12.16.2014
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Ultra Facial Moisturizer
Rating
2.5 fl. oz. for $18.50
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:12.16.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Ultra Facial Moisturizer remains a very popular product for Kiehl’s, sort of like the original Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion remains a hot seller for Clinique. Both products cover the basic needs of someone with normal to dry skin, but lack anything truly beneficial or state-of-the-art for skin. The tiny amounts of plant oils and vitamins in this moisturizer will have little to no impact, though it is fragrance-free.

Claims

This moisturizer is readily absorbed under the facial skin, leaving the surface area soft and nurtured. The moisturizing effects of this formulation are continued beneath the surface layers for daytime or anytime moisturizing and texturizing of the skin.

Ingredients

Water, Squalane, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Triethanolamine, Sorbitan Oleate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Stearic Acid, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Propylparaben, Myristyl Alcohol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Prunus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Retinyl Palmitate

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 Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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02.16.2013
It is exceptional

The ingredients may not be impressive, but this has the best texture and leaves the skin soft and hydrated like nothing else. Skin that is hydrated is protected from damage. Many products have good ingredients but the formula is wrong and they sit on the skin, make the texture weird etc.

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