As I previously mentioned, one of the parts of taking care of myself this past year meant that I needed to take care of my skin – and this presented its own set of challenges for me. Since my skin had been somewhat regulated in my pubescent years (thanks to Yaz), I never experienced puberty-related skin problems at the same time as everyone else, meaning I didn’t know what to do when things went wrong. So I spent the whole year trying different products, until I spent some time with the Kiehl’s team and was given a range of products that really worked well for my skin.
In essence, my skin concerns (since changing pills to Visanne, a pill that did absolutely nothing for my skin, and then onto Qlaira, a pill that gave me nothing but problems with my everything, and then back to Visanne) were that I was suddenly more on the oily skin side of the spectrum (previously having quite dry skin and experiencing peeling); I seemed to be experiencing a never ending cycle of breaking out in the same areas – my cheek planes, above my eyebrows and my chin – and I kept being left with scars/spots once the pimples had gone, along with some overall pigmentation/discoloration. I had tried Dudu Osun (African black soap) and I was frustrated with my lack of results; I found luck in Neutrogena products, but they were products not stocked in SA so when I no longer had access to them, the products I used in their stead didn’t produce the same results; I tried using sheet and peel off masks, and beyond the allure of the feeling of them, I actually didn’t feel like they did much for my skin.
So based on all of that, when I was recommended the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective range, I started to integrate it into my skincare routine and saw a lot of results. I was initially very skeptical about anything that says brightening in it (because usually that means skin bleaching) but after using these products, I’ve found my skin tone to be exactly the same, and they did only what they said they would do. The products I use are below, and their descriptions are listed in order of use:
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Exfoliator – R690.00
This is what I use in the shower as my daily face wash. Infused with White Birch, Peony extract and Glycerin, this exfoliator has small beads that are not harsh on the skin at all and the active ingredients serve to moisturise, hydrate and plump up the skin.
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Clarity-Activating Toner – R580.00
This toner helped me realise the benefits of toning daily. Toning was a thing I knew about but it was always a step I skipped or didn’t prioritise. This toner in particular has Vitamin C extracts that are important in helping with the discoloration of my skin, and I use it once my face has dried and I’ve moisturised the rest of my body. I typically do my face routine last – once I’m creamed and clothed.
Kiehl’s Acne Blemish Control Daily Skin Clearing Treatment – R585.00
Now this is a product that works. I use this on any spots I see or feel coming, and when I have a few pimples that are getting quite bad, I use it twice a day. It has Dioic, Salicylic and Lipo Hydroxy Acids in it which help to minimize the appearance of acne and blemishes.
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution – R760.00
Using serums always makes me feel like I’m in an Instagram video, and this one has Activated Vitamin C, White Birch extract and Peony extract to help prevent the formulation of dark spots and discoloration. I have been using this for month and I can see that the spots that scattered my cheek plane have almost completely gone!
Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturiser with SPF30 – R159.95
On a daily basis, I like to use the Neutrogena moisturiser because it has SPF in it, something that is beyond important but somehow lacking in my face routine otherwise.
GlamGlow Volcasmic Matte Glow Moisturiser – R790.00
Truthfully, this is a moisturiser that I try to savour. It has a wonderfully smooth feel to it – I mean, how are you both matte and completely hydrated? – but I only use it after I do face masks. I prioritise the Neutrogena moisturiser, especially if I’m leaving the house, due to its SPF factor. This moisturiser always feels amazing when used in conjunction with a mud/charcoal treatment. Those are particularly my favourite because I tend to actually feel the results and see the effects on my pores immediately. The two treatments I alternate between are the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment (R850.00) and Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Mask (R92.00). I bought the Freeman one first, and loved that effect, but when I received the GlamGlow one, it was the Freeman one on steroids. It is truly amazing – but if you cant handle the heavy price tag, the Freeman one does the job pretty well too.
As you can see, my current face routine comes with a pretty hefty price tag. And naturally, I doubt I can sustain this in the long run – even though these products don’t need frequent replacement (I’m on month four/five and only now are some products starting to finish up). The products that have, without a doubt, made an impact are the Kiehl’s Acne Blemish Control Treatment and the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution. The GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment works amazingly, but that purchase is definitely only for when I’m feeling rich. The Freeman mask substitute does a pretty good job of keeping my skin in check in the meantime!
The thing about a good skincare routine is that you need to understand your skincare concerns, stay hydrated and have a good diet and then stick with your skincare routine for at least 4-6 months so that it can truly work for you (unless you have bad reactions, because then stop using that product!).
I hope this post was helpful for anyone curious about my skincare routine or Kiehl’s products in general! I’m definitely a fan of the brand after this experience. Let me know if you have any questions or experiences with the brand!
Which brands would you recommend for a student friendly budget, I also get breakouts in the same areas and it’s frustrating.