go away even after 30 minutes or so. Although I wouldn't say that it sticks to my pillow but I personally dislike any sleeping mask that will leave a tacky/sticky residue. Due to that, I don't find this as hydrating as it claims, more like nourishing in a sticky way.

My bf was using this as a weekly treatment for his dehydrated, oily and acne-prone skin. He leaves it on for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off with water. To be honest, it actually helps to clear out some hidden dirt and grime inside his skin. It is true that the skin will do its own cleaning after it holds enough moisture. And that this overnight hydrating masque is also perfect as a 10 minutes SPA therapy for his oily skin. The moisture wrap serves as a perfect stemming layer to force feed his skin with moisture, kinda like applying sheet mask on his face.

Ideal for drier skin type. Can also be used as a wash-off mask for those with oilier skin.

Kiehl’s Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant Purifying Masque 75ml/RM 138


This is a wash-off type mask that can also be used as leave-on cream or overnight mask. It is formulated with peppermint, cilantro and orange to offer anti-pollution, detoxifying and intense moisturizing benefits for the skin. Your skin will appear clearer, renewed and more radiant after using.

Kiehl's introduces its first anti-pollutant line back in 2016. Now we have a lot anti-pollutant masks in the market. This mask is claimed to be a natural antidote to the harmful effects of environmental pollution on the skin. It can also reverse the signs of premature aging caused by environmental aggressors. This will draw out pollutants and heavy metal build-up on skin and help the skin breath better.

Personally, I am not a fan of this. It is too creamy and rich in consistency which my skin doesn't like. I used it on my bf whose work requires outdoor activities. I do notice that his fine lines are somewhat diminished (this has pores and fine lines blurring effects), texture smoother (due to the creamy consistency) and skin appears plumper (due to the moisturizing properties). But nothing permanent or impressive. I am not sure about the anti-pollutant claims but there isn't any improvement to his clogged pores issue. He still reports clogged pores and acne associated with air pollution and dust. He finds that this works better to prevent the buildup of dust in the daytime, but not in the night time. The texture is also too heavy for his liking.

Ideal for those who want to reduce harmful effects caused by environmental aggressors. Might not be great for oily skin type.

Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA++++ 30ml/RM 160




This is a sunscreen with a wide sun protection spectrum of SPF50+ and PA++++ but is surprisingly lightweight on the skin.

One of the best sunscreens I have ever used, this sunscreen has an upgraded and improved formula with extended protection against long UVA rays. I think out of all sunscreen I have tried, except for those with gel texture, this is the only cream-type sunscreen that feels completely weightless on the skin.

I love it a lot, but I am still debating whether or not I want to purchase the full size due to its high price. Ideal for all skin types even sensitive 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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