Beauty,  Reviews,  Skincare

Kiehls Purchases and Review

Recently I made use of Kiehls ‘Family and Friends Sale’ and got a whole bunch of products for 20% off. There had been a few products I had been eyeing so I took the plunge and bought some basics, as well as two of their bestselling ‘serums’. Although Kiehls is not cruelty-free, I enjoy their natural aesthetic and the way they market their brand.

Midnight Recovery Concentrate

According to Kiehl’s South African site, this is “a replenishing nighttime facial oil with distilled botanicals that visibly restores the appearance of skin by morning”. I had read fantastic things about this oil so I had very high hopes. The product contains evening primrose oil, lavender essential oil and plant-derived squalene, and is one of the brand’s best-selling skincare items. This lightly fragranced oil is incredibly thin and can be a bit of a challenge to apply without spilling or greasing up the bottle because of its dropper. I found it very easy to spread and only needed about four drops at most to cover my face. It absorbs nicely into my skin by the time I’ve brushed my teeth and hopped into bed so I’ve never had it leave oil marks on my clothes or pillowcases. The scent it has is a strong lavender smell that fades very quickly (thankfully, as I really don’t like lavender).

As for the product itself, while I was slightly disappointed that it hadn’t left my face plump and squishy by the next morning, it really did help the dryness that I experience during winter (but struggle to shake after the season has ended). I feel like it’s a product I would use if I felt my dryness flaring up and wanted to get it under control overnight. But, would I say I’ve been reaching for it every night? No. I tried it consistently for about a month and then moved on to the next product, and it’s for this reason that I wouldn’t be able to justify its price tag again. You get 30ml in the dropper bottle for R850 from some Edgars stores, or online at Red Square. Although this works out to be just over R28 PER MILILITRE, I recognize that this is a product you will probably not fly through, and will last a good few months before you need to repurchase.

Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate

It’s marketed as “a serum concentrate that gives new life to dull tired skin”, and while it hadn’t been one of the products that everyone seemed to be using, I was lured in by the word ‘hydro-plumping’, I mean, moisture? And plumpness? What more could a girl ask for? This glycerine based product is definitely a serum consistency, and spreads beautifully on my skin without leaving me feeling oily or with that tight-skin sensation. The scent is non-existent which is nice as the product can also be applied to the eye area. One pump is more than sufficient to cover my entire face, but if I apply this before bed, I use two pumps and it all absorbs just fine.

This is a product I have used way more consistently than the Midnight Recovery Oil. As I have dry cheeks but an oily T-zone, most moisturisers are perfect for how my face feels after cleansing, but become a bit overwhelming by afternoon and leave me s tad greasy looking. While I know that this isn’t a moisturiser, it somehow perfectly balances the needs of my skin, and I can happily use just this on my face for the day after I get out of the shower. For R800 you get 50ml, which is about the same size as most face creams are sold in, so depending on how often you would use this serum, it’s one of the more easily justifiable purchases.

Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado


This product is also one of those with a cult following. This “creamy, moisturising eye treatment formulated with avocado oil”, beta-carotene and shea butter is so deliciously hydrating. It’s the exact colour of pistachio ice-cream (which… while not at all relevant to its effectiveness is an added bonus in my books) and has no particularly strong odours. No stinging or running into my eyes during the night also makes this product a winner. I have sensitive eyes that can be quite dry after a day of wearing contact lenses, so I have to be very careful with the types of creams I apply in this area. A little goes a marathon-like long way, and with fairly consistent use, I haven’t made a dent in the tub.

Another attractive symptom I experienced during the winter months was dry eyelids, a condition I quite frankly didn’t know was possible. This super-duper eye cream saved me from scaly state on more than one occasion. But of course, never satisfied, my skin found this TOO creamy and TOO hydrating after consistent daily use, and developed milia, which are tiny keratin deposits that look like whiteheads (charming I know). I know reach for this treatment only when I feel particularly dry around the eye area, and switch in thinner eye creams in between. This was R440 for 14ml. Don’t even work out how much that is per millilitre. It will make you sad. I will repeat that this lasts for ages, and I’d say is pretty consistent with other eye creams from brands in the same tier as Kiehls.

Ultra Facial Cleanser

Also one of the brand’s staples is their Ultra Facial Cleanser. It’s a cleanser with apricot kernel oil, avocado oil and plant-derived squalene that is supposed to be effective and mild, and therefore suitable for all skin types. While I didn’t dislike this, at all, I have no particularly strong positive feelings about it either, I am apathetic. I mean, it’s a cleanser. It cleanses. That’s about it. It delivers on the promise of not stripping the skin, and on the one of properly removing the build-up of residue on my face after a long day. With only a faint smell and a small amount of product lathering up into a fair amount of foam, it does its job just fine

One definite positive is that this tube seems to be lasting me significantly longer than other cleansers of similar volume that I have tried. So the 150ml amount that I purchased could see me through at least four to six months. You need a pea-sized amount per wash, if that, which makes this product a good buy in terms of bang for your buck.

What have you guys tried from Kiehls? Loved it? Hated it? I want to know! Leave me a message in the comments below or find me on Instagram and send me a message. I’m looking to expand in the serum department, and would love to hear your recommendations.


One Comment

  • Siobhan Yeatman

    I’ve tried all of these, bar the cleanser. I LOVED the MRC, actually went through 2 bottles (gifted one and won the other). Found I had less breakouts and marks healed super fast, and my skin just looked amazing while I used it. I just can’t justify spending that on an oil, so I’ve never repurchased it. Pity, as it’s literally my favourite facial oil I’ve ever used.
    The Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturising Concentrate was a miss for me (seems like we have opposite skins haha!), I felt it just did nothing, and really wasn’t hydrating enough. Weird.
    The Eye cream too – I used up 2 tubs, at different times in my life, and it was NOT hydrating enough and my eyes just needed MORE. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect eye cream…

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