Moisturizers,Day Creams, Night Creams


Review Detail

Kiehl’s High 5 Range
Kiehl’s High 5 Range Featured Hot
Moisturizers,Day Creams, Night Creams
July 07, 2016    
(Updated: August 18, 2016)
Overall rating 

Vuyelwa's Verdict: Kiehl's #ChangeYourSkin Challenge


As a WoC, my dark skin tone has the tell-tale signs of uneven pigmentation. I'm pretty used to that and have found ways to 'camouflage' the unevenness, however my combination (type) skin suffered a hormonal breakout about three weeks ago and now I have these dark stubborn spots to remind me of the disaster. To top that off I've been noticing that my smile/ laugh lines are becoming more permanent and squinting my eyes (I'm short-sighted) has definitely left its mark in the form of fine wrinkles under my eyes.

So this Kiehl's #ChangeYourSkin challenge couldn't have come up at a more perfect time, right? I'm excited to be testing out these 5 iconic beauty products and seeing how the combined use of the products could improve the appearance and health of my skin.

First Impression (Day One)

I received the products in the afternoon so first application occurred at night, after I had cleansed my face. I've listed the products in the order of application:

1. Midnight Recovery Concentrate R755.00

This lightweight elixir of natural essential oils applies like a dry oil, so it's instantly absorbed and doesn't leave any greasy residue. It has a delicate yet noticeable floral scent which comes from floral notes of lavender, rose and jasmine oils that are included in the elixir. I applied it over my entire face and I'm impressed by how quickly it absorbs into the skin.

2. Dermatologist Solutions™ Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution R700.00

This lightweight solution has the texture of a watered-down gel and it is also readily absorbed into the skin. Kiehl's attests to its effectiveness in ' deeply and rapidly [correcting] the appearance of dark spots and [unifying] skin tone. I focused the application of this solution to the areas of my face which currently have dark spots and uneven pigmentation, so my forehead, cheeks and chin. I'm most excited to see what this particular product can do, as uneven skin tone and dark spots are at the top of my 'must correct' list.

3. Dermatologist Solutions™ Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate R825.00

This concentrate is the most interesting to me because you actually feel your skin warm up and tingle as you apply it. It boasts of a highly potent (but safe to use) concentration of Vitamin C which is known to improve the look of skin by targeting aging concerns, including skin texture and appearance. The concentrate applies like primer (a cross between a lightweight cream and gel) and leaves your skin feeling very smooth. I applied it over my entire face and pat it into the areas which have visible pores and fine lines (wrinkles).

4. Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Oil R385.00

A luxuriously thick and creamy eye treatment with Avocado oil, which is known for its moisturising properties and is a rich source of Vitamin E (skin repairer). The treatment is quite thick so I only apply a small amount under my eyes and pat it into my skin using my ring finger. I love how hydrating it feels as it blends into the skin- it doesn't feel oily at all.

5. Ultra Facial Moisturizing Cream R355.00

The most noticeable properties of this facial cream is how lightweight and hydrating it is. It literally just melts into your skin and leaves it feeling smooth and supple with very dewy glow. I was taken aback by the glow, because I initially thought my skin looked oily but as I examined it, I noticed that it was more hydration than anything. I do feel like I will need to calm the glow down with a translucent powder when I apply it during the day.

For application in the morning, I skip the Midnight Recovery Concentrate which is said to work best at night.

Overall first impression

My overall first impression of the entire collection of products is that they feel like good quality, which I guess is the reason for the hefty price tag. My skin feels and looks hydrated after using the products. The 5 step application (4 in the morning) is quite intensive, so not the simplest or most minimalist of skincare routines (especially if you already double cleanse and tone before the application), but I'm ready to adapt and see how my skin changes after each week of use.

Week 1

So it's been 7 days since I took up the Kiehl's #High5ToGreatSkin challenge and so far I'm loving what I'm seeing. My skin hasn't changed dramatically but there are definitely small noticeable results. To keep things consistent, I will discuss the results in the order of product application (as I did with the first impressions).

1. Midnight Recovery Concentrate

The first thing that I did upon waking up after using the #High5ToGreatSkin products for the first time was check my skin to see if the Midnight Recovery Concentrate had kept to its promise of rejuvenating my skin overnight and keeping it moisturised and soft and I'm glad to say that it did and has been keeping it moisturised and soft for the week that has passed. Because the concentrate is quickly absorbed into my skin, it is not wiped off or absorbed by my pillowcase as I sleep at night (I noticed this because the side of my face I lay on my pillow when I sleep wasn't as dewy as the other, but still felt very hydrated and soft).

2. Dermatologist Solutions™ Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Although my dark spots aren't completely gone, I've certainly noticed that some of them have started to fade since using the solution. Also my complexion looks brighter, although I'm not sure if it's due to the Vitamin C content of this solution or the line-reducing concentrate but either way, I think we are off to a great start. One thing the solution has failed to do however, is keep the pimples from sprouting. One sneaky pimple has appeared right smack in the middle of my left cheek, but I guess I'll have to see how the solution works to prevent it from going dark.

3. Dermatologist Solutions™ Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate

Although this line-reducing concentrate is one of my favourites in terms of immediate effect (I'm a sucker for science so the tingling and warming sensation still fascinates me), I'm sad to say I haven't really seen much in terms of skin changes, particularly the line-reducing property. The laugh lines around my mouth are still pretty visible and I can't really apply the product under my eyes (where the fine lines from squinting are) since it is recommended that the eye area be avoided. I do believe however that the Vitamin C is working to refine and brighten my skin tone.

4. Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Oil

I still love how lightweight this eye treatment is. It's really hydrating which is important for the eye area, but apart from that I can't really say much else. The only issue I have with my eye area is the fine lines, which are still present so the treatment has kept my eye area moisturised but I'm yet to see if the product can repair or improve the fine lines.

5. Ultra Facial Moisturizing Cream

You cannot deny the glow this facial cream gives you. It's SUPER hydrating and just has a lovely texture which makes it so pleasant to apply. My skin feels fantastic - it's soft and bouncy and feels so moisturised, a definite essential in this drying winter climate. As I mentioned in my first impressions review, I do find it necessary to powder the centre of my face because when my T-zone gets oily during the course of the day, the 'glow' from the cream is exaggerated which makes my nose and forehead look quite shiny. Apart from that, I've really been loving the hydration this cream gives off.

Overall impression

So far, I'm loving the combined effect/results of the #High5ToGreatSkin products. My skin really feels well taken off and I haven't had any adverse changes to my skin. I really do feel like I've upgraded my skincare, which worries me because when this challenge concludes and my High5 stash starts to diminish, repurchasing will be an expensive necessity, lol!

Week 2

Hi everyone! This week I've uploaded a video to show you how I apply my #High5ToGreatSkin products and what I've been loving about the products so far. I changed the order of application around to improve absorption of the products.

Week 3

So 21 days into the challenge and I've unfortunately had a bit of a setback. I had a hormonal breakout which basically ravaged my forehead and created even more dark spots. Although the #High5ToGreatSkin products hadn't completely done away with my original hyperpigmentation, some spots were beginning to fade so quite disappointing to have to see new spots appear.

The products that have really stood out for me so far have been the Ultra Facial Cream, Midnight Recovery Concentrate and the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. While the facial cream and MRC have done a superb job in keeping my skin hydrated and moisturised as promised, the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate has not reduced my laugh lines but it has brightened up my complexion beautifully (potent Vitamin C!!). My skin looks refined (except for the areas where I suffered the breakout) and really healthy. The creamy eye treatment has also been doing a fine job keeping my undereyes moisturised, but nothing quite outstanding. I think the results would be more exciting if I had dry skin or deep set wrinkles. My greatest disappointment has really been the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution. I expected big things from it, maybe a bit too zealous, but yeah, I was really looking forward to not seeing my dark spots by the third week. Some have started to fade as mentioned, but not quite the way I expected.

One thing I think should have been stressed at the beginning of this challenge is the importance of using high SPF sunscreen when using some of the pigmentation reducing products. It not only protects your refined skin, but also helps maintain the work done by the products.

Week 4: Final Review

So the 28 days of the #ChangeYour Skin challenge have come to an end and I will be giving your my overall impression of the #High5ToGreatSkin products and the changes I've seen on my face.

In my last review I mentioned that I had suffered a hormonal breakout. I'm glad to say that it's clearing up beautifully and I believe that the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution has played a part in assisting my skin's recovery. It has also helped fade my original acne scars and dark spots, however not as quickly as I thought it would. I would say there is a 75% fade in the original hyperpigmentation that I captured in the 'Before' photos.

The Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate has truly been my favourite out of the 5 products. Although it failed at removing my laugh lines, the Vitamin C content in it helped brighten and refine the texture of my skin. My skin looks luminous and smooth.

The MRC has also been a wonderful product to use. It's helped lock in the moisture of my skin while I sleep, resulting in a glowy 'morning after' complexion. I've learnt that the oil can also be applied to the cuticles so I'll be adding that to my night-time beauty routine.

The Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado did an excellent job in keeping my undereyes hydrated and moisturised. Seeing as the instructions for the other concentrates warned against application on the delicate eye area, it was great to have a product that was solely dedicated to protecting and maintaining the eye area.

The second favourite product has been the Ultra Facial Cream. What a luxurious, hydrating lifesaver! My skin loved the nourishment and care it received from this product. While most facial moisturisers tend to lose their effect towards the end of the day, this cream kept my skin feeling hydrated and supple throughout the day. I really enjoyed using it and would strongly recommend it for anyone suffering from dry, irritated skin.

Overall impression

I have really appreciated being a part of this challenge. It taught me a lot in terms of skincare and being consistent if you want to see good results. It was quite an intensive routine to follow, but those are the lengths you have to be prepared to go to, to achieve healthy-looking radiant skin. Not only did I gain a gorgeously radiant complexion, but my makeup application has also been wonderful. I think that because my skin was well nourished and hydrated, it assisted the smooth application of my makeup.

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