Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

Kiehl’s is not really a skin care line I’m drawn to. Perhaps because sensory experience is important to me, and Kiehl’s products are not really visually attractive nor pleasant to the nose. But I’m glad I had a chance to sample Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, as it turned out to be something that I would likely buy when I finish my current bottle. For reference, my skin is maturing and oily (especially in the T-zone), with first signs of deeper lines and crows’ feet under the eyes.

What It is

Clearly reflected in the title, this Concentrate is targeted at reducing lines or wrinkles. It does so in two ways; first, by scraping away the upper layers of the skin (the ‘peeling’ effect) and second, by stimulating collagen production. So essentially, the lines are made shallow from the top and bottom, usually done by using multiple products. Kiehl’s propose to do this using a concentrated level of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid); 10.5 % concentration, to be precise. Upon closer glance, the ingredient list in this lotion is relatively short, and includes glycerin and multiple formats of silicone (Cyclopensasiloxane and Dimethicone). The recommended use of this lotion is twice daily on clean face, with or without a moisturizer. The bottle seems to be airtight (so much so that sometimes it’s hard to pump out the lotion), which is an important consideration for products of this nature – they degrade easily when coming in contact with air and light.

The Experience

The texture of this item is lotion-like. It spreads easily but is not runny. Upon contact with skin, you will feel a warming sensation. I’m not sure why this is, but perhaps due to contact with the air and skin. I did feel a slight itchy sensation the first few uses; the sensation disappears quickly and I never felt it again in subsequent uses. After application, the skin feels smooth to the touch, and this may be due to the presence of silicones on this lotion.

I only use this at night, without a moisturizer, and only about one week per month continued use on the face (including under the eye) and neck. I don’t use this during the day because it’s too heavy for my oily skin, and only for one week per month because I don’t want to put the pressure on my skin to continuously regenerate at such a high rate. Eventually the body will adjust and you’ll need even more potent stuff, starting a vicious cycle.

The Verdict

I’ve been using this lotion for a few months now (perhaps even closer to a year). The most noticeable improvement, I think, is a more even skin tone, and lightening of dark spots. While the lines and crow’s feet haven’t disappeared, I’m happy they have not deepened or worsened, as also the early signs of milia under one eye.  My skin is also well moisturized, even though I don’t use a moisturizer after applying this lotion. Yes, there is no radical change, but I believe that my skin reacts well to this lotion, and I can see using this for a few more years before moving on to more heavy duty stuff. I’m also thinking of using this for the under-eye area during days when I work at home, though this means I have to use two eye products (another for the lids) and I’m not liking the impracticality of that. We’ll see.

Deszell, who has a very dry skin and sensitive, at times finds this product to be more tingly and hot on the face upon application. The sensation subsides after a while, but surprisingly it does nothing to aggravate her sensitive skin. It cause no redness or sting the skin. So it’s safe to say, that this will be safe for all skin types. The result on her dry skin is a clear improvement on the smoothness of the skin texture and it looks even somewhat real shiny – not oily though. It also gives a nice additional hydration for a dry or dehydrated skin. This is definitely a keeper, but not something that she’ll be using for everyday use. Following my lead, she only uses this every other month, where in between she’s using other serum.