Discovering the buzz behind Kiehl’s Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream
The search for healthier skin
Picture this: verdant greens and rolling hills to one side, picturesque lakes and views of Palliser Bay to the other. Set within 5,500 acres of private land, with just sheep for company, the very exclusive Wharekauhau Lodge in New Zealand (where Prince William and Kate Middleton once stayed) really made you feel like you were in the middle of nowhere. We were at the Lodge for a delicious lunch, and to meet with the Kiehl's team of experts to find out more about their key launches for the year, one of which is the Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, a 99.6% naturally-derived cream that features two potent ingredients used in traditional medicine: New Zealand Manuka honey and Korean red ginseng root.
"At Kiehl's, we use the phrase 'No Boundaries' every day in our work," says Cammie Cannella, Kiehl's Vice President of Global Education and Customer Experience. "'No Boundaries' to us signifies our commitment to searching the world over for the finest, naturally-derived ingredients for our formulations. From our earliest days, we've harnessed the power of nature to heal and improve the body, and more specifically, the skin."
With skin health in mind, Kiehl's combined the efficacy of two world-renowned ingredients, Manuka honey and Korean red ginseng root, the first combination of its kind in skincare cosmetics, to produce results that include increased hydration, recovery from existing skin damage, more refined skin texture, improved radiance and skin softness.
"The whole concept is skin health, which we define as the general ability to either resist damage or illness, and the ability to recover quickly," says Roberta Weiss, Head of Product Innovation at Kiehl's. "After a lot of exploration of countless ingredients, we found that Manuka honey and Korean red ginseng root really are the king and the queen for recovery and resistance. One of the ways to resist disease is to add vitality and one of the properties of Korean red ginseng is exactly that. We had to do a lot of scientific research and it took us about 2 years, and 68 trials, the most in Kiehl's history, before we finally settled on the perfect formula."
Prized for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, Manuka honey is used in a range of medical treatments, from sore throat relief to treating skin wounds and post-surgery care. Unlike other honeys, Manuka honey has the highest antioxidant activity, which helps to protect skin from oxidative damage, and is also known to stimulate collagen, repair damage and maintain skin barrier hydration. For its Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, Kiehl's chose to work with Watson & Son, known as the best producers of Manuka honey in world. "We pride ourselves as being the leaders in honey science," says Denis Waston, founder of Watson & Son. "We have 14 PhD holders working in our research team, because honey science is very complex. Even though we're in advanced woundcare, curing infections and diseases, there is a natural synergy between how honey is used in medical care, and how it can function within skincare, and we're very pleased that Kiehl's has taken advantage of Manuka honey properties for that use."
"As we age, beginning in our 20's, our skin starts to function less optimally," says Dr. Geoff Genesky, Head Chemist at Kiehl's. "The way we approached this formula was with the fundamental aspects of healthy skin in mind - skin that is radiant, vibrant, smooth, soft and supple, that resists and recovers from damage," echoing the words of Ms. Weiss. "We didn't look at it with an anti-aging perspective, and we will continue to approach more of our products that way. One thing I'm really proud of is that at Kiehl's, we put our money where our mouth is when it comes to studying a natural ingredient. We're using them at highly active concentrations and using them at the demonstrated concentrations when we study them. It's all about what works for us at Kiehl's, and with Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, we've managed to create a highly natural product that makes zero compromises on efficacy."
Dr. Genesky shared the results of a study done with two panels of women: the 'healthy skin' panel of women between the ages of 20-30, who were the control group and didn't use the Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream, and the 'less healthy skin' panel of women between the ages of 35-49, who did. After 8 weeks of using the cream, the older women had clinical grading scores that were either on par with or surpassed the healthy skin panel. "The Softness grading score for the older 'less healthy' skin panel, surpassed that of the younger 'healthy skin' panel - it goes without saying that it was a very exciting day for us," says Dr. Genesky.
Intrigued by the outstanding results of the cream, I tried it for myself. Just three days into using it, my skin felt softer, had improved texture and looked more radiant. I didn't think I could see results so quickly but just a week after that, three colleagues commented separately that I had a healthy glow and that my skin looked great - Kiehl's has struck gold with a product that creates healthier skin; as for me, I'm certainly making this my beauty bag must-have.
Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream is now available at all Kiehl's outlets and is priced at RM254 for 50ml. Click here to buy now.
Update June 2017: Sale of Kiehl's Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream has been suspended temporarily due to quality issues.