If you follow me on Instagram, you would already know that I went to bed with this stuff on my face yesterday. Way back when I was last in London, I had a pleasant mini-facial seance at a Kiehl's store in Soho. Feel free to revisit the post on which, found here.
Anyway, I ended up getting a fist-full of samples from the nice lady, and I finally got around to trying one out yesterday. The Kiehl's Overnight Biological Peel, which promises to be a gentle alternative to chemical exfoliation, help improve dull and uneven skin texture as well as to leave skin feeling softer and looking vibrant after first use. It claims to be as effective as a glycolic peel of 10%, but gentle enough to use on any skin-type.
I'm curious as to what really lies within the term "biological-peel". I haven't been able to find a satisfying answer yet, but I'm guessing it has to do with the induction of the skin's own desquamation process (peeling) by use of ingredients that not necessarily are exfoliating in themselves (please correct me if I'm wrong here). If so, it's a frickin' genius idea! Making this product especially great for people with sensitive, reactive skin types that can't tolerate the normal AHA's and retinols.
HEPES, or Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, is a chemical buffer which is widely used in cell culture to maintain physiological pH. Difficult to find a whole lot of info on this ingredient, other than on it's buffering abilities. But it is a well known fact that reaching optimal pH in product development is of immense importance for product function, as well as optimizing effects of ingredients on skin.
Urea. An enzyme activator naturally present in the surface layer of the skin (epidermis), Urea accelerates the natural process of cell renewal. The ingredient has a water binding effect acting as a natural moisturizing agent. Urea will minimize water loss, by reducing the amount of water that is lost through the skin's epidermis and retains skin moisture for a longer period of time. It also acts as an effective humectant and attracts moisture to the skin, especially the dry areas. In fact, it is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) present in the outer layers of the skin. Because of this, it is extremely beneficial for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Urea helps to accelerate the process of skin cell regeneration. This strengthens the barrier function of the skin and keeps it healthy. A strong skin barrier ensures stronger resistance against potential irritants. Because urea acts on the skin's barrier, it helps other ingredients of skin care products to penetrate better within the skin surface.
What I think:
Texture and absorbance: This serum is of a gel like, almost oily consistency (although not oily, just, hm.. a little slippery). It has no smell, and glides on skin effortlessly. The directions say to thoroughly clean face before application, and then smooth the peel over, and letting it dry before going to bed. I'm thinking there might have been a little too much product in that sample for a one-time try, as my face didn't dry, and I had to go to bed with a glue-like film on my face, terrified of accidentally rolling over, and smudging the glop all over my pillowcase. Safe to say I didn't sleep all that well. Had I used just a 1/4 of what I did, I'm sure it would have sunk in eventually.
Results: Waking up my face was still "wet" but I immediately saw that 3 "unripe" pimples (at the lack of a better word) had overnight become pop-ready! Hooray! I hate when pimples just take their time about ripening, and so you're left with red blotches on your face that you can't really do anything about, because their not "ready" yet, and so you just have to live with them, cover them, and try not to touch them. It also signified that the peel had definitely worked, and very effectively so.
After washing (and-popping), my skin did seem a little more even, and pores were also looking a tad bit smaller than usual. Also, my face was rather hydrated, which is never the case after over-night treatments with retinol or AHA products. This is an excellent and powerful peeling-product, especially now when winter is setting in, and our skin might be getting a little extra thirsty (side-effect of indoor heating and low humidity). For you with sensitive skin-types, or if you're intolerant to chemical exfoliants, this is a really wonderful skin-care investment.
Get yours with free worldwide delivery from strawberrynet: Kiehl's Overnight Biological Peel 50ml/1.7oz