Revive your skin with Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - no, really.

Before I use a skincare product on my face, I always research it thoroughly. I have to be careful since I have acne-prone skin! I look for reviews - did a lot of people complain of rashes or pimples? Are they happy with the results? Will they buy it again? If the answers are negative, I can't in all good sense use the new product. I'd really rather save my skin.

It took me a while to get to the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate (P2,880). I was breaking out heavily early last April (pre-period acne is a bitch) so I wasn't going to be foolish about trying new things. When the breakouts stopped though, I really needed something to fix the damage. I already have a favorite serum but hey, I thought it was worth a gander since it received heaps of good reviews.

I won't beat around the bush - this Kiehl's serum is the bomb. It's amazing. I've used it for over a month now and it did exactly as it promised, which is to revive my dull, flaky, blemish-ridden skin. It put me off at first because it is pure oil, not like serums that come in gel textures that sink on skin. But that's a minor compromise; this oil really knows how to moisturize and keep skin supple.

What's in it? The Kiehl's MRC is a potent mix of squalane, evening primrose oil, jojoba seed oil, vitamin E (tocopherol), rosemary oil, lavender oil, and cucumber extract, to name a few. It has no parabens/ preservatives or artificial fragrance added; indeed, everything on the ingredients list looks legitimately plant-derived. 

The MRC smells strongly of lavender and primrose. I'm not crazy about it, but I like it.

How do you use it? Kiehl's recommends three drops after cleansing your face at night. This isn't enough for me though - I usually apply five or six drops to fully cover and moisturize. It feels very oily and it doesn't get absorbed so yes, it can't be used during the day, under your makeup. This is purely a night serum/moisturizer.

You can opt to apply a separate moisturizer after the MRC, but I find that's too heavy already.

What were the results? I was expecting to get a few bumps while my skin gets used to this new serum but I didn't get any, surprisingly. My skin looked fantastic in the morning the first time I used it (the night before). My face felt very smooth, hydrated, revived. Consistent use for more than a month slowly restored the texture of my skin to its former glory. It didn't help lighten blemishes, unfortunately, but I'll take what I can get.

How does it compare to the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrate? Okay, I'll address the elephant in the room since I have sworn on the Estee Lauder ANR before. Both serums are amazing - the best I've tried to date - and they do more or less the same thing for your face. They both repair and replenish skin.

The ANR is a gel-type serum that is absorbed completely, but it's not moisturizing on its own. It does help slightly lighten blemishes and soften fine lines in my experience, whereas the Kiehl's MRC is mainly for hydration.

The ANR is at P4,800 a bottle (50ml, ~P3,500 for 30ml), while the Kiehl's is P2,880 for 30ml. I love the ANR (it's more hardcore) but for regular use I think that the MRC is better simply because I don't need to add moisturizer afterwards.

Verdict and recommendations. The Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is now my favorite night serum/ moisturizer. Whether you have oily or dry skin, you should definitely try it if you're looking for something to revive your skin effectively, with no fuss. :) 

You can find Kiehl's stores in Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 5, Alabang Town Center, and TriNoma. Follow the Kiehl's Manila Facebook Page for updates and promos!