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Nighttime moisture retention with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate



Can’t believe it’s been months since I last did a product review. I guess that’s because I don’t usually do makeup reviews (which you can expect once in a blue moon), and that skincare products take time to test out and see if they work.

I remember I got myself this product because I was looking for a legit nighttime facial oil to protect the natural moistures and overall integrity of my skin.

By legit, I mean sans the harmful chemicals and other substances that are prevalent in the standard commercial cosmetic product, which, I’m also going to do a post about soon. Some things I tend to avoid (whenever I can) include parabenspropylene glycol, and SLS/SLES (sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate). But, again, I’ll be talking more about this in the future.

What matters now is that Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is free from any of those skin-irritating, hormone-disrupting, cancer-causing ingredients.

INGREDIENTS: 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

What it’s formulated to do: This lightweight, readily-absorbed elixir effectively restores skin’s healthy appearance overnight, resulting in smoother, more radiant complexion by morning. Enriched with Squalane, a botanical lipid similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids, Evening Primrose Oil, rich in Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Essential Oils including Lavender, our formula provides a boost of essential moisture to depleted skin. These natural oils instantly penetrate the skin surface to help replenish it.

Our recovery concentrate works at night when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors. With skin hydrated, supple and soft, rest assured you can say goodnight to tired-looking skin.

Paraben free.

Fragrance free.

Mineral Oil free.

Kiehl’s also highlights three potent ingredients in the concentrate and their purported effects on the skin:

  • Evening primrose oil: ‘an effective on skin barrier repair and boosting radiance.’
  • Lavender essential oil: ‘helps soothe inflamed or irritated skin while helping reduce skin blotchiness for a more even look. Creates a brighter and more radiant look to skin.’
  • Squalane: (a signature Kiehl’s ingredient) ‘a botanical lipid that is similar in molecular structure to natural skin lipids. It has an exceptional affinity to skin, and because it’s easily absorbed, Squalane helps restore skin’s natural moisture balance to keep it extra soft and supple.’


With everything Kiehl’s have to say about their Midnight Recovery Concentrate, its 99.8% naturally-derived compounds, as well as its winner label of 22 international skincare awards, there’s really no more form of persuasion needed for me to grab it right away.


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First of all, it works. The concentrate, which is suitable for all skin types, delivers most of the things it’s promised to do, particularly on leaving the skin looking plump and rested by morning.

It comes in three neat sizes: 30ml, 50ml, and 100ml. I grabbed the tiniest one that was tagged at IDR 575,000, which was proven to have lasted me for this long. I figured it’ll be great for traveling, since it’s a handy bottle no larger than your palm.

Considering the amount of pure botanical oils they’ve concocted into this elixir, it’s no surprise that there’s a distinct, lusty aroma that sends you the pleasant chills before an aromatherapy sesh. Seriously, the fragrance itself is a luxurious treat by its own rights. Some days I squeezed a drop or two of it and massaged it on my temples for a good minute. Just sniffing off the strong lavender smell in this brew lifts the aches and the stress out of your system right away.

As you can see, two drops make a clear, non-greasy formula. It’s so lightweight that it easily penetrates the skin.


I must admit, I use about 4-5 drops on each application (directions say use 2-3 drops only). Anything less than that would only cover your whole forehead and a little chin, and anything more will literally just grease you out. I did that one time and couldn’t sleep all night because of that oily-waxy feel all over my face.

Another thing to point out: This concentrate really works best while it’s dark outside and you’re asleep. You already know that I haven’t got much sleep throughout the time I’ve been using this product, so my oily/combination skin is starting to get dull and flaky no matter how much H2O I down throughout the day. On days I get little or no sleep, I applied this under my makeup to hopefully achieve that healthy, restored, and well-rested look. Some days it’s effective, but most of the time it doesn’t. If your ultimate goal is that glowing and radiant complexion of Princess Aurora, I highly suggest a consistent use of the concentrate before going to sleep at night – that is, if you’ve got the sleep aspect of your beauty regimen covered. Without a proper sleep routine, there’s really no single product out there that can help restore your skin.

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While I wish I could go on raving about this product like the tons of reviewers out there, fact is, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate wasn’t as restorative and nourishing as it seems. I have myself to blame for all the flare-ups, breakouts, and migraines from my restless nights, but other than that, you have to give it at least good month before you start to see changes that last, and that is only if you apply the concentrate on most nights a week.

The dramatic overnight-recovery promise was a lie, although you’ll definitely see a clearer, calmer, smoother, and softer skin by morning. As soon as you wake up, those red spots are certainly less obvious, leaving the face looking more even-toned and balanced. But by lunchtime, your blotchy complexion returns. You have to continue patting the concentrate on your face on a nightly basis to condition your skin. It’s like working your way up to uncover the skin’s natural glow. Otherwise, those blotches, dry patches, and overall redness aren’t really going anywhere with this concentrate.


I still have about a third left in the bottle before I empty it, and am still considering whether I’d repurchase it. If I do I’ll be snagging the biggest bottle in the counter and applying it more diligently.

We’re talking years, as I can see myself sticking with this product in the long run to do 5 things: even out complexion, manage sebum levels, maintain youthful glow, build skin resilience over time, and delay wrinkles and age spots.

Like I said, it works, but you have to keep using it to achieve lasting effects. In the meantime, I’m on a hunt the facial oil that I hope will be more potent for my skin.

After my experience with Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, I consider facial oils as a luxury/an additional product in my beauty regimen, as opposed to necessities like cleansers, toners, moisturizers, exfoliators and targeted treatments. I was scavenging for facial oils for several reasons: The rise of its popularity in recent years, how tons of celebrities have sworn by it, and that I’m approaching my mid-20s with my mom’s wisdom implanted in the back of my head (“start early while you can”). But for the most part, I was hoping to skip a couple of steps to my skincare routine because I’m so lazy.

Looks like the facial oil will never be a substitute for cleansers, toners, and/or moisturizers. At my age, it’s only there to pamper your skin and make you feel like a princess (which is nice).


Looking to try Kiehl’s elixir soon? Come back and let me know how it works out for you.



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