Reviewed: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Advanced Barrier Cream


On a good day, my skin can be categorized as dry. On a not-so-good day, my skin can be categorized as very dry, and on a bad day, it gets into the extremely dry category. As a Colorado native, I’m used to dealing with dry skin, particularly when the temperatures start to drop. That’s thanks to the state’s high altitude and lack of water sources, which tend to make you feel like you just stepped into a dehydrator that zaps every drop of moisture out of your body the second you step outside. 

Since moving to New York, my skin is less dry. This makes sense, as the average humidity percentage in New York hovers somewhere around 65%, while Colorado’s average humidity percentage is just 33%. In fact, I’ve gotten used to how my skin feels in this more humid climate—it’s still dry, but it’s never been as bad as it is when I’m in my home state. 

Fast-forward to this fall. There’s no good way to describe what happened to my skin other than it started absolutely freaking out. Chalk it up to stress, poor sleep, too many hot showers, hormones, the food I was eating… I don’t know if I’ll ever know for sure what the culprit was, but it was bad.

I went from having dry skin that could be pretty well controlled with a rich face cream and a moisturizing eye product to skin with stubborn dry patches, irritated red spots, uneven texture, and overall dullness. I tried every trick up my sleeve to no avail. I stuck to very basic products that I knew didn’t irritate me and used ointments on the dry patches—you name it. I was about to throw in the towel and see if my derm could prescribe me a steroid cream when Kiehl’s new Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream came across my desk.

After a meeting to learn all about the product with the brand’s consulting dermatologist, Michelle Henry, MD, FAAD, and global scientific director, Nancy Ilaya, PhD, I had a pretty good feeling about the new cream. I thought, “What the hell” and cut out every other skincare product in my regimen to see if the barrier-repair cream could be the ticket to solving my skin woes. I figured I would give it two weeks, and if my skin was still FTFO, I’d book a dermatologist appointment ASAP. 

Spoiler alert: After two weeks of using this cream, I became a devotee. Not only did the pesky dry patches on my right eyelid and forehead nearly completely disappear, but my skin texture also smoothed out. My face also went from dull to noticeably glowy, and most importantly, I felt confident in my own skin (sans makeup) again. 



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