Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil
Kiehl's expands its Midnight Recovery line with Botanical Cleansing Oil, but, unfortunately, this cleansing oil shares many faults with all the previous oils Kiehl's has launched, namely the inclusion of way too many irritating ingredients (which just irritates us to no end)!
This oil cleanser comes in a convenient plastic bottle with a pump-style container and is easy to use: Simply dispense a couple of pumps into your hand, mix it with water, and it becomes a milky emulsion you spread across your face. The formula effectively removes dirt and makeup, including waterproof formulas, without leaving skin feeling dry or tight.
While that's great, and there are some beneficial ingredients to be found here, they're right alongside some other ingredients that can damage skin and are not good to use around the eyes. We're talking about fragrant plant oils like coriander, lavender, geranium, and rosemary, all of which can irritate skin (see More Info for details). Even though this is a rinse-off product, the potential for irritation is still there, making this a product to skip. You'll find truly gentle cleansing oils on our list of Best Cleansers and Best Makeup Removers.
One more comment: The "non-comedogenic" claim is useless. That's because there are no regulations anywhere in the world that determines what this term means and under what conditions cosmetics should be tested to earn that claim.
- Easy to use formula.
- Effectively removes dirt and waterproof makeup.
- Won't leave skin feeling dry or tight.
- Contains fragrant plant oils that can irritate skin.
- The fragrant oils are also problematic to use for removing eye makeup.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin's barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin's surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Kiehls has been around for quite some time, with its origins in a New York City-based pharmacy established in 1851. The brand is perhaps best known for its apothecary-style packaging and its best-selling (and celebrity favorite) Lip Balm #1.
Though the brand claims its products are made with the finest naturally-derived ingredients, most of its formulations include synthetically-produced ingredients as well. Like most skincare companies the line contains both good and not-so-great offerings; Kiehls main misstep is that many of its products contain fragrance ingredients that could irritate skin, particularly sensitive skin.
Note: Kiehl's is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Kiehl's does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they dont test on animals unless required by law. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
For more information about Kiehl's, call (800) 543-4572 or visit www.kiehls.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.