With so much skincare out there, it can be tricky to know where to start.
But a brand that’s at a middling price point, is natural and caters to all skin types is a good place to start.
Enter Kiehl’s. Rooted in science, the first of its apothecarys opened in New York way back in 1851. So with over 180 years of experience, it’s not too much of a surprise that the brand knows what it’s doing.
Known for cult classics like the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Avocado Eye Cream and Ultra Facial Cream that are loved by celebs including Kaley Cuoco and Maya Jama, it’s filled to the brim with high quality products.
We’ve tried and tested a whole host of Kiehl’s skincare products — these are our favourites.
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1. Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50
To protect skin against sun damage and developing wrinkles, SPF is a must every single day come rain or shine.
But some of the sunscreens of old have a bad rep for being greasy, thick and leaving behind a layer of white, ultimately leading to breakouts, which is enough to put anyone off.
However, the Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 from Kiehl’s is a different beast. It feels more like a moisturiser than a suncream and smoothes easily over the whole face, leaving it glowing.
This cream creates a barrier against pollution and SPF 50 protects against those harmful UVA and UVB rays to help keep skin looking younger for longer.
It’s also fragrance-free and doesn’t leave any greasiness or white residue so it’s perfect to wear alone or beneath makeup.
Apply a layer after moisturising and before applying makeup. If you’d rather not add a dedicated primer before your base, this works nicely as an illuminating base.
2. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil is part of the same family as the cult classic Midnight Recovery Concentrate.
The bottle has a pump that locks or unlocks with a twist, so no need to worry about spillages, and is the same midnight blue that Kiehl’s is so famous for.
We love using this as part of our evening skincare routine because the oil melts away excess oil and grime that has built up over the day.
Evening Primrose Oil and Lavender Essential Oil are soothing and play a part in the full sensory wind down experience with its calming scent.
Squalane gently hydrates and the oil doesn’t feel greasy once washed off with warm water.
This cleansing oil leaves skin soft, glowing and ready for the remainder of your skincare routine.
3. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
The Ultra Facial Cleanser is part of the same range as their Ultra Facial Cream and is a perfect addition to your morning skincare routine.
Although it says it’s liquid, it has more of a gel like texture that disperses easily over your face and neck.
Once you’ve rubbed it in, run your hands under some water before massaging the product in again so it emulsifies. Then wipe away gently with a flannel.
It doesn’t strip natural oils or leave skin feeling tight but that’s not to say it’s not refreshing and cleansing.
Follow up with a moisturiser and an SPF before taking on the day.
4. Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum
For smooth, youthful looking skin, it’s worth thinking about using a retinol.
Retinol can seem a little scary and might not be suitable for more sensitive skin types but it works wonders when it comes to evening out complexions.
It works by promoting cell turnover, and this one from Kiehl’s has been paired with peptides and ceramides for hydration.
The serum is yellow when initially pumped out, but becomes clear after being massaged in leaving skin glistening.
We prefer using this as part of our evening skincare routine so it can work its cell turnover magic overnight but if you do decide to use it in the morning, it’s even more crucial to wear an SPF.
5. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Rehydrating Mask
Is there anything better than overnight skincare?
This rehydrating mask uses squalane to moisturise and leave skin feeling fresher and healthier the next morning.
It also strengthen’s the skin barrier which is crucial to avoid sensitised skin and breakouts.
It comes as a solid balm in a pot rather than a cream which you massage in and leave overnight for restored skin.
If you’re looking for a quick hydration boost, you can also leave it on for 15 minutes before wiping away with a dry towel or tissue.
6. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30
The Ultra Facial Cream needs to be added to your skincare routine pronto.
It’s creamy and thick without feeling heavy on skin and just a few dots are enough to comfortably cover your entire face.
A moisturiser’s purpose is to, of course, moisturise, but this daily cream is so hydrating it leaves skin looking radiant straight after use.
It only uses clean ingredients and harnesses the natural benefits of glacial glycoprotein and olive-derived squalane so no need to worry about being exposed to harsh chemicals.
Read our full review of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.
7. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
If you looked up cult classic in the dictionary, there would be a picture of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate as the definition.
Using Lavender Essential Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and olive-derived squalane, it smoothes texture and improves radiance while you sleep.
Just a few pumps of the handy dropper, are enough to cover your whole face and nourish skin.
Plus, it’s an all-natural, vegan-friendly formula, and suitable for all skin types.
Read our full Midnight Recovery review.
8. Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
This is a really interesting product because of it’s dual moisture hit formula.
In the tub, the avocado eye cream looks like whipped avocado, and when it first goes on, it’s a rich texture.
But after gently rubbing into the under eyes, it unlocks a burst of water that turns the texture slippery, which feels refreshing and hydrating.
The brightening effect is instant and it makes eyes look more awake. Result.
Read our full review of the Avocado Eye Cream.
9. Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo
This all natural shampoo uses silk amino acids and coconut oil to penetrate the strand and help to heal and moisturise damaged hair.
It’s sulphate-free (always something to look out for in shampoos) so it strips away less of the hair’s natural oils leaving it looking and feeling healthier and softer.
It lathers really nicely so, if you like a visual cue that your hair is being cleaned, then this shampoo ticks that box.
Plus it comes in four sizes ranging from 75ml (perfect for travel) all the way to a 1L refillable pouch.
10. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel
Perhaps Kiehl’s most popular men’s product, Facial Fuel is a vitamin-enriched daily moisturiser designed to energise skin and protect it from the nasties it encounters throughout the day. Ingredients included to achieve these goals include caffeine and chestnut extract, the latter of which is claimed to improve the skin’s barrier.
One of the biggest considerations for us — especially heading into summer — was the lightness of the moisturiser. After all, there’s no point moisturising if the only result is that you are turned into a sweating mess.
However, we needn’t have worried: the consistency of the moisturiser is surprisingly thin, almost to the point where we thought it would be too thin to have much effect. However, once you put it on you can feel the caffeine doing its work, an effect bolstered by an invigorating minty scent.
It was also easy to spot the hydrating effect it had on skin, which looked healthy and well-watered throughout the day. And although it’s thin, a little goes a long way; we’d say that at £20 for a 75ml bottle, it strikes a happy medium between quality and affordability.
Put simply, we’d say this is a great skincare stalwart to build a routine around — and for ease, you can even sign up to a subscription, so that you don’t have to think about re-ordering. Kiehl’s will even throw in a 10% discount as an incentive.
If you’re a real skincare buff you might opt for the SPF 19 version, which retails at the same price and offers protection against the sun (and the signs of ageing it causes).
Kiehl’s Age Defender Cream Moisturiser
Designed for men looking for a skincare basic that will combat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, the Age Defender Moisturiser makes use of ingredients such as salicylic acid and linseed extract. You get the welcome caffeine kick from the Facial Fuel here, too.
Because it’s a men’s product, it comes in a black tub with striking red and white writing (man, grr), and upon unscrewing the lid, you’re struck by a similar minty smell to the one emitted by the Facial Fuel.
However, it is definitely a more pungent odour than the Facial Fuel’s: not quite to the point of being off-putting, but it definitely implies that it’s here for business rather than pleasure.
The other slightly off-putting thing about this moisturiser is its consistency. It’s not thin and silky like the Facial Fuel, but rather thick and oddly gelatinous. It’s a bit like Greek yoghurt, actually (although you should by no means top this with honey and consume it orally).
If you’re slightly apprehensive before you apply it, though, you’ll be reassured by its performance. It glides onto the skin beautifully: the gloopy texture transmogrifies into a beautiful, cool, refreshing cream upon contact with your face, and applying it becomes a real treat.
This also means that you really only need a tiny bit to cover your whole face, which should reassure people who are a bit scared of its admittedly doubt-inspiring price tag. In fact, you’ll find that if you put too much on, it takes a good while to absorb.
The only area where this falls down is in its lack of any SPF factor — especially considering that using an SPF product (ideally with a factor of at least 30) daily is the single best thing you can do to prevent ageing.
Is Kiehl’s cruelty-free?
Kiehl’s isn’t entirely cruelty-free because it does test on animals in countries where it is required by law — most notably, China.
Is Kiehl’s vegan?
Some products are vegan friendly but not everything that Kiehl’s produces is.
This also ties in with not being cruelty-free as products tested on animals are not considered vegan-friendly even if the formulation is.
Do Kiehl’s products contain parabens?
They don’t, all Kiehl’s products are paraben-free.
Parabens are preservatives that increase the shelf life of cosmetics but can negatively affect skin.
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