Review: Kiehl's Skincare

Is Kiehl's skincare worth the hype?


Image source: Paige Evans

I have been using Kiehl's products for about three years now, and I have not been disappointed so far. I bought my first product, the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, during my obsession with beauty YouTubers and while I was also trying to build a skincare fit for my skin, which at the time was recovering from acne. It was getting a lot of positive reviews online and, to my surprise, when I tried it, I fell in love with it too. The perfume resembles that of a wildflower field and the morning after applying it my skin was less red. It was dewy and hydrated.


A year later I decided to invest in eye creams to prevent the ageing of the skin around my eyes. After a few wrong choices I landed again on the Kiehl's website and purchased the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and the Midnight Recovery Eye. I began using the avocado cream in the morning and the midnight one at night. This pairing really made a difference. I could see my eyes looking less tired and brighter too. I even stopped using the midnight eye cream for a couple of weeks to see if it was a placebo effect or if they really were working together, and they definitely were!


After six bottles of Midnight Recovery Concentrate and four of each eye cream, I decided to put more Kiehl's products to the test. I went out and bought a mix of cleansers, toners, serums and masks and created a skincare routine that I followed for a week to see if it was going to improve the appearance of my skin.


My new skincare routine consisted of the Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, followed by the Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment as a toner for both day and night. Then, I completed my AM routine by using my beloved avocado eye cream with the Ultra Facial Cream plus a sunscreen that I’ve been using for a while.


For the PM I used the Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil which is meant to calm the skin. After the oil I would use the Nightly Refining Micro-Peel three times a week to help my acne scars fade, then I’d continue with my usual routine: Midnight Recovery eye cream and serum. On Saturday evenings I also used a face mask made to replenish the skin and deeply hydrate it, the Ultra Facial Hydrating Overnight Mask.


When I began my new routine, the first impression I had of the Calendula Cleanser was… foamy. A lot foamier than I had expected (in fact, I looked like a cloud!) But it smelled like flowers and after I dried my face the skin didn’t feel like it had been stripped of its hydration. I then reached out for the Iris Toner and, right from the start, I could tell that I didn’t really like it. It did not smell like irises at all and was closer in scent to alcohol. Yet, my skin didn’t feel tight after the application. I then proceeded with the Ultra Facial Moisturiser, which was very light, a bit like water, and fresh too. I really liked how it left my skin, feeling fresh and ready for the day.


At night I repeated the first two steps of my routine and added the night-time oils. I started off with the Cannabis Sativa one which truly smelled like weed, but I didn’t really mind it. When I first put it on, it felt as if my skin was absorbing it really fast. Then I used the Micro-Peel which felt a bit more chemical than the rest of the products, but it was to be expected. The Midnight Recovery combo finished my PM routine and by the end of it I looked like I was ready to be deep fried.


The morning after I could already see a difference from the day before: my skin was dewier, looked more hydrated and way less red. It is safe to say that I was already pleased with the results. I kept this routine up for six days before switching it up and adding the Ultra Facial Mask. This is an overnight mask so it is advised to simply wash your face, put this on and go to bed. I did exactly that but, while I was sleeping, I felt that my pillow had become sticky due to the mask, which had basically transferred on the fabric rather than sticking to my skin, and to be honest I did not see any results the morning after.


I also use the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, which is a must-have and a real life-saver during the winter!


Overall, I have to say that Kiehl's is a good, consistent brand. While I wouldn’t repurchase the Iris Essence, the Ultra Facial Overnight Mask or the Calendula face wash, I think I will give the Micro-Peel another try. After all, acne scars do not disappear in seven days. The Cannabis Sativa Oil, on the other hand, I believe to be a true revelation. I suffer from rosacea and the difference I saw on my skin while I was using it was very impressive. The only downside is that it’s best not to travel to other countries with it, as stated on Kiehl's website. To me, Kiehl's is one of the best brands out there when it comes to skincare.