Beauty News

101 Guide To Kiehl’s

Last Updated: 17/01/2024

A hand picking up the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and adding it to a basket of other Kiehl’s products including a toner and eye cream.

The chances are, you’ve probably come across at least one of Kiehl’s products in your lifetime – whether that be the daily moisturiser currently sitting on your vanity desk or the serum that’s constantly being recommended by your friends.  

And if you haven’t? That’s where we come in… Here at Cult Beauty, we believe everyone should have the pleasure of being introduced to the skin care specialist. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do! From uncovering everything you need to know about the brand’s history to the best Kiehl’s products to add to your basket, it’s time to get acquainted with your next beauty obsession… 


Kiehl’s is more than just a skin, body and hair care brand; it’s a pioneer and leader too. Since opening its doors back in 1851, it’s been celebrated for its unique combinations of pharmaceutical, herbal and dermatologist expertise. Meeting the needs of its customers, Kiehl’s prides itself on sourcing high quality and scientifically advanced ingredients that respect, restore and revive our skin barrier. The result? A happy, hydrated and healthy-looking glow.


Founded in 1851 as an old-world apothecary, Kiehl’s story began serving patrons homeopathic and herbal remedies at the corner of 13th Street and Third Avenue, New York. But it wasn’t until 1894, when pharmacist John Kiehl took over the apothecary and transformed it into Kiehl’s Pharmacy. After working alongside his apprentice – Mr Irving Morse – for many years, John decided to hand over the business to his esteemed colleague. It was at this moment Irving started to expand the pharmacy’s offering, serving his customers with everything from teas and herbs to the brand’s first ever product – the Original Musk Oil. And the rest is as they say, history. 


Even though Kiehl’s has been changing the face of the skin care industry for over 170 years, the brand doesn’t seem to be running out of steam anytime soon. With that in mind, we’ve picked out just some of the fun facts that’s made it the household name it is today… 

  1.  In 1922, Irving Morse made ‘try before you buy’ the brand’s unofficial motto. Why? Because he understood the power of personalised skin care services, along with the benefits of sampling. This concept was so successful, it remained Kiehl’s mantra for 95 years. 
  2. Before it even became US law, Kiehl’s was one of the first companies to proudly display all its ingredients on its product labels, back in 1924. This was not only to inform its customers, but to help them confidently make purchases too.  
  3. Continuing to put education at the forefront of beauty, the brand introduced its famed mascot – Mr Bones. Invented by Aaron Morse when he took over the company in the 1950s, the human skeleton was a way to encourage people to learn about their conditions and aliments.  Today, you won’t find a Kiehl’s store without him! 
  4. Proving its success and paying homage to its pharmaceutical accomplishments, by 1979 more than 103 Kiehl’s products and artefacts were introduced into the Smithsonian National Museum’s permanent collection of the Division of Medicine and Science. 
  5. Celebrated for its scientifically-backed blends, Kiehl’s signature Dermatologist Solutions collection became a fan favourite in 2005. Developed in collaboration with an advisory panel of leading dermatologists, this range targets and tackles specific skin concerns and beauty woes.


Specifically formulated to deeply nourish the skin both instantly and over time, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Barrier Balm Stick strengthens your protective barrier while serving up a daily dose of moisture. Fusing squalane and ceramides, the fan-favourite formula softens complexions while aiding in the resistance of external aggressors. 

We can’t talk about the brand’s most popular products without mentioning Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Aptly dubbed as the ‘ultra hydrator’, the daily moisturiser is supercharged with glacial glycoproteins originally sourced from Antarctic glaciers, to deeply nourish, maintain and balance your skin’s moisture levels. What’s more, it’s been tested in everyday and extreme environments – so you can rest assured knowing your complexion is protected when walking down the high-street or hiking up Everest.  

Working hard to restore your complexion as you sleep, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate protects your skin’s moisture barrier while boosting dew-drenching results. Powered by a potent blend of botanicals rich in lipids, antioxidants and vitamins, this serum smooths fine lines, enhances elasticity and hides tired eyes. Now, that’s what we call beauty sleep! 

Serving up one of your five a day, Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado is bursting with all the nutrients and goodness your peepers crave. Blending beta carotene with shea butter, the creamy formula simultaneously brightens and hydrates your delicate skin, while doubling up as a mask, to give your complexion an intense dose of TLC as and when it needs.  

The ultimate get-up-and-go duo, Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Starter Kit is ideal for kick starting your specialised skin care routine. While the Facial Fuel Energising Face Wash awakens your complexion with its daily dose of caffeine, the Facial Fuel Energising Moisture Treatment shields your dermis against any environmental aggressors you may face during the day. 

Award-winning for good reason, Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum visibly softens the look of fine lines while soothing signs of discomfort associated with typical retinol use. Infused with peptides and ceramides, it’s specifically formulated to deliver pure retinol, while restoring your protective barrier’s tolerance to potent potions. Think of it like your complexion’s own bodyguard. 


Trifonia Asmar

Trifonia Asmar

Senior SEO Copywriter

Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.