Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate Review

Product Purchased by IMBB

Hello Lovely Ladies,

Today’s review is on a new launch from Kiehl’s. I saw all the brand building around the product and got curious. After checking into it, I realized that this was actually the newer version of Kiehl’s Overnight Biological Peel, which is going to be phased out. Though I have visited the store a number of times, I’ve rarely ever bought a product from Kiehl’s. I think the only product that I have from them was the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Moisturizer, which was kind of in line with the Clinique DDMG and the Estee Lauder Oil free Gel. Honestly, the Estee Lauder one blows the other two out of the water. Anyway, let’s find out more about this product.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate Review

Product Details:
A nightly leave-on serum to accelerate the cell turnover process, revealing fresher, smoother, younger-looking skin.
This nightly micro-peel concentrate helps to refine the feel of rough texture and reveal newly radiant, refreshed skin. Clinically-demonstrated to help accelerate surface skin cell turnover* to reveal fresher, newly radiant skin, while visibly evening skin tone and refining the feel of rough texture over time. Based on instrumental test within surface layers. Results based upon expert grading in a dermatologist-controlled clinical study. Dermatologist tested.
$54 for 30 ml/INR 4700

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate ingredients

My Experience with Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate:

Packaging:  The product comes packaged in a tinted glass bottle. The product has a screw-on lid and a dropper packed separately. Both, come packaged in a white cardboard box. Once you open the product, you are supposed to replace the screw on lid with the dropper, it’s a simple and efficient packaging. The only thing I found slightly off putting was that the dropper was just placed in the box. It did not have any seal, to avoid contamination. Just something you are so used to seeing in medicine bottles. Yes, there would be a cost involved, but compared to the price of the product, I’d say, it would have been negligible.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate details at the back

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate product description

A quick brief on my facial skin – my face is combination to oily and I struggle with periodic acne, which leave behind nasty scars. I’m on the wrong side of 30 and have started noticing age spots. Lastly, my skin can get dehydrated and dull very easily, which may well be a reflection of my eating habits and my sleep pattern.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate outer packaging

Since I started noticing age spots, I started getting worked up and wanted to reinforce my skin care regime. I wanted to include a cleansing instrument – hence, the Foreo Luna 2. I also wanted to add AHA/BHA/Retinol to my skin care regime. However, the issue that I encountered was that there are not enough good options in the market – in India. There is over-the-counter retinol available at chemists which scares the hell out of me. So, I wanted to look at AHA/BHA. Issue? Not many options readily available in India. You can obviously order online; however, what if the product does not suit you? Skin care isn’t really cheap. Also, somewhere in the back of my mind, was my mom’s voice saying, all of it is BS and nothing can really reverse ageing unless of course, you go under the knife! Which again makes you think, is it worth buying such an expensive product? The issue is that you don’t really have samples available.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate full packaging

Another issue which I have noticed – there are skin care lines easily available in India – there is Kiehl’s, Clinique, Clarins, etc, but when it comes to targeted products like Glycolic Peels, Retinoid, etc., they don’t have much to offer. And the world renowned products aren’t as easily available. Just like there is a Dior, a Lancome, an Estee Lauder, a Givenchy, but when you want to buy and exceptional eyeshadow palette – none of these have anything substantial to offer. You search for the Urban Decay and the Viseart and the Kat Von D instead.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate bottle

The reason I am sharing all this instead of coming to the review straight off is to be able to help females who are in the same boat as me. So, what did I do? The first thing I did was to search through my ‘samples’ box of all the testers to check if I had anything. Lo and behold, I found a sachet of a mild glycolic peel and gave it a spin. I was pretty much blown away with the results next morning. Bottom line, as long as you are able to find a good product, skin care is not a myth. You can stop ageing, at least to a certain extent. The issue, the product wasn’t readily available in India.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate dropper

So, I went and checked what is available in India. At Kiehl’s, this new product was prominently displayed. Also, they did not have any real targeted AHA/BHA/Retinol. The reason cited to me by the person was that Kiehl’s believed in products made from natural and plant-derived ingredients, instead of chemical compositions. That’s the brand’s philosophy – so be it. The good thing, I get to try the product, before I buy it. So, I happily took a sachet of the product and tried it overnight. It convinced me enough to buy the product.

This is an alcohol-based product with apparently a miracle ingredient – Quinoa Seed extract which is supposed to help in chemical exfoliation. First things first – there is a huge amount of hullabaloo created by the brand around the ingredient – Quinoa Seed Extract – about how ethically it has been sourced from Bolivia, etc, etc! Which is great – as an ethical practice, as a marketing tool, as a point of conversation. However, I don’t see as much information about its effectiveness! The only information I found on the said ingredient online was – Quinoa is obtained by extraction from the seeds of Chenopodium quinoa Willd. It has excellent prospects in the cosmetic field thanks to its remarkable emollient and conditioning properties when applied to the skin. Quinoa is particularly recommended for the treatment of irritated or sensitive skin conditions.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate nozzle

Emolient and conditioning properties are definitely not the same as exfoliating properties. Yes, it does mention that the ingredient is good for the skin, but it does not seem to be working in the capacity that it has been cited. Gimmick? I leave it on you to decide.

So does the product have any exfoliators? Yes, it has a mix of fruits acids – AHA – which are probably what is helping with the exfoliation. It also has a bit of anti-oxidants thrown in. So, all in all, the concoction is good for the skin. But, does it work effectively as a Micro-Peel? Yes, it does. The product is definitely effective. Do not expect overnight miracles. However, the effect of the product is clearly visible after single use.

Post the first use itself, your skin looks radiant and softer. With continued daily use, I find my skin to have a certain luminosity, improved texture and softness. You can actually see the difference in your skin tone and texture. It’s not like one of the mositurizers or serums we get used to applying daily – as a routine – without even bothering on whether it is working or not.

Kiehl's Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate swatch

The texture of the product is fairly lightweight. It’s slightly yellow tinted and absorbs easily. If you use a little more, it does result in a slight stickiness on your face. It has a strong, slightly citric, chemical smell. It’s supposed to be used post cleaning your face and post toning it, but before sealing with a moisturizer.

So, what makes this product special or worth recommending?

Pros of Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate:

1. The product is acidic in nature, which is crucial for chemical exfoliation to work. Sometimes, there are products with excellent ingredients but the wrong pH. Resulting in the fact, that the ingredients are rendered ineffective.
2. The product is fairly mild but effective. This makes it a really good product to start off with, in case you want to start using AHA/BHA but are scared of the adverse reactions a strong peel could cause.
3. Since, it has anti-oxidants and products which have soothing quality, the overall effect is such that you do not get any after effects of a regular chemical exfoliator. No itchiness, no redness, nothing
4. This makes it ideal for use by people with sensitive skin too.
5. This also ensures that you can use this product on a daily basis without having to worry whether it’s going to burn your face down. This results in you getting up with radiant skin on a daily basis!
6. On application, I generally do not feel any itching sensation, etc. You might feel a hint of a tingle at certain parts – but nothing uncomfortable.
7. Quick comparison between the Kiehl’s Overnight biological peel and this – the major difference between the two is that, the earlier product had silicone as base and also contained paraben. In this product, the silicones have been replaced with alcohol. Yes, it can be an irritant. However, it also aids in penetration of the product.
8. Also, this product is paraben free.
9. Did not break me out.
10. Dermatologist tested.

Cons of Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate:

  • Fragrance could be off putting a bit.
  • Price point. Okay, I generally do not consider the product price into the review, since I believe we all know our budgets and price cannot be a guarantee of the efficacy of a product. The only reason, I am discussing price here is in comparison to what else is available in the market (not necessarily India “eye roll”) at that price point, or lesser. You can get much more effective and stronger acids at lesser price point. You have more effective glycolic peels at lesser price than this. It’s a valid point. However, you have to take into account that this product is probably not meant for acid junkies. So, if you are already using heavy retinol or acids in your daily skin care, this may not wow you. But, there is a definite market for this product – with people who want to take baby steps into this territory or who have extremely sensitive skin and cannot use peels or are not okay with the possibility of itchiness, skin peeling and other discomforts associated with stronger products.

IMBB Rating:
Overall, I think this product is worth trying, if you have been dappling in the idea of boosting your skin care regime and want to take baby steps into it. It is a well formulated and effective product and fairly easily available in India.
One last bit – if you intend to start using any of the anti-ageing products, please ensure that you make sunscreen an extremely dedicated part of your regime. “I put it on, when I do remember to” – will not work. Why?
1. Sunscreen is the prevention tool. We would not need to invest in so much anti-ageing if we were using sunscreen religiously.
2. More importantly, exfoliation of the skin makes it more susceptible to skin burn due to increased sensitivity. If you do not use sunscreen, you will end up increasing the chances of skin getting further damaged.

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One thought on “Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate Review

  1. Thanks for this review Kulpreet….i was searching for the review of this and ur review came first 🙂

    I love Kiehl’s as a brand. I am in my late twenties. i think I should start using this product. Right now , finished the kiehls midnight recovery concentrate that I have been using…Wanted to try something new from them,..I think this is a great choice..i wish it was avlb i na small bottle as well…But, I am planning to give this a try and see if it brings any difference to my skin…

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