Can kiehls ultra facial cream help you fight aging?

One inevitable fact of life is that we will all get older. As we do, our bodies will start to exhibit many symptoms of that aging. Our skin will start to wrinkle and showing fine lines. We may develop a dark spot or our skin texture may decline. All of these are aesthetic changes that will begin to take place as we grow older. But what if we could slow that process down? 

In this article, we’re going to explore the most pressing result of aging on the skin and face — wrinkles — as well as some potential solutions. Then, we’ll dive into an in-depth analysis of Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream to help you determine if it can truly help you fight aging in your life.

Wrinkles and Fine Lines

The first and most prevalent symptom of aging is wrinkles and fine lines. While it may seem logical to presume that both of these symptoms are just different names for the same issue, that is not the case. There is a small nuance that differentiates wrinkles from fine lines. As Kiehl’s writes, fine lines are “often one of the first” signs of aging on a person’s skin. They may begin to appear around the eyes and other areas of the face. These shallow lines tend to form along expression lines that appear when you smile, laugh, or frown. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, fine lines are created when you repeatedly contract the same muscles in your face fay after day.

In contrast, wrinkles are more prominent and harder to reduce the appearance of, says L’Oréal. They add that with continued use of those same muscles, those fine lines can mature and turn into deep wrinkles that become permanent. Wrinkles tend to appear in areas where the skin naturally folds during facial expressions, just like fine lines. However, they also tend to appear on parts of the body that receive the most sun exposure, such as the face and neck, the back of the hands, and the arms, says Medical News Today.

woman pointing out the fine lines on her face

The Science

Let’s take a moment to understand the science behind wrinkles and fine lines. The most prominent cause of wrinkles and fine lines is aging. As you get older, your skin naturally becomes less elastic and more fragile. Decreased production of natural oils leads to dry skin, which in turn makes your skin appear more wrinkled.

The Cleveland Clinic offers a more detailed explanation of this process. They write that as people age, their “skin cells divide more slowly.” As a result of that, the middle layer of their skin — the dermis — begins to thin. The dermis is made up of a network of elastin and collagen fibers, both of which play critical roles in offering your skin support and elasticity. This network loosens and breaks down over time, leading to depression on the aging skin surface. They add that “aging skin” is less able to “retain moisture,” less efficiently secreting oil, and overall heals slower. All of these factors play a part in the formation of wrinkles.

Another major culprit that causes wrinkles and fine lines are photoaging, or changes that occur due to exposure to the sun. The National Center for Biotechnology asserts that photoaging is responsible for 80 percent of wrinkles! Let’s try and understand how the sun causes wrinkles.

When ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate the skin’s dermal layer, it causes the breakdown of our much-needed collagen and elastin, writes ColoreScience. Note that those are the same essential compounds that begin to wear down as we age. As such, repeated UV exposure deters our collagen and elastin, which in turn causes our skin to sag and wrinkle.

Although this next cause of wrinkles is less common, it is still worth mentioning. WebMD states that smoking is another factor that inhibits your skin’s collagen production. As we know, collagen plays a huge role in maintaining skin firmness and elasticity.

upclose photo of woman's sun damaged skin


Now that we have a solid understanding of what causes wrinkles and fine lines let’s move on to what we can do about it. There are two approaches: treating wrinkles that have already developed and preventing them from ever developing. We’ll look at a few options in both cases.

In terms of prevention, here are some tips:


Many doctors support the claim that using a moisturizer regularly will help slow down the skin’s aging process. Ranella Hirsch, M.D. told Byrdie that “thirsty skin lacks radiance and bounce,” which can make fine lines and wrinkles appear more prominent. She advises people to hydrate their skin well using a good moisturizer, especially if they have naturally dry skin. She also adds that drinking plenty of water can help with hydration.

Protect your skin

Another key way to prevent wrinkles is regularly using skin protection, such as sunscreen. According to a 2013 study, consistent sunscreen use slowed down the signs of aging skin.

Use retinol

Many dermatologists support using retinol to help slow down your skin’s aging. Retinol, sometimes referred to as retinoids, is derived from vitamin A — one of the most studied anti-aging ingredients. Products that include retinol as an ingredient can often increase collagen production, which helps plump up the skin. Retinol can also encourage skin regeneration and promote the creation of new blood vessels, which may improve your skin texture and overall appearance, says Healthline.


What about treating wrinkles that have already formed? Well, there are a variety of options. Here are a few of the most common choices for treating wrinkles:


As we mentioned in preventing wrinkles, retinol-based products can also work to treat wrinkles that have already developed. These products are available in varying types and concentrations; over-the-counter (OTC) products will have a significantly lower concentration than prescriptions. It is wise to consult your doctor before pursuing any skin care product.


Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure that involves the controlled wearing away, or abrasion, of the upper layers of skin using a rapidly rotating device. This process can cause scabbing, swelling, and changes in skin tone. Although these symptoms tend to fade away after a few weeks, some signs may remain after several months. Desired results will not be apparent immediately, and you may not see progress for several months.


This is another cosmetic option to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. A professional will inject small doses of Botox into targeted muscles. Botox works by blocking the chemical signals which cause muscles to contract. Since the muscles can no longer tighten, the skin flattens and thus looks less wrinkled and smoother. Note that the results achieved via Botox are temporary and only last a few months.


Cosmetic professionals will often use soft tissue fillers such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, or fat to improve the appearance of wrinkles. This process involves injecting fillers into deeper face wrinkles to give the skin more volume.

woman getting botox injected into her face

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream

Now that we’ve thoroughly understood what happens when our skin ages, how we can prevent it, and how we can treat it, it’s time to get into the focal point of this article: Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. Finding a good all-purpose moisturizer is a notoriously difficult task. You might have oily skin, dry skin, or even combination skin, all of which have different individual needs requiring other products. Maybe you have sensitive skin or especially acne-prone skin. When it comes to our face, everyone is unique and thus requires unique attention.

Enter Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream. The product was originally launched in 2006 and has since been reformulated with a paraben-free formula in 2019. The company drew on decades of clinical research to craft the perfect combination of ingredients that keeps your skin hydrated, soft, and protected. This ultra facial moisturizer has received critical acclaim, winning the beauty award over 70 times internationally! Let’s get into why this cream might be an effective anti-aging product.

What Is It?

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream is an industry-standard for moisturizers. The product claims to offer 24-hour moisturization with just one application. If that assertion holds, you can effectively use this product once daily, making it one of the best night cream choices. It also states that, after using this product, your facial skin will be 2.3x more hydrated. Kiehl’s says that they formulated and tested this product on all skin tones, textures, and types. That means you can use this product without worrying that it isn’t suitable for dry skin or your medium-shade skin tone. They also add that the cream is just as effective for men!

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream successfully addresses the two fundamental functions of a good moisturizer: hydrating and protecting your skin. According to their website, clinical studies performed on this product showed that 96% of users had a stronger skin barrier, 97% showed immediate improvement in skin dryness, and 98% felt softer skin after use. Let’s get into how exactly they can achieve this level of efficacy.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
Photo Source: Amazon



This facial cream is unlike many others in one distinct way: it features a wide variety of ingredients as opposed to only a few. While many other products choose a minimalist and conservative approach to formulating their creams, Kiehl’s opted to find the perfect and most effective combination regardless of how many ingredients it took. Consequently, this product is made up of nearly 40 different ingredients! Now, we won’t waste your time going through each one and explaining its role. However, we will address the key active ingredients and how they work to keep your skin healthy.


The first key ingredient is squalane. Squalane is a colorless poly-unsaturated hydrocarbon liquid naturally found in many plants and animals, including the human body. Healthline writes that it “mimics your skin’s natural oils,” making it an excellent emollient. Also, note that squalane is a natural antioxidant and has anti-tumor properties, both of which protect your skin against pollutants.

Squalane offers many benefits to your skin. First, it boosts hydration to help your skin appear more vibrant and healthier. The antioxidant properties of squalane also fight against skin damage and free radicals, which can accelerate the aging process. Regular use of squalane can boost collagen production, which results in firmer skin.

Kiehl’s writes that they use squalane derived from olives due to its affinity to skin. In their formula, Squalane serves to help strengthen and restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier.


The next major ingredient that this facial cream boasts is glycerin. Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is a natural compound derived from vegetable oils or animal fats. It is a clear, colorless, odorless, and viscous liquid with a sweet taste. Glycerin is an effective humectant, which means it is a moisturizing agent that pulls water into the outer layer of your skin from the deeper levels of your skin and the air. A 2016 study found that glycerin was the most powerful humectant for increasing skin hydration, even when competing against top humectants such as hyaluronic acid and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) sorbitol, and urea.

liquid glycerin

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, glycerin can:

  • hydrate the outermost layer of the skin
  • improve skin barrier function
  • protect the skin from skin irritants
  • accelerate the wound-healing process
  • relieve dry skin

In Kiehl’s formula, glycerin stays true to its role as a humectant. They write on their product page that glycerin works to retain moisture and help soften the skin in this cream. They add that it is highly compatible with our skin and naturally occurring.

Glacial Glycoproteins

Another key ingredient that Kiehl’s uses in this product are glacial glycoproteins. Glycoproteins, simply put, are just proteins with sugars attached. They’re considered peptides and naturally present on our skin’s surface and throughout the body. Paula’s Choice writes that glycoproteins work well with ingredients like “glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acids” to keep the skin intact, smooth, and healthy-looking. The website adds that these proteins also enhance the skin’s natural resilience by reinforcing the skin barrier.

So what about glacial glycoproteins? Glacial glycoproteins are a type of protein derived from sea glaciers to help protect the skin while deeply hydrating it. They achieve this by locking in moisture and preventing water loss from the skin. ProCoal says that glacial glycoproteins work exceptionally well with squalene in moisturizing agents, which supports Kiehl’s choice to include both ingredients in this product.

Kiehl’s writes on their product page that their glycoproteins are sourced from Antarctic Sea glaciers, and they help to hydrate and maintain your skin’s moisture balance deeply.

older woman with healthy tight skin

Public Consensus

Now that we understand the premise of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, let’s consider an equally important aspect: the public consensus. What do people have to say about this cream?

On their website, this product has received a 4.7/5 star rating from 4,032 reviews. One pleased consumer said that they “love this ultra-facial cream.” They added that it’s lightweight, and you won’t feel oily or sticky after applying it. Another happy buyer said this product is “very soothing to the skin.” They also loved that it’s an odorless cream.

The public opinion was largely the same on Amazon. This product generated a global rating of 4.6/5 stars from 1,731 ratings. One satisfied consumer said that this cream “goes on very smooth and absorbs easily.” They added that a little goes a long way with this moisturizer, so a small jar lasts them a long time. Another happy buyer said that this is the “best facial moisturizer for ultra-dry skin” and that it does not clog their pores.

The masses seem to love this product for its exceptional hydrating and protective qualities.

Wrapping Up

It’s abundantly clear that Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream is one of the best moisturizers today. Not only does it offer 24-hour hydration, but it also maintains optimal levels throughout that period. We also know that moisturizing daily is a great way to prevent the development of wrinkles and fine lines. That makes this cream a suitable anti-aging product to defend against the breakdown of your skin. However, little to no research supports the conclusion that any of the active ingredients in this cream will treat wrinkles or even reduce their appearance.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is a superb moisturizer that delivers on all its claims. As for its value as an anti-aging weapon, know it isn’t an end-all solution. 

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