The Ultimate Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Review, Face Oil, Eye

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Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is consistently raved about in beauty and skincare circles online, often touted as a “holy grail” facial oil, and with good reason.

This iconic blue bottle promises exceptional hydration for all skin types while helping address several skincare issues.

But does this product have a place in your skincare routine? We dove a bit deeper into the ingredients in Midnight Recovery Concentrate and gave it a try, and we’re ready to share the bottom line in this comprehensive review.

What is Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate?

Kiehl’s started out as a small New York pharmacy and has grown into a major player in the beauty, skin, body, and hair care market.

In 2010, Kiehl’s launched its Midnight Recovery Concentrate, a facial oil that promises younger, brighter-looking skin with just a few drops applied every night.

How Does Midnight Recovery Concentrate Work?

midnight recovery concentrate

The main principle of using facial oils as part of your nighttime skincare routine is that your skin moves from daytime ‘protective mode’ to ‘recovery mode’ at night.

This recovery process enables oil to penetrate deeper, where it combats the signs of aging skin and fatigue.

The unique blend of essential oils works synergistically to calm down irritated skin.

At the same time, the antioxidants help protect the skin from daily aggressors, ensuring that it stays soft and smooth throughout the day.

What makes this beauty concentrate so interesting is that it’s a ‘dry oil’ that absorbs rapidly into the skin so that you won’t feel any trace of grease or heaviness after application.

Instead, it sinks in quickly and helps replenish your skin’s moisture barrier function that protects it from drying out.



Recovery Concentrate includes a unique mix of plant oils that work together to provide instant relief for a variety of skin issues.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose is a North American flowering plant high in essential fatty acids (EFAs). These fatty acids are an important component of cell membranes that our body can’t produce independently.

Two notable EFAs, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are essential to skin health and function. While a diet rich in omega-3s can improve your skin’s appearance, you may sometimes need extra supplementation.

Evening primrose oil is a well-known skin conditioning agent due to its high concentration of EFAs. It maintains skin hydration and elasticity by restoring the skin barrier, protecting the skin from environmental hazards.


Squalene and squalane are natural compounds that improve the skin’s lipid barrier. One is a plant-based molecule that occurs in a highly-refined oil derived from olives or sunflower seed oil.

The human version (squalene) occurs naturally in sebum, but production slows down as we get older.

Woman applying moisturizer on face

Often considered a skincare stalwart when it comes to non-greasy hydration, squalane is unsurprisingly the main ingredient responsible for the Midnight Recovery’s rapid absorption.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is a well-known essential compound responsible for soothing irritated skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help soothe dry skin and protect it from further damage.

Lavender oil also can speed up healing, which can help reduce scar tissue and lessen the effect of sunburn, or combat insomnia.

Other Ingredients

This product has quite the menu of essential oils and extracts, many of which are beauty-industry all-stars, including:

  • Lavender extract
  • Jasmine extract
  • Jojoba oil
  • Rosemary leaf oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Coriander seed oil
  • Geranium essential oil
  • Rose flower oil
  • Capric triglyceride

Several plant extracts, including turmeric root and cucumber fruit, will calm dry skin and leave even the most sensitive skin feeling refreshed and revitalized.

The added vitamin C promotes a youthful and radiant look, and the various oils have a pleasing and relaxing scent.


pretty woman checking herself on the mirror

Skincare products that contain essential oils fulfill several different functions. One of this product’s benefits is that it includes a mix of lavender essential oil, evening primrose oil, and squalane.

All the above work together to restore the skin’s natural suppleness and softness while promoting healing and protecting the skin from environmental damage.

Many modern skincare products use harsh chemicals to scrub the skin, removing its natural protective layer.

Not only does this result in increased oil production as your skin tries to compensate, but it also results in skin that’s vulnerable to UV damage.

Restoring this natural barrier can help reduce the incidence of blemishes, fine lines, and dehydration, which will leave your skin looking and feeling better than ever.


Side Effects

Some people report a sensitivity to essential oils, which may trigger an allergic reaction.

Kiehl’s recommends their product for every skin type, including sensitive skin, and says that squalane’s presence helps reduce the potential for an allergic reaction.

As with any other new beauty product, we recommend that you test a small drop of the product on your inner arm before committing to an entire bottle.

We recently did an in-depth review on Kiehl’s skin care, be sure to check it out.

How Do I Use Midnight Recovery Concentrate?

Kiehl’s recommends using 2-3 drops of the concentrate at night before you go to bed. It should absorb quickly enough, so you don’t have to worry about staining your pillow with an imprint of your face.

While it’s chiefly a nighttime product, you can use 1-2 drops during the day if you have very dry skin. It won’t protect you from environmental factors, so be sure to pair it up with a dedicated protective day cream as well.

young woman applying organic skincare

How Much Does Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Cost?

Kiehl’s top product carries a hefty price tag of $52 for a 1.0 fl. oz bottle.

However, it goes on sale from time to time, and if you catch the right promotion, you can get it for a fraction of the price.

Kiehl’s even offers a new subscriber discount—all you need is a valid email address.

Where Should You Buy Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate?

You can buy it directly from the manufacturer or an authorized third-party seller, such as Sephora or Ulta.



Can people with oily skin use this product?

Yes. Surprisingly, the oil helps regulate sebum production. It tricks your skin into thinking it’s adequately moisturized, so it doesn’t need to produce any extra sebum or oils.

Midnight Recovery concentrate is one of the few beauty products genuinely suitable for all skin types. It provides moisture and restores texture without a greasy or heavy feel.

Is it safe to use during pregnancy?

Kiehl’s doesn’t specifically test its products on pregnant or nursing women. However, there are plenty of reviews and testimonials that suggest it’s safe to use as directed.

If you’re uncertain about a specific ingredient, speak to your physician first.

Is Midnight Recovery Concentrate Worth the Investment?

Bottom line: yes. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is one of the best products in its category, and it’s achieved its cult status in beauty circles for good reason.

While the price entry point is steep, the results are well worth it as you’ll quickly notice how much better your skin looks and feels.

If you find the scent of lavender and other flowers to be overwhelming or unpleasant, you may struggle to deal with the concentrate’s relatively strong odor.

It’s up to you to decide whether the smell is worth it when it comes to improving your skin’s look and texture.

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Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.