Monday, May 20, 2013

Product Review: Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream
I've never tried anything from Kiehl's before. The first time I entered their shop was during my search for a hair product. I got turned off immediately because of the expensive price. However, during my trip to Singapore with friends, I found myself again inside a Kiehl's store. My friends highly recommended their products, and so I got convinced to buy my first Kiehl's item - a Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream for SGD 48.00.

(See more updated reviews below.)
Product Name: Kiehl's Ultra Oil-Free Gel Cream
Price and Availability: Php 1700.00 (Kiehl's Philippines) SGD 48.00 (Kiehl's Singapore) , USD 28.48 (Amazon)
aqua / water, glycerin, alcohol denat., propanodiol, glycereth-26, isononyl isononanoate, ammonium polyacryldimethyltauramide / ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, imperata cylindrica root extract, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate, propylene glycol, potassium sorbate, sodium hyaluronate, pseudoaltteromonas ferment extract, citric acid, caprylyl glycol, carbomer, biosaccharide gum-i, panthenol, cucumis sativus juice / cucumber fruit extract, acrylates /c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer

Analyze ingredients here. (Copy the list above and place it inside the site's text box.)

Presenting, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream:

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

The product is contained in a jar, a rather inefficient choice by Kiehl's if you ask me. I have to really close the lid fast enough after every use because I wouldn't want the product inside to be exposed in the air and dirt for so long. I also dislike the idea of dipping my fingers inside, so I decided to improvise by using a mini plastic spatula (the one that goes with your grocery pudding or gelatin). But since the whole spoon tends to sink in this super lightweight formulation, I just transferred some amount into smaller container. That way I also get to prevent the rest of the product from oxidizing which may lessen it's potency.

I bought Kiehl's Ultra Oil-Free Gel Cream because it is a moisturizer that is recommended for oily skin. It is colorless, unscented, and does not contain any other fragrances (yes, there is a difference between unscented and fragrance-free), which is good for sensitive skin.

The texture is very runny. When applied to skin, it feels so lightweight as if it wasn't there. There is a rather unpleasant odor but it goes away quickly after application. Spreading out the gel is easy and fast, I didn't have to wait long for it to sink in.

I've been using Kiehl's for some time already, and to be honest, I didn't notice any major difference with my long-time moisturizer - Celeteque Facial Moisturizer - considering that it costs a lot lot more. My previous moisturizer was already very good (and highly affordable). It did not cause me breakouts. It is also colorless, unscented, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic, but has a slightly thicker consistency than Kiehl's (but still lightweight). The only reason why I ditched Celeteque is because it contains DMDM Hydantoin (a preservative known to release formaldehyde).

Perhaps despite the little difference between these two moisturizers, Kiehl's still has the upper hand with regards to the ingredients. Not only does it not contain DMDM Hydantoin, it is also free of the preservative paraben (a highly controversial ingredient that is said to disrupt the endocrine system and cause cancer). In addition, Kiehl's doesn't contain silicones as well, which is present in Celeteque. 

(Learn more about silicones and parabens.)

There is one thing that bothers me about Kiehl's gel cream's formulation though. It's the alcohol content. I know I have oily skin, but that doesn't mean I should expose my skin to the drying and possibly irritating effect of alcohol. But it also contains glycerin, and many other hydrating ingredients that may have countered the drying effect of alcohol. I guess as long as I didn't experience any dryness and irritation from the product, it will be fine to continue using it.

A note of precaution: If you are using chemical peels such as AHA and BHA, or other drying topical medications, you should really worry about the presence of alcohol in the products you are using along with your treatment.

My sister is using the same product with me, and her experience is far better than my so-so result. I noticed that her skin has become smoother and more radiant. She likes Kiehl's very much. And the high price tag is surely a no turn-off to her considering the benefits she's gaining. Well good for her!

So to wrap this post off, in a nutshell, the pros and cons:

- No DMDM Hydantoin and parabens
- Unscented and fragrance-free
- No colorings
- Noncomedogenic
- Lightweight

- Very expensive
- Jar container
- The not-so-sweet smell (though not a deal-breaker to me)

Will I buy this again? Until I cannot find a far better formulation with a lower price tag, I will stick with Kiehl's. If you are like me who have oily skin, you will surely love the feel of this moisturizer. I also recommend it to people who dislikes parabens and silicones in their products.


UPDATE: June 6, 2013
I'm starting to like this product more and more. Despite the lightweight consistency of the gel, it is packed up with moisturizing power. It's gooey yet easily absorbed in the skin. I noticed my skin appearing a bit dewy, which I really loved (only that my skin becomes very oily during midday). I am yet to see this product's effect on me during the cold months (it's still very humid here). Keep posted for my furture updates.

UPDATE: July 17, 2013
I'm about to finish my tub of Kiehl's moisturizer, and so I have bought another spare. I really like this product. I was wrong to have compared it with my previous drugstore moisturizer as the effect it had on me was far better than my old moisturizer. I use Kiehl's as a night cream as well, and had noticed my skin looked amazing the next morning after waking up. My skin has maintained its smoothness even without applying the moisturizer. There was one time when I forgot to apply it before BB cream but I was amazed how the BB cream was gliding across my skin.
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