Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Review – Lotion, Moisturizer & Ingredients

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Skincare products have become part and parcel of any beauty routine, addressing everything from scars and uneven skin tone to acne.

However, their necessity does come with a downside–the market is flooded with options, and every single one claims to hold the key to smooth, flawless-looking skin.

It isn’t easy to find a solution that really works. That’s where we come in.

While there is an element of trial and error in any skincare regime, our in-depth reviews provide you with all you need to know to make an informed decision.

In today’s Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look from its ingredients to its effectiveness. Let’s dive in!

How each product is reviewed

Each and every product mentioned on our site has been tested by one of the team members of Pierre Michel Beauty. We do not receive any sponsorship from the brands and all comments are our own. From time to time, we also refer to online reviews and include information about how other people use the products.

Hot Take: I tried Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and this is definitely one of my favorite products. It works extremely well and keeps my skin moisturized throughout the day! Read on as I share my detailed findings.

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What Is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream?

review of kiehl's ultra facial cream

Being one of the country’s oldest skincare brands, the name Kiehl’s is widely known.

Though some of the first products the company sold in its early days included Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner and Original Musk Oil, its Ultra Facial Cream is, by far, the company’s best-selling product.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is held in such high regard that it is one of the over 103 Kiehl’s in the Smithsonian’s Division of Medicine and Science permanent collection.

The Ultra Facial Cream is a rich, lightweight moisturizer formulated to provide your skin with 24-hour hydration, even in extreme environments like cold temperatures and dry climates.

The cream has been clinically tested to leave your dry skin feeling softer, smoother, and visibly healthier.

The results are immediate. Based on clinical results from a Corneometer study run in extremely low humidity settings, the facial cream gives your skin 2.3 times more hydration in just one use!

Though results may vary, on average, after one week of continuous use, your skin will feel 18% smoother and 33% softer and look 11% healthier.

To put the product’s hydration powers to the test, Kiehl’s tested the product’s formula on an expedition in Greenland.

A team of six climbers used the facial cream three times every day to protect their skin from the harsh wind and cold air as they tried to become the first team to complete the ascent of the ice-covered peaks.

In the review interviews conducted after, the explorers described the facial cream as authentic and simple and said that it works.

You might be interested to know that there are two different versions of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial cream: regular or broad-spectrum SPF 30.


Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Ingredients

One of the more notable ingredients in Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is glacial glycoprotein, an extract from the sea glaciers in the Antarctic.

The extract deeply hydrates your dry skin and maintains its moisture balance. It also helps to protect your dry skin from harsh conditions like cold and wind.

Another key ingredient is squalane, an extremely refined olive-derived extract. Squalene helps restore and strengthen your skin barrier and can be particularly helpful for people with oily skin.

The formula also includes salicylic and imperata cylindrical acid. Imperata cylindrical is a plant found in the Australian desert that helps prevent water loss to prevent dryness and promote fuller-looking skin.

Salicylic acid, on the other hand, keeps your skin clear and smooth.

Other ingredients include:

  • Soybean oil
  • Citric acid
  • Glycerin
  • Rice bran oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Olea Europaea fruit oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Sucrose stearate
  • Stearic acid

Benefits of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Benefits of Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

There are plenty of reasons we love Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, and we are sure you’ll love it too.

Some of the cream’s benefits include:

Non-greasy, Lightweight Texture

Though the texture is creamy, unlike other creams, it is not tacky or sticky on your skin. It is lightweight and non-greasy, absorbs quickly, and is safe for all skin types.

Hydrates Your Skin Regardless of Your Location

The glacial glycoproteins extract derived from microorganisms found in the glaciers off the coast of the Antarctic contains exceptional hydrating properties.

The extract helps you prevent water loss, leaving you with hydrated skin regardless of the climate and humidity settings.

Does Not Clog Your Pores

While oils and fatty acids are excellent at helping retain moisture, not all of them are non-comedogenic, meaning some of them can clog your pores or leave you with oily skin.

The squalene found in this facial cream’s formula resembles the molecular structure of your skin’s natural lipids.

This allows it to hydrate, restore, and strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier more effectively, leaving you with a 47.9% stronger skin moisture barrier.

Does Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream clog pores?

The Company Has Rigorously Tested the Product for Use on Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you know how challenging it is to find a skincare product that doesn’t contain ingredients that will trigger a reaction.

With this product, you will finally have a gentle face cream. You can even use it on the delicate skin around your eyes.

Not only did Kiehl’s rigorously test the cream on every skin type to ensure that it was safe for everyone, but the brand also formulated the product without carbamide, triethanolamine (T.E.A), and parabens, ingredients well known to trigger allergies.

See our other Kiehl product reviews here.

Extremely Popular

There is a reason why this face cream has received rave reviews since hitting the market in 2006.

The brand would obviously not be selling ten jars every minute if the product did not work.


You Have the Option of Sampling the Product Before Buying

Applying a cream on the back of your hands is not the same as applying a cream on your face.

Although most stores allow you to test products, just how effective is that testing?

Kiehl’s offers samples you can try out at home before deciding whether to buy a full-sized product.

On top of that, the company values educating each customer about skin health.

It even has a Healthy Skin Assessment tool that enables you to understand the condition of your skin cells and your skin type, allowing you to find the most suitable products for the result you want.

Does Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Have Any Side Effects?

While the cream is free of parabens, people with highly sensitive, acne-prone skin may experience breakouts when first beginning use.

If you have sensitive skin, we recommend speaking to your dermatologist before adding this cream to your skincare routine.

Who Is Is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Best For?

Is Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream good?

The Ultra Facial Cream is perfect for everyone regardless of age, including those with dry, normal, and combination skin types looking to resolve the dullness, dryness, and uneven texture of their skin.

How Much Does Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Cost?

Despite the high rating and positive reviews, this facial cream is not as expensive as you’d think.

You can get your hands on a 1-ounce jar for $18.

A 1.7-ounce jar goes for $30, while a 4.2-ounce jar could be yours for just $50.

Clearly, quality and affordability are what Kiehl’s is going for with its Ultra Facial Cream.

Be sure to check out the official site as they regularly offer discounts on the Ultra Facial Cream range!

Where Should You Buy Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream?

You can buy it straight from a variety of third-party sellers online, but I would highly recommend that you get yours directly from the manufacturer. Not only can you get exclusive discounts, but they also offer other perks like their Rewards program and free ground shipping!

Alternatively, you may even be able to find it at a local store or a big box store like Barneys, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Ulta, or Nordstrom.


How do you use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream?

When should I use Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream?

For the regular version of the cream, you can use it both day and night as a step in your regular skincare routine or just as a night cream.

However, if you are using the version that contains the broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, only apply it during the day.

Start by cleansing and toning your skin. Then apply a dime-sized amount of the cream, rubbing gently until your skin absorbs all of it.

Is there a difference between the Ultra Facial Moisturizer and Ultra Facial Cream?

While the two products contain similar key ingredients such as glycerin, glacial glycoprotein, and squalane, they are different.

For instance, although Ultra Facial Moisturizer contains avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and apricot kernel oil, the company lists these ingredients further down the list as compared to Ultra Facial Cream.

Also, the Moisturizer doesn’t have the salicylic and citric acid that the Facial Cream contains.

Another difference is in the feel of both products, with customers stating that the Facial Cream’s texture feels heavier, but both offer a similar result–more hydrated skin.


Is Kiehl’s cruelty-free?

L’Oréal bought Kiehl’s in 2000. L’Oréal does not test any of its ingredients or products on animals, so Kiehl’s is cruelty-free. In fact, for more than 30 years, L’Oréal has been leading the charge for the use of alternative testing methods.

Has Kiehl’s changed its products’ formula?

Since 2009, the company has been working to formulate all of its products without ingredients like parabens, which are known to trigger reactions. As of December 2019, all of the company’s skincare products are paraben-free.

Is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Worth the Investment?

For the very reasonable price of $18 (oftentimes, less!), you can get your hands on a skincare product that has been a firm customer favorite for years.

Even though the cream is thick in texture, it still absorbs quickly and leaves no greasy residue.

Not only does it give your skin 24-hour hydration, but it does so regardless of the skin type and climate you are in.

With these and so much more in mind, I have found Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream a worthy investment for anyone looking for healthier skin with balanced moisture levels.

You should totally add this amazing cream to your skincare routine too! Check out the official Kiehl’s store now and grab your discount!

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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.