Algae Masque (Discontinued)

by Kiehl's  
$26.50 - 2 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Facial Masks > Moisturizing/Firming Masks
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Jar Packaging:
Tested On Animals:
This is a basic moisturizing mask for normal to slightly dry skin. The fact that it’s packaged in a jar not only means you’ll be sticking your fingers in to get the product out, which is not sanitary, but also that the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar package is opened and lets the air in, these ingredients will begin deteriorating. That’s unfortunate because this contains some truly helpful plants along with antioxidant vitamins. As for the algae, it’s present in such a tiny amount it doesn’t matter, which makes the name of this product really silly.
This unique masque which contains freshly harvested, nutrient-rich Algae nurtures and balances the skin as well as the finest selected herbal extracts such as Green Tea, Chamomile, and Calendula to soothe the skin. Ideal for dry and normal-to-dry skin types.
Water, Glycerin, Squalane, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cholestryl/Behenyl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Corn Starch, Myristyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetyl Alcohol, Silt, Stearyl Alcohol, PEG-45 Palm Kernel Glycerides, Allantoin, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Cholesterol, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Maltodextrin, Phenoxyethanol, Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Safflower Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis Lead Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Propylparaben, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Aloe Barbadensis, Matricaria Extract, Gentiana Lutca Extract, Algae Extract

This line has been around for quite some time, and has its origins in a family-owned pharmacy based in New York City. Perhaps its neighborly beginnings with a big-city heritage are what propelled Kiehl's to its long-standing status as a popular product line. Considering that Kiehl's doesn't advertise (at least not in the traditional sense, though their products get frequent press), their brand identity and status in the minds of consumers are impressive.

What gets lost in all the fashion magazine hype and company claims of "excellence" and "quality ingredients" is that almost all of the Kiehl's products hardly warrant excitement or even mild enthusiasm. Most of them are surprisingly ordinary, with a dusting of natural ingredients almost always at the very end of the ingredient list, well after the preservatives. That amounts to little more than a token attempt to make the products appear more natural to those who want to believe a plant or vitamin must somehow be better for the skin than something that sounds more chemical. Nevertheless, that token amount is enough to allow Kiehl's to brag about how its products nourish the skin or are more environmentally friendly, when they're not.

Aside from the allure of the natural, this line consists of totally ordinary and often completely unnatural ingredients. More disheartening for skin is that many of the ingredients are of questionable benefit for those with sensitive, oily, or blemish-prone skin. In some instances product ingredients are irritating for any skin type, while half of the sunscreen products are a serious problem for reliable sun protection. If you can't resist the allure of Kiehl's, just know that the product assembly will work best for those with dry to very dry skin and that, for the money, most of the formulas aren't knock-your-socks-off thrilling.

Note: Kiehl's is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Kiehl's does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about Kiehl's, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 543-4572 or visit

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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