Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Price: £38/ £49.50

Volume: 30ml/ 50ml

Purchased/ sample: Free sample

Active ingredients: Evening Primrose (skin barrier repair, radiance), Lavender Essential Oil (soothes inflamed or irritated skin), Squalane (Perhydrosqualene or perhydrosqualene vegetal is a botanical lipid that helps restore skin’s natural moisture balance).


Kiehl’s claim that it is so effective you’ll see a difference in one day.

One night. A few drops. Younger-looking skin by morning. Replenishes skin with moisture. Helps to recover radiance by morning.

Hmm… well those are big claims. One night? Really? In my experience, no product can have such dramatic effects in just one use.

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl’s are very generous with samples, and I was given a whole bunch of these samples last September when I was at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway for Bristol Fashion Week. John Lewis had just reopened their new look beauty hall, with a little re-jigging of brands. Kiehl’s had just moved into John Lewis and so were heavily promoting during Bristol Fashion Week. When I mentioned that I was a makeup artist, the lovely promo team gave me about 6 of the little sample vials; a couple for me and the rest to give out to my brides or other private clients.

I must admit that I am pretty happy with my current serum and so didn’t try this out until very recently. I worked a few shifts for Kiehl’s back in January and felt more than a little guilty that I hadn’t even tried their best-selling/ lead product. Other than the fact that I was happy with my existing serum (if it ain’t broke, why fix it) I was also put off by, yup, you’ve guessed it, the lavender oil in the Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

When my existing serum ran out in February, I decided to stop being such a snob about the lavender oil and just give this a shot. I cleansed (Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish), toned (rosewater spritz), and then rubbed literally 2 drops of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate over my cheeks, nose, chin and forehead, then went to bed. The oil is quite a fine oil but still took quite a long time to soak into my skin. The lavender scent was also very strong and did settle me to sleep nicely.

The following morning, my skin was smoother and softer. It looked more radiant… or maybe it was a little greasy… yep that was it. I wasn’t keen on the feeling but couldn’t deny that the dry patches on my skin were now well-hydrated and smooth.

The second night I repeated the same routine, cleanse, tone, Midnight Recovery Concentrate. The next morning was not so great. The lavender oil had made me break out again. Not in spots, but more like a rash. I’ve only had this once before, after I tried the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation, which also contains lavender oil, fact that I didn’t realise when I bought it.

I had to stop using it after day 2. All in all Ii can say that it did hydrate and smooth the dry patches. If it weren’t for the lavender oil, I would love it. It’s a great product for those without intolerance to lavender oil. I don’t even have sensitive skin but always seem to react badly to lavender oil.

Would I recommend this?

If you are fine with lavender oil, then it really is worth trying out. If you have have reacted to lavender oil in the past, stay well away. In terms of recommending to my bridal clients, well I don’t want to risk breakouts or reactions just before their big day, so I haven’t handed any out. I will however be passing the remaining samples out to other clients to try out.

My advice is to try before you buy. Pop into your local Kiehl’s counter and try a sample first before you part with £38.