Skin Rescuer isn't quite the salvation those with sensitive, blotchy skin are seeking, but in some ways it's one of the better facial moisturizers Kiehl's offers (regrettably, that isn't saying much). The creamy lotion formula contains an impressive mix of glycerin, emollients (including antioxidant-rich shea butter), and some intriguing barrier-repair ingredients, including tiny, but potentially effective, amounts of ceramides and similar substances.
Skin Rescuer doesn't claim to be fragrance-free, which is good because it does contain p-anisic acid, an ingredient whose chief function is fragrance, and rose extract, which adds more scent, and that's not the best for rescuing sensitive skin—that's for sure. Kiehl's maintains that the rose extract minimizes the skin's response to stress. (We always wonder what "stressed skin" means—acne? wrinkles? sensitive, blotchy skin? hormonal stress? something else?), but there's no research proving it does anything of the sort.
However, if your skin needs to be rescued from dryness, then this moisturizer is worth exploring. Again, it's one of the better options from this brand, and it's packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use.
Last, keep in mind that one way all of us can keep our skin from looking stressed is to protect it every day—whether rainy, cloudy, or sunny—with a product rated SPF 15 or greater (and greater is better). Sun damage is a major source of what many would label "stressed-out" skin! It's also critical to make sure that every product you use is brilliantly formulated, doesn't contain irritants, and is packaged to keep the important ingredients stable, which is something Kiehl's rarely brings to the table.
- Lightweight cream texture contains some very good emollients.
- Shea butter is a good source of antioxidants, and this contains other antioxidants, too.
- Contains a good mix of skin-repairing ingredients (although it would be nice to see greater amounts of them).
- The selling tactic of being for "stressed skin" is open to interpretation and doesn't change the fact that this is merely a good moisturizer.
- Contains some fragrant ingredients that make it a problem for sensitive skin (the fragrant rose extract doesn't have research supporting Kiehl's claims).
A highly efficacious formula that reduces the visible signs of stress on skin.
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.