Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Product Review: Kiehl's Abyssine Cream +

When I reviewed Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm I was living in the relatively moderate climate of Indiana. I test drove that product solely out of dedication to you, Gentle Reader. Now I'm in southern California, which is a desert. You wanna know how I can tell I'm in a desert? My husband, he of the macho no skin routine, alerted me today that he has acquired crows feet in the less than two months we've been here. So while my previous reviews have been all about you, today's review of Kiehl's Abyssine Cream +, another free sample I got from Neimans, is all about me. More specifically, it's all about me fending off the wrinklitude that seems to plague this place.

Kiehl's describes this as Anti-Wrinkle Defense Cream with Survival Molecules and Coralina Extract. The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database doesn't describe it at all, but it does describe eight other Kiehl's products, which apparently range from pretty safe to pretty scary, so who knows where this product lies. Ah, but wait! Did you know you could enter the ingredients of your favorite products and Skin Deep will analyze them for you? It's true! And that is just what I did. And I want you to know the container is tiny and the ingredient list was long, but these are the sacrifices I make for you, Gentle Reader.

So what was the result? Skin Deep gave Kiehl's Abyssine Cream + a 3 on a scale from zero to ten where zero is pure as the driven snow and ten is made by Satan out of the elements of hell and packaged in the carcasses of spotted owls by child slave labor. A three constitutes a moderate hazard. So that's pretty good. The top three scariest ingredients raised only moderate (level 4) concerns. The evil trio are

  1. PEG-40 Stearate, listed 11th on the ingredient list, which raised concerns about Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), and Contamination concerns;
  2. Methylparaben, listed 16th on the ingredient list, which raised concerns about Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), and Biochemical or cellular level changes; and
  3. Phenoxyethanol, listed 15th on the ingredient list, which raised concerns about Violations, Restrictions & Warnings, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), and Occupational hazards.

To put Kiehl's Abyssine Cream +'s 3 rating in perspective, please recall from the post in which I first explored Skin Deep that a similar product, Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm, scored a 7, while Seikisho Mask White and Method Hand Wash Refill Sweet Water both scored 5s.

Enough about how good or bad this is for you, the environment, and the workers who manufacture it. Let's hear more about me.

Like Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm, the sample of Kiehl's Abyssine Cream + is packaged in a cute little tub as opposed to a horrible little packet. But unlike Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm, Kiehl's Abyssine Cream + did not smell like it would hurt me. In fact, my special olfactory consultant (a.k.a. David) could barely smell it from a foot away, which indicates it has an EXTREMELY subtle odor, if any at all. Also unlike Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm, Kiehl's Abyssine Cream + was not so thick that it felt like it applied itself before you actually touched your face. It took more than a few dabs to cover my whole face. I was so comfortable with it on my face I went ahead and applied it to my neck as well. Kiehl's Abyssine Cream + breathed about as well as Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm, which is to say you would not mistake it for anything other than a night cream. Again, like Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm, Kiehl's Abyssine Cream + did not melt into my eyes and blind me like my beloved Bullfrog (which Skin Deep rated a 7 for toxicity). Unlike Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm my skin continued to feel like my own, probably due to the lack of toxic ingredients. My skin felt like my own, but moister and softer. It didn't induce a breakout or even a single blemish. Pretty impressive given my usual spot-proneness.

This is definitely my new most favored night cream.

Click here to return to Gnomicon home page


Thalia said...

O Gentle Writer, your Product Reviews just get better and better. The sacrifices you make! And I am pleased to know that you and David both are staying moist in the desert. When I visit deserts even for a day or two, I can feel my skin, hair, and nails all getting brittle and weird. And then I become a Product (as in "I use Product in my hair") freak.

I just put some handcream on. I wonder how toxic it is. Hmmm....

Sarah said...

I haven't noticed my nails being particularly more brittle than usual (though they're pretty insanely brittle normally). My hair is dryer, but that's only helping it stay less frizzy. I haven't started my swim regimen yet, so add a daily chlorine soak on top of all this and I'm sure the hair will (a) turn blonde and (b) start breaking off post haste.

Thalia said...

So you will shortly have a cute SO CAL blonde bob! (As in haircut, not Bob.)

(Hi Bob)