Have you heard about the Midnight Recovery products from Kiehl's? They promise overnight improvement in your skin, to help regenerate, repair and replenish your skin. Their Concentrate has been so successful that they're releasing a companion eye cream.
So, obviously it must do something to be so popular, right? But, what could a product really do given about 8 hours on your skin?
So, I do think that these products do something overnight. What they do is provide amazing moisture and just make my skin plump and glowy. While you won't ever be able to get a peptide or anti-oxidant to make your skin look better in just a few hours, some exfoliation and intense moisture can produce immediate (though temporary) results.
Unfortunately my sample of the eye product doesn't contain the full ingredient list, though I do have it for the Concentrate. They have pretty much identical active ingredients listed on the Kiehl's website. Here's what is included:
Squalene: This is the third most abundant skin surface lipid in human skin, forming an integral part of the skin's barrier function. Squalene acts as an occlusive moisturizer, much like Mineral Oil. The idea is that it will help to seal moisture into the skin, but the advantage of Squalene over another ingredient is that the Squalene is a naturally important component of the skin.
Evening Primrose Oil: This oil is derived from the evening primrose, which is exactly what it sounds like. A rose that opens in the evenings. What is cool about this oil is that it is an omega-6 fatty acid and contains a few fatty acid chains that become other things and do stuff and the end result is to help end transepidermal water loss (which is bad, so we want to stop it) and help to maintain the structure of the skin. There have been studies using oral Evening Primrose that have found improvement in Eczema symptoms, dry eyes, brittle nails, acne, and even sunburn.
Lavender Essential Oil: According to Kiehl's it stimulates repair processes. I can't verify this with any of my usual sources, but I fully admit that I can smell a little lavender in the Concentrate and I'm always a big sucker for the scent.
Butcher's Broom: This plant is included in the eye cream to improve "microcirculation and reduces inflammation to soothe skin and reduce puffiness".
The Concentrate is really an oil based serum. I had a sample similar to what Kiehl's gives out in stores, and it came in an amazing 4 ml bottle with an eye dropper (I love it, I'm going to hoard it for travel). The full sized version comes in a similar bottle only... bigger. Full sized even. You can use as much of the product as you want, though only 2-3 drops is recommended. I completely ignored this the first night and went crazy, using about 2 droppers of the Concentrate. I don't know how much that is with my sample sized dropper, but it's probably a good 10x the recommended amount. I've used the "real" amount since then.
The oil doesn't really feel oily to the touch. You can feel that it is a bit more oily compared to a normal serum, but that's about it. It has a faint herbal scent, and I swear I can pick up on some of that lavender in there, but after application I can't smell anything. Since there is so much squalene in the Concentrate, I need some moisture to seal in! I wash my face and gently pat it about 75% dry, and then apply. I spread it around my face and down onto my neck. It sinks fully into my skin over about a minute. There's no residue. I have applied makeup immediately after this product without issue. Even on the night I practically bathed in the stuff, everything sunk into my skin within about 2 or 3 minutes.
After using the Concentrate, my skin does look almost immediately more hydrated. When using it under makeup I swear it makes my skin just glow, and when used overnight it has the same effect. The days before I started to sample this I was having a lot of issues with dry spots on my cheeks (there was flaking suddenly and no amount of night cream or exfoliation was working. If anything, it was getting worse). One night of Concentrate and my skin was back to normal. Seriously.
The Eye Cream was sent to me as a little sample squirted into a pot. I think it was pretty representative of the product, though sometimes things do dry out a bit and become thicker. The cream I tried was a thick cream (though it is described as "lightweight" by reviewers on Kiehls.com and it comes in a tube, this make me think it is usually a bit lighter in consistency?), white in color and it had pretty much the same fragrance as the Concentrate, though lighter. You only need a very small amount on each eye (a pea sized amount would be a tad too much for both eyes), and it pats into the area very easily.
I started using the Eye Cream before the Concentrate, so I could try to separate how the two affected my skin. The extra moisture provided by the Eye Cream really helps to plump things up under my eye, making me look better rested. This is huge for an on-call doc getting calls (I've been working a ton this month) especially when I'm also still getting up every few hours to nurse my daughter! I'm adding this product to my next Kiehl's shopping list for sure.
For both products: