Like most of Kiehl’s products this is a problematic mix of beneficial ingredients and problematic, irritating ingredients. Irritation is always bad for skin; even when you can’t see it on the surface or feel it, it's causing damage underneath, especially around the eyes (see More Info for details).
This moisturizing formula begins well, using non-fragrant emollient plant oils that will work for dry skin, but alcohol appears rather high on the list and several fragrant extracts are in here too. Fragrance is a culprit for causing irritation that can make eye-area concerns worse, not better. There is also the issue that most eye creams aren't necessary. Please see More Info to find out why fragrance, irritation, and eye cream don’t help your skin one iota.
Alcohol in Skin-Care Products
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,”Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Why You May Not Need an Eye Cream
Most eye creams aren't necessary. That's either because they are poorly formulated, contain nothing special for the eye area, or come in packaging that won't keep key ingredients stable. Just because the product is labeled as an eye cream doesn't mean it's good for your eye area; in fact, many can actually make matters worse.
There is much you can do to improve signs of aging around your eyes. Any product loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, skin-lightening ingredients, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and effective emollients will work wonders and those ingredients don't have to come from a product labeled as an eye cream.
You would be shocked how many eye creams lack even the most basic ingredients to help skin. For example, most eye creams don't contain sunscreen. During the day that is a serious problem because it leaves the skin around your eyes vulnerable to sun damage and this absolutely will make dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles worse!
Whatever product you put around your eye area, regardless of what it is labeled, must be well formulated and appropriate for the skin type around your eyes! That may mean you need an eye cream, but you may also do just as well applying your regular facial moisturizer around your eyes.
Why Irritating Ingredients Are a Problem for Everyone’s Skin
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
This restorative concentrate of essential oils and botanicals improves the youthful appearance around the eye. Infused with the same natural ingredients as Midnight Recovery Concentrate, as well as Butcher’s Broom, this night treatment leaves under-eye skin feeling strengthened and replenished. Midnight Recovery Eye’s non-migrating cream texture is specifically formulated for the delicate eye area.
Water, Helianthus Annuus Seed/Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil/ Jojoba Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil/Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Alcohol Denat., Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Oenothera Biennis Oil/Evening Primrose Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Lithium Magnesium Sodium Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Ruscus Aculeatus Extract/Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis/Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Tocopherol, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil/Lavender Oil, Adenosine, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citronellol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Geraniol, Linalool, Cucumis Sativus Extract/Cucumber Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa Extract/Turmeric Root Extract, Curcuma Longa Extract/Turmeric Root Extract, Sclareolide, Rosa SPP/Rose Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale Extract/Jasmine Extract
Kiehl’s 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; Kiehl’s 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 don’t 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.
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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