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Like most of Kiehl’s moisturizers, this has a lackluster, overpriced formula. Its star ingredient, “Rosa arctica”, is barely present (see More Info for a discussion of the claims for Rosa arctica), and the tiny amount of antioxidants it does contain will break down due to the jar packaging (see More Info for an explanation about why jar packaging is a problem for any formula). At best, this will make dry skin feel somewhat better, but your skin deserves much more, such as healing and skin-repairing ingredients, environmental protection, and on and on!

  • Contains some good emollients to make dry to very dry skin feel better.
  • Like all moisturizers, will make fine, dry lines look better.
  • Expensive for what amounts to a lackluster formula.
  • Jar packaging means the antioxidants will become ineffective.
  • Lacks an impressive range of antiwrinkle ingredients.

More info:

Kiehl’s chose to spotlight the Rosa arctica (listed as Haberlea rhodopensis) because they maintain it can deliver energy to skin “allowing cellular activity to reawaken … protecting skin from future damage.” In the ground, the plant is known as “the resurrection plant” because it can withstand brutal environmental conditions without dying. That’s great for the plant, but keep in mind its properties are linked to the plant remaining intact and alive and planted in a certain type of soil. Once harvested and prepared for use in cosmetic products, it won’t withstand any environment. Besides, just because a plant can survive under extreme conditions doesn’t mean this benefit easily translates into making skin act younger.

There isn’t a shred of published research proving this plant is the answer for aging skin. Even if there were, Kiehl’s includes such a small amount that your skin isn’t likely to notice. This is doubly true when you consider this plant will lose any potency it may have thanks to the jar packaging.

All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.

Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

Rosa Arctica delivers energy to skin allowing cellular activity to reawaken, all while simultaneously protecting skin from future damage. As a result skin transforms to a more youthful beginning of reduced lines and wrinkles, improved firmness, and a dramatic restoration of hydration.


Water, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Theobroma Cacao Butter (Cocoa Seed Butter), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea Butter), Cetyl Alcohol, Squalane, Beta Vulgaris (Beet Root) Extract, PEG-100 Stearate, Cera Carnauba (Carnauba Wax), Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Polyacrylate, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol, Adenosine, Faex Extract (Yeast Extract), Haberlea Rhodopensis (Haberlea Rhodopensis Leaf Extract)

Brand Overview

Kiehl's At-A-Glance

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

About the Experts

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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