Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream

by Kiehl's  
Price:
$52 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizers/Anti-Aging
Last Updated:
4/29/2014
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This fragrance-free moisturizer from Kiehl's is a clear example of the formulary influence parent company L'Oreal has had on the brand. The core ingredients in Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream are identical to those in several Lancome moisturizers, including those that cost a lot more. Does that mean this Kiehl's moisturizer is an anti-aging beauty bargain? Sadly, no. L'Oreal's attempts at anti-aging skin care has been far more hype than substance, and this not-so-powerful cream is one more example of a product that's mostly just hype.

What we have here is a basic moisturizer for normal to dry skin. The tiny amount of plant extracts, calcium, and copper are minimally helpful for skin, especially given that this product is packaged in a jar (see More Info to find out why you should never buy an anti-aging moisturizer packaged in this manner).

Along with being just a moisturizer with minimal anti-aging power, this product is incapable of minimizing pores as claimed. If anything, the emollient ingredients in this cream can make pores become more enlarged and potentially clog pores (and when pores become clogged, they don't get smaller!).

What about the copper PCA and calcium PCA? There isn't a shred of published research proving either ingredient has any impact on skin's elasticity, firmness, or any other aspect of aging. And even if there was some solid research showing the way, we doubt the teeny-tiny amounts this moisturizer contains would be enough to bring about a noticeable change in skin. What you'll see from this moisturizer is smoother, softer skin, that's it. Like any emollient moisturizer, when applied over dry skin wrinkles will look less apparent—but for true anti-aging "power" your skin deserves more than what this can provide!

Pros:
  • Moisturizes dry skin without feeling greasy.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Jar packaging won't help keep the key ingredients stable during use.
  • A standard moisturizer formula that's not as powerful or wrinkle-reducing as its name states.
  • The emollient ingredients this contains cannot minimize pores as claimed.
  • There's no published research showing copper or calcium improve skin's elasticity.
More Info:

The fact that this wrinkle cream is packaged in a jar means 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 is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

A skin fortifying anti-wrinkle cream formulated with a powerful combination of micronutrients, Copper PCA and Calcium PCA. Significantly reduces wrinkles, smoothes skin texture and minimizes pores. Clinically shown to improve elasticity by 32%.

Aqua/Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil/Apricot Kernel Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Zea Mays Starch/Corn Starch, Petrolatum, Glyceryl Stearate, Potassim Cetyl Phosphate, PEG-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Tristearate, Cera Alba/Beeswax, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethiconol, Carprylyl Glycol, Palmitoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protien, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Arginine PCA, Tocopherol, Calcium PCA, Ginkgo Biloba Extract/Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Adenosine, Hydrolyzed Soy Protien, Copper PCA, Aleromonas Ferment Extract, Corallina Officinalis 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 www.kiehls.com.

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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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