A fluffy coat, my pink wig & a bunch of Kiehl’s products?!
Whaat? I promise I’m going to start making sense in a minute. Yes, today we’re talking about Kiehl’s and my skincare routine for the past couple of months. So what about the mountain theme, all the rocks and climbing? Because that’s how this brand won me over.
I am one of those people who loves a good story, especially when it comes to advertising. I am sick and tired ads with photos of a pretty girl holding a cream near their face and telling me it’s extraordinary – and I am not the only one. We’re bombarded by ads both online and offline, which tends to get really damn annoying. So, what makes me actually consider a product and stick around to watch the ad if it’s something more than just a pretty photo/video. If there’s a story, if there’s a message, if there’s a point to it more than just hey buy this here.
Besides the fact that Kiehl’s is a brand with a heritage (it was founded in 1851), when we first got acquainted (meaning I walked into their store, stop it with the pretentiousness Patricia) (shut up you’re not my mom, you can’t tell me what to do), I learned of the story behind their Ultra Facial Cream and it won me over.
The Greenland First Ascent
In 2005, six explorers completed the first-ever ascent of Greenland’s ice covered peaks. It took them from May to June to complete it and one of the things they chose to carry with them was Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. They tested it beforehand and decided to take it with them – and that’s a big thing, considering you have to carry everything in a huge backpack by yourself. If you’d ask me, I’m not sure I’d be eager to make it even heavier with a facial cream. In this video they talk about their experience and how the cream saved their skin from irritations, dryness and all the bad stuff that comes from incredibly low temperatures.
I’ve been skiing for the first time in 6 years last winter. Besides the clumsiness that came with being severely out of practice, what made my trip a lot less fun was the wind & the cold that made my face so irritated & sensitive I wanted to cry. It was horrible – after a few hours spent atop of the mountain, the wind felt as it was literally cutting into my face. No I am not going to go on and say but oh, I had my Kiehl’s cream with me and everything was fine – I wasn’t using Kiehl’s yet (I started using their Ultra Facial this July). I could, it would most definitely match the story, but I don’t lie. I’d never lie about a product, regardless of how much money or what benefits it would bring me. I am going to say, however, if my skin got so bad after a few hours in the cold on a normal mountain, I can only imagine what those six explorers must’ve felt during one whole month spent on a mountain. So, if they say that this cream saved their skin, I am impressed and definitely intrigued.
My First Ascent
I am saying intrigued because I am not one to recommend a product without thoroughly testing it myself. I’ve been using a Kiehl’s only skincare regime for three months before I got down to writing this post. I started using the Ultra Facial Cream earlier, I received a sample at the opening of their shop. When I attended, they also tested my skin and I scored a shameful 20 on the hydration levels test. The optimum is around 50-60. I have to admit I’ve always been pretty sucky about keeping a routine – I use facial masks religiously, however I tend to forget about the daily face cream. So, if I’m being honest, from June-ish (I think that’s when the shop opened and I received the cream) to the beginning of August when I went for another check, I used the cream maybe once every three days? Anyway, most definitely not what the doctor ordered. Even so, I could tell that my skin was feeling better. I went back at the beginning of August to try a full skincare regimen – and got tested again. Much to my surprise, the hydration level was 48. In spite of me not using the cream properly, it kind of worked wonders. By then, I was pretty sold.
Besides the Ultra Facial, my routine contains:
First of all, this smells heavenly (like most Kiehl’s products) – I know that’s not exactly what’s important about a skincare product, however it’s a huge part for me. It gets absorbed by the skin super fast and it’s not oily. I was honestly afraid of using it before doing my makeup, however it doesn’t affect it in any way – on the contrary, Alexander actually uses it as a primer (my OCD is too strong for that, though). My face doesn’t become oily faster, it just gives me a natural glow & makes me look a lot less tired than I usually am.
Tamanu Botanical Oil – reduces the appearance of daily damage + soothes the skin
Sunflower Botanical Oil – strengthens skin’s barrier + improves skin smoothness, texture & hydration
Ginger Root Essential Oil – provides antioxidant protection
Evening Primrose Oil – helps repair the skin barrier while maintaining hydration & elasticity.
Lavender Oil – soothes inflamed or irritated skin while helping reduce blotchy skin for a more even tone
Squalane – A signature Kiehl’s ingredient, it helps restore skin’s moisture balance and to keep it soft and supple.
This is by far the most recommended & loved Kiehl’s product – by everyone. It smells heavenly as well, the lavender being not only soothing for the skin, but for my body & mind as a whole, before going to sleep. My skin is overly sensitive and this oil is so soothing, it always calms any irritations that occur after a long day. Me lovey.
I opted for a more gentle cleanser because, as I mentioned above, my skin is even more sensitive than my ego. A lot of makeup removers are very irritating for me, especially if I have to apply them with cotton pads, so I tend to avoid those. Much to my surprise, after washing my face with this one, not only did it not sting at all, but my face didn’t even get as red as it normally does when I remove my makeup. I have to use it more than once in order to remove all makeup, but it’s understandable from a super gentle cleanser (also, my makeup is heavy duty, I sometimes have to use even oil based makeup removers twice to get rid of it all). Even though I have to use more product and wash my face more times, considering the fact that it’s one the very few cleansers I’ve used that don’t irritate my skin, for me it’s worth it.
Aloe Vera – softens, soothes and comforts skin
Chamomile – soothing and comforting
Tiger Herb (Centella Asiatica) – antibacterial, anti-psoriatic, and wound-healing properties. The Tiger Herb plant is sought out by wounded tigers in the wild who rub against it for its healing properties
Avocado Oil – the most moisturizing of any fruit oil + natural source of amino acid proteins, Vitamins A, D, E and potassium.
Beta-Carotene – naturally-derived antioxidant
Shea Butter – protection from dehydration + restoring skin’s suppleness & improving the appearance of dry skin.
I’ve never used an eye cream before this one. My major issue is puffiness, which this baby handles exemplary. I also have the feeling that it helps reduce the appearance of under eye circles, which is great because lately man, they keep coming at me. I also haven’t noticed my makeup to crease in the area faster than before, so kudos for that as well. A pro tip when applying it: rub it between your fingers first, until the creamy texture becomes more like a gel and only then apply it.
This is probably the most delicate product I’ve ever had. From the gentle scent, to the actual Calendula petals you can find inside, it’s pretty much the kind of mask I’d see myself using if I was a royal princess somewhere. While I’m not, it definitely soothes my princess complex. And my skin. They say to leave it on for 5 minutes, however the cooling sensation it provides when you have it on feels so nice that I always end up leaving it longer. Afterwards, my face feels a lot smoother & any irritation is soothed. I use it once a week.
Calendula Petals and Extract – soothes sensitive skin
Aloe Vera – softens, soothes and comforts skin
Something that applies to all the products I’m using is the fact that a little goes a long way. Even though they are rather expensive, the ingredients are top notch quality and the proof is your skin. You don’t have to apply half the bottle until that sensation that your skin has been covered and soothes kicks in, which is often the case with cheaper products.
That also counts when it comes the number of products you need for great skin. You don’t need to use 20 products in a never-ending routine, 6 are more than enough. I use the Ultra Facial both in the morning and evening, so no need for two face creams.
One more thing about the Ultra, as we’ve come back to where it all began. Right now it comes in a limited edition, with a cause. Kiehl’s has partnered up with Autism Speaks and will donate 200.000$ to the cause. So, by purchasing one of these, you’re not only helping your skin, but also children and families living with autism worldwide.