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Treating dry and irritated winter skin with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie.

Those of you who read the blog regularly know that oily skin is one of my biggest beauty woes. You’d think that all that excess oil would make my skin resistant to dryness and irritation in winter, but nope, unfortunately it doesn’t. It’s true that my skin remains oily even when temperatures drop way below zero, but just like so many others I still have to deal with dry patches and flakey skin in winter. So my skin is always oily and shiny no matter what season it is, but in winter it becomes moisture-deprived on top of that as well. Lucky me… It’s been freezing like crazy for a couple of weeks now and I can definitely tell that my skin has been getting drier and redder. Time for action! I didn’t have any super hydrating creams in stock though, with my oily skin type and what not, so I had to look for something new. Enter the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream from this year’s limited-edition Kiehl’s & Haze holiday collection!

Review (Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream) (1)

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Kiehl’s is a brand has been on my to-try list for a long time and the Ultra Facial Cream is my very first product by the brand, so I was very excited to try it. The version of the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream that I have is from this year’s limited-edition holiday collection and has a fun green and red starry lid that was designed by New York artist Eric Haze. Pretty!

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After a bit of research I learned that the Ultra Facial Cream is one of Kiehl’s bestselling cold creams and that it’s also one of the brand’s all-time staple products. The cream was first launched in 1970 (that’s when people still lived in caves and hunted mammoths, right?) and the fact that it still sells this well almost 44 years later just proves how much people love it. The Ultra Facial Cream is an intensely moisturizing face cream that promises to maintain the skin’s moisture balance around the clock, even in the most extreme wintry conditions. It contains Antarctine, a glycoprotein derived from glacier ice from the South Pole (how cool is that?!), the desert plant extract Imperata Cylindrica, Squalane, avocado oil and vitamin E. Together these ingredients promise to protect and hydrate the skin.

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Yep, that sure looked good on paper! But does the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream actually deliver? The cream is white, odorless and has a very lightweight texture. That last part surprised me a bit to be honest, because I always thought that ultra hydrating creams would be very thick and heavy. But the Ultra Facial Cream isn’t like that at all, and my oily skin obviously appreciates that. The formula is very fast-absorbing as well and doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy, and that was another unexpected but pleasant surprise. So with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream I can basically intensely moisturize my oily yet moisture-deprived skin without risking oil overdrive, perfect! After applying the cream my skin immediately feels softer and more supple, and all signs of dryness or irritation instantly disappear.

Review (Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream) (4)

Click to enlarge | My naked hands. They look more like the hands of a 62-year-old than of a 26-year-old…

I was so impressed with the results that I decided to try the cream on the skin between my fingers as well. That part of my hands always gets very dry and cracked in winter, sometimes even to the point of bleeding. And yep, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream manages to instantly soften and hydrate the skin in that area as well, woohoo! I think we have a winner!

Review (Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream) (5)

Click to enlarge | After applying the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

The only downside is the packaging. A jar is very practical, true, but it’s not as hygienic as a tube or a pump bottle. So you really have to make sure to always carefully wash your hands before putting your fingers in the jar. But aside from that the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream really ticks all the boxes and I’d say it’s one of the best beauty discoveries I’ve made lately.

The Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is sold for 37 CHF here in Switzerland. In addition to the Ultra Facial Cream the limited-edition Kiehl’s & Haze collection also has a body cream and a body butter.

What do you do to treat dry winter skin? Have you tried any Kiehl’s products yet?

P.S.: Make sure to check out my huge Shop my closet & Beauty stash blog sale and to enter my Covergirl Christmas giveaway!


  1. Kiehl’s has been on my to try list for a long time, too! I’ve never used anything from them before. This moisturizer just shot to the top of my list since we both deal with oily skin year-round and it’s such a strange predicament. If you go too heavy on the moisture cream, it never sinks in and you wind up with a slippery face like no other! I love that this sinks in. The pictures of your hands were amazing! What a difference! Hugs!

    • You should definitely try it, Kristen! It’s a godsend for oily yet moisture-deprived skin. Well, it’s a godsend for any skin type, really, but it definitely works for us oily-skinned gals :-)

  2. Hey Melissa, I’m glad to hear you found something that works for you! The richest cream I have is Caudalie Vinosource Moisture Recovery Cream, and I don’t really have to bust that out too many times a year! I don’t know if it’s the serum/dry oil I layer underneath it, but it works really well for me!

  3. Well I totally get what you are saying with oily skin not keeping safe from the cold. I like the before and after! :D

  4. Hi Melissa, I love Kiehl’s and I’ve tried many products of this brand. Another signature and best selling product of this brand is a Midnight Recovery Concentrate with essential oils. It is also amazing.

  5. It sounds like a lovely product, my hands get really dry, I should try it:)

  6. Klinkt erg fijn! Vooral omdat de crème niet dik is maar wel goed intrekt. Dat klinkt echt als muziek in mijn oren, crèmes willen bij jij nooit intrekken.

  7. deze vind ik ook wel fijn, de ultra facial cleanser is trouwens ook heel goed!

  8. Haha ja de jaren 70… Prehistorisch… Klinkt heerlijk deze creme en wat een verschil al op jouw handen zeg! Ik hoor veel goeds over dit merk en toch heb ik er nog nooit iets van geprobeerd. Mijn huidtype lijkt erg op die van jou, irritant he..

  9. I’m a big fan of Kiehl’s, and this is probably one of my all time favourite products from the company. This cream is a stable for me, I love that it’s so lightweight yet so moisturising!

  10. Klinkt heerlijk….
    alleen geen verkooppunt in de buurt…

  11. Dit klinkt echt super en je ziet het resultaat direct terug op je handen. Ik ben alleen wel benieuwd naar wat voor ingrediënten er nog meer in zitten, misschien wil je die nog eens posten.

  12. Kiel is a brand I am always interested in because they have such pretty stores and a very interesting range of products. However, my “go-to-skin-care” products are from “Pai Skincare”. Might be great for you too.

  13. Klinkt echt super en je ziet ook duidelijk resultaat op je foto’s ! x

  14. Lijkt me echt een hele fijne crème! En wat ‘n verschil zeg, die voor- en na- foto! Ik heb nog nooit iets van Kiehl’s gebruikt

  15. Ils sont top les produits Kiehl’s, il va falloir que j’essaie cette crème !

  16. oh dat klinkt goed…. goede foto’s ook!

  17. Your hands look fine! Ik denk dat een mevrouw van 62 toch niet zo’n “jonge” hand heeft als die van jou! De creme klinkt ook heel goed. Handen worden vaak vergeten (of ligt dat aan mij :P) dus dit is een mooie optie!

  18. Oh this one looks good! I’ll see if I can get a sample. I have Nuxe Crème Fraîche that I use on super cold days with sometimes a bit of argan oil under it. :)

  19. I have dehydrated skin and it gets worse in the winter. I use the Biotherm Aquasource Night – High Density Hydration Jelly. It does the trick, smells lovely and comes in a bottle with a pump. Love it!

  20. wow looking like a really good one that i should try! some of my friends use it too they love it a lot.. maybe i’ll go get one! nice post dear x

  21. If Kiehl’s wasn’t so expensive, I’d buy everything from the line! Sigh….
    And yeah….I’m not a big fan of jar containers too, but I guess if the product is great, then it’s ok:)

  22. Klinkt als een heel goed product. Ik heb geen ervaring met Kiehl’s, aangezien t prijskaartje mij wat tegenhoudt ;) maar een goed product zoals dit zou ik wel nog overwegen

  23. Dit klinkt heel erg fijn!

  24. oh wow I need this in my life! :))) I have the dryest hands also and this looks really awesome!
    I’m so glad we have this brand in my country <3

  25. I like facial oils and FAB’s Ultra Repair Cream for winter skin!

  26. Klinkt echt zeer goed en kan ik zeker gebruiken :).

  27. Klinkt erg fijn!

  28. mademoiselle mode

    December 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I never try this product ^^


  29. Sounds like a very nice products!

  30. The difference in your hand photos is so great! This sounds like a must try product! Will it suit oily skin?

  31. Deze heb ik nog niet geprobeerd maar hij klinkt wel goed ! Ik ga meestal aan de slag met olie en body butter in de winter.

  32. Wat een resultaat,daar kan je niet naast kijken!

  33. Hij klinkt wel heel goed! Of hij voor mij tijdens de winter genoeg hydrateert, zal ik moeten zien, maar anders is hij altijd nog handig voor in de zomer, dan ben is mijn huid namelijk ook wat sneller vettig, waardoor ik de hydratatie wel eens verwaarloos.

  34. Wahou cette crème à l’air miraculeuse !
    Il me la faut ! :)

  35. I have heard a lot about this brand being good and I really want to try it myself. I tend to have some dry skin in the winter so I need a cream like this!

  36. The skin looks so nice and plump after!

  37. Ik heb zelf nog geen producten van Kiehl’s gebruikt, maar deze créme lijkt mij heel erg fijn. Ik heb zelf toch altijd wel hele erge last van een schrale en droge huid in de winter en als ik het resultaat zo zie op de foto’s dan wil ik deze créme zeker wel eens gaan proberen.

  38. I also have oily skin, and even if the weather’s really cold, sometimes I can still feel the oil on my skin. Or much worse, my face would feel really dry that I feel the need of moisturizing it.

    I haven’t heard of this product yet but it seems really promising. I hope I could find this product too here in the Philippines.

  39. I am always curious about Kiehl´s..for some reason I haven´t tried much of their line yet..always think they´re very similar to Origins, which I usually like. Great review!

  40. My hands get SO dry even though I use lotion 45353 times a day. I think i need something stronger like this.Loved your photo results!

  41. Thanks for your helpful posts, you always give me great ideas on what to try

  42. Great review – just when my skin was in need of a drink!

  43. Wow, that’s a huge difference, those two shots of your hands! I have that same problem – my skin is as dry as it is, but then in the winter it gets all red and … Sad.:) But 1970?? That really is ancient history! I’m surprised the cream doesn’t contain mammoth fat.:D

  44. Seems really nice, thanks for the review girl!

  45. zo dat ziet er goed uit! lijkt me erg fijn

  46. Ik vind de producten van Kiehl’s erg fijn, volgens mij heb ik hier al eens een sample van geprobeerd.

  47. Wauw! Wat een verschil zeg!

  48. Hi Melissa,
    This surely looks like a great product ..

  49. Never tried this product before, but it sounds great!

  50. I love kiehls, we all have those dry hands in the winter, do not worry.

  51. Ziet er erg fijn uit!

  52. Wow, wat een resultaat op je handen. Ziet er goed spul uit, maar ik ben sowieso helemaal weg van Kiehl’s!

  53. I know oily skin can be a bit of a pain (organic clay mask works wonder on me) and one thing to keep in mind for the future: you won’t get very wrinkled when you get older ;)
    I love Khiel’s product although they’re quite expensive.
    Mafalda ❤

  54. I like a few products of Kiehl’s. I had the avocado eye cream which is very rich..but I like it. My mom in law loves the rosa arctica cream, me too but not my skin. At the moment I use organic beauty stuff.

  55. Wow, het verschil op je handen is echt immens groot. Ik heb nog nooit iets van Kiehl’s geprobeerd, maar ik heb er wel al veel goede dingen over gehoord.

  56. Wow! Looks like an amazing product! My hands have been so dry lately and I hate it!

  57. Yes, it sounds like the perfect cream I need for this cold winter!

  58. I always have dry skin so this cream sounds wonderful to me! I really have to try it out for myself!


  59. Wauw het resultaat ziet er supergoed uit!

  60. I love Kiehl’s products. You should try the Rare Earth Cleanser with Amazonian white clay… great for oily skin. I have many favourites from this brand.

  61. Lijkt me een heel fijn product, zeker in deze tijd. :)

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