Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer Review & Pictures

** This post was written by Fiona. She no longer blogs for Swatch And Learn. However, Mary still continues to blog and will be happy to reply to your comment. **

Originally I wasn’t going to review Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer because I had already given a break-down of the SPF15 version. But… I couldn’t resist. This product evokes such strong emotions in me!

I’m just going to cut to the chase: this product SUCKS more than Twilight vampires do. And I seriously mean it S-U-C-K-S. I wasted my money, my hope and my time with this.

I didn’t like the SPF15 version that much, but in comparison to this, it’s so much better. But that’s for daytime. I got the non-SPF version because I wanted to use it at night. The lady at the store told me that Kiehl’s uses natural ingredients, so I was excited to try it even if it meant shelling out more dough than my wallet was willing to part with. Hey, if it’s a good skincare product, I think it’s worth the price! Unfortunately, it’s so not!

I so regret getting this. Come see why.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer Pictures & Photos

Claims: BUSTED

    X Easily absorbed
    X Leaving skin soft & nurtured

Key Notes

Kiehl’s Facial Moisturizer Review


I liked SPF15’s consistency for daytime because it’s a tad liquidy. But when I first squeezed out Kiehl’s Facial Moisturizer, I was super happy that it’s thicker and creamier since for nighttime creams, I like them to be a little bit heavier. Since I’d be unconscious anyway, I don’t mind if it takes a bit longer to absorb. +1


But… I don’t mind if it takes longer, just not forever. This Kiehl’s moisturize doesn’t ever absorb into the skin. EVER. It just lays on the skin like a sheen of sticky oil. It feels absolutely nasty. Such a gross feeling. You know how your skin can sometimes feel heavy and greasy during the summer? Putting this on your skin is like applying that on purpose.

Your skin feels sticky and suffocated. Even in the morning. I’ve woken up with sticky and oily skin after using this at night. It’s so gross. Ugh. -5!


With the SPF15 version, there’s a medicinal scent to it. However, Kiehl’s Facial Moisturize without SPF is fragrance-free. I guess the disgusting fragrance is from the sun-blocking ingredients that they put in.+1

Moisturizing Effect

I can’t tell. I mean, my dry skin feels less… parched. But this Kiehl’s facial cream doesn’t fully go away on the skin for me, so I can’t tell if the moisture effect lasts. -1

Bottle Shape

I think the bottle is cute. It’s simple and unexpected as packaging for a beauty product. But I don’t really like having my facial creams or lotions in a squeeze bottle. I’d much prefer it to be a pump or in a pot or something. It’s easier to dispense that way. -1


Erm. I’m crazy for spending $32 on this bottle of moisturizer. CRAZY. It wouldn’t be an extravagant buy if it was worth it, but it’s not. Now I’m left wondering what I’m going to do with the rest of the Ultra Facial Moisturizer by Kiehl’s. I hate waking up with a sticky face. -2


  • Natural ingredients
  • Creamy consistency
  • Fragrance-free

  • Doesn’t absorb into skin
  • Makes skin feel oily, sticky & heavy
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t help skin feel soft & nurtured

Final Verdict: 3/10

I purchased this before I tried Marcelle Essentials Hydration Night Cream, which I’m in love with. I wish I had purchased the Marcelle cream first – it would’ve saved me lots of $$. I don’t like this at all. Period. ‘Nuff said.

Have you used Kiehl’s moisturizers before? Or do you have a favorite nighttime cream you use?



10 thoughts on “Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer Review & Pictures

  1. amarock

    So glad you reviewed this so that I don’t have to waste my money! I really enjoy Kiehl’s for their hair products, but have not fully gotten into their skincare, but was curious about their creams. I guess I don’t have to bother with the creams… I may still give the avocado eye cream a go.

    Maybe you can use up the rest of the cream as an (expensive) night time foot cream? I like putting cream on my feet, putting a pair of socks on and when I wake up, my feet are baby soft!

    1. Fiona Post author

      Hi amarock!

      Glad that you found the review useful! Let me know if you do try the avocado eye cream; I’ve been looking for a good moisturizing eye cream!

      Ahaha. I guess using it as an expensive foot cream would be better than wasting the entire bottle. I might just do that! Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

  2. MissMars

    Couldn’t agree more that Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer totally sucks; which is entirely too bad, since it was a product that I formerly used for three decades! Unfortunately since the year 2000, Kiehl’s new mega corporate owner L’Oreal has totally ruined this formerly fabulous product. Wish I’d kept an older bottle around, so I could compare its list of ingredients before the L’Oreal acquisition to their currently degraded product.

    First, the product’s viscosity has been thickened to a very heavy consistency that’s barely absorbed by the skin (I’ve very dry skin), and it’s now also difficult to squeeze out of the bottle. Second, the product’s odor has changed for the worse, and is now no longer pleasant and sweet. Third, I used to be able to apply this moisturizer to my entire face including running it over my lips (then applying lip gloss), but now this goopy concoction causes my lips to sting … scary chemicals. Fourth, Kiehl’s toll-free phone ordering (moved by L’Oreal from metropolitan NYC to Texas) has gone completely down the tubes, and is now a huge waste of time plus their slow shipping is an insult. Fifth, whereas Kiehl’s was formerly super classy and private, I’m now receiving ongoing unsolicited mailings from them which I’ve been unable to get stopped for not want of repeatedly trying.

    Per my dermatologist’s recommendation here in SoCal, I’m now using fragrance-free EltaMD Lotion for Face, Hands & Body. I like it, it’s reasonably priced, and is also available in a SPF 30 version. I’m going to next try their new AM Therapy Facial Moisturizer, which is described as very lightweight, etc.

    I hope that the Kiehl’s clan is enjoying the many millions they received from selling out to L’Oreal, which is a cryin’ shame after they’d been a quality family business for almost 150 years in New York City. I’m furious about the exceedingly cheap outcome for their customers. And I’m even more furious to learn that the aged L’Oreal heir (reputed to be the wealthiest woman in France) has been in litigation for more than three years while defending herself against a lawsuit filed against her by her 57-year old daughter regarding her enormous estate. With the money the family is wasting on ongoing litigation, they could sell their products for less money. What a rip.

    1. Fiona Post author

      Oh wow! It seems you dislike it with a passion… even more than I do! I didn’t think it was possible.

      I always thought Kiehl’s was a good solid brand until I tried their products, none of which have wowed me. I guess their reputation of yore still proceeds them and it’s only after customers try their products that they know the brand’s changed. I hate it when brands get bought out by bigger companies who instill corporate procedures and greed for profit into these once reputable brands. It really ruins it – I would be willing to pay more to support smaller companies offering quality products than to pay less for mass-produced and less-regulated products with cheaper ingredients.

    1. Fiona Post author

      Hi Aqua,

      No, I haven’t. Sorry! I tried this and the SPF 15 version, and I don’t like either very much. The SPF15 one is tolerable, so I’m still using it until I run out. This, however, is just sitting on my vanity. I’m disappointed with both that I don’t think I’ll buy another moisturizer from Kiehl’s again! I might try their eye creams though.

  3. Anna

    Wow, it’s crazy how much you hate this product! Actually, I really like it. It works perfectly well with my skin and I wouldn’t ever want to change my moisturizer again. It sure is quite heavy, but for dry skin types the perfect cream. It leaves my skin soft and pampered and is the perfect base for my make up-routine (which is just applying some powder). As my skin is super sensitive and I’M allergic to most other creams, I was so happy when I found this one… Some of my friends tried the product, too and some fell in love with it immediatly and some didn’t touch it ever again. So I think you can’t really say it’s all bad. Maybe, you’re just not the right skin type for this kind of product! Love your other reviews, though! 🙂

    1. Mary

      Hey Anna!

      Haha, yeah, when Fiona tried this product and reviewed it, she realllly disliked it. It was funny because before she posted her review, I was considering buying this product. Then I read her review (we used to alternate blogging days on here way back then), and I never bothered to even try it.

      My skin’s like yours – sensitive and sometimes allergic to certain creams. Fiona’s, though, was very dry. She would always complain about it and haha, she seemed to always be on the quest to find the perfect moisturizer. Maybe that’s why she rated this so low. It didn’t fulfill all her expectations.

      Which other reviews from Fiona did you enjoy? I’m curious because you mentioned you loved her reviews. 🙂

  4. George

    I have been what Kiehl’s calls a “long time loyalist”, since I first discovered them about 40 years ago when I lived in NYC and Kiehl’s was a remarkable, unique, family-owned store on the lower east side. They were remarkable for several reasons: (1) Top quality ingredients, and (2) A wide variety of products, some of which were formulated in different versions for dry, or oily, or normal skin. A customer got advice from a knowledgeable store chemist along with a purchase, and the product almost always was so effective that it was a great value for the high price.

    The company was successful and its brand was highly valued for its quality association … and for that reason it was bought by the L’Oreal conglomerate. Many of the individualized products were discontinued, and over time many of those that remained were altered. I would say, cheapened and turned into expensive bottles containing ingredients just like what anyone could buy at a mass market drugstore.

    I continue to buy a few of their products, that they haven’t gotten around to ruining yet. I would like to see writers like yourself publicize the good and the bad impartially, but do not expect L’Oreal to provide an honest forum for feedback. The Kiehl’s web site contains reviews that are remarkably glowing and positive on average. That is because they refuse to publish the negative ones, citing violations of corporate policy. I have written many reviews both good and bad, and the bad reviews seem to never pass muster with their policy (which in effect gives them the right to do so without reason or cause). So, if Kiehl’s really has no interest in soliciting feedback from their customers for the purpose of improving their products, I conclude they have no use for us except insofar as we (1) hand over the money, or (2) behave like mindless fans.

    1. Mary S.

      Hey George!

      Oh my! I’m so sorry that you’ve been sorely disappointed by a brand that you loved so much. It must hurt! Unfortunately, I guess that’s the risk customers face. When a company is bought by another, the marketing strategies and products can change completely.

      I haven’t tried any Kiehl’s products yet. Fiona, my former blogging partner, wrote this review, and I remember she tried at least a couple of other Kiehl’s products.


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