My first Kiehl's experience - and what I got out of it


"Kiehl's was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York's East Village over 150 years ago. Kiehl's extensive experience has resulted in a unique blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal and medicinal knowledge developed over generations. Today, Kiehl's is dedicated to giving customers quality skin care and hair care products based on the most advanced science and utilizing unique, natural ingredients."

Kiehl's is a brand after my own heart, it's a wonder it's taken this long before I actually got to try their products! I'm thinking, living in Hungary for the past 6 years hasn't helped a lot in that regard, as the country is rather devoid of skin-care specialist stores. Kiehl's is famous for using mostly plant based, highly active ingredients, with limited use of preservatives and unnecessary space fillers.

I was walking passed this cute little Kiehl's store in Convent Garden, London yesterday, and as by a spell I was pulled inside where I met lovely Gillian, a woman bearing the title of Kiehl's longest standing employee in Europe. Gillian proceeded to ask if I'd like a mini-facial, and I said yes, as one does when asked such a question (especially if they have beautiful skin for their age, and is wearing a lab coat, "no" just didn't occur to me).

She gave me a lovely little time of it with a cleanser, toner, and Kiehl's famous Midnight Recovery Concentrate (as I wanted to try it as a day serum- of which it did a splendid job), my face was set with the Ultra Light Daily Moisturizer SPF 50. I bought all but the cleanser as I still have some left of the one I'm using at the moment, and I'm trying not to go broke due to skincare-product-hoarding.

I landed on the Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol Free Toner All Skin Types - Medium Size 8.4oz (250ml) because of it skin calming properties with ingredients such as Allantoin, which is a compound found in Comfrey Root. Allantoin is an anti-inflammatory agent, good for most skin types, especially breakout prone and sensitive skin. The toner also contains Calendula, extracted from the marigold flower. Its mild properties make it ideal for use on all oily skin types including sensitive skin. Soothes skin and is especially beneficial for delicate skin.

The Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate 1.7oz (50ml) is an oil serum that I've actually been thinking about for a while, the reason being it contains curcumin extract, from the tumeric root. Curcumin is experiencing a rise in popularity lately, as it is associated to a number of  health benefits including anti-cancer properties, and most recently- anti-aging properties as well (Read a little update here.) It also contains evening primrose oil and squalene, both great anti-agers and skin barrier repairers.

I bought the activated sun-protector (rather than the ultra light daily UV defense) due to the fact that it contains both physichal sunfilters (titanium dioxide) as well as chemichal ones ( Octocrylene, and Oxybenzone) in addition to Goji-berry extract, and vitamin C and E for antioxidant properties (exactly what I was looking for). This is apparently a hard one to get online, but I did manage to find the one I tested during my mini facial Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA +++ - 60ml/2oz, which does not contain goji berry, but does have vitamin E in it, in addition to a new patented sun filter : "Mexoryl SX™ - is a highly effective, photostable sun filter that protects skin from short UVA rays. Combined with traditional SPF filters, these formulas shield against UVA/UVB rays – which contribute to skin damage and premature aging." Not bad at all, and it did sit quite nicely on my skin after serum applicaiton.. I might have to give this one a buy as well. One can never have too many sunscreens, I say!

I've used my products today, and I must say my skin looks very happy! The oil is supposed to be used as a night treatment, but I will not sacrifice my retinol ritual for anything (not, at least- until a better preventive anti-aging compound has been found), and so I'll be using it at daytime, and perhaps 1-2 times a week at night. It feels great on the skin, and is fast absorbed by my dehydrated London complexion, leaving a healthy glow behind.

If you're ever in the Soho/Covent Garden area of London, or if you happen to pass by a Kiehl's store anywhere else in the world, I highly recommend having a look in, perhaps to lovely Gillian, who might offer you a  little mini-facial.

I have the feeling this is a brand I'll be returning to, mini-facial or  not.