This ultra-light, matte finish moisturizer for oily skin contains 0.5% salicylic acid as its active ingredient. Although the pH makes the salicylic acid content minimally effective as an exfoliant, what keeps this from earning a recommendation is the inclusion of menthol and plant irritants such as cinnamon and ginger. Irritation is a problem for all skin types, causing collagen to breakdown and increases oil production in the pore. This is not preferred to Clinique’s Mild Clarifying Lotion or any of the BHA products from Paula’s Choice.
This oil-free moisturizer is absorbed quickly and penetrates pores to eliminate most acne blemishes and allow skin to heal. An additional balancing effect allows the formula to mattify skin, reducing the appearance of pores and leaving skin with a matte, hydrated appearance and texture. This non-comedogenic formulation helps prevent new acne blemishes from forming.
Active: Salicylic Acid (0.5%), Other: Water, Glycerin, Montmorillonite, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane Glyceryl Stearate SE, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Chlorophenesin, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium PCA, Butylparaben, Dipropylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Menthol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Camphor, Hexylene Glycol, Poterium Officinale Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Blue 1, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) 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.