When this first arrived from the brand, I assumed Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Micro Serum, €35, was a Man Product for some reason and so I put it into a sample box and promptly forgot about it. Fishing about for something else a couple of months ago, I rediscovered it and realised it’s not just for fellas who use Fellas – in fact, it’s a one-size-fits-all hydrating serum that anyone can use.
Now, that’s normally something you’d think would be a plus with a product – suitable for everyone? Yeah, right. Suitable for no one in particular, more likely. But once again Kiehl’s, with its quiet, understated ways, has surprised me with this.
It’s really good. I added it into my morning routine a while ago and found it plays very nicely indeed. It’s an unscented, lightweight gel that doesn’t add load or fuss but acts as a great first step before day cream (sometimes I mix it with two drops of Argan oil if I’m going to be at home all day and that works really well too).
It definitely seems to add a bit more moisture into my skin. And because it’s so lightweight and simple and non-sticky, I think sensitive and sebum-prone types – who’ve just as much right as the rest of us to have dehydrated phizogs – will get along nicely with this too.
Men’ll like it, women’ll like it, I don’t think it’ll give the acne-prone an outbreak of the horrors and thanks to its colourant, silicone and paraben-free ways, it’s all very reassuring for reactive types. Ingredients include moisturising squalane, antarcticine, (a glyco-protein) and Imperata Cylindrica, derived from a desert plant.
So, the science bit: it’s a bit complicated, this. Generally a moisturiser is an oil and water mix whipped up together with emulsifiers to bind the stuff into a cream or fluid. But this is different: “Kiehl’s chemists developed a cross-linked matrix structure that traps micronized oil droplets,” the brand says. “When applied to the skin the droplets instantly release, therefore providing improved spreadability and fast absorption.”
There you go – a high-tech serum on paper and in practice too. I found this to be a worthwhile product and yes, it’s not the most glamorous thing that’s ever adorned my bathroom counter but who cares? It works.