Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Review – Lotion, Moisturizer & Ingredients

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Skincare products have become part and parcel of any beauty routine, addressing everything from scars and uneven skin tone to acne.

However, their necessity does come with a downside–the market is flooded with options, and every single one claims to hold the key to the smooth, flawless-looking skin.

It isn’t easy to find a solution that really works. That’s where we come in.

While there is an element of trial and error in any skincare regime, our in-depth reviews provide you all you need to know to make an informed decision.

In today’s review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, from its ingredients to its effectiveness. Let’s dive in.

What Is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream?

ultra facial cream

Being one of the country’s oldest skincare brands, the name Kiehl is widely known.

Though some of the first products the company sold in its early days included Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner and Original Musk Oil, its Ultra Facial Cream is, by far, the company’s best-selling product.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is held in such high regard that it is one of the over 103 Kiehl’s in the Smithsonian’s Division of Medicine and Science permanent collection.

The Ultra Facial Cream is a rich, lightweight moisturizer formulated to provide your skin with 24-hour hydration, even in extreme environments like cold temperatures and dry climates.

The cream has been clinically tested to leave your dry skin feeling softer, smoother, and visibly healthier.

The results are immediate. Based on clinical results from a Corneometer study run in extremely low humidity settings, the facial cream gives your skin 2.3 times more hydration in just one use!

Though results may vary, on average, after one week of continuous use, your skin will feel 18% smoother and 33% softer and look 11% healthier.

To put the product’s hydration powers to the test, Kiehl’s tested the product’s formula on an expedition in Greenland.

A team of six climbers used the facial cream three times every day to protect their skin from the harsh wind and cold air as they tried to become the first team to complete the ascent of the ice-covered peaks.

In the review interviews conducted after, the explorers described the facial cream as authentic and simple and said that it works.

There are two different versions of the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial cream: regular or broad-spectrum SPF 30.


Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Ingredients

One of the more notable ingredients in Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is glacial glycoprotein, an extract from the sea glaciers in the Antarctic.

The extract deeply hydrates your dry skin and maintains its moisture balance. It also helps to protect your dry skin from harsh conditions like cold and wind.

Another key ingredient is squalane, an extremely refined olive-derived extract. Squalene helps restore and strengthen your skin barrier and can be particularly helpful for people with oily skin.

The formula also includes salicylic and imperata cylindrical acid. Imperata cylindrical is a plant found in the Australian desert that helps prevent water loss to prevent dryness and promote fuller-looking skin.

Salicylic acid, on the other hand, keeps your skin clear and smooth.

Other ingredients include:

  • Soybean oil
  • Citric acid
  • Glycerin
  • Rice bran oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Olea Europaea fruit oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Sucrose stearate
  • Stearic acid


Asian woman using her laptop on a sofa

There are plenty of reasons we love Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, and we are sure you’ll love it too. Some of the cream’s benefits include:

Non-greasy, Lightweight Texture

Though the texture is creamy, unlike other creams, it is not tacky or sticky on your skin. It is lightweight and non-greasy, absorbs quickly, and is safe for all skin types.

Hydrates Your Skin Regardless of Your Location

The glacial glycoproteins extract derived from microorganisms found in the glaciers off the coast of the Antarctic contains exceptional hydrating properties.

The extract helps you prevent water loss, leaving you with hydrated skin regardless of the climate and humidity settings.

Does Not Clog Your Pores

While oils and fatty acids are excellent at helping retain moisture, not all of them are non-comedogenic, meaning some of them can clog your pores or leave you with oily skin.

The squalene found in this facial cream’s formula resembles the molecular structure of your skin’s natural lipids.

This allows it to hydrate, restore, and strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier more effectively, leaving you with a 47.9% stronger skin moisture barrier.

Woman Hydrating skin

The Company Has Rigorously Tested the Product for Use on Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you know how challenging it is to find a skincare product that doesn’t contain ingredients that will trigger a reaction.

With this product, you will finally have a gentle face cream. You can even use it on the delicate skin around your eyes.

Not only did Kiehl’s rigorously test the cream on every skin type to ensure that it was safe for everyone, but the brand also formulated the product without carbamide, triethanolamine (T.E.A), and parabens, ingredients well known to trigger allergies.

See our other Kiehl product reviews here.

Extremely Popular

There is a reason why this face cream has received rave reviews since hitting the market in 2006. The brand would obviously not be selling ten jars every minute if the product did not work.


You Have the Option of Sampling the Product Before Buying

Applying a cream on the back of your hands is not the same as applying a cream on your face.

Although most stores allow you to test products, just how effective is that testing? Kiehl’s offers samples you can try out at home before deciding whether to buy a full-sized product.

On top of that, the company values educating each customer about skin health.

It even has a Healthy Skin Assessment tool that enables you to understand the condition of your skin cells and your skin type, allowing you to find the most suitable products for the result you want.

Does It Have Any Side Effects?

While the cream is free of parabens, people with highly sensitive, acne-prone skin may experience breakouts when first beginning use.

If you have sensitive skin, we recommend speaking to your dermatologist before adding this cream into your skincare routine.

Who Is It Best For?

woman with fair and fresh skin

The Ultra Facial Cream is perfect for everyone regardless of age, including those with dry, normal, and combination skin types looking to resolve the dullness, dryness, and uneven texture of their skin.

How Much Does It Cost?

Despite the high rating and positive reviews, this facial cream is not as expensive as you’d think. You can get your hands on a 1-ounce jar for $18.

A 1.7-ounce jar goes for $30, while a 4.2-ounce jar could be yours for just $50. Clearly, quality and affordability are what Kiehl’s is going for with its Ultra Facial Cream.

Where Should You Buy It?

You can buy it straight from the manufacturer or a variety of third-party sellers online.

You may even be able to find it at a local store. Barneys, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, and many others carry it.



Is Kiehl’s cruelty-free?

L’Oréal bought Kiehl’s in 2000. L’Oréal does not test any of its ingredients or products on animals, so Kiehl’s is cruelty-free.

In fact, for more than 30 years, L’Oréal has been leading the charge for the use of alternative testing methods.

Has Kiehl’s changed its products’ formula?

Since 2009, the company has been working to formulate all of its products without ingredients like parabens, which are known to trigger reactions. As of December 2019, all of the company’s skincare products are paraben-free.

Is there a difference between the Ultra Facial Moisturizer and Ultra Facial Cream?

While the two products contain similar key ingredients such as glycerin, glacial glycoprotein, and squalane, they are different.

For instance, although Ultra Facial Moisturizer contains avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and apricot kernel oil, the company lists these ingredients further down the list as compared to Ultra Facial Cream.

Also, the Moisturizer doesn’t have the salicylic and citric acid that the Facial Cream contains.

Another difference is in the feel of both products, with customers stating that the Facial Cream’s texture feels heavier, but both offer a similar result–more hydrated skin.

How do you use the Ultra Facial Cream?

pretty woman skincare in the bathroom

For the regular version of the cream, you can use it both day and night as a step in your regular skincare routine or just as a night cream.

However, if you are using the version that contains the broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, only apply it during the day.

Start by cleansing and toning your skin. Then apply a dime-sized amount of the cream, rubbing gently until your skin absorbs all of it.

Is It Worth the Investment?

For the very reasonable price of $18, you can get your hands on a skincare product that has been a firm customer favorite for years.

Even though the cream is thick in texture, it still absorbs quickly and leaves no greasy residue.

Not only does it give your skin 24-hour hydration, but it does so regardless of your skin type and climate you are in.

With these and so much more in mind, our beauty editors found Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream a worthy investment for anyone looking for healthier skin with balanced moisture levels.

Editors Choice
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Review – Lotion, Moisturizer & Ingredients 1

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Everything you need to keep skin clear and wrinkle-free
  • Products contain a variety of innovative ingredients
  • Brand centers on providing naturally based products
  • Sends out free samples with every skincare product

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Review – Lotion, Moisturizer & Ingredients 2

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About Alina Jumabhoy

With almost 10 years of experience writing for the skincare industry, Alina brings her unique perspective into all of the in-depth reviews and articles she writes.