Beauty brands come and go (and sometimes, return), but few modern skincare brands have been around as long as we have. The first Kiehl’s store opened in New York City’s East Village in 1851, and while it’s true that the original apothecary wasn’t quite the same store you know and love today, it says something that we’ve been around to see three centuries. During that time, we’ve built a reputation for our commitment to creating effective, responsibly-sourced formulas. We’ve also managed to launch several cult skincare products that have stood the test of time—not an easy feat when you consider how much the beauty industry has changed, even just in the past few years.
To celebrate our finest achievements, we’ve put together a guide to our best skincare products—the classics that have remained customer favorites throughout the years. Here, you’ll discover eight Kiehl’s icons with a well-deserved cult-like fanbase. We’ll also offer tips on how to use these perennial best-sellers in your skincare routine. Keep reading to discover our all-time best beauty products.
1. Ultra Facial Cleanser
First up is Ultra Facial Cleanser, our classic face wash suitable for all skin types. The creamy formula with olive-derived squalane and glycerin transforms into a light foam upon contact with water, enabling it to gently wash away dirt, excess oil, and other impurities without stripping the skin. The crowd-pleasing cleanser is also pH-balanced to help maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier and is formulated without artificial fragrances, parabens, or dyes.
Kiehl’s Tip: When washing your face or body, do so with lukewarm or cool water. Hot water can dry out your skin, leaving it feeling itchy, tight, or irritated.
2. Ultra Facial Cream
Our number-one best-selling moisturizer, Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane, is a Kiehl’s favorite around the world. This unique moisturizer, which also contains avocado oil and glacial glycoprotein, sinks into the skin immediately, providing lasting hydration for up to 24 hours. It’s non-greasy and suitable for all skin types and is clinically-demonstrated to leave the skin feeling softer and smoother (and looking visibly healthier) over time.* We recommend using it morning and night as your go-to moisturizer for balanced, hydrated skin.
*Results based on a four-week clinical test.
3. Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
You can’t get much more cult-classic than Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner(—it’s on permanent display in the Smithsonian Museum. The gentle, alcohol-free toner, which first hit shelves in the 1960s, contains a blend of Kiehl’s signature ingredients, including calendula extract and whole calendula petals. When used after cleansing, the refreshing formula helps calm and balance normal-to-oily skin. It’s also clinically-demonstrated to visibly reduce redness, enlarged pores, and blemishes for smooth, glowing skin.*
*Results based on expert grading in a four-week clinical study on 62 subjects.
4. Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion
First formulated in 1964, Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion is among our best-known skincare staples—indeed, iconoclast Andy Warhol was among its earliest fans. The refreshing formula, which contains menthol, witch hazel water, and aloe vera, helps balance and soothe oily areas after cleansing. It also doubles as a mild aftershave for men and can be used as a spot treatment on problem areas. However you use it, this gentle, mildly astringent lotion is a must-have in your Kiehl’s collection.
5. Avocado Eye Cream
With more than 1,300 five-star reviews on Kiehls.com, our transformative Avocado Eye Cream is definitely a cult classic. The grassy-green formula, made with avocado oil, shea butter, and beta-carotene, provides all-day hydration to help prevent early signs of visible aging. The hydrating cream absorbs instantly, immediately improving the look and feel of under-eye skin texture. With consistent use, it’s also clinically-demonstrated to help reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles, leaving the eye area looking brighter and fresher over time.* The gentle yet intensely hydrating formula is dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested and is suitable for use morning and night.
*Results based upon expert grading evaluated with the product in a four-week clinical test.
Kiehl’s Tip: Our Avocado Eye Cream also doubles as an under-eye makeup primer. Smooth on a small amount and let it absorb before applying your makeup to help blur your under-eye skin texture and improve the longevity of your makeup for a look that lasts all day.
6. Creme de Corps
No list of Kiehl’s classics is complete without Creme de Corps Body Lotion with Cocoa Butter. The fast-absorbing, non-greasy lotion first hit Kiehl’s shelves nearly 40 years ago and has been a best-seller ever since. With cocoa butter, squalane, and shea butter, this rich moisturizer helps soften and smooth dry skin, leaving it feeling elegantly moisturized. It’s suitable for all skin types and can be used daily after showering as part of your regular body care routine.
Kiehl’s Tip: To help trap in moisture, smooth your body lotion on while your skin is still damp. Reapply to dry areas throughout the day as needed for soft, nourished skin.
7. Amino Acid Shampoo
No matter your hair type or texture, Amino Acid Shampoo can help you achieve softer, fuller-looking strands. The classic formula, which contains fairly-traded coconut oil and hydrolyzed amino acids, provides a gentle yet thorough clean to help rid the hair of impurities. The mild shampoo also helps boost volume and adds shine for hair that looks and feels its best.
8. Amino Acid Conditioner
No haircare routine is complete without a gentle conditioner, and all hair types can enjoy the benefits of our much-loved Amino Acid Conditioner. The creamy formula with coconut oil and jojoba oil helps maintain hair’s natural moisture balance, leaving it feeling soft and healthy-looking. It also helps strengthen the hair and improves manageability. To use it, comb a generous amount through your wet hair after lathering up with Amino Acid Shampoo, then let it sit for up to two minutes before rinsing (again, with lukewarm water). Towel-dry your hair and style as usual for sleek, shiny-looking strands.