Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate 12.5% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid is a popular, and recently reformulated, product for Kiehl's, and it's not hard to see why: The touted ingredients are great for all skin types and able to address common concerns like uneven skin tone, dullness, wrinkles, and dehydration. There's a lot to compliment here, but also enough wrong to keep us from recommending this over other high-strength vitamin C treatments.
Housed in an opaque brown botte topped with a pump dispenser (and sold in no fewer than three sizes), Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate 12.5% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid has a rich, silky-thick texture that thins out nicely as you spread it over your face and neck.
The forms of vitamin C include pure ascorbic acid plus ascorbyl glucoside, of note for its brightening abilities. Kiehl's refers to the ascorbyl glucoside as "vitamin Cg". The combined amounts of both stand a very good chance of improving multiple signs of aging, assuming your daytime routine includes broad spectrum sun protection.
Along with the vitamin C is, of course, hyaluronic acid plus the cell-communicating ingredient adenosine and a couple of novel synthetic antioxidants that should provide additional environmental defense, not to mention help keep the vitamin C stable in use.
Now for the letdowns: Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate contains fragrant citrus oils and fragrance ingredients known to irritate skin. In fact, some of the fragrance ingredients can trigger discoloration when skin is exposed (unprotected) to sunlight. How upsetting to know a product designed to fade discolorations could potentially trigger more! This concern and the strong risk of irritation (keeping in mind that this is also a potent product) is why we strongly encourage you to look to other vitamin C treatments that omit the problematic ingredients without skimping on the good ones.
- Contains a high amount of pure vitamin C plus a vitamin C derivative.
- Silky, plush serum texture is easy to apply.
- Contains supporting anti-aging ingredients like adenosine and hyaluronic acid.
- Able to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and discolorations.
- Contains orange and lemon oils, both known to irritate skin (and possibly trigger discoloration).
- Limonene and citral are fragrance ingredients that can provoke further irritation.
Kiehl's original vitamin C serum is now formulated with even more vitamin C. In addition to 10.5% L-Ascorbic Acid, this formula is infused with 2% vitamin Cg and fragmented hyaluronic acid. It visibly reduces wrinkles and fine lines and boosts radiance.
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.
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The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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