12.02.2014
21
1983
Ultra Facial Cleanser, For All Skin Types
Rating
5 fl. oz. for $19.50
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths)
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Ultra Facial Cleanser, for All Skin Types is an excellent, fragrance-free water-soluble cleanser for all skin types. Effective yet gentle, this product foams slightly and can remove all but the most tenacious makeup. Now this is how to formulate a cleanser!

This cleanser is also sold in a smaller, 2.5-ounce tube for $10.

Claims

This mild cleanser is specially formulated with a sugar-derived glycoside foaming agent to thoroughly cleanse skin and remove makeup, without over-drying or stripping skin of its natural oils. With effective emollients Squalane, Apricot Kernel Oil, Vitamin E, and Avocado Oil, our gentle formula dissolves excess oil, dirt, and debris. PH-balanced to maintain skin's natural balance. Tested for safety and gentleness.

Ingredients

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Acrylate Copolymer, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Chloride, Pentylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Distearyl Ether, Behenyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Laureth-2, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Sodium Methylparaben, Squalane, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil

Brand Overview

Kiehl's At-A-Glance

Strengths: Kiehl's staff is generous when it comes to providing samples and product information; some good cleansers; a couple worthwhile serums.

Weaknesses: Expensive for what you get; the Blue Herbal and Facial Fuel products are terrible; no products to successfully address skin discolorations; the toners are disappointing; the self-tanner should be avoided; jar packaging weakens several of the formulas.

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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07.03.2015
Perfect

Sodium laureth sulfate is bad for the skin with high doses so nothing to be paranoid about when using a face wash. This cleans my skin just enough without drying and only need a small amount. Follow this through with a quality moisturiser and your skin will feel great. Tried other products but returned to this and now is all I use. Read carefully that the product is not made in China, Chinese made products go through animal testing.

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Reviewed by
MMW
06.23.2015
keihls ultra facial cleanser

I've used this cleanser for several years. I'm attempting to use only cleansers with a ph of less than 5.5. I haven't been able to learn the ph of this product. Can you tell me the ph.

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Reviewed by
Felcie
06.23.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  I'm sorry but we do not have the pH for this product, as we routinely only order pH testing for exfoliant products.  If you contact Kiehl's, they may be able to provide you with it :)

—Admin
05.27.2015
I love this so much

This cleanser is the best I have ever found! I have mostly oily skin. Struggling with still getting pimples in my 20s this solved all my face woes after a week. A pea sized amount with some water and your good to go for the day. It leaves clean, refreshed skin without stripping it or feeling tight. Khiel's is very gentle. It will not remove makeup, especially around the eyes. Plan on using a scrub or mask every other day in the summer months for perfect skin.

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Reviewed by
Andrea
05.20.2015
SLS

Beautypeadia - how do you feel about the fact this includes SLS as the second ingredient? A concern or not?

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Reviewed by
Lisa
01.09.2015
a bit too drying

Skin Type: I have combination skin and am sensitive to acne breakouts. Just finishing up my Cetaphil cleanser (which is great!) and was thinking of trying something new. Used this cleanser for over 2 weeks and found I have to be careful about the amount I use because it's very drying. I get little dry patches on my skin if I use too much product, so I just use less then a thumbnail of this cleanser and moisturize more. Wanted to love it but not my fav.

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Reviewed by
Dani, L
11.07.2014
The BEST Face Cleanser

Love...Love...Love this cleanser!!!! Worth every penny. Will not only remove all makeup but really clean down to the pores without stripping your your skin dry. Skin still feels soft after cleanse. A little goes a long way so a 5 fl oz. bottle will last several months.

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Reviewed by
RamonaN
10.11.2014
Wonderful for Oily Skin Too

Surprisingly good for very oily skin. Something that describes itself as mild usually can't get through a humid summer's day makeup and oil build-up, but this can, and without irritation or harshness. A very small dab is all you need so the tube lasts a long time. It leaves you feeling very clean. I also have rosacea and this doesn't bother it. After trying many, many cleansers over the years, this one is a keeper.

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Reviewed by
Kathy M
10.09.2014
No, Thanks

I got a sample tube and I like it so much I’d definitely buy it despite its price if I didn’t know better. I like its near-gel creamy consistency plus it rinses clean and doesn’t leave my skin dry, but just as important, it has no noticeable smell. However, Olay Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin is just as great with an incredibly low price.

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Reviewed by
Maria E
09.14.2014
Not for all skin types

I don't have sensitive skin yet I found this cleanser overly drying and my skin has started to flake especially on my chin and under my nose. It is disappointing as I bought this cleanser based solely on the fact that it was a 'best' product. Also the claim that it is very gentle and for all skin types I think is misleading. It does however remove make up really well, it's just not for me, I wonder what ingredient I am reacting to in the product?

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Reviewed by
SM
07.30.2014
Finally

I am 42, no acne, dry and very sensitive skin. VERY sensitive. I have tried most of the "top brands" of cleansers and have been allergic to all of them; getting red burning painful sores all over my face. I gave this a try and it's awesome! My face looks and feels soft and clean and no allergic reactions. So happy I found this review and this website! I'm excited to try other Kiehl's products now!

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Reviewed by
Erika K.
07.13.2014
Didn't work for my skin- and I don't even have sensitive skin!

I have no idea what is in this product to have done this, but using this and any of the other Ultra line products feels like it burns my skin. I develop red patches and my skin tingles and feels tight. I don't get reactions with any other product line and have tried many-and many of those have been other Kiehl's products and even attempted a few different bottles to check it wasn't a bad batch. I've never experienced this before! I'd recommend testing this first, it didn't work for me.

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Reviewed by
Anon
05.10.2014
Sticky Film

I too bought this based on site recommendation. I have normal/dry skin and it does not dry my skin but my problem is the sticky film it leaves on my skin. I use a tiny amount and copious amount of water and lots of rining but can not get rid of the sticky it leaves on my skin. Very unpleasant.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
03.13.2014
Very drying

After using it the second and third time my skin became very dry and irritated. I have combination and sensitive skin.

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Reviewed by
Jyang
01.25.2014
Fabulous!

A wonderful cleanser! Cleans well without stripping. Lathers excellently & although I know this doesn't mean it's superior, I enjoy that cushiony feel you get when cleansing with a good lather. It's fragrance free & does not cost the earth. I also find I only need a small amount to cleanse my face and neck, as the lathering helps with the spreading. To correct the previous reviewer, Sodium Laureth Sulphate is very safe & should not be confused with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is not the same..

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Reviewed by
Nina
01.17.2014
sodium laureth sulfate?!

it is rated as the best cleanser when socium laureth sulfate is one of the offender ingredients for face....... ??!!! it is comedogenic and the drying property can cause flare-ups of skin conditions or may worsen existing conditions....definitely not the best for sensitive or acne-prone skin... I wonder why the rating for this product here is so high when there are better cleanser from kiehl's??....

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Reviewed by
Janelle L
12.23.2013
not for combination skin

Tried this cleanser based on reviews from this site. Have combination skin and find it next to impossible to find a satisfactory cleanser. Would not buy this again, too drying on the skin after rinsed off. Tight feeling afterwards, disappointing!

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
12.16.2013
bad for my skin

Not for my skin. It has badly overdried the skin on my face, i really wonder - is it for all skin types?! Will never recommend it

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Reviewed by
m a
08.20.2013
Will dry skin

I read the reviews, and gave this cleanser a try. It destroyed my skin within days. The skin on my neck became dry and flaky - looked like wrinkles. I also suddenly had breakouts on my neck! I had to stop using it. I really struggled to get my skin back to normal, but was able to do so with Clinique 's moisture surge mask. I now use the Cerave cleanser base on Paula's recommendation, and it is working perfectly. The ultra facial cleanser from kielh's is not for everyone.

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Reviewed by
C Nguyen
08.03.2013
Better at the drugstore.

I'm not saying this is a bad cleanser because it's not.But it's certainly nothing special.It's very thick and gluey, I felt it was like rubbing grease on my face.It does get better when mixed with water.Some people say they only need a pea sized amount ,but I don't find this to be the case.I use quite a bit so it's expensive.It could have done a better job at removing my PC pure mineral sunscreen too.It won't dry skin out or anything like that, and there are no irritants so plus points for that.

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Reviewed by
Roma
06.10.2013
not bad

I bought this cleanser because of the top rating. I thought it was a good cleanser, but nothing special. It does take off makeup and leaves my skin feeling clean, but if I don't put moisturizer on my skin will feel a bit tight. It's a gel but has a thick consistency and needs to be mixed with quite a bit of water to spread it all over the face easily. It has a strong detergent smell which I didn't like. All in all, decent cleanser but I won't buy again because of how expensive it is.

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Reviewed by
Olivia
01.28.2013
Best Cleanser I've Ever Tried

I received this cleanser as a Christmas gift. I'm very skeptical about receiving skincare items as gifts, as I pore over Beautypedia's reviews before I purchase anything, myself. I was very pleased to find out it received a high score from the website. It doesn't strip my skin of natural oils, has no scent but doesn't stink because of its lack of fragrance, foams nicely and feels thick and creamy on my skin with only using a pea-sized amount, removes all makeup (waterproof makeup will need extra scrubbing), and makes my face feel refreshingly clean after use. Will purchase again until this facewash can be topped.

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Reviewed by
Liz
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