Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence ~ Review ~

As an Asian, I somehow feel obligated to incorporate facial essence into my skincare routine. These watery textured products might be add an extra step, but they truly makes a difference if you want to layer your skincare items. After a my SK-II attempt gone awry, I turned to the Western version, Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence.

The Packaging

The product comes in a 200 ml plastic bottle. When you gently shake it, the bottle dispense one drop out. This means you can easily control how much product you want to use. The bottle is purple, which I think helps preventing the light from damaging the properties of the ingredients and aesthetically adds sophistication to a plastic bottle.


This is probably not the most gentle formula in the world. It contains alcohol denat. and perfume. But still, the ingredients list is quite short and you get something beneficial such as hyaluronic acid, LHA, and adenosine, which help with hydration, gently exfoliates the skin, and promotes cells communication respectively. Kiehl’s categorized this essence as their anti-aging product that can be used with all skin types.

How I Use It

Every morning and evening, after washing my face I dispense around 3 to 4 drops onto my palm. I spread the product all over my face then use my palms to press the product into my skin until it feels tacky (a good kind of tacky). After that I follow with my my eye cream and rosehip oil. When I use a sheet mask I do apply this essence first, then sheet mask, then eye cream and rosehip oil. In the morning I apply a sunscreen as the last step, while in the evening I finish my routine with a thick moisturizer.


My skin feels much more hydrated after using this. After followed up with the rest of my routine my skin feels well moisturized and looks glowy. My mom also confirms that my skin looks healthier than before. My fine lines are still there but because the skin is more plumped I think they became less noticeable. The scent is very nice and soothing. It helps me feel calmed and relaxed.

Final Thoughts

I’d definitely recommend this product for everyone to try out. The perfume and the alcohol don’t feel overwhelmed at all, but still, you should be careful if you have sensitive skin. I have tried a couple versions of  Hada Labo and SK-II essences in the past. I must say I love the Kiehl’s one the best, mainly because it feels so refreshing to use. To me it is more hydrated than the SK-II and my skin doesn’t react to it. Compares to the Hada Labo I would say the hydration level is about the same.  If you’re on a budget and don’t concern so much about anti-aging properties, I think the original Hada Labo one should suffice. Having said that I know that Hada Labo also have a retinol essence, which I might be trying out in the future.

To me this Kiehl’s esssence makes me look forward to my skincare routine. It feels like an addiction and I just want to come home and use it. It also triggers me to explore more Kiehl’s products and I’ve been eyeing some 😉

Have you tried any facial essence?

Purchasing note:
Bought from: Central Online Shopping (Thailand)
Price: 1,700 baht (discounted from 2,000 baht)
Made in U.S.A.

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