Kiehl’s Cleansing Duo: Ultra Facial Cleanser and Calendula Toner

Today I bring you two Kiehl’s cleansing products that I’ve been using:
• Ultra Facial Cleanser
• Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner

Both of these items sat patiently in my stash to be opened for more than 18 months! I admit to forgetting about skincare items in my closet sometimes…

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser – C$26 for 150ml
My interest of this product was in part due to a review by Rachael of HelplessWhilstDrying of this product. In her post, I mentioned interest in trying this… and a month later while sorting out my closet, I found this hidden among the many unopened tubes and jars! 😳
It’s a gel that’s a bit creamy.  I know this phrase is cliché in beauty circles, but yes, “a little goes a long way” with this product. A pea-size amount is enough to provide a full face of lather – any more product will mean you’ll need to rinse excessively to remove the cleanser.  Here’s what a pea-size amount plus a konjac sponge will produce:
Since I remove my makeup with cleansing oil in the evenings, this cleanser is mainly for my morning cleansing (to remove overnight sebum and residue skincare).  However, out of curiosity, I tried removing my makeup one evening with this, and surprisingly, it is quite effective in removing a full face of makeup, including eye makeup! The only slight issue I have with it, is I feel a slight residue left on my skin so I have to rinse more thoroughly. I’d say this cleanser is good for dry, normal and combination skin. I suspect oilier skin types would prefer the oil-free version of this cleanser.  I’ve been using this 150ml tube for the past 2 months and I anticipate it will last for 6 months total – the $26 price tag isn’t bad considering this.

• Fragrance free
• Effective cleansing
• Gentle
• Suitable for many skin types
• Good value

• Leaves slight residue

Stash worthiness: 9/10
And I would repurchase this.

Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner – C$51 for 250ml
Holy crap, I paid $50 for a toner! 😮 I remember this particular visit to the Kiehl’s store so well, it was the holidays of 2014 and I was enamoured by all the limited edition items which included the colourful Craig x Karl Collection. It was at this visit that I also bought the Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter. The SA told me that this toner was so popular that they sell out of this toner all the time, and I was lucky they even had a bottle to sell me! I had been curious about this because of how unusual it looks – there are actual calendula petals inside the toner! 😀

Although I’m not entirely sure what function the calendula petals serve. It’s like if Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado included actual chunks of avocado. 😕

This is quite a serious toner. It’s very effective in ridding the skin of any residue – it’s borderline drying, however it does not contain any alcohol. For the summer months, I don’t mind it but I would not use this in the winter time. And I would not recommend this for dry skin types (it does state that this is intended for normal for oil skin types – I didn’t notice that until I started using this product).

I did appreciate that it had a safety seal inside the lid.

It was a faint green floral scent naturally occurring from the calendula petals. It didn’t irritate my skin but I wouldn’t say it soothed it either. I feel this toner is more for cleansing – almost an astringent – not for prepping the skin for serums and moisturizers.

Also, I seem to be blowing through this bottle rather quickly – I’ve been using this for about a month and I’m almost half-way through the bottle.  And recently, the calendula petals starting coming out of the nozzle, they look like this:
Not very appealing! I have to pick off the bits before I use the bottle pad. And it’s noteworthy that due to the inclusion of the calendula petals, this formula includes a preservative in the form of methylparaben. And there’s a lot of it since it’s listed 4th in the list of 12 ingredients:

  1. Aqua / Water / Eau
  2. Propylene Glycol
  3. Pentylene Glycol
  4. Methylparaben
  5. Disodium Edta
  6. Arctium Lappa Extract / Arctium Lappa Root Extract
  7. Calendula Officinalis Extract / Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract
  8. Calendula Officinalis / Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract
  9. Hydrolyzed Corn Starch
  10. Allantoin
  11. Hedera Helix Extract – Ivy Leaf/Stem Extract
  12. Althaea Officinalis / Althaea Officinalis Root Extract

It’s not my favourite toner, and given the price tag, it would have to be a mind-blowingly good for me to consider repurchasing it. It’s not, so I won’t! 😛 I recommend this if your skin is on the oilier side and you have money to burn! 😉

• Thorough cleansing
• Alcohol free
• No added fragrance

• Overpriced
• Too harsh for some skin types
• Preservative high on ingredient list
• Inclusion of calendula petals more annoying than useful

Stash worthiness: 5/10

Have you tried these Kiehl’s products? What are your favourite items from Kiehl’s?

67 thoughts on “Kiehl’s Cleansing Duo: Ultra Facial Cleanser and Calendula Toner

  1. Ahh Yay, glad you like the cleanser, I’m craving getting another bottle of the stuff! Pleasantly surprised to see that Kiehl’s converts to being roughly the same price here as it is with you it’s £15/$25.50 CAD

    Good to know about the Calendula Toner as I’d been thinking of getting it, I must say the cleanser I was recommended by the SA on my last visit (the Calendula one) hasn’t had me impressed either, I can’t pin point what it’s doing. Still haven’t got around to reviewing it yet despite using it for 3 months as it has me so confused. I way prefer the Ultra Facial despite the fact it’s supposedly not the best for my skin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m shocked Kiehl’s didn’t just charge £25.50 for the cleanser! 😛
      I think the Ultra Facial line is my preference too. The moisturizer was so good. Both that and this cleanser I’d repurchase.
      I think the calendula is pretty gimmicky…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Also, I canNOT believe that I had that Ultra Cleansing hiding in my closet! I’d completely forgotten I bought it! And now to think of it, I got it during a friends & family sale so I got it for 15 to 20% off.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, that toner isn’t for me and my dry skin! The cleanser sounds good, though. I’m currently (well, almost always!) using philosophy Purity in the mornings, but this sounds like it’s worth a shot. Not sure why I’ve never tried Kiehl’s skincare…I get enough samples but they always end up unused.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See, I had the Philosophy Purity and I didn’t care for it. This cleanser for me, is 100x better than that! Try to get a sample of this first – I do love that they’re so liberal with their samples.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that cleanser can FOAM! It sounds promising and for a good price too – I might have to put this on my wish list!
    The toner is so meh, especially comment it’s so expensive. How annoying that you have had to start picking out the petals before using! 😕
    Other than the Midnight Recovery you sent me, which you know I love, I haven’t tried any other Kiehl’s products. I really would like to start, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love foaming cleansers, I don’t care if people say the foam isn’t indicative of the cleaning properties of a product. I just prefer it!
      I went through a phase of trying Kiehl’s products. I did have the Midnight Recovery oil but now that I’ve tried many other facial oils, it’s not my favourite – I find it doesn’t provide enough hydration and kind of disappears on my skin. Try to get samples at the store first before committing – they’re really good at providing samples especially if you advise them that your skin is sensitive!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I go to the stand alone stores out of habit because I started going to those before the Bay had the kiosks. They have me on file at the stores. But, I guess now you can get points at the Bay if you have the card. I often wrestle with this with MAC as well – go to regular store or the Bay?

          Liked by 1 person

      1. I use micellar water or wipes to remove makeup and then my toner seems to get rid of any remenants of makeup. I use my Clarisonic to deep clean my skin when it’s bare, but I’d like a cleanser to freshen up my face in the mornings. X

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I want to try Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ so badly but it’s impossible for me to try it in Quebec. The only product I have from the brand is their Daily Reviving Concentrate which is SO GOOD!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been curious about their sunscreen too. It feels really nice from testing it in the stores. The only issue for me is that it’s chemical sunscreen rather than mineral….
      I haven’t tried too many of their fancy skincare treatments – they’re so pricey!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I will get RICH since I will let you buy it first, test it and reviewed it and then … I will only buy it if the Stashyness is at least 9/10 !!! 😂


  5. Agree with you on the cleanser. It took me over 6 mos to ‘finish’; I got bored with it by then and threw it away. 😂 so many products to try, so little time haha

    I use their rare earth cleanser (max twice a week, else I’ll turn into a prune). It is too drying for me.

    Love their rare earth mask though. That thing sucks out the black heads somehow.

    Will you do an updated stash post? Your magic closet sounds intriguing 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do sometimes get bored with stuff and just toss it due to newer and shinier things! But I think I will use this cleanser til the bitter end!
      I’ve not tried any of Kiehl’s masks but I’ve been hearing a lot about their new ones – I will have to get a sample if they have any.
      I’ve never done a stash post on my skincare – just never thought anyone would be interested in it! It’s not THAT overflowing, really. The items I seem to accumulate faster than I can use up are cleansers, toners and micellar waters. I seem to overestimate how quickly I go through them. For instance, I have 4 cleansing oils in my stash that will probably last me 2 years… but I think I’ll open up the THREE cleansing oil next even though I got it the most recently because I’m concerned it will go bad faster than others since it doesn’t have any preservatives. Is that a good call?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. i forget skincare/makeup in my stash all the time 😦

    Well way to make me feel better about my overpriced toner… or should I say “calendula hydrosol”? 😛
    & I only paid $38 for 100ml @50% off 🙂 you’re a great friend 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t tried any Kiehl’s products yet, but the cleanser looks very very promising! Seems like it would be right up my alley- and you’re right, with how little product you have to use, the price tag isn’t bad in the slightest!
    Bummer that you didn’t love the toner, especially with how pricey it is. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have a bit of guilt about spending that much on the toner but ah well, at least it didn’t cause any break outs, and I’ll use it up and pretend it never happened! 😛


    1. Hahaha yes sometimes poor packaging can be a deal breaker but if the product is stellar, we can sometimes forgive it. I haven’t travelled with it so it’s not an issue for me. And yes, I can see why you’d think it’s like glue in consistency. But since I put it on a konjac sponge, not onto my hands, it’s ok!


    1. Yeah I know, I can’t believe I paid that much for a toner. I do recall that particular visit to Kiehl’s was quite spendy…
      Yes that bath bomb was weird! Not appealing at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The lather from that cleanser is intense hahaha 😂 I like the sound of that one – the calendula petals in the bottle put me off a little with the toner I have to say lol

    Liked by 1 person

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