Kiehl markets the moisturizer it has produced, Ultra Facial Moisturizer, as one that provides 24-hour hydration. Hydration is key to attaining great skin as it contributes heavily to a dewy, glowing, youthful complexion. We review this unusual formula which relies on an olive-derived fat, squalene, with interest. Squalene provides the moisture while glycerine keeps it locked in.
What’s In Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer?
- Vitamin E
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Apricot Oil
Squalene is the signature ingredient. Olive oil’s omega-3-like properties are revered both in the Mediterranean diet and cosmetic industry for their nourishing, anti-aging properties. Squalene is derived from olive fats and given the beneficial properties of olives, it is not hard to see why this is the main ingredient. It would be deeply nourishing and deliver much-needed moisture to the skin cells, but what is not so clear is how easily and quickly it would absorb into the skin. Glycerin serves as the humectant, meaning it seals in the moisture. Many moisturizers rely on glycerin. We do not find this therefore to be a bad thing but do add that the best way to seal in moisture is by using medical-grade silicone. This, incidentally, is used in the products shown to actually work best in independent scientific trials.
Vitamin E is a moisturizer must-have for its anti-aging and collagen-creating properties. Collagen is what keeps skin firm and young looking. What we do not see included is Vitamin C, which would have been optimal. Research shows that Vitamin C and E form an unbeatable dynamic duo on the collagen production front in particular. Sweet Almond oil, like Vitamin E, is another ingredient that research shows is a non-negotiable in a hardworking moisturizer. It is nutrient-rich and nourishing at far above average levels. Avocado oil is a great antioxidant in addition to being nourishing, and apricot oil is another essential plant oil that adds to a synthesis of benefits. Despite having some elements of a great formula, key omissions other than Vitamin C and medical aid silicone are wheat extracts and shea butter.
How Do You Use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer?
Massage a small amount into your skin after cleansing and toning. You can apply this moisturizer both at night and during the day, as needed. We are not told if it is fast absorbing so we can wear makeup over it, or if we need to wear extra sun protection factor. These are things which would have been useful to know.
There are three sizes and prices:
- 2.5 ounce – $21
- 4.2 ounce – $29
- 8.4 ounce – $41
At the time of compiling this review, you could receive a deluxe sample with every purchase higher than $50. Other than this there appear to be no packages or discounts but there is a reward program.
Is There a Guarantee?
The manufacturer says if you’re unhappy with a purchase you can return it where you bought it for a 100% money back guarantee. This means you should be able to go to the store of purchase as well and invoke your money back guarantee. The policy is slightly weakened though by the fact no timeline is given and we are not told if we can return partially used goods – these are critical points to know upfront. Since you can return the product for ‘any reason’, you probably can return a partially used item though. If you buy a Kiehl product from an unauthorized seller, you will not be able to get a return.
The Conclusion of Our Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer Review
The core premise of the formulation is sensible because indeed hydration is key to glowing, beautiful skin. It is also noteworthy that in addition, Vitamin E and Sweet Almond Oil, two moisturizer ingredients regarded as clinically proven and critical, are included.
The one issue though is that there are also a handful of clinically proven ingredients missing, including Vitamin C. But, by far the most obvious exclusion given the emphasis on hydration is medical-strength silicone. This is a superior, lightweight humectant, which is why it is the go-to for plastic surgeons to create a moisture barrier which also nourishes and is scar-minimal. Research has shown that glycerin is by far inferior to medical-grade silicone as far is sealing in moisture is concerned. This omission, research indicates, does, unfortunately, detract from the healing, wholesome properties of the high moisture content the formula seeks to lock in. Glycerin is also not as lightweight. When combined with squalene, we were therefore not surprised to find that feedback from consumers with normal to oily skin do find Ultra Facial Moisturizer somewhat oily and heavy.