Creamy and nourishing, but absorbs quickly
Squalane amps up moisture levels
Reduces the blood flow that causes dark circles
May be too rich for oily or sensitive skin
High price point
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate
We put the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
I have mixed feelings about eye cream. I find most are either too rich, not effective, or irritate the delicate skin. Truthfully, I could probably count the number of eye creams I actually like on one hand (Cosmedix, Dr. Barbara Sturm, Youth To The People, and iS Clinical among them).
Kiehl’s is a brand I trust when it comes to my skin (the Crème de Corps is an all-time favorite), but I’d never forayed into its eye category until now. Enter the Midnight Recovery Eye cream, a product that claims to de-puff, nourish, and reduce the look of dark circles while you sleep. In theory, it’s an exciting prospect, but I rarely believe these types of claims without thorough testing first, which leads me to this review.
After a good month of testing, I’ve compiled my thoughts on the Midnight Recovery formula below. Keep reading for my full review.
Best for: Normal to dry skin types, and all those with dark under-eye circles, puffiness, and dehydration.
Uses: As an overnight eye treatment.
Hero ingredients: Butcher's broom extract, squalane, and evening primrose oil.
Byrdie Clean? Yes
About the brand: Kiehl’s is a skincare brand founded in 1851 by pharmacist John Kiehl. It originally traded as an apothecary, but has since grown to be one of the most successful and respected beauty brands.
About My Eyes: Puffy, tired, and slightly dehydrated
I’m only 27, so lines and sagging aren’t a major concern in my eye area at the moment, but puffiness and subtle dark circles are. I also am really prone to dehydration, so I am constantly on the hunt for eye products that will fix this issue without irritating or congesting (i.e. those tiny white bumps also known as milia).
The Ingredients: Lots of plant extracts
The Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye follows in the footsteps of the equally iconic Midnight Recovery Concentrate for face—a serum that works to repair and restore environmentally damaged skin overnight.
Formulated with squalane, evening primrose, lavender essential oil, jojoba, and shea butter, this cream's main purpose is to really nourish and hydrate the eye area. There’s also butcher's broom extract, a plant that functions as a vasoconstrictor. In the context of skin, this means a narrowing of blood vessels, and thus, reduced dark circles and puffiness—we love to hear it.
How to Apply: Tap on gently before bed
I like to apply my eye creams predominantly at night and before serums so they really have a chance to sink in and do their job. The Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye cream is quite rich, so my method is to gently pat it on under my eye and under the brow bone. I also suggest applying it from the inner corners of the eyes outwards, because it helps to move fluid and de-puff. Finish up by layering moisturizer on top, then head off to dreamland.
While technically you could use it during the day, I found it ever-so-slightly tacky, so I prefer to keep it as a part of my evening routine only. If you have really dry or crepe-y under-eyes though, it would be fine.
The Results: Bright, hydrated eyes
For the purpose of this review, I want to break the results up into two parts: immediate and long-term. Immediately, Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate definitely softens dehydration and slightly reduces puffiness. I think this has a lot to do with the way I applied it, but it was noticeable nonetheless.
Longer term (after three weeks of consistent use), my eyes looked brighter overall. I’ve never had a huge issue with under-eye circles, but a busy work schedule, late nights, and improper sleep all contribute. So given mine are more lifestyle-centered, any product that constricts the look of blood vessels (like Kiehl’s) is a big yes from me.
The Value: An investment, but reasonable
$40 is neither cheap nor exorbitant for an eye cream, so I guess my main takeaway is that the Kiehl’s one is reasonably-priced. There’s no true “active" ingredients like retinol, so I think that’s good to keep in mind. The texture is also really balmy and rich, so you only need the tiniest bit to treat both peepers. Thanks to this, the product can really be worth it if it sounds like the right formula for you.
Similar Products: You've got options
Kypris Beauty Ad Astra Nighttime Eye Cream Emulsion: Loaded with plant extracts and designed to nourish the eye area while you snooze, this cream from Kypris ($150) is seriously lush. It contains added peptides to firm, and the chamomile extract may assist with deep sleep.
CeraVe Eye Repair Cream: This drugstore gem ($10) contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide to brighten, hydrate, and smooth the under-eye.
La Mer The Eye Concentrate: If you like the finer things in life, La Mer’s eye cream ($245) is a superlative blend of miracle broth to nourish, soothe, and prevent water loss. It’s got that soft, powdery, expensive skincare scent, too.
Overall, I really liked Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate. It’s nourishing and effective, and I certainly noticed my eyes looked slightly brighter. It’s got a bit of a scent, which I didn’t love, but I didn’t experience any major irritation. I think if you’re really dry and just want something luxe but simple, this eye cream is a stellar choice.
- Product Name Midnight Recovery Eye Concentrate
- Product Brand Kiehl's
- Price $40
- Weight 0.5 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Aqua/Water, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil/Jojoba Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil/Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Alcohol Denat., Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Oenothera Biennis Oil/Evening Primrose Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Phenoxyethanol, Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Tocopherol, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil/Lavender Oil, Adenosine, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Glycine Soja Oil/Soybean Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract/Cucumber Fruit Extract, Limonene, Citral, Curcuma Longa Root Extract/Turmeric Root Extract, Sclareolide, Rose Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale Extract/Jasmine Extract, Citric Acid.