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Read this product name – Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. With such a persuasive name, who could resist buying a powerful youth potion? Can you?
Oh well. I couldn’t and bought one. Let’s see if this product lives up to her name?
About Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Despite her very fanciful and catchy name, Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate is generically a vitamin C cream. It is formulated with 10.5% of L-Ascorbic Acid, which is primarily the first-tier strength for Vitamin C product and should be mild for those with normal skin.
Other than Kiehl’s vitamin C product, I’d also explored vitamin C from other brands such as Obagi Vitamin C serum (10%) and Glo-Therapeutics Cyto-Luxe Vitamin C+ (20%) .
So far, only the 20% strength seems to work for me, allowing me to notice visible results in the quickest possible time. Let’s see if Kiehl’s 10.5% vitamin C serum would match or beat that!
A little about Vitamin C
Other than reducing lines, people who use Vitamin C serum generally want brighter and firmer skin. They may also be looking for ways to reduce pigmentation or dark spots. If you like to read more about my take of Vitamin C serum and its effectiveness, you can jump over to this link.
The Warm Sensation
When you apply this thick cream on your face, you will feel a warm sensation, almost convincing you of how POWERFUL this cream really is.
I can’t help but feel that the warm sensation is all but a marketing gimmick. As a newbie to Vitamin C serum a decade ago, I can’t deny that I was super impressed with the heat-emitting cream. It sure felt “Powerful” like an iron that could flatten out lines. However, after using pure vitamin C serum (up to 20%) that produced real results, I have to say that I am a bit skeptical now. None of the high-strength vitamin C serum I’ve tried emitted any heat. What they did produce was a tingling and minimally stingy sensation.
So yeah, I’m a bit doubtful. That’s ok. Let’s dig in further in the next few sections below to find out the goods and bads of Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, and see if it’s worth buying.
1. Rich and moisturizing
Unlike other Vitamin C serum I’ve used, Kiehl’s version offers a thick and whitish cream that felt more like a moisturizer than a serum. It leaves a layer of slight stickiness just like how you feel when you slap on a rich cream. I didn’t feel the need to apply moisturizer over it as it felt hydrating enough. And the face stayed hydrated for hours.
For those who have dry skin or who are too lazy to apply multiple layers of product, Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate may appeal to you. Though I think some may hate it too, especially for those who dislike having heavy stuff on their face.
2. Generous quantity
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate comes in a 50ml bottle, which is a lot compared to industry norm of 30ml. It took me forever to finish using it, which explained why I didn’t and kept the left-over in the fridge when I switched to other products.
3. Stable Vitamin C
Vitamin C products can contain either the pure form of vitamin C (i.e. Ascorbic Acid) or its derivatives. The pure form tends to be less stable and can oxidize easily (turning yellow, orange, then brown). Once it has oxidized, it is no longer effective. In fact, it may even be harmful to the skin.
What’s great about Kiehl’s vitamin C cream is its stability. After being opened and kept in the fridge for at least two to three years, the whitish cream had only turned mildly yellow.
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The photo below shows a side-by-side comparison of a fresh product (recently-received sample) vs the one I’ve kept for years. See the mild color difference.
I was expecting to see brown paste, just like those formed around the opening of the bottle.
1. No visible improvements
Nothing happened. I’d finished 70% of the bottle and see no significant results. Then it went into my fridge for years before I recently took it out to write this review. =)
2. Thick cream that felt like a primer
Although it allows you to skip your moisturizer when you are lazy, it may be too rich for some. Unlike a normal rich cream, Kiehl’s vitamin C cream felt artificially smooth like a primer. It wasn’t easy washing it off with water too.
3. Cosmetically reduces fine lines
I believe the texture of this product, which cosmetically sinks into and fade fine lines, may have caused some to think that their lines have improved for good. In my opinion, it could probably be just a cosmetic effect, lasting as long as the product is still on the face.
Look at the photo below and see how my left hand appears smoother than my right hand, because it was covered with a layer of Kiehl’s powerful “primer”.
I’m not saying that it won’t work in the long run. But if you see your lines fade within seconds of applying this cream, it’s without a doubt a cosmetic effect.
4. It’s not cheap
At $98 a bottle and at just 10.5% of L-Ascorbic Acid, Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate isn’t cheap. To be fair, most Vitamin C products aren’t cheap. So Kiehl’s is probably within industry norm in terms of its pricing. You can view its online price at Amazon, Ebay, Walmart or on Kiehl’s official website.
There are some online Vitamin C serum going for less than $30. I may give those a test soon.
Update: I have tried the cheaper ones – read the reviews here.
5. Occasional pimples
I couldn’t say for certain that this product is safe for pimple-prone skin because I was never completely pimple-free when using this cream.
For those who are keen to know the ingredients to Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, here goes:
- PROPYLENE GLYCOL
- ASCORBIC ACID
- CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE
- DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER
- LAUROYL LYSINE
- ACRYLATES COPOLYMER
Based on online reviews, Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate had worked for some. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me and there was no visible improvement, be it on skin radiance or lines reduction. Also, I’m not crazy over its artificially smooth and heavy texture.
Since it had worked for many others, you may not want to write it off completely. If you are really keen on this product, perhaps you can request for a sample from Kiehl’s before committing to the full-sized bottle. Rating: 3/5
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