KIEHL’S: MIDNIGHT RECOVERY CONCENTRATE
When I think of lustful skincare brands, I think of Kiehl’s. There’s was the first brand that was within my initial radar that focused its ethos on science and botanical-infused ingredient marketing. Even when you first enter any of their stores, you are immediately transported into a laboratory or pharmacy-like experience. Like most brands, there are a myriad of products worth mentioning. And at some point, I intend to tackle most of them. But for now, we will start by reviewing the highly coveted Midnight Recovery Concentrate.
You may be thinking, another facial oil?
When we reviewed previous facial oils, it occurred to us that we were remiss. How can we provide a proper facial oil review without covering this holy grail of holy grail facial oils?
Am I right?!
Now it may not be 200 years old, but it’s definitely up there. Do you know of any brands that can proudly state that they have been in business for over 160 years? And with over 160 years under their beauty belt, we can only assume they know a thing or two about skincare.
And if you were wondering why it always feels as if you are transformed suddenly into an old-timey pharmacy? Well, that’s not a coincidence. In fact, Kiehl’s early start began as a neighborhood apothecary.
Ok, let’s look at the ingredients!
Ok, the claims as detailed on the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate website:
“A nighttime facial oil that visibly restores the appearance of skin.
Our top-rated night facial oil is formulated with distilled botanicals including Lavender Essential Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Squalane. In just one night, our top-rated facial oil helps replenish skin for visibly smoother, more radiant skin by morning.
- Visibly reduces fine lines, refines skin’s texture and boosts radiance in just one night
- Helps smooth and firm skin’s appearance
- Boosts essential moisture to help restore the appearance of tired-looking skin
- Replenishes skin at night when it is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors
- Absorbs easily with a lightweight texture
- Leaves skin soft, supple and hydrated
Lavender Essential Oil: Steam-distilled from Lavender, an adaptogen in the mint family, Lavender Essential Oil is known for its soothing and calming properties. With a luxurious, calming aroma, Lavender Essential Oil is often used to relax the senses in preparation for sleep.
Evening Primrose Oil: Evening Primrose Oil is extracted from the ripe seeds of the Evening Primrose, a flowering plant that blooms every other year. Frequently used in herbal remedies, Evening Primrose Oil is known to help maintain skin hydration and elasticity.
Squalane: A signature Kiehl’s ingredient, Squalane is a highly-refined botanical lipid derived from olives. With an exceptional affinity to skin, Squalane absorbs easily and is known to help replenish skin’s barrier keeping it soft, supple and moisturized.
Skin repairs itself nightly from daily aggressors that can cause premature aging. At night, when skin is most receptive to repair, our aromatic, indulgent night facial oil works with skin’s nocturnal functions to help restore and replenish skin.”
Ok, let’s parse this baby to its bare bones based on its ingredients:
|Substantiated||Claims||What's the Problem?|
|Visibly reduces fine lines, refines skin’s texture and boosts radiance in just one night.|
No product-specific data to substantiate claim
|Helps smooth and firm skin’s appearance.|
|Boosts essential moisture to help restore the appearance of tired-looking skin.||None|
|Replenishes skin at night when it is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors.|
No product-specific data to substantiate claim
|Absorbs easily with a lightweight texture.||None|
|Leaves skin soft, supple and hydrated||None|
|Lavender Essential Oil: Adaptogen|
No correlative publications clearly linking lavender as an adaptogen.
|Lavender Essential Oil: In the mint family and Soothing/calming properties||None|
|Evening Primrose Oil: Help maintain skin hydration and elasticity.||None|
|Squalane: Botanical lipid derived from olives.||None|
|Squalane: Absorbs easily and is known to help replenish skin’s barrier keeping it soft, supple and moisturized.||None|
SKIN TYPE & USE
According to Khiel’s, this facial oil is specifically formulated for nighttime skincare per the following:
- After cleansing skin, apply 2-3 drops of night facial oil into hands
- Gently press fingertips to cheeks, forehead and chin to evenly distribute before massaging into skin
- Can be worn alone or under a moisturizer
- Complete your nighttime skincare routine with our Midnight Recovery Collection, including our makeup-removing cleansing oil and eye cream for dark circles.
Pretty self-explanatory and doesn’t need more clarification.
THE GOOD & THE BAD
Fact: The Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is brimmed with botanical goodness.
Oils and extracts galore!
So unless you suffer from extreme sensitivities to botanical essential oils and extracts, then this magical concoction might be for you.
But the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is not without its issues. In fact, I was scratching my head as to why the following ingredients were included in the formulation:
These were two ingredients that could not be reconciled based on any critical benefit within the formulation.
Finally, if price point drives you or dissuades you from making a purchase — then I suppose Kiehl’s falls under the higher-end category in terms of makeup brands.
THE UGLY (PRICE)
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($27-125)
DO I NEED THIS?
No one can deny that the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is packed with a veritable of who’s who of botanical oils. So if you are looking to start experimenting with facial oils, the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate isn’t a bad one to start.
However, as with anything, the price point may be of some concern to some of you. Thankfully, there is a slew of alternative choices to peruse.
Pro tip: The BIOSSANCE Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil has an eerily similar ingredient list as compared to Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. And although BIOSSANCE markets its product as a cleansing oil, it most certainly can be used as a facial oil as well. Simply be sure to use it at night!
The choice is yours, of course.
ARE THE CLAIMS BACKED BY SCIENCE?
In the end, the claims were quite general, as most tend to be.
And as usual, we always suggest our readers to continually build their scientific vocabulary on ingredients and the do’s and don’ts of basic cosmetic formulation. Even at a rudimentary level, it does provide some semblance of assistance when trying to determine what products are best to purchase.
Overall, the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a facial oil with ingredients that are malleable to many of the product’s beneficial claims.
Until my next review!