Fab or Flub: Kiehl’s moisturizers

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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If I haven’t said it before, then I’ll say it now. I am not a fan of moisturizers. I know, I know. When it comes to skin care, saying you don’t like moisturizers is blasphemy. I, however, have a good excuse (or at least I think I do).

For as long as I can remember, I have had an oily T-zone. And while oily skin isn’t the worst thing in the world to suffer from (skin-care experts say women with oily skin have less wrinkles), dealing with it can be a bother.

To add to this, all of the moisturizers I have tried (including oil-free and matte versions) only seemed to add to the amount of facial oil I produce. Thus, my challenge: search for a product that would get the job done.

Enter Kiehl’s new Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque ($35 for 4.2 ounces, Nordstrom). Made with glacial proteins and desert plant leaves, the masque claims to give users hydrated, healthier skin by morning. With a formula that’s designed for all skin types, it’s also silicone-, paraben-, fragrance- and colorant-free.

But that’s not Kiehl’s only newly launched product to fight moisture depletion. The company also has Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration ($26.50 for 1.7 ounces, Nordstrom) that claims to smooth, soften and intensely hydrate. Unfortunately, it’s targeted at those with dry skin.

Deciding to try the masque out myself, I employed the help of my trusty sidekick (also known as my boyfriend) to try the other product, as he has dry patches around his cheek area. With our products in hand, we set out to regain the moisture we both had been missing.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque: My impression

Unscrewing the cap of the masque for the first time, I expected to see the typical formula. You know — thick, opaque and goopy. You slather it on your face like war paint and try your best not to get it everywhere.

Surprisingly, this masque was completely different. In its container, the Kiehl’s masque looks just like translucent jelly. Reaching in to grab a glob, I realized that the formula is actually super light and not at all greasy (great for someone whose biggest skin problem is oil). So far, so good.

After my nightly routine of removing my makeup with Yes To Cucumber Towlettes and cleansing with my Clarisonic Mia and Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser, I applied the masque all over my face and neck.

One thing that I feel is important to note is that the formula is really absorbent. I applied it about an hour before I went to bed, and by the time I hit the sheets, it looked and felt as if I wasn’t wearing any moisturizer . No worries about getting it all over my bedding.

When I awoke the next morning, the first thing I looked for was how oily my face would be. You’d think my first instinct would be to check for improvement in my skin. But as always, I base a large part of my opinion of a product on whether it makes my face oilier. To my surprise, it didn’t.

I did notice, however, that the product left my skin looking brighter and rejuvenated. I don’t usually get the recommended eight hours of sleep, so my skin (particularly around my eye area) is often left needing a little pick-me-up. This seems to have done the trick.

Although thrilled with the results I’d seen earlier, I was still skeptical about whether I was just seeing what I wanted to see or if this product was legit. I decided to use it for at least a week before forming my final opinion. (Side note: Though I don’t recall seeing it on the container, Kiehl‘s website recommends using the product just 1-2 times a week because of it’s potency, so I alternated days of use.)

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration: His impression

When I handed the facial cream to my boyfriend, I’ll admit I was nervous. As much I love him, I am well aware that his current beauty routine is pretty much limited to brushing his teeth and wearing deodorant.

Occasionally he’ll use my Clarisonic, but I’ve often had to remind him that lotion should be used on a daily basis. Would he even remember to apply the cream every day? Surprisingly, the answer was yes. In fact, he applied it both in the morning and at night (as recommended).

Out of the container, the facial cream looks just like a typical moisturizer that is both lightweight and non-greasy. That was perfect, because I knew my boyfriend would not want the feeling of actually having something on his face.

Using only a small amount, he applied the cream to his face and immediately remarked that his dry patches felt better and that the cream was soothing. He did, however, have one complaint. The smell of the cream, though subtle, reminded him of Elmer’s glue.

With his first day of testing in the books, we agreed that he would continue using the product for a whole week before rendering a verdict.

Fab or Flub?

Fab times two. After trying out numerous beauty products over the years, I’ve come to expect that most products need at least one or two weeks to see any visible results. You can imagine my surprise then, when after using a new product for just one day I began seeing a positive difference.

After a week of alternating days of use, I am very pleased with the outcome. My skin looks healthy and refreshed. When I use the product, I wake up with a glow to my face. And while I don’t think it’s a replacement for a daily moisturizer, it is, for now, a good step in the right direction.

As for my boyfriend, he couldn’t have been happier with his results. At least that’s what it sounded like. When I asked him how the dry patches on his face felt now that he had been using the moisturizer for a couple of days, he said “Good.” Pressing him for more info, I asked him if he thought the product is worth buying. He responded with “Yeah, it’s really good.”

For a man of few words, that was saying a lot. I’d call it a big hit.

To check out previous Fab or Flub reviews, go to the Star-Telegram YouTube account ( www.youtube.com/user/startelegramvideo).

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