Thick, hydrating consistency
Lightweight on the skin
Not Byrdie Clean
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream has officially raised the bar for skincare standards. This daily facial cream is heavier than a moisturizer but avoids turning me into a greasy, oily mess. I’ve found it works perfectly on my dry skin, especially as the temperature begins to drop. Although the streamlined white packaging drew me in, it was the non-irritating formula blending seamlessly into my sensitive skin that sealed the deal.
This cream may not have all the bells and whistles of other products, such as vitamin C or SPF, but it surely lives up to its claims of providing deep, lasting hydration for 24 hours. Keep reading for my full review.
Best for: Dry skin
Uses: Moisturize and hydrate skin
Potential allergens: BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
Active ingredients: Glacial glycoprotein, squalene
Byrdie Clean? No
About the brand: Originating as an apothecary in New York City, Kiehl's has been creating cult-favorite classic formulas since 1851.
About My Skin: Seasonally dry and flaky
My skin—the beautiful, frustrating organ that it is—has officially entered its dry season. With winter right around the corner, I have officially pulled out every hydrating product I own, moisturizers, creams, and masks included. The dry patches and flaking skin seemed to appear overnight, but a quick switch of my skincare routine always does the trick.
Luckily, this product fell in my lap at the perfect time. Anyone with oily skin should probably reserve this product for night time use, but my dry skin allows me to use the Ultra Facial Cream morning and night. I find this product is best to use in the morning after washing my face and toning. I then follow up with an SPF to protect my skin. At night, I apply the cream after cleansing and follow up with a 0.1% tretinoin cream (commonly known as Retin-A). The thick consistency of this product also creates a great barrier for my drying acne products, such as the strong tretinoin prescription.
The Feel: Thick, creamy consistency
The Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream felt very heavy on my hand when initially testing the product. Applying the cream to my face, however, was a different experience. The cream is easy to apply, gliding around my face like butter, then quickly melts into my skin leaving a dewy glow. The product feels lightweight on my skin from the time of application through the end of the day. This moisture also creates an incredible base for makeup, allowing me to apply concealer almost immediately after moisturizing.
The Results: True 24-hour hydration
The Kiehl’s website raves that this cream is the brand's number one product, providing “lasting 24-hour hydration:” a claim I may have rolled my eyes at. But my curiosity got the best of me, and I decided not to wash my face for 24 hours after applying the cream. To my surprise, I woke up the next day with flawlessly plump, moisturized skin. It even looked like I used something stronger, like a face mask or exfoliant. This product is neither of those things, but it produces comparable results on a daily basis.
As far as long term results, I continue to notice a huge difference in my skin. Since using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, my dry patches have vanished and seasonal dryness is a problem of the past. In fact, I haven’t used a single hydration face mask in months because I haven’t had the need to. Overall, the cream solved my winter woes and drastically improved my skin tone and texture.
The Scent: Non-existent
True to its simplicity, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream has no detectable scent. I appreciate this detail as it prevents the cream from mixing with other fragrances I use on a daily basis.
Since using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, my dry patches have vanished and seasonal dryness is a problem of the past.
The Packaging: Simple, chic, and slightly inconvenient
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream features a simple white plastic jar with lots of black text on the front. I appreciate the simple packaging without fancy colors or bottles because I know it keeps the price down for consumers. Personally, I would rather have a simple bottle to hold my product if it means I can save a few dollars.
One of the few complaints I have about this cream, however, is the contamination possibilities that come along with a jar. Make sure to use a clean makeup brush or freshly washed hands to get product out of the container—this greatly minimizes contamination and bacteria growth that could affect the product and your skin.
The Value: Plenty of product for the price
I tested the 4.2 oz jar which, at $55, isn’t exactly what I consider affordable skincare. But upfront pricing isn’t always what it seems—a little goes a long way with this facial cream, so I anticipate it will last me many months. You definitely get more than what you pay for with this face cream, but if you’re still hesitant, the standard 1.7 oz jar comes in at $32, and a 1.0 oz jar is available for an affordable $22. Based on the results and how long it will last me, this cream is well worth the price.
Similar Option: A drugstore fave
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream ($14): As my former go-to simple moisturizer, CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream both looks and feels similar to Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. While CeraVe is dermatologist recommended and a great product for anyone with sensitive skin, I find the Kiehl's cream to meet and exceed the results of CeraVe. Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream is more hydrating and lasts longer than its competitor.
Our Verdict: Perfectly plump skin
I can’t say enough good things about this product; I’m worried I’m gushing. If you want maximum hydration, moisture retention, and overall softer skin, this is absolutely the face cream for you.
- Product Name Ultra Facial Cream
- Product Brand Kiehl's
- Price $32
- Weight 1.7 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Squalane, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Sucrose Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, PEG-8 Stearate, Myristyl Myristate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethlhexanoate, Prunus Armeniaca Kernal Oil/Apricot