[Review] Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

As the year closes to summer season, my skin has had its fair share of breakouts and I decided to switch over from Mizon All in 1 Black Snail Repair Cream to Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-free Gel cream. Having combination skin has always made it difficult to find a moisturiser suitable for both the oily and dehydrated zones, and this gel cream caught my attention for its promise to give 24-hour hydration to oily and normal skin types, complete with a cooling, shine-free fresh effect that also works to regulate excess sebum production and minimize pores overtime. Hoping over to COSDNA, the gel cream has a moderate safety rating and should be safe for most sensitive skin. Exact list of ingredients below:

Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Carbomer, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Dimethiconol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Menthoxypropanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer.

Notably, it contains glacial glycoprotein sourced from Antarctica sea glaciers that claims to deeply hydrate and maintain skin moisture balance, as well as micronized amino acids to control sebum.

How to Use

Easy application of a coin-sized amount with your fingers to clean skin and gently tap to absorb fully during morning and night.  The gel cream has a mild alcohol scent, a gluey white consistency that is bouncy to touch and easily spread into the skin in a couple of minutes.


I usually wear this after my serums, and even then, found the hydration levels lacking. While it definitely leaves a refreshing cooling sensation on the skin, many water gel cream such as Laneige, Biotherm and Neutrogena does the same, some at a much lower price. In terms of deep layer hydration, I simply felt the effect was not long-lasting enough, and did not give my skin the usual hydrated, soft bouncy feel representative of a good moisturiser. Also, it did nothing to regulate sebum and I often find my face oily just after a couple of hours during humid days. It is decent for a light day moisturiser before sunscreens and make-up does go on well without caking, but I would very much prefer a thorough moisturiser at night!

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