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Quenching skin’s thirst is tricky business – you’ve got to identify your skin type so that you can pick the right texture that suits your skin. Too light and it probably won’t do much for you, too heavy and your skin may just break out from the richness of the moisturiser.
Then, there’s also the climate factor that you should take into consideration. Using a rich cream in the humid Singapore weather might just spell disaster for your skin as the nourishment packed in the moisturiser may be more suitable for use in colder climates.
Enter Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream: the brand’s bestselling, lightweight moisturiser that is suitable for all climates and skin types, promoting faster barrier recovery and all-day hydration without weighing skin down.
One thing’s for certain: keeping your skin hydrated is essential no matter your skin type. Every day, your skin comes into contact with everyday extremes which can damage your skin barrier, such as pollution, air-conditioning, high heat, and temperature fluctuations.
Well-hydrated skin allows the skin barrier to recover faster to a healthy-looking state. In turn, a healthy skin barrier can retain moisture better. The result of hydrated skin with a strong and healthy skin barrier? Skin that naturally looks softer, smoother, and more supple.
To find out for certain if Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream can really deliver all that it promises, we put five readers and our very own Daily Vanity writer on a seven-day trial mission.
Spoiler alert: The average verdict was a 4.2-star rating out of 5! Read on to find out more about the ultra-loved cream moisturiser and have a look at the in-depth reviews.
About Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
Kiehl’s is renowned for several iconic products but the Ultra Facial Cream, which was released in 2006, has steadily climbed up the ranks to become the brand’s number one best-selling moisturiser around the world with over 200,000 stellar reviews from its customers.
Powered by two powerful actives, namely glacial glycoprotein and olive-derived squalane, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is developed to provide 24-hour hydration for doubly hydrated skin* overall, including the driest areas of your face.
The results that you can expect from a moisturiser that’s ultra-tested for proven efficacy? In just one week, skin becomes softer, smoother, and healthier-looking, with 55% faster moisture barrier recovery** and a fortified moisture barrier that’s 47.9% stronger# to protect your skin from environmental aggressors.
Despite the powerful formula, the Ultra Facial Cream has an ultra-lightweight texture that absorbs into skin in seconds with no greasy residue, making it the perfect day and night moisturiser for all climates.
Formulated with an ultra-clean formula without any nasties such as parabens, carbamide, and triethanolamine (T.E.A.), the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin^, and can be used in both extreme and everyday conditions.
To be used after cleansing and toning, simply scoop out an adequate amount every morning and evening and gently massage the cream into your skin until fully absorbed.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream retails for S$54 (50ml) and S$98 (125ml) at all Kiehl’s boutiques island-wide and online.
Want to try before you buy? Sign up now to score your 12-pc Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream trial kit!
*Based on an instrumental study of 25 panelists under extreme heat and cold. **Based on an instrumental assessment of 29 subjects two hours post single product application compared to the untreated site. #Based on clinical results extracted from a corneometer study run in extreme low humidity settings of 25 subjects. ^Stringent testing on 100% sensitive/reactive skin panel demonstrates Ultra Facial Cream’s suitability on all skin types. The self-perceived safety in-use test is conducted on 41 subjects over the course of four weeks in Korea.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream review: What’s our writer’s verdict?
My skin has always been a tricky one to appease when it comes to moisturiser: my T-zone is oily while my U-zone is somewhat dry. And since I sleep in an air-conditioned room every night, the dryness on my cheeks can sometimes be amplified and I’ll wake up with flaky skin in the morning.
Being in the beauty industry, I’ve had the opportunity to try various moisturisers to see which one my skin likes best. However, the ones I’ve tried so far are either too light that they hardly do anything to keep the moisture in, or too nourishing that my skin broke out immediately the next morning.
I’ve even dabbled in facial oils in hopes of keeping my skin hydrated but still balanced in the sebum level but while I’ve found one that works for me, I can only use it in my night-time routine as it is too rich for day use.
With the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (which I’ve heard only good things of), I was initially worried that it may be too much for my oily T-zone. I thought to myself, what if my forehead starts to break out? But my worries were completely unfounded as the cream moisturiser comes in a lightweight texture that glides onto the skin comfortably.
I use it with the Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner – one of my favourite toners, by the way – both day and night during the trial, and I’m pleasantly surprised at how well my skin accepted the Ultra Facial Cream. In fact, I could feel it instantly absorbing into my skin as I applied the moisturiser on my skin.
After a few days, any signs of flakiness on my cheeks and near my lips were gone despite clocking in six to eight hours in air-conditioning every night. Even my dull complexion showed signs of improvement after using the Ultra Facial Cream for seven days, which is pretty impressive!
Even on days when I have to spend time outdoors in the humid environment to run errands, meet friends for a meal or join a beach clean-up (an activity I picked up recently), I have no issues wearing a protective mask over the moisturiser thanks to its lightweight texture. In fact, my skin felt incredibly comfortable under the face mask which isn’t something I usually experience with other moisturisers.
All in all, I’m thoroughly impressed with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. While some products are mostly just hype, this moisturiser is nothing like that.
Like the several Kiehl’s products I’ve tried, the Ultra Facial Cream delivers everything that it claims to do: provide much-needed hydration and reinforce skin’s barrier without disrupting the skin’s delicate oil-water balance.
I am already planning to repurchase this and make it part of my daily skincare routine, as it is such a versatile product that can be used both day and night, in colder or warmer environments. Who knows, I might even share it with my husband who has been complaining about his dry skin recently.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream review: 5 readers give their honest opinions
Skin type: Combination-dry, sensitive Skin concerns: Dehydrated, textured skin with uneven skin tone as well as visible pores and blackheads
To keep my skin hydrated without inducing any breakouts, I try to keep a close eye on the ingredient list of the skincare products I use and I make it an effort to avoid those with alcohol and fragrance.
The moisturiser I used prior to trying out the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream was effective for me but I found that the hydration it provided only lasts for a very short period of time.
With the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, my skin feels hydrated for a longer time, and I even noticed that my complexion looks more radiant after trying it for a week. Aside from the comfortable, silky texture, I like that it doesn’t leave any greasy after-feel on my skin.
I also find that the cream moisturiser is even more helpful at night – I’d wake up with a well-hydrated complexion even though I sleep in air-conditioning.
The only gripe I have is the jar packaging, which I feel renders the formula exposed to bacteria in the environment whenever I open it up to scoop up the cream with my fingers.
Skin type: Combination-dry, sensitive Skin concerns: Dull, dehydrated skin with textural issues such as visible pores and blackheads
To combat my skin dryness, I used to go for a hydrating facial on a monthly basis but the extraction process eventually became too painful for me to bear so I stopped going. Ever since then, I try to incorporate hydrating face masks at least two to three times in my weekly routine.
I usually steer clear of heavy, oily moisturisers that I feel can potentially cause bumps on my skin, and thought Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream was one such product. So, you can only imagine my surprised when I noticed how well the lightweight moisturiser has worked for my skin.
Packaging was sleek with no additional promotional aesthetics, which was great because it tells me that the product isn’t gimmicky. It also has no scent, which was good because there is no artificial fragrance that can possibly trigger my sensitive skin.
Not only did my skin feel smoother and softer, I also realised that it did not show any sign of dryness even though I spend 12 hours working in air-conditioning. The cream also absorbs really easily, and a little goes a long way for this product as I only need to use a small amount for my entire face.
Ying Hui, 24
Skin type: Combination-dry, sensitive Skin concerns: Dehydrated skin
Some of the moisturisers I’ve used tend to be too heavy in texture or too light that I don’t feel like it’s locking in moisture in my skin. I didn’t experience that with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. It had just the right consistency for a lightweight cream moisturiser that absorbed quickly and made my skin feel supple and hydrated. In fact, my skin felt moisturised but not greasy.
Although I don’t spend much time in air-conditioned spaces at all, I feel that the moisturiser still helped seal in moisture very well and my skin didn’t feel dry or uncomfortable. I also appreciate that I didn’t experience any irritation from the product, which is great!
While I find that the jar packaging can be further improved, I would still continue using the product because of how hydrated it made my skin feel.
Skin type: Combination-dry, sensitive Skin concerns: Dull, dehydrated skin with uneven skin tone and textural issues such as visible pores and blackheads
I try to squeeze in a facial every three weeks and make sure I use a hydrating moisturiser at least twice a day in my skincare routine. However, I find that some moisturisers I’ve tried aren’t as effective as I have to apply multiple times throughout the day in order for my skin to stay hydrated.
I spend up to nine hours in air-conditioning daily and after using the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, I find that my skin doesn’t feel as dry as before. I also like that my skin absorbs the moisturiser in seconds without any residue left behind. The best part? The formula doesn’t clog my pores at all, which is pretty impressive.
After using the lightweight moisturiser for seven days, I can feel that my skin is softer, smoother, and more supple. Extra brownie points for the exclusion of harmful ingredients in the formula too!
Skin type: Combination-oily, sensitive Skin concerns: Dull, textured skin
Apart from daily moisturising, I use a sheet mask every two to three days or after a long day to keep my skin hydrated.
With the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, I find that my skin remains hydrated even after I spend hours outdoors running errands. I also sleep in air-conditioning every night but after using the moisturiser, my skin stays well-hydrated the next morning!
I really like that the moisturiser is hardly greasy on the skin, which is something I value in a face cream now that mask-wearing is mandatory in public areas. Thanks to the moisturiser’s featherlight texture, it’s also helped my sunscreen glide onto my skin better!
Personally, I prefer my face creams to come in a jar rather than a pump as it allows me to reach the bottom of the tub easily which minimises product wastage.
Overall, the moisturiser delivered what it promised, which was to hydrate my skin well. I’d say that it’s probably one of the best moisturisers I’ve tried so far.
Brought to you by Kiehl’s.