Cleanse & Tone: the first steps to healthy skin
What to look for: The ideal cleanser gently yet thoroughly lifts away dirt, make–up and excess oil, leaving skin purified and primed to receive the benefits of the treatment and moisturizer to follow.
Usage tip: For best results, we advise cleansing with lukewarm water, washing face over a basin rather than in the shower. Clean hands before washing face, and move clean fingertips in an upward circular motion to apply the facial cleanser. A facial washcloth or brush is not necessary unless desired (and should only be used if made of extremely gentle material).
What to look for: All skin types benefit from using toners! Well–formulated toners help to reduce inflammation of the skin, add water–binding agents and natural lightweight moisturizing ingredients to the skin, and help remove those last traces of make–up from its surface. They can also provide some antioxidant and anti–irritant protection.
Usage tip: For best results, use 100% cotton to apply a toner, gently sweeping it across freshly cleansed skin. Kiehl’s toners are highly concentrated, so it is not necessary to saturate the cotton —a little bit goes a long way.
IS MY SKIN HYDRATED?
Dehydration is when the skin is lacking water. It is not the same thing as dryness, which means that the skin is not producing enough oil. Perform this simple at–home test to determine if your skin is hydrated.
- Look in the mirror and smile widely. Does your skin crease into many tiny surface lines as it stretches from your nose to your cheeks?
- Now relax your face. Place your index finger horizontally across your cheek, pointing at your nose. Gently lift your skin upward with this finger. Do you see a lot of tiny lines, like crepe paper, on the bulge of skin that you have lifted up?
If the answer is "yes" to these simple tests, then the skin is probably dehydrated. Other visible symptoms of dehydrated skin are flakiness and a dull complexion.
Q&A with Dr. Geyer
WHAT CAUSES WRINKLES ON THE FACE?
Aging of the skin is both intrinsic (mostly related to genetics and the ever–ticking chronological clock) and extrinsic (more preventable and reversible – caused by factors such as UV exposure, pollution, and stress). Aging results in fine lines and wrinkles due to a loss of elastin and collagen, leading to poor elasticity, brown spots and dull, dehydrated skin. Wrinkles become most noticeable around the eyes, as "marionette lines" extending from the mouth to the chin, on the forehead and between the brows.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO ADDRESS THE APPEARANCE OF FINE–LINES AND WRINKLES AROUND THE EYES?
Eye area skin is more sensitive than skin on the rest of the face. To avoid irritation, it is best to use products that are specifically formulated for the skin in this delicate region. However, this is the area where we tend to show age first — so you want to choose products here that are highly active and effective, yet gentle.
In the morning, I suggest layering the Powerful–Strength Line–Reducing Concentrate beneath your daily moisturizer. Also, if puffiness is someone’s main concern then the Eye Alert (with Cucumber and Caffeine) or the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (with Avocado Oil and Shea Butter) can be used as needed.
AT WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU START PROTECTING YOUR SKIN AGAINST SUN SPOTS?
It is never too early to start with daily sun protection. In your twenties and thirties, whether there are brown spots or not, I advise all of my patients to begin to use antioxidant–based serums, night creams and sunscreen to prevent brown spots and other early signs of photo aging. It is still key to stress sun protection, but other environmental factors increasingly come into play–stress, tobacco, pollution — and we need products that can help prevent DNA damage from the effects of free radicals within the skin. Good options include antioxidant rich moisturizers and cleansers, such as the Abyssine line from Kiehl’s — a line that pairs antioxidants with Abyssine, a survival molecule that helps the skin to adapt to environmental damage. Photo–Age High–Potency Spot Treatment from the Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions collection will also help to reduce and diminish sun spots after continual usage.
Sunscreen is the most essential component of any anti–aging skin care regimen. Proper sun protection fights up to 90% of skin aging, including lines and wrinkles, uneven texture and tone, and breakdown of collagen and elastin. It is also your primary defense against developing unwanted brown spots.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
Sunscreens should offer both UVB and UVA protection in order to be truly effective, so look for "broad–spectrum" protection. Also look for oil–free, non–comedogenic formulas to avoid clogging facial pores.
First and most importantly, you should apply sunscreen every day as part of your anti–wrinkle, anti–aging skin care regimen. After you cleanse, tone and moisturize, apply a broad–spectrum sunscreen liberally to dry skin 15–30 minutes before sun exposure. Don’t skimp — use a tablespoon of sunscreen to cover the face and neck, and use about one ounce (a full shot glass) to cover the entire body. Be sure to cover the hairline. Additional serums and/or makeup can be applied on top of your sunscreen.
Reapply your sunscreen if you’re outside more than three to four hours, or after swimming or sweating. In addition to the daily use of an appropriate sunscreen, efforts should be made to wear sun protective clothing when outdoors and limit extended sun exposure during peak mid–day hours when UV rays are most intense.
Everyone is at risk of sun damage. Just because your skin does not burn does not mean that you do not need sunscreen. Any alteration in the color of the skin, including a suntan, indicates that damage has already occurred. Do not be fooled by cloudy skies. Although sun exposure is reduced on a cloudy day (especially if it is a rainy day), clouds block only as much as 20% of UV radiation.
Healthy Skin Essentials
Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate with 10.5% pure Vitamin C is Clinically-Demonstrated to be as potent as Retinol without the sensitivity. It is a powerhouse formula that improves the skin's overall appearance and health and addresses the visible signs of skin aging. It benefits skin in three ways:
- Resurfaces skin to visibly improve skin's tone, texture and radiance
- Noticeably decreases the appearance of marionette lines, crows feet, and sub-orbital wrinkles
- Defends against oxidation and free radical damage
After cleansing the skin, apply Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate over the entire face twice daily (avoiding the eye area). It can be used alone or layered under your usual moisturizer.
Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a 99.8% natural blend of nourishing oils including Squalane, night blooming Evening Primrose and eight essential oils which work with skin's natural nocturnal activity to reestablish a fresher, more toned and radiant appearance by morning. It is a silky, lightweight formula with a readily-absorbed texture. The key benefits include:
- Enhances skin's natural recovery activity
- Skin looks visibly restored and regenerated by morning
- Contains high concentrations of potent active ingredients, including 9% Squalane and 15% Evening Primrose Oil
- 99.8% natural, Paraben-Free, Mineral Oil-Free, Water-Free and Fragrance-Free
- Provides the skin with vital nutrients at the precise time when it is most receptive to those nutrients
After cleansing the skin in the evening, apply 2 - 3 drops of Midnight Recovery Concentrate. It can be used alone or layered over Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate for optimal anti-aging results. If additional hydration is desired, a moisturizer can be applied on top of Midnight Recovery Concentrate.
Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ is a lightweight, daily facial fluid that provides skin with UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection. This oil and fragrance-free formula glides on smoothly and evenly for a weightless, matte finish. Key formula benefits include:
- Provides powerful, long-lasting sun protection against UVA and UVB rays
- Helps prevent pigmentation irregularities (dark spots and freckles), wrinkles, and the breakdown of skin's collagen and elastin
- Protects sensitive skin from the stretching of small blood vessels, which reddens skin due to overexposure of the sun
- Oil-free, water-resistant, ultra-light fluid texture is non-comedogenic (won't clog pores), with an invisible, matte finish
Super Fluid UV Defense 50+ should be layered on top of any other treatment or moisturizer as the last step before any makeup application. Apply liberally and cover all exposed areas, including the face, neck and decollete.
Leading dermatologists have long recommended the daily use of sun protection as the most important method of protecting the skin against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays, thereby "slowing down" the visible signs of skin aging. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 90% of skin aging can be prevented with daily sunscreen use.