What’s the Buzz About Kiehls? Reviews You Can Trust

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For over 150 years, Kiehl has helped men and women ward off the signs of aging.

Based on high-quality botanicals, the full range of Kiehl skin care products provides everything you need to keep your skin clear and wrinkle-free.

But does it deliver? In this Kiehl’s products review, we’ll take a closer look at the brand history and some of its products to find out.

How Long Has Kiehl Been Around?

The original Kiehl’s store was an apothecary in New York. John Kiehl took over in 1894 and changed the name to Kiehl Pharmacy.

Less than 30 years later, Kiehl started to resemble its modern self. Irving Morse took over in 1921 and expanded the range to include tinctures, honey, tea, and a wide range of pharmaceuticals.

It was during this time that the first Kiehl branded products came out.

A year later, Morse hit on a successful marketing strategy that the company still follows today.

He adopted a “try before you buy” approach that included a generous sample of every skincare product. The brand continues this tradition today.

In the 60s, Aaron Morse, Irving’s son, took over the family business and added several items that are still popular today.

In 2000, L’Oreal bought the company. They use many of the same holistic formulations that made Kiehl a famous skin care brand in the first place.

What Are the Best Kiehl Products? 

The Kiehls Skin Care range has options for almost every single skincare routine. Whether you need a powerful strength line reducing agent or body lotion, you’ll probably find it. Here are some of our favorites.

Kiehl Lip Care

buttermask for lips

Buttermask for Lips became an instant hit in the East Village when it came out.

It sold out the same day Kiehl released it and is still one of the bestselling Kiehl products.

This deeply hydrating balm for dry and flaky lips gets our number one rating as a must-have for chapped lips.

Kiehl recommends applying it last thing at night for soft, kissable lips in the morning. Infused with mango butter and coconut oil, the tropical scent will remind you of summer even on the coldest days.


Kiehl Cleansers

Ultra Facial Cleanser

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser

A little of this classic cleanser goes a long way.

Made with avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, and squalane, Kiehl Ultra lathers easily and lifts off dirt effectively.

The oils act as natural emollients and won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.

The Ultra Facial cleanser is a well-rounded product that works well for all skin types.


Calendula Deep Foaming

calendula face wash

The calendula herbal extract in this face wash works to soothe normal to oily skin.

If rosacea makes your cheeks as bright as an Andy Warhol painting, use this gel face wash in conjunction with the Calendula Herbal Toner to reduce irritation.


Kiehl Masks

Choosing the best face mask is difficult with the extensive Kiehl product range.

Their bestseller, the Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask, contains Amazonian White Clay to draw out impurities.

Clay masks often prove too dry for sensitive skin, but the nourishing minerals in this clay counteract that effect.


Kiehl Toners

ultra facial toner

If your skin tends towards the oily side, the Ultra Facial range is a good fit.

Whether you need an alcohol free toner after cleansing is a matter of debate — these products are unnecessary for many skin types.

But if you find that toners work well on your skin, this one is an excellent choice.


Specialist Products

Kiehl Midnight Recovery Concentrate

midnight recovery concentrate

This facial oil has something of a cult following.

Containing squalane and evening primrose oil, its rich formulation comes close to the skin’s natural sebum content.

Lavender essential oil balances oily skin and heals dry skin, making this a must for all skin types.

It works alongside the Kiehl Daily Reviving Concentrate to keep skin supple during the day. Slap on an eye cream like Midnight Recovery Eye and some moisturizer afterward, and you’re done.

Read our full Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate Review.


Kiehl Daily Reviving Concentrate

daily reviving concentrate

The daytime counterpart of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, this Kiehl facial moisturizer is a little lighter.

It’s lightly scented with ginger to make it more invigorating.

Because it contains no Vitamin C serum that might cause color spots when exposed to natural light, it’s ideal for daytime use.


Kiehl Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate

nightly refining micro peel

If you battle with blackheads or frequent breakouts, consider this product.

Instead of relying on manual exfoliants that scour away debris, just apply this formulation overnight.

In the morning, wash it away to reveal smoother skin and a more even skin tone.


Kiehl Moisturizers

Of the many moisturizers Kiehl offers, we especially love the following skincare products because they complement all skin types:

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is a classic that most people love from this brand. It provides moisture without being greasy. See our full review of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream here.

Super Multi-Corrective Cream

The Kiehl Super Multi-Corrective Cream also wins accolades. It contains a high-strength line reducing concentrate that reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate provides a nourishing boost for inflamed, acne-prone, or extremely sensitive skin. This non-comedogenic face oil contains oregano oil to fight acne-causing bacteria and soothe redness.


Kiehl Eye Treatment

Kiehl Creamy Eye Treatment

Creamy Eye Treatment

Another New York favorite, Kiehl Creamy Eye Treatment is something of a revelation.

Apply it at night, and you’ll feel the difference in the morning. It works for all skin types and leaves the eye area feeling silky smooth and soft.

Its silky texture helps the cream slide on without any dragging, while the non-greasy formulation allows it to sink in quickly.


Kiehl Body Line

creme de corps

It’s not all about the face — the brand offers many well-loved body products.

These include deep moisturizers like the Crème de Corps, body lotions, and hand creams.


Is Kiehl’s Cruelty-Free?

L’oreal, which bought Kiehl’s in 2000, has taken a stance against animal testing for three decades now. According to their US website, they don’t test ingredients or finished products on animals, with no exceptions to this rule.

However, the company’s website in some other countries says they don’t conduct animal testing except when required by law, which means the products may be tested on animals in countries where it’s required by law.

What Makes Kiehl’s Products Different from Other Products You Have Used?

The brand philosophy centers on tried-and-tested skin care products rather than the trend of the month. While Kiehl continues researching and coming up with new formulations, they keep the old favorites coming, too.

One example is the Blue Astringent gel, which hasn’t changed much since its original development.

Reflection of woman checking her skin in bathroom mirror

Kiehl Ingredients

Kiehl products contain a variety of innovative ingredients — too many to list here. What sets the brand apart is that it uses natural ingredients in at least 95% of its range.

A few of the most effective ingredients the brand uses include:

  • Jasmonic Acid: A natural plant substance that plumps skin and reduces lines and is often included in a facial oil.
  • Beech Tree Extract: A seemingly magical substance that firms the skin and acts as a moisturizer.
  • Antioxidants: Vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene are among the most commonly used antioxidants.
  • Caffeine: Tones the skin and reduces puffiness.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: A powerful humectant that holds as much as 1,000 its weight in water.
  • Coconut Oil: Used for centuries for its skin balancing and moisturizing properties, coconut oil is a popular ingredient in Kiehl products.
  • Squalane: Your skin produces this lipid naturally. As you age, natural production slows, leaving rough patches and dry areas.
  • Calendula: Calendula is one of nature’s best skin healers. There are several beneficial compounds to soothe and nourish irritated and dry skin. It helps to rebalance sebum production and is a gentle skin refiner.
  • Amazonian White Clay: This nourishing clay is rich in minerals and has strong detoxification properties. It’ll draw out impurities and help to tone pores.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric brightens skin and helps to reduce inflammation.

One of the benefits of this skincare brand is that with such powerful ingredients, a little bit goes a long way, which means your products last longer.

How to Use Kiehl Products

Kiehl is easy to incorporate into your skin care regimen, as its various skin care lines work well together. Choose the products that best match your skin concerns.

Woman doing her daily skincare routine at home

Start with a basic cleanser and moisturizer, and then add products as you need them. Once you’re the proud owner of the basics, follow the instructions on the packaging.

  • Toners: Use daily to tighten pores.
  • Serums: Use daily to provide a concentrated boost of nutrition for the skin.
  • Masks: Use weekly to deep clean and moisturize the skin.
  • Exfoliants or Peels: Use on alternating days to refine the skin and unclog the pores.

Use your daily products as follows:

  • Cleanser: Apply an oil-based cleansing agent with your hands and then wipe it off with a clean cotton pad. Rinse off any residue afterward. Alternatively, skip the oil-based product and go straight to a water-based one like the Ultra Facial Cleanser.
  • Toner: Soak a cotton pad in toner and gently wipe across your skin. It’s almost impossible to make an error here.
  • Serum: Apply a small drop in the center of the forehead and blend outward. Do the same on the cheekbones and chin. Allow it to soak in for at least a minute.
  • Oil: Follow the same steps as for the serum.
  • Eye Cream: Pat under the eyes and onto the brows. Be careful — dragging will damage the delicate skin.
  • Moisturizer: Apply your Ultra Facial cream as you did the serum. You may need a little more to provide full coverage.

Are There Any Side Effects with Kiehls Products?

No one skin care brand will be perfect for everyone. Coconut oil, for example, can cause rashes in those sensitive to the ingredients.

Likewise, the Blue Astringent Toner may be too harsh for someone with sensitive skin.

When choosing new skin care products, it’s up to us to check the ingredients. With Kiehl, at least you know that what’s on the label is a fair reflection of the contents.

Be sure to check out these wrinkle creams as well.

Kiehl Rewards

happy woman in green

Kiehl rewards its shoppers with a free loyalty program in which you can earn 1 point for every dollar you spend.

When you reach 100 points, Kiehl will send you a $10 gift certificate to use on a future purchase. Loyalty club members can receive up to three of these vouchers a year.

There are five tiers in the loyalty program, with the Sapphire and Black Diamond levels being the most prestigious. As you spend more, you’ll move to a higher level with more rewards.

For example, all members receive a free lip balm during their birth month, but Sapphire and Black Diamond members instead receive a travel size product and free shipping.

The company also has a referral program, but the benefits aren’t too enticing. You get 5 points if you refer friends and they make a purchase. You can only get credit for up to four referrals a year, however.

The recycling program allows you to trade in empty full-size bottles for one recycling point each. When you have 10 points, you receive a travel size product. You may only redeem one such reward per month.

Is Kiehl a Scam?

Not at all — it’s a premium brand that provides high-quality products. The brand centers on providing naturally based products, and the store delivers.

Their customer service is outstanding, and reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

The brand spends a fair amount on research and development, looking for the best products. You might even find them funding an expedition to the Amazon for the latest restorative herb.

Some people consider Kiehl too expensive, but compared to other top brands, it’s not pricey. Considering how concentrated the product is and how smoothly it goes on, you use less than cheaper brands.

If you’re on a tight budget, start with one Kiehl Ultra Facial Cleanser and the Ultra Facial Cream. Kiehl sends out free samples with every skin care product, so you’ll get to try a few more products in the line.

woman totally annoyed

If you’re unsure of which products to choose, run a quick search online. You’ll find plenty of beauty aficionados willing to comment on one or more options.

Where to Buy Your Kiehl Product

Are you wondering, “Is there a Kiehl’s near me?” The good news is that it doesn’t matter. You’ll find the entire product line online directly from the Kiehl store.

But if you prefer visiting a brick-and-mortar store, you can pick up your favorite Kiehl product at department stores like Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, and even at Walmart.

You can also pick it up at the company’s flagship store in New York City.

How Soon Do the Results Show with a Kiehl Product?

As with everything in skin care, the results depend on your skin type. You’ll feel a difference immediately in tightness, dryness, or oiliness. However, it will take a few weeks for you to see a noticeable change in your texture.

For some people with oily skin, breakouts are common when starting a new skin care routine. That’s not necessarily a bad sign, however.

It often means that the product is doing a good job of cleaning out underlying dirt and sebum. You should notice it start to clear within a couple of weeks.

If it doesn’t, or if you feel like the product weighs you down or doesn’t absorb readily, the moisturizer may be too rich for your skin. If that’s the case, another Kiehl product might work better for you.

Kiehl Skin Care: Final Verdict

Kiehl provides a comprehensive range of products to help you keep your skin youthful and radiant.

Find your perfect beauty solution at the Kiehl Online Store and get ready to write your own rave reviews!

Editors Choice

Kiehl Skincare

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Everything you need to keep skin clear and wrinkle-free
  • Products contain a variety of innovative ingredients
  • Brand centers on providing naturally based products
  • Sends out free samples with every skincare product


About The Author

Avatar for Chanel Meekins
Chanel Meekins

The co-founder and CEO of Pierre Michel Beauty, Chanel Meekins brings 20 years of experience in skincare and digital media to the table. She puts her knowledge to good use by overseeing the Pierre Michel Beauty blog, ensuring that every review and recommendation published meets the brand’s high standards, resulting in advice that people can truly depend on.