Review: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

This review has been updated! Read my updates at the end, under Overall.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Collection is the brand’s main skincare collection that focuses on simple steps to get healthy, well-balanced skin. The Ultra Facial Moisturizer is one of their most popular products that has a cult following. Because my skin, especially my cheeks, lean towards dry, I chose the Ultra Facial Cream instead of the Moisturizer as it is touted to provide 24-hours of hydration to the skin.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from Inspired by our original, beloved Ultra Facial Moisturizer, this 24-hour, light-textured daily hydrator leaves skin comfortable and visibly well-balanced, particularly in harsh weather conditions. Our formula is made with Antarcticine–a Glycoprotein extracted from microorganisms sourced from sea glaciers and notable for an ability to protect skin from cold temperatures–as well as Imperata Cylindrica, a plant indigenous to the Australian desert which possesses superb water retention properties in dry conditions. Our unique combination of ingredients helps reduce moisture loss while drawing and absorbing moisture from the air. With continuous water replenishment throughout the day, skin is smooth, healthy-looking, and “moisture-even.”

Price: $24.50USD/$32CAD for 50mL; $46USD/$56CAD for 125mL

Texture/Scent: Thick gel-cream, scent-free

The good: It is completely scent-free, so it is good for those sensitive to fragrances. The gel-cream formula is lighter than a true cream and does not clog pores. The packaging is simple and fuss-free; I received the 160th anniversary packaging in the black and gold and it is very appealing to look at on my counter.

  • Scent-free
  • Does not clog pores
  • Simple, straightforward packaging

The bad: This does not completely absorb and leaves a greasy film on my face. If I use this alone, it is not hydrating enough and leaves my skin feeling tight. If I use this with a serum underneath, whether water-based or oil-based, it will not absorb completely.

  • Does not completely absorb
  • Not hydrating enough to use on it’s own,

Overall: This is a good product if you have very dry skin to use with a serum, or if you have drier-combination skin. On my dry-to-normal skin, it is not a good product, unfortunately. I felt that it was too heavy to use with serums but too light to use on it’s own, which is very frustrating. It works a little bit better at night because I don’t have to apply sunscreen on top, but because it does not absorb completely on me, I cannot use this with sunscreen during the day (because my face will just turn into a greaseball). This is a very good basic moisturizer, and if you fit one of the skin types I described above, then you should check it out in store.

[UPDATE 19/5/2012] I absolutely LOVE this moisturizer. I’ve noticed that you cannot use it with serums that contain silicone or any kind of “protective” ingredient because then it will not absorb. I have been using it with the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution for the past nearly 3 months and it absorbs really well into my skin, leaving it healthy, moisturized and supple. I highly recommend this product as a simple moisturizer for everyone with dry, normal or combination skin, as long as you don’t use a serum with silicone or protective ingredients (such as petrolatum). The ratings below have been updated as well.

Product: 18/20
Packaging: 4.5/5
Value: 4.5/5
Overall: 27/30 | A
Repurchase? YESSS



8 thoughts on “Review: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

  1. will have to give this a try once i finish my current one. the one im using atm isn’t working for the winter. my skin is crazy dry!! this sounds promising other than it being greasy. but maybe grease is something i need for my skin LOL

    thanks for the review!

  2. I had high hopes for the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, and have been following the product since it was announced. My skin tends to get a dry as a result of the unusually cold winter in my city. The price of $56CAN also seemed very reasonable for a premium product from Kiehl. Unfortunately, I have decided against purchasing this product as I also have dry-to-normal skin, and it seems that the product is too light to use on it. I look forward to future reviews on facial creams that are effective for dry-to-normal skin.

  3. Pingback: Review: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution « *Maddy Loves

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