Before I moved to Shanghai, I went on a spending spree on products that would help me fight pollution and detox the skin whilst I was here in China. Coming from Australia, where the climate and environment was much more 'tolerable' and cleaner, finding something to help protect my skin was of much importance to me (see this post here). I would often find myself looking for products which had anti-pollution claims by way of offering me protection from the new environment I was about to enter.
One of the products that I stumbled upon and that had just been released at the time was the Kiehl's Cilantro & Orange Extract Pollutant and Defending Masque. I bought this very much on a whim, without much research of the product itself. All I knew at the time was that this mask was designed to help defend the skin from pollutants and aimed to detoxify the skin of any free radicals using plant extracts. A quick skim of the ingredients at the Kiehl's counter, revealed nothing too alarming, so I happily purchased it (and the sales person was just so lovely too, I couldn't say no!). I have used this mask a few times now, and whilst it is a nice mask, whereby it does have a somewhat noticeable effect on the skin, it really hasn't wowed me.
What is It:
The Kiehls Cilantro and Orange Masque is basically an overnight facial mask which aims to defend the skin from pollutants and impurities from the environment. It helps to replenish the skin and to minimise the effect of pollution on the skin from using ingredients such as orange and cilantro (coriander for those Aussies out there).
What Does It Do:
As mentioned earlier, this mask works to replenish and restore the skin from the effects of pollution. When used on a regular basis, Kiehls claims that it will brighten and lift dull skin for a healthier complexion. It also claims to defend and over time strengthen the skin from environmental aggressors. Using natural extracts such as orange - an antioxidant - to fight free radicals and cilantro to help strengthen the skin barrier, this overnight mask will help to purify and strengthen the skin.
Aqua/Water, Propanediol, Butyrospemum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Arginine, Glyceryl Stearate, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil/Apricot Kernel Oil, Lauroyl Lysine, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Olea Europaea Oil/ Olive Fruit Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Squalane, Neohesperidin Dihydrochalcone, Coriandrum Sativum Seed Oil/Coriander Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Saccharum Officinarum Extract/Sugar Cane Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Ferulic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Water/Orange Fruit Water, Citrus Limon Fruit Extract/Lemon Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil/Lavender Oil, Mentha Piperita Oil/Peppermint Oil, Oryza Sativa Bran Oil/Rice Bran Oil, Acer Saccharum Extract/Sugar Maple Extract, CI 77288/Chromium Oxide Greens, Linalool, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Sunflower Seed Oil, Phytic Acid, Limonene, Citral, Geraniol, Citric Acid
As you can see from the ingredients listing this particular product is heavy in emollients, oils and essential oils (which gives the product its very strong smell). I noticed that this did have Lavender Oil in it which I generally react to, but I did not react from this.
From using this mask, I established that I hate overnight/sleeping masks. I think it is because I just do not like that 'sticky' feeling that I got from using this and the thought of the mask transferring on to my pillow did not really appeal to me. To use this mask properly (or as per instructions) you are supposed to apply a thick layer of this after cleansing and after about 5 minutes - tissue off the excess to leave a thin layer on the skin. Once you have tissued the excess, leave the mask on overnight and the next morning, follow your normal skincare routine.
I tried this method twice and I really just didn't love the feeling of this mask on my face overnight. It was thick and heavy and overall not pleasant for me. This was more a personal preference as many of you may know, I just do not like that 'heavy' feeling on my face. Nowadays, when I use this mask, I apply a nice layer over the top of my skin after cleansing and just leave it on for as long as possible (an hour or more) before I wash the mask off.
When using the Kiehls Orange and Cilantro Mask (using both methods), I feel that my skin does feel very clean, refreshed and hydrated. This is most likely due to the orange and cilantro extracts that give it that 'fresh' smell and feeling but also due to the high amount of essential oils and emollients found in this mask. From the ingredients list you can see its packed full of healthy essential oils and natural emollients such as shea butter, ceteryl alcohol and Apricot Kernal Oil. I also find that this does have a calming effect on any angry red patches on my skin due to some of these essential oils and the fact it does feel quite moisturising (and probably why it feels so 'heavy' on the skin).
The smell of this is quite strong. If you are sensitive to smells, I highly recommend you take one whiff of this and determine whether or not you like the scent, it lingers and stays for as long as you have it on. The smell of cilantro is quite apparent, with the hint of citrus and some mint - it actually reminds me of Dad's traditional Vietnamese cooking! The smell didn't bother me so much (cilantro was a common smell when I was growing up), but I was very surprised at how strong the actual scent was and how long it lingered after application.
I do like the Cilantro and Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque, but I wasn't wowed by the product. Yes, it does make my skin feel lovely, clean, refreshed and very hydrated but I didn't feel that it really 'purified' my skin the way a traditional clay mask would. I think for that 'deep cleanse' I do prefer a traditional clay or mud mask. I personally, don't love the texture of this for an overnight mask as it was far too heavy for my skin but for a mask which I could leave on for an hour or so, it felt quite cooling and refreshing on the skin on application. There is a very slight tingle at the beginning which doesn't last more than 10 seconds and you can then feel your skin start to cool and calm down. The claims of brightening and leaving the skin radiant, I think are somewhat true as my skin does look a little brighter and less dull after using this. However, I think there are other masks which do a better job of this, in terms that results that you get are more noticeable or significant. One thing I do have to give this mask credit for is how nice and hydrated my skin feels after using this, as it is packed of moisturisng ingredients.
Whilst the mask does appear to have a 'natural' look and feel about it, it does contain a few different essential oils which can irritate the skin, those being lavender (it surprisingly didn't cause me to flare up though), peppermint oil and citrus oil. It is also important to note that there are some fragrance compounds (see my previous post) that may cause very sensitive skins to react such as Limonene, Citral and Geraniol. I do have to give Kiehl's credit here, for not listing these ingredients as simply 'fragrance' but actually listing them individually in the ingredients listing.
In terms of the pollution defending claims - I would say it is true up to a certain degree due to the addition of ferulic acid, tocopherol and vitamin C in the form of fruit extracts. However, to have instant results from this is something that is to be seen. Effects of pollution on the skin is not something that you can see instantly, its an effect that occurs over a long period of time, so be wary of these sorts of claims. Whilst it does contain some ingredients that can fight free radical damage, whether or not those concentrations are correct or enough is another story. What it does do, is leave the skin hydrated, brighter and a bit more radiant (which is always a good thing anyway!).
Repurchase YAY or NAY
Overall, I did like this mask but I don't think I loved it enough for me to repurchase it again in the future. I find that other masks out there do a similar job without the 'heaviness' and the strong scent which this does possess. I really, really didn't like the feel of this mask on the skin as an overnight mask as I really felt the mask would just go all over my sheets and my pillow (not pleasant). I didn't mind leaving it on for a few hours though and washing it off at a later period. It did leave my skin feeling very hydrated and somewhat more radiant and brighter, but I do think some of the other masks which I have used in the past give a better effect to the skin. As mentioned, its a solid product but the only thing that seemed to 'wow' me was strong scent of the cilantro.
The Kiehls Cilantro and Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Masque is available at all Kiehl's stores worldwide, it retails for AUD$58.00, USD$32.00 or UK £28.00 for 75ml of product.
Have you used this product before? How did you find it? Let me know your thoughts!