Kiehl’s Skin Care Routine – Update


Last year I flipped the switch on my skin care routine and introduced my skin to some old and new Kiehl’s hot shots. Today I’ll be giving you the lowdown on how that turned out. At the time, my skin felt quite dehydrated, my acne had gotten worse and little bumps had appeared all over my forehead. As things were getting worse every week, Kiehl’s’ call to drop by for a skin consultation seemed godsend. Later that night I returned home with 3 products: an essence and 2 serums. Read on if you’re curious how I got on with them!

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence

As soon as I laid eyes on the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, I knew I had to take it home. Essences originated in South-Korea and are basically liquids with skin-beneficial ingredients that target specific skin concerns. You use them after toning and before moisturizing, and then gently pat them into the skin. This one from Kiehl’s was the first Western essence I had encountered (Lancôme has just released one and you can expect a lot more) and I could not wait to try it, even though that meant having to add another step to my routine.


The product says to help your skin look more youthful and radiant thanks to the Iris Florentina Root Extract, while the Lipo Hydroxy Acid (LHA) sloughs off dead skin cells and stimulates skin renewal. Lastly the Sodium Hyaluronate will will add some moisture into the mix. Kiel’s promises to visibly improve the appearance of fine lines, dullness, and rough texture over time.

I use this morning and evening by putting 3-4 drops into the palm of my hand (no cotton pads needed), press my hands together before gently patting it onto my face and neck until it has completely absorbed. The leftover residue will feel a bit sticky, but the feeling will disappear as you move on with the next steps of your routine. 


It didn’t take my skin long to show some result after I started using this. I noticed how it felt extra nourished and looked more even and radiant. This makes the perfect base for any following moisturizing products and makes them even more effective. I also love how it’s so economic in use. You only need such a small amount that this 200 ml beast will last you a long long time. Even though I’ve read some great reviews, I wonder why this product hasn’t received more recognition in the beauty sphere. As new essences are starting to surface, I do hope this will change. To conclude: Using an essence may be an extra step in your routine, but it’s one you never thought you needed.

Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate

After the essence I follow up with a serum, in this case the Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate, which made waves in some magazines, which in turn made me curious about what the fuss was all about. As soon as you try this on your hand, you know why this little guy is getting so much attention.


Besides the Shiso leaf (which reminded me of my time in Japan – sakura mochi), there are really no ingredients that particularly spark my interest here. The serum has all of the key ingredients needed to moisturize as well as prevent loss of moisture to make it work as a lightweight pre-moisturizer. It’s the composition is what truly makes this product special. It has a gel-like consistency that, as soon as you rub it, creates water droplets on the skin’s surface, making it easier to penetrate the skin without feeling tacky. 


Some suggest you can even use this as a moisturizer on its own, but I think it works fine as a serum, giving me that extra moisture boost for those areas that tend to dry out quicker. You can even layer this with other serums if you please. For dry skin I don’t think the serum concentrate is sufficient, but if you have combo or oily skin, this might be the lightweight serum you’re looking for.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I can’t believe I haven’t tried this bestseller from Kiehl’s before (I know), but I finally went for it (even though I was also eyeing the new daytime recovery concentrate). The Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a replenishing nighttime facial oil with distilled botanicals that is said to visibly restore the appearance of skin by morning.


I apply 3 drops after cleansing which are easily dispensed with the dropper. Afterwards you can choose if you want to follow up with a moisturizer or not. I tend to switch it up depending on what my skin needs. To those still fearing the ‘oil’ in facial oil, it’s not the oil itself you need to worry about, but the ingredients like you would with any other skin care product. Although the fragrance oils might be irritating for some sensitive skin types, I feel lucky to be one of the people that can list this product under ‘effective’. Where I would usually get dry patches around my nose and cheeks, my skin feels like the times I never even had to worry about having dry patches because it was so oily. But now I get to experience that feeling without the excess oil, which feels truly great. 


Overall my re-introduction with Kiehl’s skin care has been great and the proof is written all over my face. My skin looks healthier, moisturized, more plump and has a healthy glow to it. And most importantly, the tiny little bumps were gone. Well that was before I ran out of the hydro-plumping re-texturizing serum concentrate, went to Japan and took some other product samples with me to try and all of that airplane air didn’t do much good either. I was back at square one (the bumps hadn’t returned though) with what’s left of the serum and midnight recovery oil, but considering the way Kiehl’s had turned the game around for me before, I’m confident everything will return to normal soon.

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence – € 43 / $ 45
Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate – € 50 / $ 58
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – € 42 / $ 46

Kiehl’s is available online and in their boutiques (for Belgium: Ghent, Bxl, Antwerp).

What is your favourite product from Kiehl’s?

Disclaimer: The products mentioned are PR samples offered for consideration.



  1. April 4, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Good to hear you’re getting such great results!

    • Sté
      April 4, 2016 / 9:32 pm

      Yeah, I’m so happy because no primer or foundation could conceal those tiny little bumps. Flawless makeup starts with a good base after all 🙂

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