Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser

by Kiehl's  Ultra Facial
Price:
$19.50 - 5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:
4/29/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This foaming cleanser definitely gets your face clean and removes makeup, but with the potential tradeoff of leaving skin feeling tight and dry. The formula contains some drying, soap-like ingredients, including a fairly high amount of potassium hydroxide (that’s lye).

Those with very oily skin may find this cleanser a good option, but keep in mind that the irritation caused by the cleansing agents can stimulate more oil production at the base of your pores—so the matte finish this cleanser leaves will be short-lived and your skin can suffer in the long run. This cleanser is not “gentle enough for sensitive skin” as the claims assert.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Likely to leave skin feeling dry and tight due to the soap-like cleansing agents it contains.
  • Absolutely not suitable for sensitive skin as claimed; the cleansing agents definitely will lead to further impairment of the skin’s surface.
  • There are far better cleansers for far less money.

Our Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser is a quick-lathering cleansing foam that thoroughly removes impurities and visibly reduces excess oil on skin’s surface, while leaving skin looking more balanced. With Imperata Cylindrica Root and Lemon Fruit Extracts, our non-stripping, sulfate-free formula leaves skin clean and refreshed without over-drying. Gentle enough for sensitive skin.

Water, Glycerin, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Lauric Acid, Glyceryl Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Kaolin, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Lemon Fruit Extract, PEG-14M, Pseufoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Methylisothiazolinone, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

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.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
Page of 1
  1. Roma
    Reviewed on Thursday, September 05, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Terribe stuff!
    • Terrible. I use the Keihls ultra facial cleanser for all skin types.It's brilliant .I was sent a sample of this .That was enough! It strips your skin of moisture . The product is green and smells like disinfectant.Paula is spot on with her review of this but then she usually is. Stay well clear would be my advice!

  2. C Nguyen
    Reviewed on Wednesday, August 21, 2013
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Not a good product
    • I have acne-prone , sensitive skin, and was looking for a good cleanser. I tested this product out before reading Paula's review. Sadly, her review was right on. This product will leave your skin very dry - I felt like my skin was devoid of moisture. The sales clerks at Kielh's are NOT knowledgeable. I told them of my experience, and they were still trying to push this product... This is not a good product.

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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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