Kiehls Keeps the Skincare Benefits, Coming With a Free Healthy Skincare Program
by Alison Blackman
In January Kiehls did something amazing –– they opened their first Brooklyn store. As a lifelong Brooklyn resident, being able to go to the first Kiehl’s store in Brooklyn (124 Montague St. at Henry St.) in Brooklyn Heights was very exciting. Not all the great skincare is housed in Manhattan– at least not anymore! Even better, when invited to visit Kiehls, every customer, not just beauty editors like The Advice Sisters, have the opportunity to learn more about their skin, get it analyzed, and have an experienced Kiehl’s Customer Representative craft a skincare program that will work just for them. Truly Kiehls cares about your skin, they really do.
Walk past “Mr. Bones” and the fun photo booth, and it’s time to sit down at the big, main skincare island in the middle of the cheerful, spacious store for some serious skincare revelations. The first thing to know about your skin is what type you really have. For example, don’t assume because your skin feels dry right now that you have dry skin. It might just be dehydrated. Dry skin lacks oil; while dehydrated skin lacks water. Any skin type, normal, oily or dry can suffer from dehydration.
You can discover how dehydrated your skin is with the Kiehl’s Dehydration Analyzer Tool (DAT), in Kiehl’s retail stores and select Kiehl’s department-store counters.By the way, the testing and the analysis, even the personalized skincare recommendations, are all part of Kiehls’ complimentary Health Skin Check offered to every customers.
You’ll be asked if it’s ok to have to tiny skin barrier testing tabs pressed onto your skin to measure the sebum level of the skin and that will tell you: normal, oily or dry. Don’t assume as I did, that your skin is simply dry all over.
As Tiffany, the store manager, did a quick check the the pen-like DAT device, it divulged that it was really my cheek area that was dry, but not the rest of my skin, so much. So my skin type was really normal to oily. I just assumed it was dry and I was wrong!
To get the result, she pressed the DAT on my cheekbone. The way it works is that the DAT issues a current into the skin (you can’t feel it at all), which then bounces back to the device for the measurement. Since water is an excellent conductor of electricity, the more hydrated the skin, the less resistance the current will have, so the faster the current comes back to the device, the more hydrated the skin.
Continuing the healthy skin check, you’ll be asked what your skin concerns are. And, based on that, and the results from the skincare testing, your Kiehl’s Customer Representative will create a personalized Kiehl’s Healthy Skin Routine to treat, moisturize and protect your skin.
I was surprised at how many products and skincare steps were recommended for me. If I want to do this correctly, I’ll start with Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash ($29.00 7.8 fl. oz) and Calendula Herbal-Extract Alcohol-Free Toner ($21.00 8.4 fl. oz) both or normal to oily skin). While the cleanser does a good job of getting rid of surface dirt, oil, etc. toners make it easier for your skin to receive the products that follow. Following that will be the super-hydrating Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate $58.00 1.7 fl. oz) that has 15% plant-based glycerin and shiso leaf extract to plump skin and smooth fine lines on both face and neck. Another product suggested for me is the brand new Precision Lifting Pore Tightening Concentrate (read our review) ($64.00 1.7 fl. oz. bottle) which Kiehl’s says helps to to visibly lift skin, help reshape facial contours and tighten the appearance of enlarged pores. Then it’s time for a moisturizer. I personally like the Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica products and was happy to have the Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream ($60.00 2.5 fl. oz.) (read my review from 2011) suggested. Although this comes in a jar (and I personally don’t recommend dipping your fingers into a jar of cream because is gets easily contaminated) this rich cream features “The Resurrection Flower,” also known as “Haberlea Rhodenpensis.” It has the physical ability to hold so much moisture that it can dry out completely and survive for up to 31 months. When moisture comes back, the plant can come back to life without hours and with only a few drops of moisture. Obviously the analogy is that it can do good things for your skin, as well. Moving on to the eyes, Tiffany suggested the Kiel’s Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum ($48.00 0.5 fl. oz. – read our review) that helps to address the entire orbital area of the eye, opening, lifting and helping to deal with other signs of aging around the eyes, using a bunch of powerful ingredients. This one tiny bottle of serum does it all: lift, firm, smooth, hydrate, and restore youthful shape of the eye. I have sensitive eyes so it’s great that it’s also paraben-free, mineral-oil-free, fragrance-free, and colorant-free. Finally, for night, there is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery concentrate $46.00 1 fl. oz). This is a facial oil (99.8% naturally-derived and paraben-free oil ) that works best at night when your skin is most receptive to repairing itself, but it has such a calming scent of lovely lavender in it you will want to put it on your skin before bedtime. You can also add a few drops to your hand cream.
Normally, I use a lot less than this on a daily basis. But I’m a beauty editor and I received the range of products, courtesy of Kiehls. If I was a consumer I might have asked for a pared-down routine. If you go to the Kiehl’s web site you can find a lot of different “routines” (e.g. the one for essential hydration in the photo above that pairs five recommended products for $197.00). Good skin takes some effort, and a bit of an investment. Fortunately, Kiehls produces products that are high quality and yet still competitive in price with other good skincare brands, they’re not “nutty” with their pricing.
As Store manager Tiffany explained each step, and told me what each product did and why it was important I realized I’d have a difficult time figuring out what products would truly be “optional.” Note that since everyone’s skin is different you might find that you need fewer products to maintain and protect your skin, and your product recommendations obviously are going to vary from mine. There is really no pressure once you’ve had this complimentary testing and analysis. Kiehls is really low key about it. You can go in and get the analysis and recommendation, and “think on it” without buying anything. But I am certain you’ll find some items you really want to buy and try.
The entire healthy skincare experience can be fairly fast. As an editor I asked a lot of questions about the testing procedures and the products recommended for me (you can see my personalized skincare routine int he photos). The focus is on you and your needs, so take advantage of that and take your time and ask questions. Also take some time to look around the rest of the store and see what’s new and exciting even if they aren’t the specific products recommended for you. Kiehls has a lot of products that address specific skincare issues!
The process was really positive and I left feeling hopeful that my new skincare routine would really make a difference! I highly recommend a visit to your favorite Kiehl’s store. However, if you don’t have the time, the one product I believe is a must-have for everyone (it’s been my favorite travel companion for a couple of years), is the Kiehl’s Skin Tone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($37.00). It is available in 5 tones from light to medium deep. Apart from good skincare benefits including sun protection and Vitamin C, it is in a slim, 1.35 fl. oz., flip top tube, so the TSA won’t take it away. It offers light to medium coverage too. On those days when I don’t need full makeup, this is what I use instead of foundation.
If you’re not in Brooklyn or don’t plan to be visiting, you can find a nearby Kiehl’s store at www.kiehls.com/storelocator.