The Best and Worst Kiehl’s Skincare Products

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If you are reading this, you are probably thinking about testing out some of Kiehl’s skincare products. Maybe you heard a thing or two about the brand but are looking for a second opinion. After all, you want to make sure this skincare line is worth the hype before you make the investment.

Overall, I’ve had a pretty good experience with Kiehl’s skincare products. That being said, there are some products that are worth the purchase and some that deserve a pass.

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Kiehl’s Skincare Reviews

Kiehl's Skincare Review Calendula Face Wash

Calendula Deep Clean Foaming Face Wash | $34

This face cleanser breaks down dirt, oil, and impurities without compromising the moisture barrier, helping skin look hydrated and feel soothed, not dry or tight.

Of all the Kiehl’s face washes I tried, this is the one I like the most. It comes to a nice foam when washing but doesn’t leave the skin feeling stripped.

This cleanser is great for combination, oily skin, or acne-prone skin. If you have super dry skin, you might find this a bit too drying.

Verdict: Buy It!

Cucumber Face Wash Kiehl's Skincare Review

Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser | $25

This cucumber cleanser claims to be a gentle, gel-lotion cleanser that softly melts away dirt while conditioning sensitive skin for a fresh-feeling clean that lasts all day.

This cleanser is pretty forgettable. I tested it for this post and then went back to my old cleanser.

Verdict: Pass on it. Buy this gentle cleanser instead.

Kiehl's Calendula Herbal Extract Toner

Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner | $40

This hydrating, alcohol-free toner is formulated with calendula, allantoin, and great burdock. These ingredients work together to soothe and moisturize the skin. 

When my skin is red and angered, I reach for this toner. I love that it is gentle, doesn’t sting, and reduces redness. The one downside is this toner is pretty expensive. That being said, I am willing to pay the price to have this product on hand when I need it.

Kiehl’s says this product is formulated for combination skin, but those with normal, oily, or sensitive skin could benefit from using this toner.

Verdict: Buy it!

Kiehl's Line Reducing Concentrate

Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate | $70

The Powerful-Strenght Line-Reducing Concentrate is a Vitamin C serum that reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, dullness, and uneven texture.

When I want to address aging and wrinkles, I reach for a retinol product, not Vitamin C. If you are not interested in trying retinol or can’t use it, then Vitamin C is an okay alternative. I do like that it applies easily and does not irritate my sensitive skin.

If you have more sensitive skin but want to try a vitamin C serum, this is a nice one to try.

Verdict: Buy it.

Kiehl's Skincare Review

Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution | $56

This Clearly Corrective Serum is formulated with Vitamin C, salicylic acid, and white birch extract to help fade dark spots and even skin tone.

I have mixed feelings about the Dark Spot Solution. When I first tried this serum years ago, I had oiler skin that broke out a lot. The alcohol, Vitamin C, and salicylic acid helped to reduce oil production while fading scars.

Now that I’m older, my skin is drier and less prone to breakouts. This type of product isn’t something I need anymore.

If you are oily and acne-prone, I think you will enjoy this product. If you are on the drier side or don’t have issues with acne, I would purchase the Line-Reducing Concentrate instead.

Verdict: Buy it if you have oily, acne-prone skin.

Kiehl's Skincare Review Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Midnight Recovery Concentrate | $52

The Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a blend of squalane, lavender, and evening primrose oils. It is applied nightly to soften and hydrate the skin.

Kiehl’s markets this product as a serum, but it is really a facial oil. As someone with combination skin, I don’t use facial oils often. When I do, I always opt for squalane oil. I was hoping that since this has squalane in it that my skin would like it. Unfortunately, the Midnight Recovery Concentrate caused my skin to break out.

If you have dry skin you might like this oil. However, those with acne-prone, combination, or oily skin should probably pass on this one.

Verdict: Pass on it. Buy this facial oil instead.

Ultra Facial Cream Kiehl's Skincare Review

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream | $32

The Ultra Facial Cream is a lightweight face cream that supports the skin barrier and delivers hydration. Formulated with olive-derived squalane, glycerin, and glacial glycoprotein, this cream leaves skin softer and smoother.

When buying products to test, I almost didn’t pick this one. I thought it would be too heavy for my combination skin, but I was wrong. I found this moisturizer to be both hydrating and lightweight. Now I use this as my go-to moisturizer.

If you have normal or combination skin, you will enjoy this moisturizer. If you have oily skin you might want to use it in the winter when your skin can use a bit more moisture.

Verdict: Buy it!

Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado | $32

This moisturizing under-eye cream hydrates dry skin while visibly brightening and de-puffing.

I love this eye cream. It leaves my under eyes feeling nice and hydrated without giving me milia.

This eye cream is thick! But don’t let that scare you away. Take a small amount and rub it on your fingers before applying. This will warm the product making it easier to apply. Since a little goes a long way, buy the small jar.

Verdict: Buy it!

Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask Kiehl's Skincare Review

Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask | $45

Formulated with avocado fruit extract, avocado oil, and evening primrose oil, this mask is formulated to soften and hydrate the skin.

I’m going to be direct. I did not like this mask and I can’t recommend it. The texture was not creamy. It was not easy to apply. Once removed, the mask left my skin feeling greasy, not hydrated.

Verdict: Pass on it. Buy this Fresh mask instead.

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Final Thoughts on Kiehl’s Skincare

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked Kiehl’s skincare. I absolutely fell in love with two of the products I tested. I highly recommend everyone pick up the Creamy Eye Treatment and the Ultra Facial Cream.

One major thing to note, most of their products contain essential oils. If you are super sensitive to fragrance or essential oils, you may want to stick to their unscented products.

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  1. 10.9.21
    Julie said:

    Did you check out the ingredient list on that squalane oil you recommend? WOW, hard pass! 🙁

    • 10.9.21
      Julie said:

      Nvrmd, I see that is the list of ingredients they don’t use. lol