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Product Reviews

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate: ($43/$68 for 1.0 oz/1.7 oz)

Positives: This contains high amounts of several fantastic emollients and humectants such as squalane, and the jojoba, rose hip and evening primose oils, the latter two of which respectively, also function as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Although, rose hip oil has only demonstrated this when taken orally, but it still functions an emollient regardless. There are also moderate amounts of vitamin E and low amounts of the antioxidant turmeric. Finally, there are low amounts of the calming cucumber extract.

Neutrals: This contains moderate amounts of the rosemary (leaf) essential oil. Rosemary, when taken orally or intravenously, has exhibited anti-carcinogenic properties due to its many antioxidant components such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid. However, no well-designed topical study has been done, so I can’t know if its really beneficial or not. However, I do know that the leaves of the rosemary plant contain high concentrations of camphor, which can be very irritating due to its similarity to menthol. And of course, like most essential oils, this ingredient can cause allergic reactions when applied topically. Taken as a whole, I’m just not sure if rosemary is more beneficial than harmful, or vice versa.

Negatives: There are high amounts of the coriander seed oil. Unlike rosemary, which at least has some demonstrated benefits, coriander does not. However, it can cause pointless irritation, especially at such high concentrations. Similarly, the lavender essential oil is also present. Though lavender oil has been demonstrated to aid in wound healing, unless you’ve got frequent open sores on your face or skin, that means hardly anything. And since lavender been shown to be cytotoxic and photosensitizing in vitro, it shouldn’t even be applied to open wounds, though that’s debatable and beyond the scope of this review. On healthy skin, lavender oil probably doesn’t have much function at all, though there is always the potential for irritation. Finally, there are moderate to low amounts of fragrances, some of which are derived from lavender oil, like linalool, citronellol, geraniol, limonene, citral, and sclareolide. Though they do slightly enhance penetration, there isn’t much to help penetrate into the skin that’s worth the irritation.

Packaging: This employs dropper packaging.

Overall: I’m definitely not loving this product and would not recommend it to anyone. You’re better off creating your own mixture of the non-fragrant oils present in this product than actually using it. I’d say that Kiehl’s should position this as an eau de toilette.


If packaged in a DROPPER BOTTLE: PS = [[[PIS – [(NI1 x MHS1) + (NI2 x MHS2) + … + (NI8 x MHS8)]] x WIC] + [TPS x WPC]] x 100%

PS = [[[PIS – [(1/10 x 3/3) + (1/10 x 2/3) + 3*(1/0 x 2/3) + 3*(1/10 x 1/3)]] x WIC] + [2/3 x 1/3]] x 100%

PS = [[[6/10- [3/30 + 2/30 + 6/30 + 3/30]] x 2/3] + 2/9] x 100%

PS = [[[18/30 – 14/30] x 2/3] + 2/9] x 100%

PS = [[4/30 x 2/3] + 2/9] x 100%

PS = [8/90 + 20/90] x 100%

PS = 28/90 x 100%

PS = .311 x 100%

PS = 31.1%

AS = F-

If packaged in a PUMP BOTTLE or TUBE: PS = [[[PIS – [(NI1 x MHS1) + (NI2 x MHS2) + … + (NI8 x MHS8)]] x WIC] + [TPS x WPC]] x 100%

PS = [[[PIS – [(1/10 x 3/3) + (1/10 x 2/3) + 3*(1/0 x 2/3) + 3*(1/10 x 1/3)]] x WIC] + [3/3 x 1/3]] x 100%

PS = [[[6/10- [3/30 + 2/30 + 6/30 + 3/30]] x 2/3] + 3/9] x 100%

PS = [[[18/30 – 14/30] x 2/3] + 3/9] x 100%

PS = [[4/30 x 2/3] + 3/9] x 100%

PS = [8/90 + 30/90] x 100%

PS = 38/90 x 100%

PS = .422 x 100%

PS = 42.2%

AS = F-

Check the Product Review Rubric for a full explanation on how I rate products.


Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lavender Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Linalool, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Limonene, Citral, Sclareolide, Rose Flower Oil, Jasmine Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil.

About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


4 thoughts on “Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

  1. ” Kiehl’s should position this as an eau de toilette.” Haha brilliantly said. I was always curious of how this product performs! I’ve used samples of it and a few day’s use along with my other skincare products isn’t going to give me visible results (unless negative).

    Posted by Janessa | August 5, 2013, 5:27 pm
  2. Thank you for all your posts. Thank you for being so in- depth with each post. Helps a lot. Your awesome

    Posted by Darshini Jani | November 27, 2011, 9:18 am

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