The Kiehl’s Ultra Facial skincare has been taken to the Arctic to protect the chapped skin of the Arctic explorers, which it did. In the super cold dry air of the Arctic, it is no wonder that the popular Ultra Facial Cream is moisturizing, but very thick. I tried a sample of the Ultra Facial Cream once, but in a dry cool climate. My skin loved it. It kept my skin from drying out and it just felt lovely overall. When I returned to the tropics and tried it, it felt heavy and greasy. Unless you have super dry skin, I cannot see the Ultra Facial Cream catching on in the Tropics, no matter what they say.
Enter the new Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free range which is for normal to oily skin types. When I first heard about it, I was quite interested. It promises to hydrate the skin as well as the Ultra Facial range, but without the heaviness associated with it. It is also paraben free, silicone free, fragrance free and oil free. I was sent the range nearly 2 months ago so here are my thoughts on it. It is expected to be launched here soon, or may already be in Kiehl’s stores 🙂
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free Cleanser – RM85/200ml
This is a fairly large tube of facial cleanser that foams up very nicely even with just very little, and it cleans the skin well. It isn’t drying on my skin, but it doesn’t make it feel wonderful either. I’d say its a good little cleanser, but not a must have. Its a cleanser! I don’t have much to say about it 😛
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free Toner – RM85/250ml
I’ve used the Kiehl’s Cucumber toner and Acai Toning Mist before this. Like the Cucumber Toner, this one is a wipe on toner but unlike the Cucumber Toner this one does not feel astringent. In keeping to the hydrating theme, this toner does make my skin feel a little bit hydrated than regular toners. It reminds me of the lotions used in Japanese skincare and although I did not quite feel it initially, I do quite like it now. After 2 months, I’m not even a quarter of the way though the bottle and I apply this using a cotton pad, wiping the lotion all over my skin and then lightly patting it in. Its nothing earth shattering, but its quite nice.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream – RM100/50ml
This one is, for me, the star product of the range. If you like light gel cream textures you too may like this one. If you don’t, you won’t because gel creams feel differently on the skin compared to normal oil based creams. I find that gel creams tend to feel a little sticky going on, but once they absorb, my skin feels lovely thereafter.
The texture of this cream is pretty much like all other gel creams – light and translucent. I apply this by doing the 5 dot method – forehead, cheeks, nose and chin and then massage it in. I also use varying amounts depending on how my skin feels at the time and never once have I felt oily. I think this one might be good for oily skinned gals too.
This is the cream I credit with restoring the balance of my skin and which made me think hard about using hydration as a means to curing my skin problems and imbalance. I use it a lot in the day, because it is so light yet helps my skin remain moisturised throughout the day – no mean feat in this hot weather and air conditioning. At night, I sometimes alternate this with something a little heavier or I use this as a sleeping pack.
Yes I love this one a lot. 2 months, and I’m not even halfway through my tub yet. Its all good 🙂
Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Propanediol, Glycereth-26, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltautamide/Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Imperata Cylindrical root extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Panthenol, Cucumis Sativus Juice/Cucumber Fruit Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer Fmla 685478/11 Code FIL D45072/1
I will tell you that Alcohol Denat is one of the ingredients. Personally, I’m not affected by it, but if you are, then its best you don’t use this one.
Pros: Not oily, Gel Cream is very good and hydrating for my skin, Toner is not astringent and helps skin feel more hydrated
Cons: Gel Cream can feel a little sticky before it absorbs, Some people may not like the presence of alcohol denat in the ingredients
The Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free skincare range is already available in the stores, and we know by now that Kiehl’s has a very generous sampling policy (just don’t abuse it 😛 ) so if you are in store, or are in the market for a new moisturiser do take a look and see if they have samples you can take home to try and see if you like it. As for me, I’m keeping this Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream on my “to repurchase” list. Its more affordable than other gel creams I’ve tried, does its job very well for me and is all in all, something I can see myself using very often, and I do! 🙂
If you have tried anything from this range, do share your thoughts, whether you like it or no. We all have different preferences anyway 😉
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil Free skincare range is available at all Kiehl’s stores and counters. Cleanser: RM85/200ml, Toner: RM85/250ml, Gel Cream: RM100/50ml
Here’s the official statement I obtained from Kiehl’s re: Animal Testing : At Kiehl’s, we are committed to providing products of the highest quality, safety, and efficacy. Our products and ingredients undergo extensive screening so that customers may purchase and use our products with complete confidence. In order to assure the safety and efficacy of our formulations, we use a variety of ways to test our products. This can include consumer panels, sensory testing and instrumental evaluation. Kiehl’s does not—nor have we ever—tested our products on animals.
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OOOOO. I might try this once I finish my current skincare stash.
I thought you preferred using Clinique skincare? This might be a bit light by comparison
Hmmm, I’ve decided to branch out. heh heh heh.
Did you know Kiehl tests on animals? I think that should be added to your cons. 🙁 It’s disappointing that animals are killed just so we can wear makeup and hair products.. 🙁
That’s sad. I’m trying to get the official word.
Base on your description and judging the look of the product on photos, I have a feeling this will work on me!!!!
Living in the similar sort of climate, that’s great to know! Sometimes the heat and humidity can really mess with my skin so I’m glad to have this option.
it looks so light! like so much lighter than moisture surge.
It feels lighter than moisture surge. Not so gel like, more liquid.
God, I gotta try that one! I already loved the normal Ultra Facial Cream – but I’ve got to use it oh so sparingly considering the climate here! – and I’m sure I’ll absolutely adore the gel cream version! And it’s still lighter than Moisture Surge! I’ve been using Clinique’s MS in the morning (bc it is downright freezing these days and my skin is drying out), but I’ll exchange it for Kiehl’s as soon as I can. I’m becoming more and more infatuated with Kiehl’s every day since my trip to Europe.^^ Great tip, Paris!
Yes Mari! Do give this one a go if you can get it in Brazil. I find the Ultra Facial cream a little too heavy in our tropical weather. However, we don’t get a dry climate here – I didn’t know it got dry and cold in Brazil
aww Pawis sho sweet. always reminds ppl that there is alcohol, or as i recall in a previous post, even warned those who have probs with hyaluronic acid not to use a product that contained it.
this sounded so good till the end. =( i guess i’ll stick with my garnier fruit water thing.
Haha yeah this has hyaluronic acid or something similar too. I’m not good with chemical names 😛 And someone previously mentioned they were sensitive to alcohol denat although i personally am not. Lots of people don’t like it though. Hey, if the garnier works for you – its good for the pocket!
it contains alcohol because alcohol is a part of gel formation 🙂 Also, I really liked this gel too, I took a few samples from Kiehl’s when I last visited, and I was very much pleased with this product but there are a few gel-creams I need to finish first (Biotherm – Aquasource, Clinique – Moisture Surge and Mac – mineralise charged water gel cream something :P). Kiehl’s is in my favorite brand list, but I really don’t like their toners if it contains alcohol 🙁
Clinique started my love affair with gel creams with the DDMG. Being oily skinned in a tropical country, this range looks real good to me right now. Thanks for the review!
Keep a look out for it at your local Kiehl’s stores and I hope you get yourself a sample to try 😉 Its quite different from DDMG – much lighter
how does the moisturizer compare against the garnier aqua defense one?
Gosh… that’s testing me 😛 I haven’t repurchased the Garnier one so I honestly cannot remember how it compares. If I recall, the texture is similar – a watery gel cream but I can’t remember anything else 😛
hehehehe xP shall go testing at Kiehl’s 😛
May Yee says
I remembered you reviewing Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Aqua Gel and was wondering if this is better than Vichy’s?
I prefer this because it has no scent, and the texture is lighter and absorbs better without a sticky feel thereafter. In terms of hydration, they are about par. Pricewise too I believe its about par. I’ve finished my tub of Vichy Aqualia though so I’m unable to do a side by side comparison. Thanks for reminding me of it 🙂
I have never tried Kiehl’s products but I need to get a sample of the Ultra Facial Gel Cream! I am addicted to gel-based moisturizers 😀
These textures are lovely aren’t they? 🙂 I wish I had them on hand when I had oily skin 😛
I bought the Kiehl’s Oil Free Gel Cream about 3 weeks back, and I do have to say, it is quite good. I have been using it only during the day alternating with my Bobbi Brown Hydrating Gel Cream, Clinique Moisture Surge and Origins Starting Over Oil Free with Mimosa. Kiehl’s Oil Free Gel Cream is definitely my second fave, just behind Bobbi Brown’s which has a lighter texture and is even more easily absorbed by my skin compared to the others. I really thank the Skin Gods and Goddesses for creating gel cream moisturizers, I really don’t know (and don’t want to remember!!Eeeks!!)
how I survived before without them.
Me too! I haven’t tried the others except Clinique Moisture Surge. I have gone back to using gel cream moisturisers in the day too. Its just more suitable in our weather 🙂
This sounds lovely! I’m always on the lookout for gel based moisturizers because I like how it feels on my skin.
This one and the Laneige sleeping mask are on my next-to-buy list! 😀
Hopefully they work for you! I think most of us in this heat and humidity are grateful for the evolution of gel cream moisturisers 😀
Very tempting! Especially now that thr’s the megasale. Hav u ever tried estee’s hydrationist? Very tempted to try this as my hydrationist is finishing soon…
Yep I’ve tried Hydrationist but only the serum (Hydrationist review here) I still use it alternated with Vichy Aqualia as my day moisture serum.
Yoo Paris:) Found your blog by accident, nice and informative. Will be back again checking your exciting news about women:)
By the way i am a Malaysian, residing in Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Have a nice day!
Thanks for dropping by!
does it live up to it’s ’24 hr mattifying’ claim?
Not having oily skin, I’m not your best person to verify this claim. However, I personally say that it does not leave my skin looking or feeling matte, just hydrated. I don’t get very oily so I can’t verify anything else.
Gosh Paris, are those some the products that you have? (first pict) He he he he!!!
Just a fraction 😛
Oh I loved the Ultra Facial range so I’m pretty sure a lighter oil free version would be even better. I’m so going to check this out!
Hai again PB 😀 bought this one also together with the RMC. I already use this one, and me likey a lot 🙂 hope doesn’t break out on me. but I use it only for morning and on top I add Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50. Such a great combo. Thank u Paris 😉
Hello! I am a quiet reader and enjoy all your postings as well as readers’ comments.
Yes. Just like MrsRance, I use this and top it up with Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 and dust on my Monave. Great stuff from Kiehl’s!
I was given the Ultra Facial (which is oil base) range samples to try. However, I was attracted to this range because of the oil-free, paraben-free, silicon-free,fragrance-free, colorant-free,etc. And took the plunge. Definitely not oily as compared to Ultra Facial range.
Initially, I was skeptical about the cleansing foam (how they dry skin out and have that feeling like a super-clean-dish), surprisingly, it is not that bad. All I need is just a pea size for night and half a pea size for morning, foam it up, wash, rinse and no left over residue feeling. Not too bad. Very economical. I suspect it can last a year.
The toner to me is just a regular toner. I rather use Avene Thermal Spray and pat it on my face. I’m all for spray on and pat toner.
Followed by the Gel Cream and sunblock as mentioned. I use Gel Cream both AM and PM.
In comparison to the Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (Gees thats long) does it absorb better or worse? And which one is more moisturising? And if you were to compare the two in 3 sentences what would you say?
Paris B says
I find both the Kiehl’s and Clinique comparable. Kiehl’s seems to take a bit longer to absorb but once absorbed, it’s the same to me.
WHY PARIS WHY??? You’re an evil enabler!!!! My current ultra facial cream is good for one more use and I’m going to purchase Clarin’s HydraQuench cream as replacement because I’m using the sample. Now I’m tempted to try this range instead. Oh well, I’ll check it out when I returned the empty tub for recycling at Khiel’s store this weekend.
Speaking of animal testing, what’s your take regarding Urban Decay’s recent announcement to sell their products in China? http://www.temptalia.com/urban-decay-press-statement-animal-testing-and-china
Paris B says
Hi Trah, Kiehl’s is very generous with their samples, so try to get a sample to see if you like it 🙂 As for the UD thing, I personally think it a big marketing gimmick and a smart move for them to earn more money. China is a huge market. I don’t hold a strong view on animal testing either way but I do believe there are probably better ways to go about testing things.