This or That: Which Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Should I Choose?

Kiehl’s is really one of my favourite beauty brands in the market these days. I’ve found a couple of holy grail skincare products like their Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Skin Rescuer moisturiser and I’m always excited to see what else they have in store (and up their lab coat sleeves).  I find most of their products pretty effective so long as you get the right ones for your skin type and concerns.

So today, I thought I’d do a comparison review of two Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Creams. The original Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream was first introduced eight years ago to great success. More than 2 million jars of the 24-hour hydrating cream, that combats skin dryness and replenish moisture all day (even in the harshest conditions), were sold in 2012 and 4 jars are sold every minute all over the world!

Kiehl’s has also developed a new groundbreaking formula for the Ultra Facial Cream catered for people with drier skin types. Called the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration, it has a similar lightweight texture of the original Ultra Facial Cream but a formulation that provides deeper hydration to smooth and softens dry skin while also working to improve skin radiance.

Essentially, both formulas have been clinically tested in extreme conditions and have shown to produce positive and visible results.

The Ultra Facial Cream comes in a 50ml jar and retails at $48. The Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration also comes in a 50ml jar and retails at $51.

Texture

As you can see, both creams have very similar textures. Hydrating creams tend to be rich and thick, and that is definitely an issue even for those with borderline dry skin types in Singapore’s high humidity. However, Kiehl’s has created the perfect texture that is airy and ultra lightweight. I was actually wondering if the Intense Hydration would fare less impressively in the texture segment because of how much more heavy duty hydrating it is supposed to be compared to the original Ultra Facial Cream.

Ultra Facial Cream
Between a gel and cream, but more towards a creamy texture. When applied and massaged onto skin, it is absorbed quite quickly, leaves behind a very slight stickiness, but is definitely not greasy.

Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration
More gel-like texture but still a cream. It melts into skin when applied and massaged, turning quite liquid and instantly drunk up by skin. Absolutely no stickiness or residue at all.

Ingredients

So what sets this cream apart from the rest of hydrating creams in the market? Let’s take a look at the “star” ingredients.

Ultra Facial Cream

  • Antarcticine
    A glycoprotein sourced from Antarctica, it is an great protection against dryness and keeps skin hydrated with a visible smoother appearance. It protects the skin against the damaging effects of free-radicals and is extremely effective in cold temperatures through facilitating the skin’s retention of natural water reserves.
  • Imperata Cylindrica Root
    The root of a plant that thrives in dry, excessively saline environments contains high levels of potassium which has immediate and lasting hydrating effect. It helps to retain moisture.
  • Squalene
    Squalene is an important ingredient that plays an imperative role in the synthesis of plant and animal sterols. The botanical lipid has amazing healing properties and a high affinity with skin, helping to instantly restore and replenish skin.

Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration

  • “Enriched Hyaluronic Acid” Hydrating Complex
    Combines two hydrating molecules, Hyaluronic Acid, which draws moisture into the skin (up to 1,000 times it’s size) and Biomimetic Hydrator which seals in the moisture and locks it in. Together it helps dry to very dry skin absorb even more moisture.
  • Apricot Kernel Oil
    One ingredient that is highly compatible with skin, it contains Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and is rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It softens and conditions the skin resulting in visibly less dryness and/or flakiness.
  • Glycerine
    Glycerine acts as a protectant for the skin and helps with retention of moisture.
  • Paraben and Fragrance Free

Efficacy

Well hydrated skin also means less chances of break out due to over production of sebum on the face due to overly dry skin conditions. It’s a close fight between the two in terms of efficacy. In fact, both rises up to their claims and does what is expected of the product – keep skin moisturised and sufficiently hydrated. For both there were instant results and I could see and feel a difference in my skin.

Both the Ultra Facial Cream and Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration does give skin a smoother and more supple appearance. A big plus is that skin looks more and more radiant with consistent use for both creams.

Verdict

It really boils down to what skin type you’ve got.

Skin Types Best Suited for Ultra Facial Cream and Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration

  • Dry and Very Dry Skin: This is a Holy Grail product that you’ll love and constantly use.
  • Normal Skin: Suitable for use and great if you’re constantly in air-conditioning and need a heavy duty moisturiser. Recommend sticking to the Ultra Facial Cream instead of the Intense Hydration.
  • Oily and Combination Skin: NOT suitable at all unless you’ve got dry patches on areas of your face that is in need of major moisturising (both creams do a fabulous job with soothing extremely dry areas of skin). There is a chance of break out because both creams are the richer products from Kiehl’s.

This or That?
Ultra Facial Cream OR Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration

Between both creams though, I would very much prefer the Intense Hydration because of how super lightweight the texture of the cream is. I love how it just melts to a liquid texture without any heaviness upon massaging and is soaked up by skin without any hint of it other than skin instantly becoming smoother to the touch.

However, bearing in mind our climate, I suppose even though the texture is awesome, I would suggest not putting too much of it nevertheless.

Getting the Products from Kiehl’s

Kiehl’s has a team of well-trained customer representatives (those in the funky lab coats) who are able to advise on a products suitability for your skin and how to pair different products to get the best effect (or if it is better not to layer too many products as well) based on your skin type and concerns.

If you’re unsure of whether any of these products are suitable for your skin, you’re also able to request for complimentary samples. Kiehl’s has a very generous sampling policy, “Try Before You Buy”. Kiehl’s is constantly emphasising on how all products are built with efficacy at the core and they encourage testing their products with these complimentary samples before you take the leap and purchase – no questions asked.

Also, if you feel that the product is completely unsuitable for you after purchase and you wish to return the product at any time and for any reason, just approach any of the Kiehl’s Customer Representatives for a personalised consultation and for an exchange with an appropriate alternative product – or a 100% money-back guarantee within 28 days of purchase. Please see here for more details on their exchange programme and here for a list of Kiehl’s stores and counters in Singapore.

I hope this has been a useful review! Please feel free to comment if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: Products in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions shared are honest and my own based on my experience.

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6 Responses to This or That: Which Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Should I Choose?

  1. Mohd Hisham March 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    I’ve come to realize that whenever something is claimed to be xxx-free, by definition, it has less than the mandatory xx amount to be deemed as present. 🙂

    • Carrie March 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

      Haha yes. Most of the time it’s under the “threshold”. My favourite of the lot being “fat-free”.

      I’m pretty sure the product is fragrance free though because… it doesn’t smell of anything.

  2. ethane April 28, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    “Skin Types Best Suited for Ultra Facial Cream and Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration

    Normal Skin: Suitable for use and great if you’re constantly in air-conditioning and need a heavy duty moisturiser. Recommend sticking to the Ultra Facial Cream instead of the Intense Hydration.

    Oily and Combination Skin: NOT suitable at all unless you’ve got dry patches on areas of your face that is in need of major moisturising (both creams do a fabulous job with soothing extremely dry areas of skin). There is a chance of break out because both creams are the richer products from Kiehl’s.”

    Because I am having combination skin (dry at cheek and oily [maybe not that oily but still considered oily] at T-zone), and I work in air-cond room 5 days per week, which of Kiehl’s products would you recommend? Ultra Facial Cream? or Intense Hydration?
    My beautician once recommend me to use gel type moisturizer but it seems that Kiehl’s does not have gel type moisturizer… >.<
    Please help! =)

    • Carrie May 5, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Hi Ethane!

      Thanks for reading http://www.carriesim.com! Sorry to only get back to you today on your query.

      Kiehl’s does carry a gel-type moisturiser but it is marketed as suitable for oily skin. I have used their Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream. You can find more information on it here but due to my overall drier skin, I prefer to use the Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration: http://www.kiehlstimes.com/skincare/category/moisturizer/ultra-facial-oil-free-gel-cream

      If you’re really not sure if it will work for you, always ask if you can consult any of the Kiehl’s Customer Representatives and collect samples from any Kiehl’s counter! They believe in sampling and spend lots of marketing dollar on ensuring that customers get the right product! If a product doesn’t work for you, there is also an exchange policy!

      Hope this helps!

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