I was excited to see how this would perform - after all, the Calendula Herbal Extract Toner is easily one of Kiehl's most well-recognized products, complete with calendula flowers inside the bottle. The Kiehl's Dalendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash unfortunately doesn't have calendula flowers inside, but it does happen to have quite a few other traits to make it a welcome addition to your bathroom cabinet - starting right with the ingredients list.
Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash ingredients: A simple, mild product with no harsh surfactants.
The Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash is a simple, mild product, that is also very simply formulated. It first starts off with water (as expected). Then come the surfactants - there's Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, which foams nicely but is also pretty mild (perhaps the most famous product it is used in is Dove's Body Wash), and then there's Coco-Betaine (also known as Cocamidopropyl Betaine), which is also quite mild (it is found in baby shampoos - that should be some indication). Both Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate and Coco-Betaine can be derived from coconut oil, which probably also would make this product more appealing to anyone seeking out a more "natural" skincare routine. After that, come Glycerin, the humectant we all know and love, and then Sodium Chloride, which is salt (yes, plain ol' table salt), but here is probably used to thicken the texture of the Face Wash. There is also a blend of polymers to help in the texture of the product (Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, which here functions as a thickener), and then we hit Phenoxyethanol, the main preservative used here. I've mentioned before that Phenoxyethanol is used in cosmetics up to concentrations of 1%, so everything after that would probably be used in concentrations of under 1%.
That would also include the various plant extracts that Kiehl's includes in this product - the various oils and extracts from a range of plants, including nepeta cataria, lemon peel, anthemis nobilis flower, and of course, calendula. This doesn't really bother me too much - as long as the workhorse ingredients (in this case the surfactants) that make up the bulk of the product are not harsh or overly drying, I'm not too concerned about whether there are plant extracts or not. Still, for those who like their products with botanical ingredients, then this will probably please them too. So that pretty much wraps it up for me, ingredients-wise.
Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash: A mild gel that cleans well, but doesn't strip skin dry.
But what about my own experience with the product? Turns out, the product was just as I had expected from my reading of the ingredients. Just as expected, it was a mild cleanser, that foamed nicely and cleaned my face well, but at the same time, did not strip it dry at all. It also had a nice faint floral scent (perhaps that's what calendula smells like? I've no idea) that dissipates quickly. You know how people like to say that their cleansers left them feeling clean, but not dried out? I think this is the epitome of that description - my face felt so clean, and there was no residue, either from the cleanser or residual facial oil from me, but yet at the same time my skin was not tight at all. Suffice to say, I was impressed! The packaging says that it is for normal to oily skin types, but my skin (which is starting to age and get a bit dry as time marches on) really likes it - and I'm usually the type that hates drying cleansers. In fact, I'd say anyone and everyone can use it - its gentle formulation makes it suitable even for skin that may be a bit sensitive. Perhaps only very oily skins might not like it as much, because it may not be sufficiently cleansing. If that's you, and if your skin still feels oily after cleansing with the Calendula Face Wash, then perhaps the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser, which I recently reviewed, might be better for you instead. But for me, this is definitely my preferred option.
So would I recommend this? Absolutely - this is probably one of my most favourite cleansers reviewed on the blog to date! I love it - I love its simplicity of formulation which makes it gently cleansing and suitable for almost all skin types, including potentially sensitive skin, I love its easy cleansing power, and I love how it still leaves my skin soft and comfortable. And it comes in a seriously huge 200ml bottle for the relatively affordable price of $45, it's fairly well-priced for a comparatively upmarket brand. Unless your skin is so oily that this doesn't provide enough cleansing for you, I'd say that there isn't any harm in trying it out - chances are, you may just like it as much as I do!
|Recommended?||Formulation||Packaging||Ease of Use||Effectiveness|
|Yes, for gentle cleansing||9/10||8/10||9/10||9/10|
|The Bottom Line: Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash is a simply-formulated, gentle cleanser that cleanses well without drying out skin.|