Cryste Marine Firming Cream makes a big deal out of the Mediterranean-sourced flower (Crithmum maritimum, or rock samphire) extract it contains. Supposedly, this flower can increase the renewal rate of skin cells, but there is no information to support this claim. Even if it had such an effect, the amount in this product is minuscule (there’s more preservative than flower extract). That leaves you with a pricey moisturizer that has some respectable qualities (the glycerin, silicone, and squalane base gets things off to a good start), yet this remains an ordinary choice when compared to similarly priced products from other department-store lines, such as Clinique and Estee Lauder. Nothing in this product is capable of firming skin.
Our unique treatment cream is made with a naturally-derived botanical, Criste Marine. Found aside the Mediterranean Sea, this unusual flower is known to boost cell renewal for a supple skin effect. Our rejuvenating preparation, made with Padina Pavonica, derived from the protective coating of sea algae, improves elasticity and resilience. This hydrating formula, combined with Vitamin C Glucoside, helps skin reveal its natural radiance. Fine lines and wrinkles are visibly softened. Skin feels firmer and smoother, with a luminous and youthful appearance.
Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Squalane, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Palmitic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Glyceryl Stearate, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Propylparaben, Caffeine, Chlorphenesin, Padina Pavonica Extract, Chlorhexidine, Digluconate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Cholesterol, Adenosine, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Collagen, Sodium Citrate, Chitosan, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate
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.