Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence Review

September 14, 2019

Hi guys, today I'll be sharing about Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence.

I remember this product was released when I was still in college in Penang. It's been quite popular ever since, and I remember really liking the texture from the samples I got from the store.

The lovely team at Kiehl's sent me a bottle of the essence a while back together with the Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask, and after trying them both out, I'm here today to share my thoughts about the essence!

Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence is a unique facial essence suitable for all skin types that acts as the first step to your anti-ageing routine. It's an anti-ageing treatment that promises to help smooth skin texture, reduce fine lines and boost the skin's radiance.

On their website, it says that the main functions of this essence are that it:

  • Hydrates skin while helping to smooth fine lines and improve texture
  • Helps activate skin’s exfoliation process for a smoother, more radiant appearance
  • Prepares and primes skin as a “first step” in an anti-ageing skincare routine
  • Infused with Iris Florentina Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Lipo Hydroxy Acid (LHA) Visibly improves the appearance of fine lines, dullness and rough skin texture over time 

This product is available nationwide here in Malaysia in all Kiehl's stores as well as their website. You can get the full-sized 200ml bottle for RM188 or ask for a free sample at any store. For 200ml, considering that it's Kiehl's, I think the price is very reasonable + you get a lot of product!

The product comes in a dark plastic bottle which, I have to admit, kinda feels cheap. It's not bad or super cheap feeling, just that I'm used to essences being presented in frosted glass bottles or plastic bottles that emulate the look of frosted glass.

The style is still in line with their usual packaging, and you get info + ingredients stated clearly on the front and back of the bottle.

I could easily dispense the essence out without the product pouring out too much, which is great!

According to Kiehl's the 3 main ingredients are:
  • Lipo Hydroxy Acid -  a salicylic acid derivative that is known to help exfoliate the skin. It activates the skin’s natural exfoliation process to help remove dull skin.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate - the sodium salt of Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate is known to be a moisturizing agent, viscosifier and emulsifier. It helps to hydrate, replenish and refine skin texture.
  • Iris Florentina Extract - stimulates the skin to compensate for decreased metabolic activity due to ageing. It reduces the depth of wrinkles, improving skin hydration and elasticity for an overall improvement in skin tone.

I was quite surprised to see the ingredient list because it was shorter than I expected! The ingredients are quite minimal and consist of EWG green and yellow-level ingredients (which means they will unlikely cause irritations).

This essence is paraben-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free and fungal acne safe. It contains anti-ageing ingredients (Adenosine & Citric Acid) and ingredients that help promote wound healing (Sodium Hyaluronate). It also contains highly moisturizing ingredients (Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate & Glycerin) that those with dry skin will enjoy!

This essence is transparent in colour and has a water-thin texture. It has a slight fragrant, alcohol scent which disappears once it absorbs into the skin.

The essence absorbs fairly quickly into the skin. The finish it leaves is slightly sticky (just a little bit) and my skin feels very smooth and nourished. Also, the finish leaves a healthy glowy but nothing too over/too shiny.

Although this product is thin, I prefer to use it during the night. Although it does not leave the skin sticky, it leaves the skin quite richly hydrated, and I personally prefer using it at night followed by my thick serums to help them absorb better.

Like any other essence, I pat in about 2-3 drops into my face after toning. I then follow it up with masks or serums. You can layer it if you want, but I feel like it's pretty rich that 1-2 layers is already more than enough.

After using this for a while, I can say that I quite like it. It's moisturizing and did not cause any breakouts. The deep hydration and slightly sticky/plump feeling are really good for when my skin feels really dehydrated + needs some TLC.

As for the claims that this essence said it has, let's go through them one by one:

Hydrates skin while helping to smooth fine lines and improve texture - 50/50. I think its fabulous at hydrating and would highly recommend it to someone on the lookout for a rich, deeply moisturizing essence that does not require multiple layers. I don't think it smoothed any fine lines as I don't have them yet, but I do feel like it improved my skin texture. My skin feels soft and smooth to the touch, especially my nose area which usually feels the coarsest because of my blackheads/whiteheads.

Helps activate skin’s exfoliation process for a smoother, more radiant appearance - Yes! As I mentioned above, my skin feels super soft and smooth, and it helps remove some of my black/whiteheads for an ultra-smooth feeling. I think this is great at removing dead skin cells and speeding up cell turnover without the need for any physical scrubbing/exfoliation.

Prepares and primes skin as a “first step” in an anti-ageing skincare routine - Yes! It does a great job of prepping the skin and helping sleeping masks/serums sink into the skin better throughout the night.

For the effects, price and amount in the bottle, I think it's a no-brainer! I would definitely repurchase this product. I love the texture + hydration that it gives, but I do think that it would be better if it came with more anti-ageing ingredients. You can always layer serums/creams, and I guess this would be perfect for someone looking for a more basic/beginner entry into anti-ageing skincare.

And that's it for this review! If you're interested in knowing what I think about the Ginger Leaf and Hibiscus Firming Mask, click here to read my review.

Thanks for dropping by my blog, see you in my next post!

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