Designed for men with oily skin and said to control surface shine (excess oil) for 24 hours, you may be tempted to think this product is the solution for your reflective complexion, but think again! Sadly, like so many men's products, this one overdoes the fragrance and contains far more skin-damaging alcohol than state of the art ingredients capable of absorbing excess oil.
The alcohol definitely helps "de-grease" skin but see the More Info section to find out how alcohol can hurt skin, and why irritating oily skin is very likely to make it worse, not better.
This lightweight, gel-textured moisturizer sets to a matte finish and leaves skin smooth, but its ability to keep skin shine-free all day simply doesn't happen. Your mileage may vary, but we got less than two hours of shine control from this product, and that was with nothing else on skin! During the day, you'll still need to follow with sun protection and you may be layering this over other products, which further reduces its ability to temper shine. In the end, there's not much reason to consider this over oil-absorbing products we recommend in the Best Products section.
- Sets to a matte finish.
- Feels very light and leaves skin smooth.
- Not able to control shine for 24 hours (it barely lasted 2 hours).
- High amount of alcohol is likely to irritate skin.
- Fragrant formula poses further risk of irritation.
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23
Provides an out-of-this world clean-skin feel by absorbing sweat and surface oil. Visibly reduces the appearance of pores and shine for 24-hours. Leaves soft, hydrated and comfortable. With continued use, skin looks less shiny and pores appear smaller.
Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Capryloyl Glycine, Cetyl Dimethicone, Mel/Honey, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Silica Silylate, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Acrylates Copolymer, Totarol, Parfum/Fragrance, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Cetearyl Glucoside, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Amyl Cinnamal
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 www.kiehls.com.