Beauty Test Drive: Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer

My skin has been all but terrible lately, and it’s all but my fault. My breakouts, dryness, redness, blotchiness, sensitivity, and unidentified non-pimple bumps covering my forehead have either everything or nothing to do with my recent proclivity toward sleeping in my makeup, staying out late, eating terribly (but deliciously), hanging out in smoke-filled rooms, making out with dudes with abrasive facial hair, and finally, because I am The Worst, going off the antibiotics prescribed to me for acne because I ran out and didn’t feel like making a trip to the drugstore that day. It turns out that the libertine lifestyle is not conducive to maintaining clear, calm skin — who knew (and, more importantly, how do all of my favorite celebrities do it)?

I have a veritable apothecary full of cleansers, toners, masques, moisturizers, spot treatments, serums, oils, creams… and the more I piled them on in unlikely combinations hoping for some small miracle, the worse my skin got. Even my tried-and-true lifesavers were like, “Fuck yo’ skin.” I’m always hesitant to try new products when I’m having this kind of facial meltdown, but something about the claims touted by Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer compelled me to take a leap of faith. Maybe it was the reasoning that it addressed skin’s response to external stressors (like, um, my friends, always making me do things, geez), or maybe it was just that classic Kiehl’s packaging that did me in. But whatever it was, I eschewed my customary routine of cleanser/toner/as many other things as I can pile on in favor of this single product. Gulp.

Price: At $40 for a 2.5 oz bottle, this stuff isn’t cheap, but it isn’t wildly expensive, either. I also only need a single pump to effectively cover my entire face and neck, so I feel like it will last me a while.

Packaging: No frills, as is the Kiehl’s way. This makes me happy because it means that it doesn’t come in some, like, crystal chalice like every other skincare product I love and inevitably knock off the sink and shatter slow-motion into a million pieces.

Overall: Bottom line, this moisturizer, or Skin Rescuer, or lotion, or whatever the hell it is straight up changed the game. It feels great going on, absorbs really nicely in a way that doesn’t leave my skin oily or feeling like there’s product on it, and my skin loves it. I’ve been using nothing on my face aside from cleanser, toner, Skin Rescuer, and eye cream. While a month ago I wouldn’t have been able to bear the thought of not coating myself in 10 other serums and balms first, Skin Rescuer seems to address all of the issues my skin is having right now. I swear it’s even cleared up acne and made my pores appear smaller, although that’s … not what it’s supposed to do? Crazy! My skin also stays moisturized all day with just this product alone, with no dryness, tightness, or itchiness come mid-afternoon or an unfortunate gust of wind. My face just feels, and looks, NICER. And this is in conjunction with nothing else. It’s all on Skin Rescuer, man, I’m telling you.

Rating: 5/5. Kiehl’s sent me this brand-new product to try for free, because they’re amazing, but I will buy it again, and again, and again, with my own real life cash moneys. F’real.