Super Multi-Corrective Cream

by Kiehl's  
Price:
$62 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
4/29/2014
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Here's yet another moisturizer whose impressive-sounding name is accompanied by claims that it can lift, firm, and sculpt—the underlying message being that you can forget about that face-lift because this cream takes care of what time, sun damage, and gravity have conspired to undo.

As much as we wish a product like this were the answer for sagging skin, it simply cannot work (not even a little) in this way. See More Info to find out what you can realistically do via skin care to improve signs of sagging.

All you can expect from this emollient moisturizer is relief from dry skin and a reduced appearance of wrinkles, which happens anytime you apply any moisturizer, regardless of quality, over dry, wrinkled skin. For the money, this formula is shockingly low on state-of-the-art ingredients, and the effectiveness of the handful of really great ingredients will decrease because this product is packaged in a jar. See More Info to find out why jar packaging is a problem.

Last, the reason this isn't recommended (other than it not being able to lift and sculpt skin and the packaging problem) is the many irritating fragrant plant oils it contains, including rosemary and lavender, the latter of which is discussed in the More Info section. In short, this moisturizer for normal to dry skin is potentially more pro-aging than anti-aging, and is one you should leave at the cosmetics counter!

Pros:
  • Contains some emollients to address the needs of dry skin.
Cons:
  • Cannot lift or sculpt skin as claimed.
  • Contains fragrant oils that pose significant risk of irritation.
  • Jar packaging means the best ingredients won't remain stable during use.
More Info:

What Works for Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

Jar Packaging: The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

POOR Super Multi-Corrective Cream ($62 for 1.7 fl. oz.) Alias: Super-Multi-Corrective-Cream Skin Type: Normal, Dry *jar packaging* Here’s yet another moisturizer whose impressive-sounding name is accompanied by claims that it can lift, firm, and sculpt—the underlying message being that you can forget about that face-lift because this cream takes care of what time, sun damage, and gravity have conspired to undo. As much as we wish a product like this were the answer for sagging skin, it simply cannot work (not even a little) in this way. See More Info to find out what you can realistically do via skin care to improve signs of sagging. All you can expect from this emollient moisturizer is relief from dry skin and a reduced appearance of wrinkles, which happens anytime you apply any moisturizer, regardless of quality, over dry, wrinkled skin. For the money, this formula is shockingly low on state-of-the-art ingredients, and the effectiveness of the handful of really great ingredients will decrease because this product is packaged in a jar. See More Info to find out why jar packaging is a problem. Last, the reason this isn’t recommended (other than it not being able to lift and sculpt skin and the packaging problem) is the many irritating fragrant plant oils it contains, including rosemary and lavender, the latter of which is discussed in the More Info section. In short, this moisturizer for normal to dry skin is potentially more pro-aging than anti-aging, and is one you should leave at the cosmetics counter! Pros: Contains some emollients to address the needs of dry skin. Cons: Cannot lift or sculpt skin as claimed. Contains fragrant oils that pose significant risk of irritation. Jar packaging means the best ingredients won’t remain stable during use. More Info: What Works for Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn’t possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that’s exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it’s the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You’ll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products. Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Lavender Oil: Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it’s fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).

Multi-targeted anti-aging moisturizer that corrects the most visible signs of aging; Lifts, firms, sculpts, contours, and smoothes skin.
Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Ether, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea Butter), Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Isononyl Isononanoate, Isopropyl Isostearate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Tetrahydrojasmonate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behenyl Alcohol, Dipropylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Palmitic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Arachidyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Cetearyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary Leaf Oil), Adenosine, Limonene, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract (Cucumber Fruit Extract), Curcuma Long Extract (Turmeric Root Extract), Sclareolide, Rosa SPP (Rose Flower) Oil, Jasminum Officinale Extract (Jasmine Extract), Citric Acid.

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.

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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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